Muslims around the world pray five times a day, bowing their foreheads on numerous hand-made and printed prayer rugs that embody symbols and architecture of the Muslim world. These rugs are a form of creative cultural expression: they tell the stories of the places and people where they originate. Weavers incorporate local materials, and familiar motifs, designs and weaving patterns to intertwine a communal narrative on tapestry.
The Canadian Prayer Rug is a tapestry that celebrates the many communities and people who helped nurture and develop the Canadian landscape: from our Indigenous brothers and sisters who worked alongside the early Lebanese and Ukrainian pioneers to build Canada’s first mosque, the Al Rashid, to the thousands of Syrian newcomers who are establishing a home and future in this country. This locally designed and woven tapestry honours the history of our city and celebrates our spirit of collaboration in building thriving and welcoming communities.
The Canadian Prayer Rug embraces the spirit of the many communities and peoples who helped nurture and develop the Canadian landscape: from the early Muslim, Ukrainian and Indigenous pioneers who helped build Canada’s first mosque, the Al Rashid, to the thousands of Syrian newcomers who are establishing a future in this country. The Canadian Prayer Rug, designed and woven locally, is a timely reminder of the Canadian spirit of collaboration and our rich history.
Traditionally, the design of a prayer rug is based on the place that it originates from. In Cree, the word Pehonan means “waiting place” or “gathering place”. Similarly in Arabic, the word Masjid, or mosque, refers to a place of gathering, serenity and home. Home is meant to be welcoming and familiar, and place is the physical manifestation of a home: a place to gather, to grow, to stay. The Canadian Prayer Rug is a celebration of the diverse and complex landscapes that create our community here in this city and province.