29 October, 2008

After trousers, Muslim body now targets yoga

Not content with banning women from wearing trousers, Malaysia's top Islamic council now wants a ban on yoga, according to a Malaysiakini.

The National Fatwa Council will be issuing a ruling soon relating to yoga exercise, which is deemed to be deviationist in nature for the Muslims.

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, reported Bernama 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 in Berita Harian today.

Zakaria was reported to have said that more Muslims were resorting to yoga exercise to find a balance in their hectic lifestyle.

He added that they 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.

Ban on tomboys

The perils of yoga to the Muslims is learnt 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 fatwa against 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.


The Sanskrit word yoga has many meanings, and is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning "to control", "to yoke" or "to unite". Translations include "joining", "uniting", "union", "conjunction", and "means". Outside India, the term yoga is typically associated with Hatha Yoga and its asanas (postures) or as a form of exercise. A practitioner of Yoga is called a Yogi (unisex term) or Yogini (for female).

From Wikipedia.



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