Question: Is it an innovation to pray on a carpet or prayer mat?
It is normally superior to prayer on the ground itself, especially if it is clean.
It is permitted to pray on a carpet, prayer mat, and the like, without it being disliked, as the fuqaha have mentioned. [Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni, 1.408; al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 1.63; and other works.]
This is based on many hadiths that indicate that the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) prayed on a carpet. [Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja, and others.]
Imam Tirmidhi, the great hadith expert, reported that this was the position of most of the people of knowledge from the Companions and those after them, and the position of the overwhelming majority of the fuqaha.
And Allah knows best.
Answered by Sidi Faraz Rabbani of the Hanafi fiqh list.