Five Surefire Ways to Start a Conversation with a Muslim

My wife’s amazing with big projects. She dives in, does the next thing and bit by bit gets it done. Jesus was like that with people: Chat with the next Samaritan, engage the next outsider, raise the next dead guy to life! We have a problem with Muslims and part of the solution is to meet some. You and me, chatting with the next Muslim, then more of us with the next few. It won’t solve the whole problem, but it counts. You might want to do this, but just don’t know how to break the ice. 

Whether you see Muslims at work, Walmart or waiting for kids at soccer practice, here’s how you can start a conversation with a Muslim.

  1. Smile, “Hi,” go from there. Sometimes it’s as simple as that. A kind, curious face precedes these next four. 
  2. If she has a name tag on, kindly ask, “How do you say your name?” Follow that with, where’s that name from? How long have you been here? Can you tell me what your name means?
  3. Leverage the context: If you’re in a grocery, comment on what you both are looking at. At soccer, commiserate over the weather, the officiating, kids these days!
  4. Hear “not-English” being spoken? Ask, “What language was that?” Can you teach me a word?”
  5. If all else fails, quietly ask, “Where are you from?” If you’re both guys, the old standby, “So, what do you do?” is good for starters.

Practice this. You will get better. It will feel awkward, but it gets easier. Remember, it will likely be odd for the Muslim you want to talk to. This doesn’t happen often. They may understandably be a little nervous. But Jesus loves it!

Please share this with your buds who might also like to try.

1 Comment

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One response to “Five Surefire Ways to Start a Conversation with a Muslim

  1. Schatzi Fry

    Be humble and vulnerable, “I’m sorry, I’ve never heard your name…” and I typically ask, “How do I say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in your language?” If you can give a compliment and then find something to laugh about, you’re halfway there.

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