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Giving a gift to a Muslim neighbor - want to do this right.

Their daughters always are happy to play with my little two year old girl, and are so nice and sweet, so I wanted to give a family a little gift, but I know they're Muslim, so I want to make sure I don't offend their faith with my lack of knowledge.

so help me out if you can:

1) Would it be offensive or weird for them to receive a gift this time of year? Would it be better to make it a new years gift?

2) If I wanted to make it a food or sweets gift - are there any diet restrictions I should know about? The only one I'm sure of is I can't give them meat because they only eat a special blessed meat.

3) What would be a good thing to write in the card? Should I leave it at "thanks for being such great neighbors and friends."

Thanks for your help.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 2:33 PM on Dec. 16, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (9)
  • Across the board, ethnicity/religion/beliefs aside I have never encountered anyone (outside of JW) that was offended by a gift that was from the heart. Even though I do not celebrate holidays as most people do, I can not be offended by a gesture of kindness and of good will.

    I do understand your concern, so why don't you google it and see what you come up with? A little research goes a long way (:

    I used to bake extensively, and give beautiful baskets of goodies for x-mas to all of my neighbors/friends- where we lived we were within walking distance of UNCC, and the population was VERY diverse. I had neighbors who were Hindu, Muslim, Orthodox Jews, JW (and yes... if you leave baked goods as a gift on their door step, they WILL eat them. lol), Xtians, and the list goes on. No one was ever offended by an act of kindness, especially one that was tasty- I was careful to avoid nuts though, just in case. (:

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 3:07 PM on Dec. 16, 2009

  • Growing up, my next door neighbors were from Jordan, and our parents always exchanged little goodies this time of year. They usually gave cards and sweets.

    I think it'd be a very nice and neighborly gesture. Wish them a happy holidays. As with any food gift, avoid things like nuts for the kids unless you know ahead of time they don't have a food allergy.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 3:14 PM on Dec. 16, 2009

  • Gift-giving at this time of year has become an American tradition, as well.

    So, when in Rome...

    And as PPs above have said, a heartfelt gift is always welcome. (As long as it's not given for the purpose of conversion, y'know?)

    Answer by MamaK88 at 3:40 PM on Dec. 16, 2009

  • if you are giving them a gift.. because you want to..and you want to show gratifude that is great.. if you are giving them a chrismas gift? i would rethink that as musims do not celebrate christmas or christian holidays or even Prophet's birthdays, jesus or any one else.

    I would stay away from food.. unless you are 100 % sure it does not have any pork by products, pork or gelatin in it that is not kosher or Halal. or meat..(since many muslims won't eat any meat in which Allah's name has not been mentioned at the time of slaughtering).(ps.. it is not blessed persay...)

    you are giving the daughters gifts,,then i would say to stay away from any bratz dolls or anything that may seem offensive to you. LOL.. I woudln't give any music or magical things such as fairytales or harry potter.

    for more ideas come to muslim moms group on CAFE MOM and ask the moms there they will be so happy to help you with your questions.

    I think

    Answer by Aasiyah at 4:30 PM on Dec. 16, 2009

  • I think that it is great of you to want to share with the nieghbors. that's very neighborly and i don't really see any reason for offense.. ok the group is...


    Answer by Aasiyah at 4:32 PM on Dec. 16, 2009

  • oh i forgot to mention.. NO WINE , liqour or beer made foods. LOLOLOL.. very important as we are foridden from any kind of consumption.

    also as for the card.. what you wrote works. :) i hope this helped

    Answer by Aasiyah at 4:34 PM on Dec. 16, 2009

  • You could put together a gift basket of cute mugs with different flavor hot cocoa. Lots of hot cocoa is kosher. Throw in some mini marshmallows and some cookies that are kosher. Anything like that would be fine. It is a very nice idea.

    Answer by Marwill at 5:24 PM on Dec. 16, 2009

  • Giving them a gift is a nice gesture as long as it isn't a "Christmas gift" as we don't celebrate it. As the other posters said before no pork, no liquor, and no figures of people or animals and if its food make it veggie. Writing thanks for being good neighbor is very nice. Whatever you give them I am sure they will be appreciative. :) What ethnicity are they? If they are of a diffrence ethnicity is might be nice- if you can cook- to share some home made dessert with them from your culture. I had a neighbor once who was from Pakistan/Afghanistan and they had never had lemon meringue pie before so I made it for them. It was nice we traded traditional desserts back and forth.

    Answer by NCMommy2be at 6:18 PM on Dec. 16, 2009

  • That is so nice!
    I agree with everything the PP's said. No alcohol or pork.

    Answer by isra1986 at 7:59 PM on Dec. 16, 2009

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