In Islam the bathroom plays an important spiritual and religious role. The Koranic text itself imposes an obligation to clean the body and the ritual itself provides details on necessary ablutions before prayer. Water in the Muslim world, as in many other religions, is thought to wash away sins, purify and regenerate. For this reason, the hammam is an obligatory part of life; in birth, circumcision and marriage.
According to Ibn al-Khatib, the native Andalusian population did not have bathrooms. Baths were used as business and social centres. Baths used to be located near mosques or near the gates of the cities, open throughout the day with different timetables for men and women. Public baths were places where social inequalities vanished.
The Baños Reales and Baños de Comares, which are located in the Alhambra, are excellently preserved. The Baños del Bañuelo in Granada, the Baños de Baza and the 8th-century Baños de Marzuela, are also perfect examples of urban baths, situated near the mosque.
There are many other baths scattered throughout the province such as in Churriana de la Vega, Cogollos Vega, Aldeire, Huéneja, Dollar, Ferreira, Jerez Marquesado, Lanteira, Nivar, La Zubia and Alfacar (built between the 8th – 15th centuries). For the most part they were reused as private homes with the arrival of the new Christian settlers, who did not use them as the Muslims had done.