Warmer days are here and as we get more opportunities to go outside we also have better opportunities to connect with our Muslim friends! Here are some of the best ideas for how to use this season to build a relationship:
1. Invite them to a grill out
When you invite your Muslim friends, make sure to let them know that you will have halal-friendly foods! Most Muslims follow their religious rules about what to eat and what is forbidden. Learn more by reading our blog post about Islam’s dietary restrictions. While you are grilling and cooking, keep your Muslim friend’s halal-friendly food separate from any other dishes.
Always check with your Muslim friend about their personal preferences; asking them about their religious diet will show that you really care and you're taking the time to be a good host. Inviting them to a grill-out is a fun casual opportunity to connect with them and their family.
2. Include them in holiday celebrations
With some special holidays like Independence Day and Labor Day coming up, include your Muslim friends in your celebrations and days off. Find a common interest that you can connect over, like going on a hike or walking in a beautiful park. Many Muslim guys enjoy playing soccer. Maybe you can form a team and play together while the women can enjoy preparing a picnic or doing a craft together. Remember, ladies, even if you would rather be out on the soccer field, it is polite to remain with the Muslim women, who will not be playing.
3. Get outside
Do you normally meet your Muslim friend for coffee or for lunch in a crowded restaurant? Replace it with exploring God's creation. Find new parks and lakes to share and enjoy with them. A trip to the zoo or an amusement park can be very inviting as well!
4. Arrange some playdates for the kids!
The kids are out of school now, and summertime doesn’t mean they should be stuck at home all day! As the kids play together, parents should take time to get to know the Muslim couple – dads talking to dads and moms talking to moms. In Islam, it is uncommon for married men and women to be friends with the opposite gender, so approach the family accordingly.
If you know that a Muslim mother is looking for something for her kids to do, invite her children to attend a Vacation Bible School with your kids. Make sure that you have already talked with them about the Bible and your church before presenting this idea. Then ask the mom to get coffee one morning while the kids are at VBS.
5. Pool Day
Arranging a pool day is a great way for your two families to connect. It can be a pool day for the kids while you, the parents, socialize. Especially since the Muslim mother/wife might choose to not swim, it is important for the Christian woman to stay with her and build their relationship.
Note that on a pool day, dress modestly! Be considerate of how much your Muslim friends value modesty, and don’t dress yourselves or your kids in swimsuits that show a great amount of skin.
Whatever you choose to do with your Muslim friends this summer to grow closer to them, pray before you go! Ask that God can use this time as a witness of Jesus’ love in your heart and life.