Muslim housemates, should we talk to them?

They're not terrible people but they are making life for the rest of us unnecessary hard.

We live in Campus accommodation. There are 6 of us, 3 from the U.S. one from Austria and two from Malaysia. What's kinda causing problems is that they wake every morning at like 6 am to pray and thus waking up every one of us too.They also have a measuring jug with water near the toilet to, I don't even know why and they spill a lot of it, so the bathroom floor is always wet. They're always talking in their first language which is kinda rude when there are other people in the room. There is the food thing also and tons of other little stuff

Then they kinda had a conflict with my other housemate because she had her boyfriend over for the weekend. We're supposed sign in guests at the reception but it was already closed so she didn't and the Monday afterward the 2 girls went down there and told the reception. My housemate had to pay 125$ fine then. Not very nice. They also didn't come downstairs for the fire drill because they weren't wearing their headscarves and we were all waiting for them in the cold for 30 min.

They told us to always tell them when we have guys over but sometimes I just spontaneously ask people over for lunch and some of them are guys and they totally freaked out. I get this is different in their culture but as they say, "when in rome do as the romans do"

We're wondering if we should talk to them, some of us are kind afraid to come over closed minded or racist


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I know living with other people you don't know might cause some conflicts, even if you have the same belief, culture or w/e. It's just because you used to live in a specific life style with your family and you want to live the same life style. So people who live with each other have to be considerate to each other.

    I'm Muslim, I don't know about the water jug lol maybe it's just something they usually do at home. You have to tell them, they have to clean after they use it. If they are Muslims then they should know that the personal hygiene as well as the environment cleanliness are important.

    As for the praying thing, they should pray, but they also shouldn't wake up everyone. My mom wakes up in the morning to pray without waking up everyone, just those who have to pray. You should talk with them about that too.

    About bringing guys over, you should consider them in this one, because they must cover up in front of guys. It's uncomfortable for them when a guy stays over with them. Or you have to at least just tell them what you are planning to do, so they can cover themselves or take that in their account.

    As for speaking their own language, it's something up to them, it has nothing to do with their religion (this's out of the topic and even close minded). I personally have Malaysian friends, they used to speak with each other using their language in front of me and I couldn't understand it so it kinda bothered me but I didn't really care. But when it comes to me, I speak using the English language in their presence even if I am talking with someone who speaks my own language, so when they saw this nice behavior from me, they stopped talking with each other using their language when I'm with them.

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    • I agree with you.

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    • My previous roommate used to use her hair dryer while I was sleeping and I told her that I had exams and I couldn't sleep like this and she understood.

      As for washing, I use the tap water and just wash myself normally. That's why I couldn't understand this measuring jug thing. :s

      Maybe some people felt offensive because you linked it with religion while it's kinda don't have anything to do with it. Most of what you're complaining about almost any roommate can do and you can solve it but just

    • by* just talking with them nicely without bringing their religion up, because seriously most of it can be solved if you break this cold barrier between you and just open up to each other.

What Guys Said 4

  • Yes, talk this out, explain to them that we in the US adapt to eac other in collective living arrangements. Make a list of the problems and discuss all of them one by one. Tell them they shold be seaig English I the house to practice the language, when others are present, because it's seen as rude. Go over every detail. I'm sure you can reach some modus vivendi with them.

    Imagine if they were Mormons, and they were all married to the same guy. Be thankful they're only Muslims..

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  • well, I understand. what you're dealing with are mental patients.

    about the water and all as far as I know;

    1. they clean their feet before they pray

    2. they don't use toilet paper to clean their asses, they use water

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  • I'm that kind of a guy who answers anything with you knowing who I am but this is one where even I'll go abstract for obvious and various reasons :D

    1. 6 am prayers are their way of life worldover and as far as I know those prayers don't make noise unlike other religions where prayers are said aloud. The only disturbance would be their moving around, talking etc - something you can talk to them with and if they don't heed you then you may take it up with an authority to either change your accomodation or get them to mellow down early in the mornings

    2. Spillages etc I agree with another anonymous user out here - talk to them and get them to clean it up (what we see as dirty these guys may be seeing it as a normal way of life) after they use it it's only fair

    3. As of the housemate getting her boyfriend in and their reporting it, apart from all the other signs these are signs of insecurity related aggression. Either talk to them about all this openly and be friends with them but if they insist on being aggressive all the while, please ask for alternate accomodation.

    4. Their not turning up for the fire drill is something that would have been noticed by others too isn't it? good - that way you sure have support there then :). Make it a point to mention this if it comes to reporting their aggression.

    5. Unless you talk to them you won't know if they are closeminded or racist for one. Other is they may be this way for 3 reasons

    5.1. They think that if they 'mellow down' and mingle about everyone will try to wean them away from their beliefs and practices

    5.2. They want to stay that way cause they think they are right and others are wrong

    5.3. They think racist

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  • Some of your complaints are definitely close minded and borderline racist, but some of them are legit.

    The 6am prayers.., don't even ask them to do something there. It's pointless.

    But asking them to clean the bathroom when they are finished washing, is totally fair.

    Talking in their first language - well what do you expect? Are you speaking in their language when they are around, just for their convenience? I don't think so.

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    • Well no but I'm not in Malaysia. They are doing full 4 years of University here. All other international students I know speak English even if other people are able to speak their first language

What Girls Said 4

  • I am a Malaysian, it's true what you said, I support you 150% on talking to them. they need to be harsh at first, but after awhile, they'll get used to it. give them a choice of "when in rome do as the romans do, or get lost". my mother always says this to any guests in our house for over a week. and yes, we're Muslims. I am deeply sorry and ashamed to hear that someone from my culture does this to you, but you need to speak to them, don't mind being harsh. the wet bathroom floors is a cultural thing, they should keep them dry, remind them that Islam is about cleanliness not wet floors. Muslims from other cultures keep their bathrooms dry, so Malaysians should be no exception. just talk to them heart-to-heart maybe ask them why they're not cooperating as well -maybe because of having guy friends over without giving them a heads up.

    People need to be told, educated, doesn't matter if they're open or closed minded. those girls probably never gone out much, or its the first time that they travel outside their country. To be honest, you shouldn't be afraid of them, because I totally understand how they're like. They have a heart attack when they know I spent the night at my bf's place, not that I did anything. But still, they have to know to accept changes around them. You can message me if you have more questions. I speak the Malay native language as well. But I grew up outside Malaysia.

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    • well did talk to them, most of the sutff did get better, unfortunatley not the stuff that bothers us the most though. Which is talking malaysian all the time and waking us up. One of them really tries now but the other is really stubborn. Like in the morning she walks through the hallway 20 times literally. And her slipper just make tons of noise.

      The bathroom thing has gotten way better but why can''t they just use the tap?

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    • Well, people tend to stick to others who share similar interests and cultural background, I think you would do the same if you were to travel to a foreign country. But I agree that they should loosen up a bit and socialize with the locals, although none of you share anything in common. I see the same thing happens here, I go to uni in canada, and most international students either malaysians, Chinese, or arabs tend to "pack" to their own race.

    • Very few of them actually venture out of the "pack"t (including me) and we're thought as being too westernized just because we adapt to the local culture. I understand how annoying it can be when people speak a language that you don't understand. I wish I could help you at this point, but I don't think I can because I don't know them lol

  • Definitely talk to them. If it continues, see if you can try to switch out.

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  • Not talking to them would be stupid because then you would be creating tension and hostility in a place that's supposed to be your home. Stop being passive aggressive and just address the issues to their face. Tell them they need to clean up water if they spill it because someone could trip and get hurt. You should also mention that it's hypocritical for them to request advance notice of you guys inviting guys over yet they invite whoever over whenever they want. But it is different, Muslim culture teaches them to separate themselves from guys.

    However...

    1. What your roommate did has nothing to do with you. The money didn't come out of your pocket; stop butting in. That just looks like you fishing for something negative to say about them.

    2. No one asked you to wait for them. If they realized you guys were waiting around on them then they probably would have come or sent a courtesy text

    I think you should just have a house meeting. Don't make it about a Muslim thing; make it about the individual actions that are coming from the girls.

    1. Being disruptive very early in the morning

    2. Cleaning up messes that they spill

    3. Yeah, they shouldn't have ratted out your friend, but your friend should be more respectful to the fact that it's not just her place and not everyone may be comfortable with her boyfriend staying over. I don't think it was cool for them to snitch, but your roommate knew that was wrong for her to do

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    • I'm not asking for myself only but for the 4 of us. I know it's mainly her thing but it could have happened to me as well and 125 is my budget for food for one month. yes we were expected to wait for them, the manager told us we couldn't go back in until everyone was outside. After some time he was like "we would usually send fire fighters in now but I'll go myself this time" and he did and that a huge problem too because they were still not wearing their headscarf

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    • Well it wasn't me who called strangers names, lol. You told me we should talk to them together and I told you we will 4 times (5 including this) but you just keep getting back to it, I have no idea why

    • Sorry for that : / I thought you were insulting me for no legitimate reason and it pissed me off/ irritated me

  • Unfortunately, living in a shared place like that will cause conflicts. However, you do need to respect their beliefs and ways no matter what their background or religion is. I suggest nicely getting every roommate together and all discuss things that are bugging you guys. For instance you could bring up the fact that the toilet floor is always wet and to tell those who wet the floor to instantly clean it up. Say that you guys are old enough to know these things and that if they want you to respect their values, they should also respect your thoughts etc. you could also suggest that when people wake up early (for whatever reason) to not disturb others, or to not be noisy. (This is their religion it is not something you can ask them to stop doing, unless there's another suggestion).

    In return you could respect the fact that they are Muslims and that they are to wear the head scarves in respect to their beliefs and religion. Although I completely understand the whole spontaneously inviting friends and guys over, you could just send them a quick text message on the way home or get someone else to let them know you are bringing guys over.

    Maybe they 'dobbed' on your other housemate because they feel threatened by you guys? Do everything nicely though. Because this could get very ugly.

    Tell them these things and in return respect their views.. And things could get better.

    Good luck :)

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