A prayer rug or prayer mat is a piece of fabric, sometimes a pile carpet, used by Muslims, placed between the ground and the worshipper for cleanliness during the various positions of Islamic prayer. These involve prostration and sitting on the ground. The design of a prayer mat is based on the village it came from and its weaver.
The prayer rug has a very strong symbolic meaning and traditionally taken care of in a holy manner. It is disrespectful for one to place a prayer mat in a dirty location (as Muslims have to be clean to show their respect to God) or throw it around in a disrespectful manner. The prayer mat is traditionally woven with a rectangular design, typically made asymmetrical by the niche at the head end. Within the rectangle one usually finds images of Islamic symbols and architecture. In some cultures decorations not only are important but also have a deep sense of value in the design of the prayer rug.