We each have traits that make us unique. For Muslim Americans, our religion is one of them. And as a Muslim, I understand that Islam can seem confusing. With words like Hijab, Halal, and Haram, who can blame anyone for being confused! But as much as my fellow Muslims and I love informing people on Islam, we can't always be perfect. So enjoy these seven situations all Muslims who eat halal can relate to.

Before I proceed to complain about explaining what halal is, let me explain what it is (for our non-Muslim readers). Halal means lawful or permitted in Islam. Halal food refers to the manner in which the animal was slaughtered (i.e. God's name was mentioned) and that it is free from unlawful things such as blood, alcohol, pork, and carnivorous animals. Now that we are all caught up, you may proceed.

1. Getting asked what halal is—over and over again

It honestly wouldn’t be that bad, except for the fact that they never even remember what it's called. 

“Hey girl, are you sure you don’t want a slice of pizza?”

“Nope, I can’t eat pepperoni, remember?”

“Oh yeah! I remember you telling me about that. What’s it called again? Harab? Hijab? Hoe-lala?"

"Uhm, halal. It's called halal."

"That rings a bell! So you can't eat pork, right? What about bacon? You must at least be able to eat bacon."

"Nope, bacon is not an exception."

"No way! I'd die without bacon, man."

2. Lying in order to avoid explaining what halal means

It’s not worth having a five-minute conversation explaining halal when you might never see this person again. So instead you lie and say you’re a vegetarian to make your life easier. That is until they see you eating chicken biryani and think you’re a liar, which I guess you are, but just in a different kind of way.

3. People assuming that you are "missing out"

meat, bacon, pork, beef
Kirby Barth

The sight, the smell, even the sound of bacon disgusts you, but people can’t seem to wrap their minds around this unfathomable concept.

"So I know you can’t eat pork, but this ham sandwich is sooooo good. If you could try it, you'd love it.”

4. Schooling your vegetarian/vegan friends

As a Muslim, you are more aware of hidden pig byproducts than even your strictest vegetarian friends. Anything gummy, savory, or squishy could be guilty of containing gelatin, and your friends trust your expert knowledge in identifying these seemingly innocent foods.

5. Asking what appears to be silly questions

Just because the tacos contain no meat does not mean they are free of animal products. You cannot simply ask the waiter if the tacos are vegetarian, no, you have to interrogate them.

“Are the taco shells made with lard? What oil is the eggplant fried in? Do you use gelatin in the pudding?”

And, more often than not, your questions are so specific the waiter has to go ask the chef. Oops.

6. Being very, very skeptical

"And you’re sure you got me the vegetarian hot dog? You picked it up from the tray that says vegetarian, right? It kind of smells like pig to me. Could you maybe try some just to be 100% sure? You know what, I’ll just go exchange it for another one, just to be extra safe."

7. And so help you God if you ever accidentally eat pork

It can be tough living in the West as a Muslim and boy are you jealous of those who can drive to McDonald's and order a halal chicken sandwich. However, throughout the journey (and inevitable incidences), you realize that it has taught you a lot about yourself and your own strength (because who else would willingly turn down Chick-fil-A).