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Islamic Architecture
 
Islamic prayer rugs (jainamaz)
I'm doing research work on the motifs used in Islamic prayer rugs. Can any one of you help me out with this?

Why are these motifs used? What's the concept and what is the people's perception of it?
Rafay Mazhar
Responses
 
Islamic prayer rugs (jainamaz)
I found some stuff as to when the jainamaz really came into being, but can't find the reason for the motifs on it. Do you have some information on it?
Rafay Mazhar
Islamic prayer rugs (jainamaz)

Jai namaz carpet - covering Baluch pieces from northern Afghanistan & Persia from Tom Cole article from a poster lecture back in 1996. Some of the motifs are named as to what they are derived from with suggestions of stylistic similarities to other different regional motifs - which might help in your research.

Best of luck - fascinating subject!!

Eileen Webb
Islamic prayer rugs (jainamaz)
The use of the prayer carpet is to inculcate a feeling of sanctity desired while praying. The motifs used are usually to establish a direct visual connection with strong islamic elements over time, for instance: the mosque at Kaa'ba. Apart from this there are geometric and/ or floral patterns used which are the common themes of Islamic art, potrayal of human forms being forbidden.

Whatever the motif used, apart from regional influence of art, the common underlying factor in all kinds of jai namaz is that the intention is to evoke a sense of connection with God & religion with the use of literal visual elements engrained in the collective minds as "Islamic" .
Eram Ansari
Islamic prayer rugs (jainamaz)
Hi Rafay,

I don't know much about prayer carpets, however, I wanted to add that if you'd like to expand your search, you may also look for keywords "seccade" (Turkish) or "sejjadeh, sajada" (Arabic). This website explains motifs used in Anatolian prayer rugs. Wikipedia also has a small blurb under Prayer Mat.
Ozgur Basak Alkan
Islamic prayer rugs (jainamaz)
Hi Rafay,

Would like to add that the prayer rugs that I have seen, especially in India, enact the mihrab motif and include architectural elements as well as floral designs. Some interesting ones seen in the Calico Museum collection in Ahmedabad are illustrated in their catalogue.

Mumtaz Currim, Mumbai. June 15.
Mumtaz Currim
Islamic prayer rugs (jainamaz)
Hello all...
I am really thankful to all of you for contributing all that you have for my research. I got a good response from everyone.

I would be obliged if you would continue to provide me with further details on the history of Islamic prayer rugs, and why the motifs are used on the rugs.
Rafay Mazhar
Islamic prayer rugs (jainamaz)
Hi, as I come from an Arabic background, I always go to check the meaning of the etymology in Arabic references (old references, such as Lsaan al-Arab).
The verb sajads (s-j-d). from this respect, I can understand that the action related to the place where we put our forehead. Therefore there is a link, as mentioned before, with the mihrab, as a place of lighting of spirit. That is may be why you sometimes find a candle holder, or this symbol of lighting, hanging inside the mihrab.

The kaaba, as the qibla symbol,and a dome representing the Masjid of the Prophet in Madina are some used motifs. I hope this will help you.

Farida Mohsen
Farida Mohsen
Islamic prayer rugs (jainamaz)
Hello Rafay,

The Prayer Rugs, Jai-Namaz (or 'Musallah'in my part of the world here in India) are clean spread-outs for a follower to pray on. It could be either plain or colourfully printed on. The motifs done on it bear no importance, but they are just the motifs as it gives a better look rather than a plain one. Most of the 'Jai-Namaz' manufacturers are Muslims and the most common motifs on them are therefore Islamic in nature as the designer and the manufacturers being Muslims do have an inclination to design something to do with Islam as naturally the rugs are meant for Muslims to pray upon.

The printing of living things is of course prohibited and printing of other landscapes does not make sense on a prayer rug meant for a spiritual purpose.

Therefore the motifs such as either a blurred picture of Meeca, Medina, Al-Sakhra, Floral, Mihrab, Geometrical design, a Mosque or an Islamic Shrine in some cases.
Haseeb Siddique.
Haseeb Siddique Shaikh
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