Why do Muslims pray using a prayer mat?

A prayer mat is not an essential pre-requisite of Muslim prayers (or namaz), it is however used when prayers are read outside of the mosque. Prayers must be performed in a clean place and also involve prostration upon the ground. The prayer mat, made usually of quilted material, makes prostration more comfortable and allow prayers to be said in a clean place. Some prayer mats may also contain a compass to enable the worshipper to locate the direction of Makkah, as this is the direction in which prayers have to be performed. A prayer mat is not an essential pre-requisite of Muslim prayers (or namaz), it is however used when prayers are read outside of the mosque. Prayers must be performed in a clean place and also involve prostration upon the ground. The prayer mat, made usually of quilted material, makes prostration more comfortable and allow prayers to be said in a clean place. Some prayer mats may also contain a compass to enable the worshipper to locate the direction of Makkah, as this is the direction in which prayers have to be performed.