Unravel secrets behind first NASA-approved Islamic prayer mat
Known as the world’s first physiological prayer and meditation mat, it works by helping to reduce pressure
With the holy month of Ramadan around the corner, millions of Muslims worldwide are preparing for 30 days of fasting, reflection and prayer. The prayer movements involved are relatively easy for those with no medical problems or injuries, but older age can bring about niggles such as back pain, a stiff neck, a dodgy knee, and so on. That is how Nader Sabry’s idea for an Islamic prayer mat with a difference came about.
“The inspiration came after seeing an old man trying to pray, but he was in physical pain,” the Egyptian-Canadian says. “The man had a difficult time fulfilling his religious obligations due to the full-body motions involved in prayer. After conducting years of research, we discovered that many Muslims suffer knee pains and joint problems, which prevent them from performing their prayers.
“After five years of research and development, I was finally able to create a product to help the Muslim elderly in their worship. However, it also supports many other groups, from desk-based employees to athletes in their post-injury rehabilitation.”
And so the Timez5 prayer mat was born. Known as the world’s first physiological prayer and meditation mat, it works by helping to reduce pressure and pain in the knees, back, neck and other pressure points, as well as improve posture and boost energy. In fact, so good is its technology that it is even approved by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Al Arabiya News met with the Timez5 founder and CEO to find out more.
Tell us more about Timez5
We’re a Canadian space technology company certified by NASA’s Space Foundation, and a GIES Innovation award winner from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. The prayer mat’s components are derived from space technology and designed with precision. It has successfully helped people with knee and joint pain, fatigue, body stiffness, low energy, and supporting the muscular skeletal structure of the body.
How did the collaboration with NASA come about?
Our collaboration was accidental. NASA had learned about some of the space technologies we were using. From there, further exploration took place about widening our role in technological development. Additionally, we launched get2space.com, an initiative designed to inspire 2 billion people to get to space by the possibilities of innovation and technology changing the world.
How similar is Timez5 to a yoga mat?
Our research that led to the development of our mat is designed around specific rituals performed in the form of low friction, wide flection and specific motions relating to prayer. Those who pray vs those who exercise are two very different experiences that require two very different technologies, although people who do yoga meditation use our product. It’s important to understand that the physiology and biomechanics of those who regularly meditate are different from those who don’t.
Did you face any challenges with this product?
Our biggest challenge is education. We’ve been finding creative ways to help introduce and educate people about physiological issues unique to those who pray regularly, how to overcome them and of course how our technology helps.
One of the best examples is about how conventional or sponge prayer mats can impact the respiratory system, which we resolved through our NASA space-certified cronogenics technology. And of course how we help relieve knee pain, which is what many peopl encounter, not due to prayer but due to poor ergonomic environments and lifestyle habits.
What is next for you?
We cover 35 countries as of today, so we’ve been busy upgrading our logistics infrastructure to ensure a consistent experience for all our customers globally. Additionally, I’ve been on a regional tour in the Arab world through several generous invitations to help inspire youth entrepreneurs and innovators. We’re also rolling out more of our Muslim Physiology workshops by popular demand to a few more locations around the world.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
As a space technology company dedicated to Muslim lifestyle and wellbeing, we have several other unique innovations in the pipeline. Meanwhile, we’ve just launched a unique video to help people, particularly the youth, get excited about their physio-spiritual experience this Ramadan. We hope to help make this Ramadan a lasting experience.