My Salah Mat is a child friendly interactive prayer mat with sounds, colours and images that are appealing to children and make the prayer enjoyable. Since its launch, the My Salah Mat has received support and queries from around the World, as people are recognising the benefits of interactive learning through technology.
Technology has become the mainstay of modern life, and children often have more expertise at using technology than their parents! While technology brings many benefits, it also has its downside, and the importance of actions in Islam must be remembered and not just verbal reminders. It is like the everyday saying “actions speak louder than words.” From this perspective, Kamal Ali, the founder of My Salat Mat explains, “Islam is about doing, not just hearing, and the physical effort is important.”
An example of the importance of actions in Islam is that Muslim men gain more reward for going out and attending the congregational prayer with other Muslims in the community- this takes effort, especially if the mosque is some distance from home. This is an interesting way of looking at how Islam is practised, and teaching children, and indeed ourselves. There are many other examples of this in Islam, such as the tasbeer when we praise Allah by counting using our fingers; doing tawaf around the Kaba while on Hajj or Umrah, and the actions involved in making wudhu.
Similarly, the My Salat Mat involves actions and is a form of learning that allows children to connect the physical with the spiritual, which is not possible with something like an iPad or watching videos. In addition, incorporating actions into learning is very beneficial for kinaesthetic learners who learn more through performing physical activities than simply watching or listening.
My Salat Mat is fun and interactive, and it is a way of making sure technology is in harmony with our deen. This is important because technology should not over power the religion. One of the rationales behind the design of My Salat Mat is that of mind, body and soul, and doing actions with the whole body and not just reciting with the mouth.