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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


Bilalian News

Muhammad Speaks

Imam Warith Deen Muhammad


QUESTION: What is the reason Muslims use the prayer rug to pray on?
-Paterson, N.J.

I think it's because Muslims pray five times a day and work, and have other activities that take us out of our homes. I think the prayer rug was first required by a people who were moving about and knew they would be praying in different places and wanted to pray on something clean, so they would take their prayer rugs with them.

It started over in the Middle East, not in this country. And I think it stand with the rich, not with the poor. Most of the poor people and  many of the well-to-do people in the Middle East are only interested in a clean place to pray. If they know the floor is clean, fairly clean, they will pray there. And I've seen many of them take a clean handkerchief,  and  put that handkerchief  where they're going to place their face and pray there. Others will look around to see if there's something clean —a piece of paper, anything.

You don't have to have a prayer rug, and I think now it has become somewhat a fad or ritual for some people, but it shouldn't be that way.

I pray at home on the floor. When I think the floor hasn’t been scrubbed or might not be suitable, I may take cloth and brush lightly where I'm going to pray and then I might put the handkerchief down on the floor. Very seldom do I pray on a prayer rug.

I think the movies, too have helped to mystify the prayer rug, you know, flying carpets. All of that added fantasy and fiction to the prayer rug.

We shouldn't overdo it because we don't have to pray on a prayer rug. Prayer is acceptable on any clean place the ground,  your home floor anywhere.