prayer rug

prayer rug
/prair/
a small rug upon which a Muslim kneels and prostrates himself during his devotions.
[1900-05]

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Arabic  sajjāda , Persian  namāzlik 
 one of the major types of rug produced in central and western Asia, used by Muslims (Islamic arts) primarily to cover the bare ground or floor while they pray. Prayer rugs are characterized by the prayer niche, or mihrab, an arch-shaped design at one end of the carpet. The mihrab, which probably derives from the prayer niche in mosques, must point toward Mecca while the rug is in use.

      Mihrabs may appear in a variety of forms. Those on the prayer rugs of Anatolia, where the greatest number of these rugs have been made, are usually pointed and often have a step motif along their sides. Mihrabs on Persian rugs, however, are characteristically curvilinear and elegant, while those on Caucasian and Turkmen rugs are invariably rectilinear. Some prayer rugs have two or three mihrabs side by side and are known as “brothers' rugs.” Ṣaffs, or large prayer rugs used simultaneously by a large number of persons, are subdivided into many small compartments, each of which has a mihrab.

      Prayer rugs are often decorated with religious symbols that serve the worshiper as aids to memory. Lamps, for example, recall the lamps of mosques, and the comb and water pitcher are reminders that the Muslim is required to wash his hands and comb his beard before prayer. Often Caucasian rugs also show stylized hands on both sides of the mihrab to indicate where the hands are placed during prayer.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • prayer rug — prayer′ rug [[t]prɛər[/t]] n. ear a small rug on which a Muslim kneels during devotions • Etymology: 1900–05 …   From formal English to slang

  • prayer rug — n. a small rug or carpet used by Muslims to kneel upon while engaged in ritual prayers …   English World dictionary

  • prayer rug — prayer ,rug noun count a PRAYER MAT …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • prayer rug — noun a small rug used by Muslims during their devotions • Syn: ↑prayer mat • Hypernyms: ↑rug, ↑carpet, ↑carpeting • Part Meronyms: ↑mihrab * * * noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • prayer rug — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms prayer rug : singular prayer rug plural prayer rugs a prayer mat …   English dictionary

  • prayer rug — /ˈprɛə rʌg/ (say prair rug) noun a small rug on which Muslims kneel and prostrate themselves during prayer. Also, prayer mat …   Australian-English dictionary

  • prayer rug — noun Date: circa 1890 a small Oriental rug used by Muslims to kneel on when praying …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • prayer rug — noun A prayer mat …   Wiktionary

  • prayer mat — also prayer rug n a small cloth on which Muslims kneel when praying …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • rug and carpet — Any decorative textile normally made of a thick material and intended as a floor covering. Floor coverings made of plaited rushes date from the 5th or 4th millennium BC. Carpets were first made in central and western Asia as coverings for earthen …   Universalium

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