Whether it is a house of the poor or a villa of rich, you will find at least one prayer rug in every home which the people of the house used to offer their Salah five times a day. Salah is the most important of the lives of Muslims and so is the prayer mat. However, this prayer mat has a long history that begins from Prophet PBUH to today in which people use it for décor and trade as well to make their place heart-warming and holy and earn profits and make relations. That’s the reason why you will find it in embassies and small industries of it.
According to historians and witnesses, Prophet PBUH was seen to use a prayer mat for the first time to offer prayers. His mat was made of palm leaves and he called it “khumrah”. From Prophet, the practice was carried on and continued for centuries till 14-century in which people started to carry their mats when they had to travel so that they could pray on their way. Leaders were observed to hire great artists from their communities to make mats well-designed and customized prayer mats for them while commoners used to have local mats that were weaved in a usual way from simple cloth or material.
Later, the practice of using prayer mats was flourished more in the Islamic world in which leaders and people started to use them to gift to their loved ones and as a symbol of power. It can be seen in Safavid, Ottoman, and Mughal empires in which the leaders’ houses used to have soft, warm, and well-designed and weaved prayer mats on which the leaders could only pray or their immediate family members. After some time, leaders and nations started the trade of prayer mats. Many countries have small industries of mat weavers in which poor women and men weave and sew mats from special threads and material. Later, the prepared mats are sold in dollars or go in the auction. However, weavers and tailors get a few pennies for making modern prayer mats. They have the worst lifestyle while sellers and buyers of that foldable prayer mat are living the greatest life.
So this is the history of the prayer mat. Prayer mats are considered sacred in every house. You would find the mat in workplaces of Muslim countries as well. You can visit different shops to buy modern mats for cheap.