Turkish man invents a mat to take the knee pain out of praying

BERLIN (AFP) - A Turkish man living in Germany has invented a Muslim prayer mat that takes the strain off the knees which, he said on Friday, he hoped to now sell worldwide.

At first sight, the rug looks like other prayer mats, but it is designed with special cushioning for under the knees, feet and forehead, said Mr Adnan Pirisan, 50, who himself suffered from painful joints.

Apart from saying the padding is a special kind of foam that "doesn't get damaged", he declined during a telephone interview with AFP to reveal its composition.

"Production secret," he said.

"I registered my patent in 2009 and since, we've been producing in three towns in Turkey. We sell about 3,000 rugs a year," Mr Pirisan, who arrived in Germany at the age of 10, said.

Sales of the orthopaedic rug, which folds up into a cushion or small bag, are mostly made online but Mr Pirisan's company, Pirisec, also has sales points in Germany, Turkey, Kuwait and Dubai.

But he said he had already sold his rugs, which come in standard (39.50 euros, S$66.5), luxury and child categories, as far afield as Singapore and the United States.

Mr Pirisan has not ruled out aiming his product at other religions, telling the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that he might look into it but not for purely business motives.

"But because I would wish to make praying easier for everyone, be they Muslim, Protestant or Catholic," the paper quoted him as saying.