“O ye who believe! Bow down, prostrate yourselves, and adore your Lord; and do good; that ye may prosper.” Qur’an 22:77 (Surah al-Hajj)
To be able to praise and glorify God, while in sujud (prostration), has always been the focus of my prayers. That simple, yet powerful, act gave me a profound sense of closeness to the Divine and enabled me to express my deep gratitude to Him. However, after a knee injury several years ago, I could no longer flex my knees at the angle required to properly sit on my legs during the sujud, which also meant that I could not perform my sajdah (touch forehead to the ground).
Joining countless other worshippers with similar physical challenges, I started to utilize the chair in order to perform my salat (prayers). Unfortunately, this transition left me with a deep sense of loss on many levels: during congregational prayers, I missed the sense of community by not being able to stand in line, “shoulder-to-shoulder;” the static, confining sitting position took the place of the fluid, dignified movements of the prayers; and worst of all, the chair deprived me of the ability to perform sujud (prostration). Substituting the chair with ordinary stools and benches did not resolve these issues. Relying on my appreciation for anatomy, design and with the input from physical therapists, I began the long process of designing and building prototypes for the SalatBuddy.
My team chose the name "SalatBuddy" precisely for its meaning. The word "Buddy" has roots in American history as the operators of a barge in the canals. The buddy would perform this simple task while the captain would attend to more high-level tasks. The current version of our SalatBuddy addresses all my previous concerns: it is sized perfectly to fit between the worshiper's feet so that he/she can stand with others in saf (line formation) without disrupting or inconveniencing those next to or behind them; all the graceful movements of the salat (prayer) can be performed without any obstacles; and best of all, by shifting the body weight off the legs and onto the SalatBuddy during floor sitting, the SalatBuddy facilitates the performance of the sujud (prostrations). Changing the flexion angle of the knees has relieved pressure and tension in the joint and, by the Grace of God, allowed my knee to recover even more flexibility by avoiding repeated injury from floor sitting.
The SalatBuddy has allowed me to improve my salat (prayer), reclaim my sujood (prostrations), and overcome my physical limitations. It is our hope that, through the use of the SalatBuddy, you will also find...Peace in Prayer