Islamic Rugs Essay, Research Paper
Wendy JenkinsAR 103 AQuiz #1February 25, 1999Islamic Prayer Rugs Once inside the Mulvane Art Museum, my eyes became fixed upon beautiful rugs that lined the wall. As our tour guide, Frankie Parmen, explained these rugs are used in everyday life of Muslims. They are called Prayer Rugs. The date on the rug that I especially liked is circa 1700. It is made of cotton weft weaving and wool warp. Each rug consists of an arrow that, when laid down, the arrow will face toward Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The c.1700 rug has shapes that look like colorful flowers which goes all the way around the arrow. The arrow which is displayed at the top, center of the rug has diagonal, horizontal, and vertical lines that make up the arrow. It contains brown, red, and cream colors. The center and lower portion of the rug consists of windmill and diamond shapes which contain medium and dark colors. The edge of the rug is composed of continuous, narrow, horizontal and vertical lines with x’s and diamonds on the inside edge. Prayer Rugs are used by Muslims five times a day to kneel and pray on. The Prophet Mohammed said that his disciples shouldn’t touch the earth during prayer. The land was considered “unclean during the ritual of prayer called the Salat.” The rugs were intended to detach the Muslim from earth and day to day concerns “as well as a spiritual gateway to inner peace and the gardens of heaven in the Islamic World.”
Each rug shares similar design qualities. The most unique is the mihrab, an arrow that is in the center of the rug that points to Mecca. Other aspects may include candlesticks, lamps, or maybe another arrow at the other end of the rug. They have active configuration and representation, complicated interweaving design, and radiant colors. The rugs are made up of cotton threads, silk, and wool which are removed from nuts, roots, and leaves. I choose to write about the prayer rugs because of the sacredness and symbolism of the rugs. There is remarkable beauty and creativity in the design of each rug. It is very interesting to know that the flowers and other shapes that border the rugs are thought to ward off evil.