Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fatwa On Yoga?

First of all I would like to say that I respect any form of religious beliefs on this earth. I am okay with Islam being the main religion of Malaysia due to the fact that the Islamic population are more than the other religions combined. As far as I am concerned, since they are the majority it is only fair that they get to accommodate their needs first.

But to impose a fatwa on Muslims who practice yoga? Yes I can see the National Fatwa Council's point of view that the elements of yoga has its roots in Hinduism. This will of course stir up questions regarding the differences between the 2 religious beliefs.

However I fail to understand the need in forcing Muslims to give up yoga. Naturally by imposing a sentence this drastic will cause a back-fire... People would definitely be doing yoga in secret anyway if such ruling ever does occur. They would definitely would feel so disenchanted with their own religion's rigidity.

Anyway I don't want to say a lot. 

I want to end this post by saying that in order for us to be developed as a first world country, we need to have freedom to experiment and innovate. We can never achieve this status if we are too rigid in our beliefs. Everybody needs to loosen up once in a while.

Okay, I'm done...

Don't get me started about fatwas on girls that digs boys' clothing....

Coming Soon: Fatwa On Yoga
Malaysia Kini, October 29, 2008

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, 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.

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 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.

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