As a practicing Muslim, I had noticed the pain and suffering experienced by observers from stiff joints and lower back issues when praying -- I saw it all around me, at the Mosque and at home -- and realized that such ailments prevent a true spiritual experience both physical and spiritually. I became fixated on such challenges wanting to understand their real impact. As an innovator and entrepreneur I instinctively saw an untapped market with a huge social benefit and eventually created TIMEZ5, a company focused on Muslim health and wellbeing, a vastly underserved sector. Indeed, the TIMEZ5 philosophy is based on the '5 before 5' Hadith -- five benefits, five times a day and we believe we can have a positive impact on people's lives by delivering physical and spiritual wellbeing.
After more than three years of in-depth research and development the world's first physiological prayer mat was born and is now available on the market via our website - www.timez5.com. The TIMEZ5 prayer mat is truly unique. DinarStandard, the leading market authority on Muslim brands, wrote, "One need not fear using the cliché 'out of this world' to describe this revolutionary prayer mat..." In designing the TIMEZ5 prayer mat, I was fortunate to work with a former NASA scientist as well as psychologists who helped ensure we were able to pack as much 'goodness' into the mat as possible. Through our extensive research we discovered secret links between ritual practices, modern science and design. While researching the practice of prayer I discovered that our physical prostrations have many benefits beyond the spiritual, connected to our health and wellbeing, a common link with other faiths. However, these benefits were beyond the reach of many due to health issues created by our sedentary lifestyles such as poor posture, stiff and aching joints, or being overweight, pregnant or generally inflexible.
The key benefit of the TIMEZ5 prayer mat is that it relieves pain and stiffness, improves posture and boosts energy during prayer. The mat uses five layers of highly sophisticated materials of which the middle three which absorb direct weight, while a bearing layer buffers indirect weight with a transfer grid in the middle to manage motion and posture. The top layer is temperature resistant to keep you cool and is made up of an anti-bacterial material ensuring the mat remains hygienic. The bottom layer has an anti-slip base preventing any movement while in use, even on hard surfaces like marble.
For many users the experience of stepping onto the mat is one of floating which can be disconcerting for the first time. It doesn't take long though for users to fall in love with it -- one customer "keeps her TIMEZ5 prayer mat in a special place so no one else can get a hold of it."
The TIMEZ5 Prayer mat has had an incredible impact on people around me. One customer is in her 70s and due to an operation had been unable to use a prayer mat for the past seven years. One night her son, who had bought the mat for himself, asked his, initially sceptical mother to try it. Without much effort she was able to prostrate. She cried and made special supplications for her son who had given her reason to hope again. Another customer, recovering from a sport's injury, is finally able to kneel and pray because of the mat's supporting properties. Similar stories show that the TIMEZ5 prayer mat is having significant impact on spiritual wellbeing.
Another religious benefit is that the mat represents a special gift for loved ones, extending the benefit of giving beyond the individual user to those who are given the gift of prayer and hope.
While TIMEZ5 is headquartered in Canada (where most of the research and design was undertaken) and manufacturing is done in Asia, our logistics base is the Middle East. The TIMEZ5 prayer mat is one of several other innovations being developed in the TIMEZ5 labs that will change health and wellness lifestyles of Muslims.
A core value of TIMEZ5 is developing a community of users who share an interest in deepening their physical and spiritual wellbeing as well as reaching out to Muslims of all social and economic backgrounds.
Nader is a Cartier Women's Award finalist. For more information, please go here.