TEMPE – Arizona State University recently added an interfaith reflection room and ablution rooms to its Memorial Union to accommodate students who want to practice their religious beliefs.
Muslim students had asked for a place to cleanse themselves before prayer.
“What the students desire is really the driver for this project and so it’s paid for by the students, for the students,” said Bruce Nevel, chief facilities officer at ASU. “It’s a very diverse student body that we have, and so there is a requirement or desire for these ablution rooms.”
Many religions practice some form of ablution. Baptism and foot washing are considered forms of ablution in Christianity. However, Muslims wash themselves each time before formal prayer.
“It’s important to have a place like that. It keeps you more clean. There’s no water spilling anywhere,” said Mahleej Zara, a member of the Muslim student association at ASU. “It’s important and as well to acknowledge the fact that students need a place like that.”