TECHNOLOGY AND RELIGION


[ DESIGN, TECHNOLOGY AND RELIGION:THE SACROSANCT TRIPARTITE ]

A hologram prayer rug illustrates how the tripartite unity of art, technology and religion, can be braided together beautifully. Technological advancements such as loudspeakers broadcasting the call to prayer, CDs with pre-recorded sermons, electronic Qurans, phone applications indicating Qibla direction and prayer times are bridging the gap between traditional observance and modern convenience.

Adding to the sleuth of new products catered for the modern observers’ convenience, the sajjadah 1426, facilitates the observer to stylishly fulfil ones daily ablutions by the advent of a compact portable palm-sized stainless steal apparatus that cradles the head and illuminates the surrounding premise in the form of a traditional prayer rug.

Technology unearths its roots from the Greek word techne, meaning, “to make” and is related to the Latin word for art, ars, also meaning to make.

The etymology takes us back to the inherent meanings of both words, art and technology, which begin at the same point. In traditional civilizations there was a continuous spectrum of creation, which was always related to God, from the making of a simple fork to the composition of poetry.

Everything was related to God and reflected His quality as the Supreme Artisan on the human plane. Some believe that modern technology destroys that relationship because whether or not a person driving a car is a pious person going to the masjid or going to smoke shisha, there is destruction of the environment and the creation and driving of the car, which is a machine, cuts us off from the divine prototype of creativity.

Post-Industrial technological advancements were less conceived along the historical premise of bringing one closer to the Almighty, than driving a wedge between modernity and piety. However, in recent years, this has changed dramatically.

The latest addition to servicing the hip busy observer of our modern times emanates from the design labs of Central Saint Martins in London. SonerOzenchas rendered the traditional prayer rug obsolete with the advent of the “Sajjadah 1426.”

The Sajjadah 1426, inspired by the inherent meanings of art and technology, redefines the prayer rug by enriching the prayer experience through illumination.

The small metal device, which cradles the head during ablution, emits a glow that grows more brightly as it points towards Mecca.

The hologram prayer rug has transformed the act of saying our daily prayers without compromising the sacrosanct.

The best part of this is that if the form of worship is open to interpretation then so too is the message.

Naturally, what comes to mind are questions alluding to expressions of modern forms of piety and the compatibility of keeping intact the sanctity of the message. If every act in Islam is in fact symbolic and sacred then likewise is our modern interpretations of piety, say listening to a podcast or praying on a hologram, dilute or strengthen the resonance of the message when compared with the effect it could have had if I would have listened to it at the masjid? Such open-ended questions are intended to ignite personal rumination on whether you subscribe to the belief that modern technology either enhances or destroys our relationship with the Supreme Artisan. A theme we hope to visit in future issues.

THE SAJJADAH 1426, INSPIRED BY THE INHERENT MEANINGS OF ART AND TECHNOLOGY, REDEFINED THE PRAYERRUG BY ENRICHING THE PRAYER EXPERIENCE THROUGHILLUMINATION.


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