A U.K.-based company that makes an interactive Muslim prayer mat will be showcasing it this coming weekend at the 2023 New York Toy Fair in New York City, U.S.A.
The My Salah Mat is a product made by a Muslim parent for children struggling to learn how to pray, i.e. “Salah.” It’s an interactive learning tool that introduces prayer in a fun and enjoyable way. There’s also an adult version.
This weekend’s demonstration coincides with the recent decision from New York City Mayor Eric Adams to allow Muslims across the city to broadcast the call to prayer without the need for a permit.
“New York is leading the way in equality for Muslims,” says Kamal Ali, inventor of the My Salah Mat. “This is a massive step and I’m truly taken aback by this monumental decision. I’m excited to showcase our interactive prayer mat in New York City for the first time, which includes the call to prayer within its design.”
Some of the prayer mat’s features include:
- Fully interactive with 25 touch-sensitive keys;
- Pre recorded call to prayer;
- Light guidance technology; and
- Each of the five daily prayers.
It teaches children about the different positions and movements of Salah, as well as what to say during them. The prayer mat is designed with light guidance technology to lead the user through the prayer. It recognizes the position the user is in and the prayer won’t begin until the user is touching the correct position, further immersing them into the prayer process.
Learning the intricacies of Islamic prayer can be hard for kids. The initial spark of the My Salah Mat came to Ali when he was watching his son learn to pray. Ali remembers his son at the age of 4 struggling to do Sujood – the prostration position of the Muslim prayer.
Ali could see that although his son wanted to pray, the position was difficult to perform and he kept belly-flopping. This led Ali to search online for a solution, some kind of educational prayer mat that would make the learning process easy. But when he looked there was nothing. This was the beginning of an 18-month journey from inspiration to the product that is revolutionizing the way Muslims learn how to pray.
A TOOL FOR NEW MUSLIMS
Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world, with over 20,000 in the United States converting to the faith annually. In 2021, Dallas Mavericks pro basketball player Kyrie Irving announced he had converted to Islam.
But for a new Muslim, learning to pray can feel like a mountain to climb. From thousands of requests on TikTok, Kamal Ali went to work on developing an adult interactive prayer mat. With light guidance and touch-sensitive technology, the user can complete the prayer without having any knowledge to begin with.
This is something completely new for Muslims, who have been learning to pray for over 1400 years. It’s the first time technology has been incorporated into the learning process of prayer. Not only does it make the process independent, but also gives new Muslims the confidence to learn to pray from the day they convert.
For more info, check out the video below or go to mysalahmat.com.