Last Updated: Fri Jul 06, 2012 19:24 pm (KSA) 16:24 pm (GMT)

Prayer mat designed to light up when facing Mecca

EL Sajaddah inventor, Soner Ozenc, gives a technological boost to the traditional prayer mat. (File photo)
EL Sajaddah inventor, Soner Ozenc, gives a technological boost to the traditional prayer mat. (File photo)

The humble prayer mat, used by a significant proportion of the 1.6 billion Muslim world population, has lightened up – literally.

U.K. designer, Soner Ozenc injected innovation into the prayer mat by creating an illuminated version, which lights up when facing the ‘qibla’, or Mecca, Mashable reported.

EL Sajjadah – the “EL” stands for Electro Luminescent and sajjadah, Arabic for prayer mat, incorporates an illuminating digital compass which assists in locating Mecca.

“I was looking at designing flying carpets, but I came to a point where I needed to add a function to the project,” Ozenc told Mashable. “Then I came up with the prayer mat idea.”

EL Sajaddah is not only functional, but artsy, as it is made mainly to be hung on the wall of the owner’s home. The carpet’s design is based on contemporary vector art, with the mosque on the carpet inspired by the Blue Mosque in Turkey. The base is black -- a nod to the Kaaba --, the motif is green -- the color of Islam --, which radiates light.

The prayer mat has been exhibited in Turkey, Kuwait, Australia, UK, South Korea, and Japan. The Museum of Modern Art in New York showcased EL Sajjadah last year as part of the exhibition entitled “Talk to Me: Design and the Communication Between People and Objects.” The museum purchased a copy to have it as part of its permanent collection.

Ozenc, who embarked on the project six years ago, has yet to receive any negative criticism on his concept of meshing technology with traditional religious practices.

There are currently 35 backers of the Kickstarter-promoted project so far and has raised $6000 of its $100,000 target. A person wishing to own one of the first releases of the high-tech prayer mat needs to contribute at least $500 to the project, expiring on Aug. 14.

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