The Oracle

Being a Muslim at Hamline

A Muslim's take on how Hamline is and can be accommodating Muslims.

Yusuf Awyusuf, Reporter

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Being a Muslim at Hamline is a unique experience. Unlike many other campuses, Hamline has helped in many ways to facilitate the practice of the Islamic faith. With that being said, I still believe there are some ways that Hamline could improve their dealings and attitude towards their Muslim population.

Prayer is a big part of my faith and is one of the five pillars of Islam. As a Muslim, I am obligated to pray five times a day, most of which occur during Hamline’s class times. Coming in to Hamline as a first-year, I was very concerned about how I would be able to fulfill my religious obligations and whether or not my professor’s would grant me the time to do so.  I was very happy when I learned that Hamline had a space open for prayer in Anderson Center. I was even more relieved to see how considerate my professors were in allowing me the time to exit class and pray.

Along with prayer, ablution is a big part of my faith. Ablution, which is necessary for prayer, is a process in which one washes multiple parts of their body including the feet, hands, face, etc. During my first semester at Hamline, the process of performing ablution was not a particularly easy task. However, during my second semester, ablution was made a lot easier through the opening of The Gathering Space in Sorin, a space open for students to gather and also a prayer space with foot-washing stations.

Although Hamline has facilitated prayer and ablution through the opening of The Gathering Space, it’s still not accessible to Muslims when needed. Due to the numerous organizations and groups that utilize the space-which isn’t to say that its a problem-  but given the fact that prayer times are set, it makes difficult for students to observe prayer at the correct time. To put it simply, despite the university’s efforts to accommodate Muslim students, we often have to continue to innovate ways to observe our religion.

Hamline could also improve in their representation of their Muslim population as well as in their provision of resources to them. Although we are the largest non-Christian group at Hamline, Islamic holidays are not given nearly the same amount of recognition as other religious holidays such as Christmas or Hanukkah. Muslims on campus also do not have a staff member as a religious leader such as the leaders provided to other religious groups like Jews and Buddhists. Resources such as non interest-based loans would also help the Muslim population at Hamline. Interest is a major impermissibility in Islam and has forced many Muslims who can’t afford tuition to transfer due to their inability to take out interest-based loans. By providing alternative resources, Muslims at Hamline wouldn’t be forced to consider alternative colleges and be able to continue their education at Hamline.

Hamline has facilitated many things for their Muslim population, however there are still vital changes that could be made through the cooperation and communication of its administration and Muslim population. Through this cooperation, Hamline could potentially present itself as the best option for Muslims aiming to attain a college education.

Overall, my individual experience as a Muslim has been a decent one. However, I do believe that as the second largest religious group at the university, Hamline could provide more resources to their Muslims.

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The student news site of Hamline University.
Being a Muslim at Hamline