A prayer rug or prayer mat is a piece of fabric, sometimes a pile carpet, used by Muslims and some Christians during prayer. In Islam, a prayer mat is placed between the ground and the worshipper for cleanliness during the various positions of Islamic prayer.
What religions use prayer mats?
Muslims are often seen kneeling and prostrating on small embroidered rugs, called “prayer rugs.” For those unfamiliar with the use of these rugs, they may look like small “oriental carpets,” or simply nice pieces of embroidery.
Do only Muslims use prayer rugs?
Not all sects of Muslims use the prayer carpet. Shiite Muslims usually pray on a clay disk called a “turba” in Arabic and “mohr” in Persian. This disk is often made from soil from Karbala, the place of martyrdom of Hussein, Prophet Muhammad’s grandson in today’s Iraq, or another sacred site.
Can non Muslims use prayer rugs?
The prayer mat doesn’t have any special significance, it’s perfectly legitimate to pray on the floor without a prayer mat. So there’s no issues with it being used decoratively, or by non-Muslims, or just to sit on, or as a picnic blanket, or mounting it on a wall, etc.
Is it offensive to have a prayer rug?
“Is it disrespectful to use a prayer rug as anything other than a prayer rug?” No, unless you damage it and it isn’t yours. In which case you are actually disrespecting the ownership of it. Belief does not automatically gain respect.
Why are prayer mats used?
Muslims are expected to pray to Allah (God) five times a day. They can pray anywhere, but they are expected to do so in a clean place. For this reason, Muslims will use a prayer mat if they are not praying in the mosque (the Muslim place of worship). It makes the place where they put the mat a temporary mosque.
Why are prayer rugs used?
Prayer rugs are used widely around the world by Muslims to pray in a salat, which means to pray five times a day in the proper way. The rug provides a significant ritual context for the user, framing and enabling distinct postures, movements, and mindset for the occasion of prayer.
How can you tell a prayer rug?
A prayer rug is characterized by a mihrab design at one end which resembles an archway. Prayer rugs are meant to cover the ground while Muslims pray. The mihrab points towards Mecca when the rug is in use. Some rugs have a mihrab at both ends, which is defined as a double prayer design.
Can I use anything as a prayer mat?
You can use any clean material as a prayer rug. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a prayer mat with Islamic inspired patterns. If you prefer not to pray on the floor then you can use any clean cloth or even your coat or jacket to pray.