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Muhammad Al-Haboubi
Systems Engineering Department
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Abstract
A mosque is the house of prayer in Islam where praying is performed five times a day. Prayers convene in the mosque at the praying call and then pray in congregation. The pray consists of some defined physical movements such as standing, kneeling, postrating, and sitting on the ground. A certain pray starts by having the prayers standing next to each other in parallel rows facing the holy place of Makka, leaving an area in front to allow kneeling and postrating, and ends while the prayers are sitting on the ground. At each position, some recitation of the Holy book (Quran) or sublications are done. Since praying is done in congregation in the mosque, then the area of the mosque limits the number of prepares present at any one time. If it is possible to know the number of prayers during different times and the area occupied by each prayer then the design for the total area becomes easy. Statistics regarding the number of prayers can be collected by direct observations or through a survey. However, the area allocated for each prayer has to be designed by collecting data regarding the dimensions of the body at static positions and dynamic positions as well.
Key words : Anthropometry, Praying, Mosque, Area
I. Introduction
In this study relevant anthropometric data for static positions have been collected during simulation of prayer. Such dimensions include elbow-to-elbow width, body width and length during prostrating, head-to-buttock length while kneeling, and buttock extension while kneeling.
Additionally, the envelopes of body movement during standing-to-kneeling and standing-to-prostrating have been analyzed during simulated prayers by using a camera installed in a scanning shutter.
Based on a sample size of 45 different prayers, the length and width of the area allocated to a prayer was determined to be 0.829 m2 at non-peak times. So, the design for the prayer area in the mosque can be estimated easily by knowing the number of prayers and the area for individual prayers.
II. Data Collection
The objective of this study is to determine the area required for a moslem praying in congregation. This area multiplied by the total number of prayers results in the total area required for all prayers. The individual area has a rectangular shape as dictated by the nature of movements during praying. Since a prayer always faces a certain direction (KaТaba located in Makka, Saudi Arabia) then the width of the rectangle (W) is parallel to the back of the prayer and the length (L) is perpendicular to the width. A prayer starts praying adopting the standing posture , bare footed, and it is assumed that the heels touches the bottom line of the width (Figure 1). The details of praying need not be mentioned for the sake of this study. However, it is relevant to mention that a prayer kneels from the standing posture as shown in Figure 2 where the trajectory of the truck is displayed. Also, a prayer is required to prostrays from a standing posture as shown in Figure 3 where the envelop of the body movement can be analyzed. So, during kneeling and porstrating the pray uses the area in front of the hypothetical line touching the heels at the initial standing posture. This line is not normally drawn in mosques but is marked in this study as shown in the figures. In order to determine the size of the rectangular area the following anthropometric dimensions are needed:
1. Stature (X1). This dimension is not needed for the study but is usually considered complementary to anthropometric studies.
2. Elbow-to-elbow width while standing (X2). This dimension is needed because the elbows are located at the side of the body during standing. It will be considered to determine the width of the rectangular area.
3. Body width while prostrating (X3). This dimension is defined as the maximum width of the body at the prostrating posture. It is known to be larger than the body width at the kneeling position which makes the latter dimension redundant and leaving the body width while prostrating more important to determine the width of the praying area.
4. Body length while prostrating (X4). This dimension is defined as the distance between the top of the head at the prostrating position and the line touching the heels at the standing posture. Naturally, the foot become almost perpendicular to the ground during prostrating but are shifted forward. However, the place of the foot standing cannot be used for a prayer in the following row as a place for the forehead during prostrating for obvious reasons. So, a prayer reserves the total length between the initial position of the heels and the top of the head at the prostrating position although the backward part is not utilized at this posture. This dimension will be used to determine the length of the rectangular.
5. Back length while kneeling (X5). This dimension is defined as the distance between the top of the head and the buttock during kneeling and will be used as in item 4 above.
6. Buttock extension while kneeling (X6). This dimension is defined as the difference between lines touching the buttock at kneeling and standing postures. During the movement of the truck from the upright posture (standing) to the horizontal posture (kneeling) the buttock of the body moves backward. This dimension should be considered to avoid collision between the buttock of a prayer and the head of another one praying in two successive rows.
7. Distance between top of the head at prostrating and kneeling positions (X7). The head is always located farther during prostrating. This distance is considered in conjunction with the buttock extension at the kneeling posture to avoid a collision.
A sample of 45 students from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, participated in the study. Data were collected in the Human Factors Laboratory in the Systems Engineering Department at KFUPM. The above mentioned dimensions have been measured while the students simulated the actions of praying. Statistics for these dimensions in cm are summarized in Table 1.
VariableMean10th Percentile50th Percentile90th PercentileX1
X2
X3
X4
X5
X6
X7175.2
51.8
59.9
127.1
95.2
20.1
52.8165
45
54
118
88
14
42184
58
66
138
102
26
62174
53
60
126
96
20
52
Table 1 : Statistics of body dimensions during simulation of praying taken in centimeters (cm)
III. Design of the praying area
In addition to the functional dimensions collected photographs were taken during the simulation of standing, kneeling and prostrating as shown in Figures 1, 2, and 3 for all participants. The photographs were taken while the participant emulates the act of praying against a wall painted in black and divided into square grids each of 10 cm in length specially designed for this study. The purpose of this part of the study is to analyze the trajectory of the body from standing to kneeling (Figure 2) and from standing to prostrating (Figure 3). Such trajectories were obtained using a camera mounted on a scanning shutter while the aperture of the camera left open throughout the duration of motion. The envelope contained by these trajectories were examined for all participants and found to be consistent. Of particular interest is the trajectory of the top of the head at final stages of motion before head touches the ground. tracing the curve along that part of the trajectory identifies throughout the body motion. This maximum has consistently occurs during postrating when the forehead touches the ground. In fact, this analysis has helped in defining and deciding on X4 variable.
Since congregational praying occurs by using different rows in a mosque, it is possible to imagine such a safe distance exists by making L equals to X4. To eliminate the possibility of collision the value of X4 should be the maximum value measured i.e. L = 100 th percentile of X4. However, such a design leaves an appreciable space between rows being under utilized. As normal practice in Human Factors design, designers attempt to satisfy the majority of the population such as 90%. Accordingly, L = 90th percentile of Xr = 138 cm (Table 1). Likewise, the width of the rectangle is dependent on X2 and X3 variables with the largest being the detmonant variable i.e. W = max {X2,X3}. Again by inspecting the data and the means it was found that X3 > X2 leading to conclude that W = X3. Since prayers are next to each other through the pray, then it is not recommended to use higher percentiles of X3. If the distribution of X3 is symmetric then adopting the median as an estimate of W is a reasonable strategy because it is expected to have 50% of the progress with value of X3 less than the median and 50% with a value of X3 above it in a certain row. In other words, in any equation distance from the median, as far as X3 is concerned, and hence the value of X4 for these prayers averages to the value of the median. Visual inspection of the distribution of X3 classifies it as symmetric and therefore W should take the median value which is equivalent to the mean, i.e. W = 59.9 cm or 60 cm (Table 1). So, the rectangular area for an individual praying in congregation is 138 x 60 = 8280 cm2 = 0.828 m2.
Acknowledgement
The author would like to acknowledge the effort of Mr. Fouad Achabar for asking volunteers to the study taking the anthropometric measurements, and photographs.
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