Prayer Rugs

Rugs can be and are more than just comfort, decoration and a store of wealth. They can also be tools of our spiritual life. Consider the prayer rug.

Many people have a misconception of what a prayer rug is, believing it to be a very small rug, perhaps two feet by three feet. In fact, even for someone who is only 5’3”, a 2’X3’ rug is not big enough to pray on. The worshiper needs enough length to be able to kneel all the way down to the floor and be able to put their forehead down on the front of the rug. For even the most diminutive adult, the minimum size needed is about three feet by five feet.

Unlike most other Oriental rugs, the prayer rug is directional. Some Chinese and French rugs are directional, but most Oriental rugs consist of top and bottom halves that are like mirrors. The prayer rug design is “pointed,” and unlike most rugs, it can be oriented to be upside down, the design going one way, getting more narrow at the top. The pattern can be very primitive or it can be more detailed and finely executed, but it will always become more narrow going upward. The top often has places marked in the weaving pattern to place the hands when praying, on either side of the spot marked for the head.

When one goes to pray, the rug is oriented so that the head is pointed toward Mecca. The worshiper will then kneel on the back part of the rug and bow down to pray, placing the hands on the markers of the rug and the head on its marker. The rug acts both as a mat for praying, as well as a guide for how to place the body during prayer.

Warp, Weft & Weave: A Life Collecting and Investing in Handmade Oriental Rugs (available now on Amazon)

Prayer rug designs themselves are wide and varied. There are formal rugs, very finely detailed, and casual rugs, with more primitive patterns. Some rugs are geometric with markers for body placement that are essentially just squares or rectangles. Others include an intricate tree of life design, with much more elaborate markers for body placement. There are even some prayer rugs that have a mosque as the place marker for the head.

There is no one country that makes superior prayer rugs. There are muslims all over the world and all the major handmade rug producing regions create beautiful prayer rugs.

These rugs are highly portable and a prayerful person will always travel with a prayer rug, using it to pray in their room. Here is an interesting fact about Islamic prayer; if you are not invited or welcome in a space, you are not to pray there. If you are in a hotel, for example, because you are paying for the room, it’s “yours,” so you may pray in it. But if in an unwelcome environment, or a place where one does not belong – if you have broken into a house, for example – a Muslim will not pray.

While most prayer rugs are longer than they are wide and constructed for one person, there are some fascinating prayer rugs that are designed wider than they are long. For example, a rug might be five feet long on the pointed length and then fifteen or more feet wide. The design on these is quite different. It will have a repeating pattern about three to five feet apart. This is a family prayer rug. They are created for families to pray together at the same time, with the same rug, each family member having a place on the rug. Usually the husband will be on one end, the children in the middle and the wife on the other end. They are not very common but will come through from time to time and are well worth collecting.

Sam Ramazani is an Oriental carpet educator, appraiser, broker, and skilled repair craftsman. With his daughter Sara, he owns Sara’s Oriental Rugs in Louisville, KY, providing beautiful handmade rugs, as well as expert rug cleaning and repair.

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

More Posts

All About the Humvee Part 1 – with Ian Ipsan!

We cannot tell a lie, we love the Hummer! And so does Ian Ipsan. Ian’s story begins in childhood when he decided he was going to own one of these magnificent machines, no matter what it took. Today, he’s owned three of them! In Part One of this interview, Ian tells host Jason Paynter about his first Hummer acquisition, delves into the history of this iconic vehicle (including where the name came from), and talks some specs like configurations and the differences between military and civilian Humvees. If you love this “car” as much as we do, you’re not going to want to miss this show!

Simple Tips for Winterizing Your Ride

This week as everywhere we look seems to be covered in snow, a repost of an excellent article by our friend Jason Paynter from the Classic Car Corner podcast. In it he shares some of his best tips for winterizing your automobiles, particularly ones in storage for the season. Read on to learn more on how to keep your precious classics in great shape until spring visits us again!

WOW! The classic car event of 2022 with the Bluegrass World of Wheels Custom Car Show crew!

When we say wow, we mean WOW! Greg & Gail Wilson, Kenny & Vicki Hoerter and Ron Rawlins are launching a Custom Car Show this month that is out of this world. Introducing Bluegrass World Of Wheels – the inaugural show featuring 400 cars and exhibits will will be on January 22 and 23 of 2022 at the Kentucky Expo Center. Join in on the conversation as the guys learn about the ins and outs of how to participate and attend this spectacular event that has been over five years in the making! Not to be missed!

Buying a Watch to Retain Value

It’s New Year (2022 if you can believe it) and ruminating over resolutions always reminds me of something my best friend from college once pointed out – why is it that we’re always making difficult resolutions? Why not slip in at least one that would be fun to keep?

The Honda Type R Civic with Lauren and Nick Terrell!

What a show for you New Year’s Day! Classic Car Corner rings in 2022 with Lauren and Nick Terrell. There are Honda Civics, and then there are Honda Type R Civics which prove a completely different beast under the hood. Packing 306 horsepower and a six speed manual shift assisted by an unapparent turbo lag turbocharged transverse 4 cylinder, this is a unique car to say the least. With front wheel drive, yet no torque steer detected from sudden acceleration, the Type R can hit 169 mph. And wait until you hear what Lauren has to say about the “Rev Match!” Listen in and enjoy the ride! And a happy and prosperous 2022 to you from all of us in The Corner!!

The Classic Car Corner Origin Story with Tim Hatzell!

A special episode for Christmas Day 2021! This week our friend Tim Hatzell visits The Corner, but as a host instead of a guest. Tim turns the tables on our host Jason Paynter to learn about how Classic Car Corner got started. The guys also dig into Jason’s love of cars, his car memorabilia collection and so much more. Please join us for this lively conversation all about how CCC came to be. And a very Merry Christmas to you and yours from all of us here!