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Thread: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

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    Default Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    Fatwa Council deems ancient form of exercise from India 'haram' for Muslims

    BY MAZWIN NIK ANIS

    PUTRAJAYA: The National Fatwa Council has declared that yoga is haram (prohibited) in Islam and Muslims are banned from practising it.

    Its chairman Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Husin said yoga had been practised by the Hindu community for thousands of years and incorporated physical movements, religious elements together with chants and worshipping, with the aim of “being one with God”.

    “Because of this, we believe that it is inappropriate for Muslims to do yoga. The council is declaring that practising yoga, when it comes together with the three elements, is haram,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

    He noted that while merely doing the physical movements of yoga without the worshipping and chanting might not be against religious beliefs, Muslims should avoid practising it altogether as “doing one part of yoga would lead to another”.

    Muslims, he said, were discouraged from practising yoga even as a form of exercise as it would ultimately lead to worshipping and chanting, which is against Islam.

    Inappropriate for Muslims?: A yoga practitioner going through the ‘crow’ asana, one of the more advanced postures, at a yoga centre in Kuala Lumpur Saturday. Malaysia’s top Islamic body has ruled that because the physical exercise contained elements of Hinduism, it could corrupt Muslims. — AP

    “In Islam, a believer must not do things that can erode one’s aqidah or faith. Doing yoga, even just the physical movements, is a step towards erosion of one’s faith in the religion, hence Muslims should avoid it,” he said.

    Shukor said that once the fatwa was gazetted, it would be up to the state governments to implement and enforce the ruling as religious affairs come under their purview.

    “Malaysia is not the only country which prohibits Muslims from doing yoga. Singapore and Egypt have come out with the same edict,” he pointed out.
    The council, he said, came up with an edict on yoga as the matter was referred to it following growing concerns whether it would be against the religion if Muslims continued with the exercise.

    Recently, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Islamic Studies Centre lecturer Prof Zakaria Stapa advised Muslims who had taken up yoga to stop practising it for fear that they could deviate from the teachings of Islam.

    Shukor said the declaration of yoga as haram was done after serious and in-depth discussions among the council members who met last month.
    He said that after studying the matter, including the history and purpose of yoga, the council decided that it was inappropriate for Muslims as it could affect one’s faith.

    Asked if the decision would draw flak within the Malaysian community, including the non-Muslims, he said the ruling was only meant for Muslims. The rest were free to practise yoga.

    He said Muslims must be careful not to do anything that could erode their faith, adding the religion strongly advocates “prevention is better than cure”.

    “There are many other forms of exercise that Muslims can partake in, especially when the religion promotes healthy living and lifestyle.

    Performing prayers, for example, is a good form of exercise,” he said.

    Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp...876&sec=nation


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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    Mixed reactions to yoga ban

    PETALING JAYA: Sisters in Islam (SIS) and several yoga practitioners have expressed disappointment with the National Fatwa Council’s edict yesterday prohibiting Muslims from practising yoga.

    They maintained that yoga was just a form of exercise.

    Other individuals, however, said they would adhere to the edict.

    Sisters in Islam (SIS) programme manager Norhayati Kaprawi said many Muslims in Malaysia practised it as a form of exercise to stay healthy.

    “I don’t think it has caused any Muslim to convert to Hinduism, neither has it weakened their faith. It’s just an exercise like qigong or taichi which has its roots in Buddhism.

    Norhayati said that by issuing the edict, the council had acted as if yoga was a widespread threat to Islam.

    “I hope they can focus their attention on bigger and more pressing issues, such as money politics and corruption. Isn’t that more serious?” she asked.

    She noted that SIS had been holding weekly yoga classes for their staff for the past year, adding that it had no problems continuing with it.

    The council declared that yoga, which involves elements of physical movements, worshipping and chanting as haram in Islam and Muslims are banned from practising it.

    Yoga teacher Datin Siti Suheila Merican agreed that while yoga practice should not involve worshipping and chanting, the physical movements were good for improving health.

    Siti Suheila, who has been teaching yoga for the past 30 years, said the issue should not be blown out of proportion as many Muslims in the Middle East were doing it without any fuss.

    “Worldwide it has been accepted as an exercise for health benefits.

    “It is a science of health that is time-tested and proven scientifically to be extremely effective. Many doctors in the West recommend yoga as an alternative therapy to medication,” she said.

    M. Revathi, 40, who has been teaching yoga part-time for about 10 years, said some people mistook the names of the asanas (postures) as religious verses as they were in Sanskrit “but there’s nothing religious about the names.”

    “As for the meditation part, it’s not religious either. I tell my students to relax and free their minds, and they can meditate in whatever language they like,” she said.

    A doctor, who only wanted to be identified as Rafidah, said she had been attending yoga lessons once or twice a week for the past six months but would quit her classes now to adhere to the edict.

    “I still don’t feel that it has changed my faith in Islam at all. My faith as a Muslim is the same as before,” the disappointed 27-year-old said.

    However, she believed that the council had conducted the necessary research and knew more about Islam than she did.

    Another yoga practitioner, who only identified herself as Siti, said she would stop doing yoga.

    “I think it’s fine for beginners but as I went for more advanced classes, I did not feel comfortable. I think I’ll take up pilates now instead as it is purely exercise,” she said.

    http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp...368&sec=nation


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    IB Oldskool Array north_malaysian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    Hindu Sangam urges Fatwa Council to ‘be more sensitive’

    PETALING JAYA: The National Fatwa Council must respect the sensitivities and feelings of other religions in Malaysia while giving guidance to Muslims on the religion’s practices and tenets.

    “Many Hindus have been deeply disturbed by the Fatwa Council’s announcement,” Malaysia Hindu Sangam president Datuk A. Vaithilingam said in a statement Sunday.

    He said it was regrettable that the Council had not consulted with the Malaysia Hindu Sangam first so that the religious and non-religious aspects of yoga could have been explained.

    The Fatwa Council on Saturday issued an edict banning Muslims from practising yoga on grounds that it involved chants and acts of worship in order to be one with the god of another religion.

    “To call this ancient practice ‘haram’ and saying that it can ‘corrupt’ a person is very hurtful and demeaning,” said Vaithilingam.

    He added that as many Hindus and non-Hindus practised yoga together in a non-religious manner, the fatwa could drive a wedge between those of different religions.

    National Fatwa Council chairman Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Husin on Saturday said yoga had been practised by the Hindu community for thousands of years and incorporated physical movements, religious elements together with chants and worshipping, with the aim of “being one with God”.

    “Because of this, we believe that it is inappropriate for Muslims to do yoga. The council is declaring that practising yoga, when it comes together with the three elements, is haram,” he told a press conference.

    http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp...330&sec=nation


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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims



    “To call this ancient practice ‘haram’ and saying that it can ‘corrupt’ a person is very hurtful and demeaning,” said Vaithilingam.
    It is haraam because of muslims aqeedah... nothing to do about physical or harming anyone... *sigh.

    If any muslims really learn the YOGA the significance and the name of YOGA they'll understand... just watching the tamil movies you can also understand why it is haram.




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    IB Oldskool Array north_malaysian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    Muslims can change yoga to pilate ...


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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by north_malaysian View Post
    Muslims can change yoga to pilate ...
    or Qi Gong. No mantra or chanting there. Only concentrating on internal energy.

    The National Fatwa Council can do Muslims a favor by explaining in detail for its decision to ban Yoga, and Hindu Sanggam can shut it's rattle trap for commenting on a decision that only concerns Muslims.


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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    Yoga that is universally taught and practiced is of the entry level, properly called hatha-yoga, which are exercises and callisthenics for the benefit of the body. But if you go deeper into yoga, it unfolds the science of self-discovery. Islam would be uncomfortable with anything to do with self-discovery because Islam is about discovery of Allah and Allah is considered separate from the self. Therefore from the Islamic point of view, if Yoga is restricted to hatha-yoga, it would in no way contradict Islam. If the poses are named in Sanskrit, they can always be translated into Arabic, to be more Islamic friendly. And mantras, which is yet another Hindu science, need not be recited at all while doing Yoga. Last but not least - would someone from this Forum please come up with an Arabic name for yoga? Might be difficult, for Yoga means – uniting with God.


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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by Muslim Knight View Post
    or Qi Gong. No mantra or chanting there. Only concentrating on internal energy.

    The National Fatwa Council can do Muslims a favor by explaining in detail for its decision to ban Yoga, and Hindu Sanggam can shut it's rattle trap for commenting on a decision that only concerns Muslims.
    Surely, if the Fatwa is about Yoga, which is a Hindu heritage, it is only natural for Hindus to comment. Using phrases like "shut it's rattle trap" is undignified language.


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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by K.Venugopal View Post
    Surely, if the Fatwa is about Yoga, which is a Hindu heritage, it is only natural for Hindus to comment. Using phrases like "shut it's rattle trap" is undignified language.
    http://www.islamicboard.com/1051018-post9.html

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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by K.Venugopal View Post
    Last but not least - would someone from this Forum please come up with an Arabic name for yoga? Might be difficult, for Yoga means – uniting with God.

    So you see, that's exactly the justification for the Malaysian National Fatwa Council to ban Yoga from being practiced by Muslims! You can argue for all it's worth that Yoga is good for health et cetera et cetera but from your own explanation, Yoga = uniting from God, is against core principle of Islam, that is, though we are all created by Allah, He stands separate from His creations!


    Quote Originally Posted by K.Venugopal View Post
    Surely, if the Fatwa is about Yoga, which is a Hindu heritage, it is only natural for Hindus to comment. Using phrases like "shut it's rattle trap" is undignified language.
    So busying oneself into the affairs of other religion is "dignified"? Like I said before, this decision only affects Muslims (and in particular, in Malaysia) and not any Hindu the slightest.


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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    i had read bout muslim prohibited yoga in generals...if practice Qi Qong...mean there maintain our yin and yang...but in Yoga either form of execise or form of meditation...which mean actually no harm,you dont need to recite the mantras or what...is that practise yoga mean that the people will curse by syaitan...cause the yoga inside has been recite the mantras even we dont recite mantras..why we have lotsa form of exercise like YoGa,pilate and Qi Qong,is to balanced our yin and yang..and we concentrated the breaths and relax our nervous...practise traditional exercise doesnt harm...and even Tai chi...! why will yoga will be haram...? is just how to stretch your muscle and tendon exercise and be calm when u learn how to do Yoga.i know yoga is part of india traditional exercise but doesnt mean to be haram....lotsa people wanna practise Yoga in Yoga Classes is because the Yoga is unique exercise which mean no one can do yoga if they dont attend the classes...is how to learn how to make our body to become flexibility and be able do all kind of body stretching..and well being.


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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by Suffiyan007 View Post
    i had read bout muslim prohibited yoga in generals...if practice Qi Qong...mean there maintain our yin and yang...but in Yoga either form of execise or form of meditation...which mean actually no harm,you dont need to recite the mantras or what...is that practise yoga mean that the people will curse by syaitan...cause the yoga inside has been recite the mantras even we dont recite mantras..why we have lotsa form of exercise like YoGa,pilate and Qi Qong,is to balanced our yin and yang..and we concentrated the breaths and relax our nervous...practise traditional exercise doesnt harm...and even Tai chi...! why will yoga will be haram...? is just how to stretch your muscle and tendon exercise and be calm when u learn how to do Yoga.i know yoga is part of india traditional exercise but doesnt mean to be haram....lotsa people wanna practise Yoga in Yoga Classes is because the Yoga is unique exercise which mean no one can do yoga if they dont attend the classes...is how to learn how to make our body to become flexibility and be able do all kind of body stretching..and well being.
    5 daily salats are not enough of an alternative for you to mantain bodily flexibility?

    "there are many other forms of exercise that Muslims can take part in to promote healthy lifestyle,You can go cycling, swimming and eat less food to stay slim"

    and there are better forms of Martial Arts too where you do not need to worship the instructors
    Last edited by doorster; 11-24-2008 at 05:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    The Pope warned catholics not to read Harry Potter, so I understand the decision of malay muslim council. Its the job of the religious authorities to say such things.


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    IB Oldskool Array north_malaysian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    I am wondering about one thing.... this is banned for MUSLIMS only... why the OTHERS are so OVER-REACTED....

    Muslims are banned from eating pork because God says so... any non-Muslims want to go against this decision too?


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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    in fact, 2 states (Selangor, Perak) are studying whether they would gazzette this fatwa and the Mufti of Perlis said that the secular yoga should be excluded from this fatwa...


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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    Yoga fatwa on hold

    PETALING JAYA: The implementation of the fatwa (edict) banning the practice of yoga by Muslims has been put on hold in two states.

    > The Sultan of Selangor said the fatwa could not be implemented in the state yet as it had not been presented to the state Fatwa Committee,

    > Perak Islamic Religious Department director Datuk Jamry Sury withdrew his earlier statement that Perak would adopt the fatwa, saying that several procedures including seeking the consent of the Sultan, had to be carried out first,

    > Perlis Mufti Dr Asri Zainal Abidin spoke out against the edict, saying yoga with the non-Muslim elements removed should be allowed,

    > Most other states said they would take the necessary steps to enable the edict to be implemented,

    > However, Sisters in Islam said the fact that the states had differing views on the matter seemed to suggest that there was no consensus on the ban.

    http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp...425&sec=nation


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    IB Oldskool Array north_malaysian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    Give alternative version of yoga, says Perlis Mufti

    KUALA LUMPUR: Perlis Mufti Dr Asri Zainul Abidin said the National Fatwa Council should have offered an alternative version of yoga instead of banning Muslims from practising the ancient form of exercise.

    He pointed out that many other sports activities like tai chi, judo and taekwondo were picked up from other cultures.

    “These sports did not have anything to do with Islam but have been practised because of its known health benefits,” he said in a telephone interview with Mstar yesterday.

    “Yoga practitioners who are Muslims should be given an alternative by practising a version of yoga that does not resemble the version practised by other religions,” he said, adding that chanting while practising the exercise should also be stripped.

    He maintained that yoga was a good exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle if done minus the extra bits that are against Islamic teachings.

    Dr Asri is believed to have not attended the National Fatwa Council’s meeting on the edict on yoga because he felt uncomfortable with the discrimination by Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) and its director against his views on an alternative solution.

    “The fatwa (edict) announced in this day and age should not be too rigid. The human movement does not necessarily have a connection with religion,” he said.

    http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp...011&sec=nation


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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by north_malaysian View Post
    Give alternative version of yoga, says Perlis Mufti
    tell him that there already is an alternative in existence, it is known as Salat!

    Last edited by doorster; 11-25-2008 at 05:17 PM.

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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by doorster View Post
    tell him that there already is, it is known as Salat!

    that's what being commented by many religious figures...


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    Default Re: Malaysian Fatwa: Yoga is Haraam for Muslims

    if yoga is in fatwa, but how about china...like acrobatic...similar to yoga..! and the gymnastic....????


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