A prayer mat or prayer rug is a large piece of cloth, either a square pile carpet, used for Muslim prayer sessions. In Islam, a prayer mat is usually placed directly on the floor or flooring of the prayer chamber for hygienic purposes during the several positions of prayer. They are also commonly used as prayer rugs for the alleys leading to the prayer hall. They are traditionally made from a wool blend but are also available in natural fibers and cotton or other blends.
The actual prayer mat is known as a rug which has to be kept clean and neatly folded at all times. There is no other proper way to keep it clean except by wiping regularly with a damp towel after every prayer session.
Popularness of Prayer Rugs in Muslims Life
Prayer rugs for Muslims also vary with respect to style and material. They are available in more or less any color, shape, and size and they are made using any number of materials such as silk, wool, leather, jute, and many others. Traditionally, the prayer rug was kept separate from the prayer rugs for the convenience of having two pieces for prayer, but with changing times, this has become impossible. Thus, today most prayer rugs come in a single larger size, similar to the size of a prayer mat.
Uses of Prayer Mat in Islam
A prayer mat used for Islamic prayer sessions usually comes with an Islamic covering which is referred to as Islamic prayer rugs. This covering is simply a decorative wrapping that surrounds the entire prayer mat. It does not have the sole purpose of concealing the prayer mat from sight, rather, it helps accentuate the overall design of the Islamic covering which usually features a Call to a prayer written in Arabic. However, some scholars argue that an Islamic prayer mat that does not have an Islamic covering does not necessarily mean it is inappropriate to use in places where Islam is practiced.
Materials are Used in Prayer Matt
The primary materials used in the construction of prayer matt are cotton and synthetic polyester. The other common materials used include jute, silk, and wool. Jute and silk are considered to be of the finest quality, while synthetic polyester comes in a wide variety of colors. Most prayer mats come in dark colors like black, brown, dark blue, and dark green. Jute and silk are light in color and are the most commonly used materials in Turkey.
The location where the weaver begins his work is also important in terms of design. In Turkish, the prayer mat is laid on the flooring (data) before the prayer begins. The prayer mat is then lifted up and brought to the front, where the imam enters the prayer. The prayer mats are laid on the floor facing Mecca. The imam leads worshipers in supplication and is followed by reciting the Quran.
Today, most mosques in Turkey have prayer mat available for purchase and are commonly referred to as masajid or rural rugs. The qurab is the floor covering that is kept under control by a worshiper. Prayer mats are made to fit square holes that are provided by the manufacturer or imams.
The Fabric of Praying Mats
A typical Turkish prayer mat consists of prayer rugs, a prayer rug, a floor mat, and a fabric square hole (data). The fabric used is usually cotton or satin fabric with a tight weave. The prayer rugs vary in color and size but can be found in blue, red, white, and green. Some prayer rugs are embroidered with floral patterns or images. The size of the prayer mat depends on the size of the prayer rug; the larger the rug, the smaller the prayer mat.