I have been married to my husband for 2 years and we’re regularly invited for dinner at in-laws. They’re not practicing Muslims and do drink and eat non-halal food. My husband recently told me he feels guilty asking his sister to go out of her way to serve us halal food, so he suggested we bring our own halal food to her dinners. I feel like he wants to please them and not inconvenience them. I disagree because they invited us to their home knowing we are Muslims and if it’s a genuine invitation they should be able to feed us. Is it rude to bring food to the family’s dinner? Also at our last dinner, they served me with halal brought to the house by another guest and as I was eating they served my husband with nonhalal meat on purpose knowing we don’t eat halal. I feel stuck in the middle and this is turning into a burden for them or that they don’t even care that we are Muslim. It’s my husband family and I feel horrible that small things like this is becoming an issue. On another visit, a different in-law cooked pork chops in my presence and now I don’t like going to that house either. I want my husband to be close to his family but I feel like they don’t care about me.
As-salamualaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
Islamically, of course, we are obliged to maintain family ties. We should also alive our parents save in matters where they try to turn us against Islam. To encourage your family to eat haram food knowingly is encouraging them to go against Allah’s commands, but at the same time, understand ly you want to maintain their ties as peacefully as possible. Whilst the situation is a tricky one, there are some things you can do to attempt to ease the tensions.
* Invite them to your place. Instead of going to there’s, invite them to yours where you are free to cook halal meat. This way you get to uphold family ties by meeting with them as normal, yet also get to eat halal meat.
* Talk to them. Perhaps they don’t understand the importance of the need to eat halal meat. Maybe it is just a minor matter to them. As non-Muslims, it is highly likely that they are uneducated on the matter. If they are unaware and are giving you haram meat or belittling the eating of halal meat, then little blame can be placed in them if they are unaware.
Obviously, this is a topic to discuss sensitivity so as not to offend anyone present and maintain healthy ties, but for the sake of your Deen it is a discussion that is needed. Once the topic is open and being spoke about then it may be more comfortable and easy to suggest you bring the meat, especially if they feel, or you feel that to do so may be a burden on them. Dealing with the matter in a respectable manner like this is more likely to see them accept this and even in sha Allah accept Islam themselves in the future. Educating them in this aspect of Islam may even soften their heart to Islam that they may desire to read more about it.
* Use your time with them to gently educate them about Islam, not in a preachy way, but just letting them know some things about Islam. As they come to know more they will be better able to understand your situation and concerns as it may simply be that they don’t understand that is why they come across like they seemingly don’t care when actually it is just that they don’t understand. If they can view Islam from a positive perspective in the beauty in which it is, they are me likely to behave more favorable towards you.
* As well as talking to them about Islam, simply trying to improve relations beyond will not only allow them to see Islam in a good light as you represent it in their presence, but it will soften their hearts towards you that they might be more inclined to go out of their way to please you when you visit respecting you as you respect them.
* Talk to your husband about it. Perhaps they will be more responsive if it is your husband that talks to them. As he has grown up with them he will be better aware of their likes and dislikes and how best to talk to them, especially about difficult matters. This will also relieve the burden from you as you appear together in support of each other. It may be that if he doesn’t say anything that they don’t think it is a serious matter as it is only you saying something about it. If you both talk about it in solidarity then they will understand that it is and will more likely make sure to change in the future.
May Allah guide them and make things easier for you in this situation, strengthening your bonds with them.