Muslim hiking group founder: Weatherproof prayer mat ‘brilliant’ for community

Muslim mountaineering group founder: Weatherproof prayer mat ‘sensible’ for group

The founding father of a Muslim mountaineering group hopes {that a} prayer mat he helped to design will permit extra folks in the neighborhood to expertise the fantastic thing about the outside and share extra recollections.

Muslim Hikers was based by Haroon Mota in 2020 – initially as an Instagram group – to unite Muslims with an curiosity within the outside, though everyone seems to be welcome.

Mr Mota, who has been an avid hiker for roughly 20 years, wished to make sure that Muslims had entry to a sensible prayer mat, which permits them to wish whereas participating in out of doors exercise – so he teamed up with Adidas Terrex and world sports activities retailer Wiggle to assist create one.

“Journey prayer mats do exist, typically they’re not at all times practical or sensible for the outside so to have been concerned within the session and design course of for a practical prayer mat is sensible for our group,” the 37-year-old who lives in Coventry informed the PA information company.

“After we journey, we at all times cease to wish whether or not we’re on vacation or commuting or whether or not we’re out mountaineering and typically that may be difficult.

“Typically once you’re mountaineering, you can too be confronted with troublesome climate situations as effectively. You’re uncovered to the weather and there’s no shelter and prayer is a big pillar of the Muslim religion.”

The mat is waterproof and has pockets in all 4 corners so rocks or weights will be added to maintain the mat flat and it may be made compact.

Mr Mota added that an Islamic craftsman (QM Design) was handpicked to design the mat, which incorporates symbolic Islamic artwork, mixed with contour traces from a map.

“We all know a prayer mat’s not going to alter the world and received’t hastily make Muslims go outdoors,” he stated.

“The marketing campaign is just displaying that small measures to know communities are the primary steps to breaking down limitations and breaking down stereotypes.”

Mr Mota spoke candidly in regards to the Islamophobia confronted by the group on-line, together with after an look on BBC’s Countryfile in September 2022.

“I don’t get upset by it, I get annoyed, like why are we consistently having to take care of this type of abuse?” he stated.

“There are just a few people who find themselves not completely happy for Muslims to thrive and succeed.

“There’s a minority on-line who like to unfold hate however regardless that it’s a minority, the amount of abuse is insane.

“However I don’t let the feedback and abuse get in my approach and it fuels and motivates me to hold on doing what we arrange Muslim Hikers for.”

Because the group has grown, group hikes began occurring from July 2021, which Mr Mota stated has been “stunning” to see.

“There have been so many iconic, memorable moments,” he added.

“Our first ever hike in July 2021 was a spotlight. We have been all popping out of the pandemic and communities had very a lot suffered and rising from that and having folks from all throughout the nation coming collectively to share the enjoyment of mountaineering and the outside was stunning.

“Final summer time we had a younger girl who travelled all the way in which from Sweden to affix us for a hike up Snowdon. She discovered us on Fb, got here right here and did the hike along with her dad and had a good time.

“We’ve additionally had two women come all the way in which from New York simply to affix us for a stroll.”

He stated these occasions have “warmed my coronary heart and present that the facility of group is unbelievable” and he has even helped to facilitate a marriage by way of the group.

We had out first Muslim Hikers marriage and … to have facilitated that was nice

Haroon Mota

“We had out first Muslim Hikers marriage and that’s one thing which is sort of iconic and to have facilitated, that was nice,” he stated.

“Very just lately, we organised our first ever coastal stroll and I used to be capable of share that stroll with my spouse and two little daughters, which was stunning.”

Talking throughout Ramadan – which started on March 22 and ends on April 20 this 12 months and includes Muslims fasting from pre-dawn to nightfall – Mr Mota stated it provides folks time to “replicate, pray, give to charity and attain higher consciousness and assist these round us.

“Usually we get along with family and friends to interrupt the quick on the finish of the day – the Iftar meal – and this very a lot brings folks collectively and is among the values of Ramadan which is sort of vital.

“For some folks, Ramadan is nearly worship and so they might neglect about caring for their wellbeing or their hobbies and staying energetic and that’s why it’s vital for us as an organisation to hold on championing good messages about train.”

Thus far, 100 prayer mats have been created and donated to Muslim Hikers as a part of the partnership.

Extra mats are to be produced and offered for £20 on Wiggle’s web site in April, with all proceeds going to Wiggle’s charity companions.

Indicators have additionally been positioned within the course of Mecca alongside one of many Peak District’s hottest mountaineering routes, Cave Dale, to assist Muslims mix prayer with having fun with the outside.

Muslim Hiker’s Instagram will be discovered right here:

Author: ZeroToHero

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