Newport company goes viral after inventing the 'first ever' interactive prayer mat

Kamal Ali, started the company four years ago and works out of an office in an industrial estate in Newport Credit: ITV News

A Newport based company that invented the "first ever interactive prayer mat" has seen sales rocket internationally after its product went viral on social media.

My Salah Mat was founded by product designer, Kamal Ali, four years ago. The prayer mats were designed to help children and adults learn how to perform Salah – the daily prayer practiced by Muslims.

Father-of-two, Kamal says he came up with the idea after watching his two-year-old struggle with the choreography of prayer.

The company has over 75 distributors and retailers worldwide, as well as a subsidiary in Germany, My Salah Mat Deutschland Credit: ITV News

"I noticed out of the corner of my eye that he was struggling with some of the positions of prayer.

"I wanted to get him something that would make it easier for him to learn and when I looked online there was nothing available. I got my laptop out and started designing this interactive prayer mat.

"I realised I could have different words around the prayer mat that they would recite within the prayer.

"Then when I received the prayer mat I realised that some of these words could become buttons and you could push them and actually hear the recitations," he said.

Product designer Kamal Ali, hopes the prayer mats will help fellow Muslims better understand their faith. Credit: ITV News

After two years of developing prototypes, Kamal launched his first product in 2018. Soon after, the Welsh company developed an adults' version of the mat following the product’s spike in popularity on social media.

Working out of an industrial estate in Newport, Kamal's prayer mats are now sold in over 25 countries across four continents, from Europe to the Middle East.

In the last couple of months, My Salah Mat has gone viral online. Videos of the product have been viewed over 50 million times on social media, one video gaining 47 million views on TikTok.

This has helped the Welsh company secure deals with major international retailers including Virgin Megastores in the UAE and Dabdoob, one of the largest children's retailers in Kuwait.

The company have more than 400,000 followers on TikTok, with one of their videos reaching 47 million views. Credit: TikTok

"I was educated and went to university in Newport and I'm really thrilled that the world's first interactive prayer mat wasn't created by someone in Indonesia because it has the largest Muslim population or somebody in the Middle East, it was created by somebody in Newport and in Wales," Kamal said.

This sentiment is shared by Alex Fell, the marketing manager of My Salah Mat who joined the company three years ago straight out of university.

He said: "When I first came here it was literally just me and him, and two people have gotten to the point of selling in over 20 countries.

"It's just amazing to see such a small company reach so many people and it's happening in Wales which is amazing."

With the help of the Welsh Government, Kamal is now looking to expand the company's reach and is specifically targeting markets in Australia and India.