The National Fatwa Council could be issuing a ruling relating to ancient practise of yoga, which some argued that the popular exercise contains Hindu ‘religious elements’.
An announcement on the matter is expected to be made soon by the fatwa council’s chairperson Prof Dr Abdul Shukor Husin.
This was revealed by the deputy director-general of the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) Othman Mustapha, reportedBernama today.
Yesterday, UKM lecturer Prof Zakaria Stapa advised Muslims who have taken up yoga – a widely popular exercise which has its roots to India and Hinduism – to stop practising it for fear that it could deviate them from their belief.
“Yoga originated from the Hindu community and it combines spiritual as well as their religious aspects. They believe it brings them closer to their god,” he was reported as saying inBerita Harian today.
Zakaria was reported to have said that more Muslims were resorting to yoga exercise to find a balance in their hectic lifestyle.
Pray to find peace and good health
He said involved “chanting mantras while in various positions”.
“Why should we look for other alternatives to exercise and search for peace? Yoga could cause (Muslims) to stray from their faith because its movements are according to the style and traditions of Hinduism,” he said.
Zakaria added that Muslims should instead apply the Islamic teachings such as prayers to find peace and good health.
“If the Muslims want a healthy body, prayers are the right choice… why must we find alternate ways… a single mistake can deviate our teachings as yoga movements follow the style and tradition of Hinduism,” he was reported as saying.
Harussani Zakaria , a controversial cleric Perak, said the government-backed fatwa council would soon release a decree that would decide if Muslims were allowed to practise yoga.
“If it involves any faith or religious elements it is definitely not permissible but if it is just a form of exercise that is all right,” Harussani told AFP.
“Muslims cannot practice yoga in its original form because it involves another religion,” he said in response to a call to ban Muslims from engaging in yoga.
The practice of yoga, a popular stress-buster in Kuala Lumpur, dates back thousands of years in India, where it was a favourite of holy men before becoming hugely popular internationally.
Ban on tomboys
The perils of yoga to the Muslims is reported to have been discussed at the recently held fatwa council meeting in Kota Baru, Kelantan.
At the fatwa council meeting, the religious scholars have also decided to issue a fatwaagainst females from dressing or behaving like men and engaging in lesbian sex.
Council chairperson Abdul Shukor had said that many young women admired the way men dress, behave and socialise, violating human nature and denying their feminity.
“It is unacceptable to see women who love the male lifestyle including dressing in the clothes men wear,” Abdul Shukor was quoted as saying.