I am hoping you can help me come up with a solution. My sister has become a Muslim. I am a Christian. Our family has always enjoyed family gatherings and meals together. Since she has become Muslim, she has indicated it would be inappropriate for her to eat a meal that we have said a blessing over if we end the blessing “in the name of Jesus Christ.” We are at a loss because we feel it is important for our children to understand how important their own religion is and that they should not alter the way they pray as we would not ask my sister to alter her prayers. We do, on the other hand, want to continue having family gatherings and meals together… we love her very much and do not want to hurt her. Is there another solution? Could she fill her plate with food, then go to another area of our home with her plate while we offer a blessing on the food, then come back to eat at the table with us?
Thank you in advance for any help or insight you can offer.
I commend you on your efforts to ease the relationship and the strains resulting from such a life changing experience. Your sister is quite correct in her decision; however, there are plenty of solutions. To keep the entire family at the table the prayer could be pronounced as usual with only a slight change as, “in the name of God” rather than “in the name of Jesus.” This would be valid for all and it should be no problem whatsoever for your sister. If you are not comfortable with this solution you have the option you have suggested. She may set aside some food for herself, excuse herself while you say grace and return to join the family. However in this case she can simply render the blessings, that you placed, void after she pronouncing God’s name over the food. It may be noted that the Muslim pronouncement of God’s name is usually over an animal that is about to be slaughtered. Hence, if this were the case she would not be able to eat the food if anyone or anything other than the one God is pronounced over the animal. Since in this case the food is cooked and done your remembrance of God or Jesus has no affect over the food and she may negate it by making her own pronouncement. Keep in mind the food of Christians are allowable to Muslims. I pray that your family works through this minor inconvenience.
I hope I have clarified the issue.
God knows best.