As a gallerist, I have always contemplated how much I would be willing to spend on an art piece, considering that many artworks are well outside of my budget. However, no matter if you are a student, or someone who has just started their career, I truly believe that everyone should have one aesthetic item in their room that speaks to them, that they love and never get tired of viewing. I know that not everyone is committed to spending money on something that seemingly has a “non functional” use and would rather spend that money on something that they would be able to engage with and use on the daily.
If you are someone who enjoys good design but also enjoys objects that have a multifunctional purpose, then Niyya is the brand for you. Niyya, a Muslim lifestyle brand, founded by Myhra Mirza, rightfully bridged the gap between beauty and utility. Niyyat or niyyah is an Arabic word which can be translated as “intention.” Mirza wanted to build a brand around the concept of intention which can differ from owner to owner. This brands name itself, reminds us how our daily actions should all start with an intention.
Niyya is known for their prayer mats which can be identified by their bright and colorful abstract designs. These prayer mats are multifunctional and can be used as a prayer mat, a neck scarf, a shawl, a throw or even a beach towel. In an interview with Architectural Digest, Mirza says, “my hope is that it will help bridge communities, especially in this sociopolitical climate, to have people from different walks of life use the same product for what they dictate as important.”
Each prayer mat has a different theme which is shown through the varieties of color and designs. Mirza said that she wanted to modernize the design, while still evoking familiarity. She does this by staying true to the traditional elements found on prayer mats such as the arch motif. The use of abstract shapes have been influenced by the strokes of the Arabic alphabet which has led to the creation of new patterns and designs. These prayer mats are not only aesthetically pleasing, but are made from 100% cotton.
The prayer mats come in four designs which were carefully chosen based on processes that occur around the prayer and which helps one achieve stillness. The original mats are a series that represent how one can achieve a pure state of mind. These four designs include Salaah (prayer), Dhikr (remembrance and mindfulness), Sabr (patience) and Tahara (purification).
Niyya also introduced the Jama’a (community) collection which emphasizes praying together, safely in ones own home with their family. The aim of these prayer mats were created to bring its users Nur (light), Hidaya (guidance) and Sakina (tranquility) during these challenging times.
Mirza explains that there is beauty in creating an item that is predominately used as a way to achieve inner peace, but can also be used by others outside of the faith in whatever way they seem fit.
If you would like to purchase a prayer mat, you can visit https://niyya.co/