Prayer Mat

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In the Islamic religion, the way one is to pray is very structured; there is no arbitrariness involved with prayer. A Muslim must, five times a day, cleanse themselves in a procedure known as wudū, which involves washing parts of the body with clean water, and then face towards Mecca, the holy city, and perform salah, a spiritual act of worship. An important aspect of the salah is a clean floor space. To guarantee this clean space, a prayer rug is usually used and, often, these prayer rugs are designed with ornate designs and colors. This is a prayer rug my mother's parents gave to my parents after their wedding in 1994. It is a symbol of my parents' undying religiosity and their devotion to their roots and culture. In coming to the United States in the 90s, my parents were not looking to integrate into American culture. Rather, they came here for economic opportunity; they still consult their religion and their Pakistani culture when making decisions both for themselves and for me and my bothers. They sacrificed a lot in coming to America, risking losing parts of their culture and background to the secular culture that dominates America.

Year: 1996

– Hussain Waris

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