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Author Topic: Yoga banned for Muslims in Malaysia  (Read 1575 times)
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a_desert_rose
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« on: Nov 23, 2008 03:57 PM »


Yoga banned for Muslims

Malaysia's top Islamic body have issued an edict that prohibits Muslims from practising yoga, saying that elements of Hinduism in the ancient Indian exercise could corrupt them.

The National Fatwa Council's chairman, Abdul Shukor Husin, said many Muslims fail to understand that yoga's ultimate aim is to be one with a god of a different religion - an explanation disputed by many practitioners who say yoga need not have a religious element.

"We are of the view that yoga, which originates from Hinduism, combines physical exercise, religious elements, chanting and worshipping for the purpose of achieving inner peace and ultimately to be one with god," Abdul Shukor said.

News of the yoga ban prompted activist Marina Mahathir to wonder what the council will ban next: "What next? Gyms? Most gyms have men and women together. Will that not be allowed any more?"

The edict reflects the growing influence of conservative Islam in Malaysia, a multiethnic country of 27 million people where the majority Muslim Malays lost seats in March elections and where minority ethnic Chinese and mostly Hindu ethnic Indians have been clamouring for more rights.

Recently, the council said girls who act like boys violate Islam's tenets. The government has also occasionally made similar conservative moves, banning the use of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims earlier this year, saying it would confuse Muslims.

Analysts say the fatwa could be the result of insecurity among Malay Muslims after their party - in power since 1957 - saw its parliamentary majority greatly reduced in elections because of gains by multiracial opposition parties.

Malay Muslims make up about two-thirds of the country's 27 million people. About 25% of the population is ethnic Chinese and 8% is ethnic Indian, most of whom are Hindu.

Decisions by Malaysia's Fatwa Council are not legally binding on the country's Muslims, however, unless they also become enshrined in national or Shariah laws. But many Muslims abide by the edicts out of deference.

There are no figures for how many Muslims practice yoga in Malaysia, but many yoga classes have Muslims attending.

http://news.uk.msn.com/Article.aspx?cp-documentid=11192594


nuh
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 23, 2008 09:27 PM »

As salaam alaikum.

It has been recommended by my family doctor that I take up yoga due to an injury I sustained. I have not because I am comfortable the hindu elements as mentioned in this article.

Are there similar fatawa's by other bodies?
What is the Saudi point of view?

Ma'as salaama,
nuh
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Blessedgrandma
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« Reply #2 on: Nov 23, 2008 09:42 PM »

This could be said of any Karate classes can't it?
Allah knows our hearts, if we do it for the health benefits and not the philosophy
in the background, does that make us wrong to do yoga and karate?
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WWW
« Reply #3 on: Nov 23, 2008 10:58 PM »

wsalam,

Why don't people take up silat and other styles of martial arts that are very Islamic (even originated in Muslim countries!) There was a nice story about silat spreading in malaysia and the DC area. A sister from malaysia said that young girls always take these classes like girls here always take ballet! Thought that was so cute Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: Nov 24, 2008 07:36 PM »

Salam Bro Nuh

I have a bad back also and what worked for me is low impact pilates. No meditations there Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: Nov 26, 2008 07:23 PM »

As salaam alaikum.

It has been recommended by my family doctor that I take up yoga due to an injury I sustained. I have not because I am comfortable the hindu elements as mentioned in this article...

Ma'as salaama,
nuh
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As salaamu alaikum --

Why not try looking for books and classes on "stretching" instead of yoga.  The stretching books and classes teach the same or similar postures without getting into the philosophical aspects.  Instead of meditating and chanting, you concentrate on your stretch.

Pearl  purplehijabisis
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« Reply #6 on: Nov 26, 2008 10:26 PM »

salam

Whats Silat? Explain more.

I must say, the one thing that prevents me from completely being comfortable with hapkido is all the ritual bowing stuff (I don't actually do it), and as I'm not about to fight on a national level that's fine, but it would be great to have something Islamic!!!!!


Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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