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Yoga fatwa: Use silat approach

Published:  |  Modified:

your say ‘This issue was addressed by the government where guidelines were given on how Muslims can practise silat without going against the teachings of Islam.'

On Bouquets, brickbats for yoga fatwa

N Tazetta: The Malay martial arts, ‘silat' also may include elements of animism, Hinduism and Buddhism which may erode the aqeedah of Muslims.

Interestingly, this issue was addressed by the government where guidelines were given on how Muslims can practise silat without going against the teachings of Islam.

Couldn't a similar approach be used to handle the issue of yoga? One wonders whether the reason is more because yoga has its origins from the Indians, whereas silat is Malay.

Derek: I am not a Muslim. However for all those who have commented that let the Malay community themselves deal with this yoga issue, allow me to day that I believe this is the wise and only way to handle it.

Let the Malay leaders, Islamic authorities, Muslim NGOs and the Malay community themselves sort out this issue.

After all consuming pork and alcohol is very much haram in Islam and yet the non-Muslims have never commented on this although such activities are perfectly acceptable in many other faiths and cultures.

Non-Muslims do not like the syariah rules to be imposed on them so why should we try and impose on or suggest to Muslims what they should or should not do.

It is none of our business and we should not interfere lest it be politicised into a racial and religious issue. We don't need that right now or ever.

The Hindus or anyone else for that matter can go on practicing yoga to their hearts' content. No one is stopping them and no one should.

Even a Muslim can choose to ignore the fatwa and carry on with their yoga exercises. That's between them and their religious authorities. So non- Muslims, don't interfere.

As to Samy Vellu wanting to get involved in this issue, I totally agree with the suggestion that he back off.

His interference will only politicise this issue and cause resentment. He should focus on issues which will uplift the Indian community.

Jedibaba: I can understand the Muslim community being upset if non-Muslims were to comment on the running of their faith.

In the same vein non-Muslims are also concerned when Muslims dictate to them how they should practice their faith, for example telling them that they cannot use the word ‘Allah' - an Arabic word that predates Islam - to refer to God.

FM Arouet: To the gentleman who dared non-Muslims to read the Quran. How sure are you that some of those who have commented have not?

Although you say the fatwa does not affect non-Muslims in general, we are a multi-racial, multi -cultural society, so do you think it really has no effect on a macro scale?

Since you dare us to read up on your religion, I dare you to do the same and understand whether yoga, especially in its watered down form that most consumers use today, would actually lead to the absurd allegations of the National Fatwa Council.

WL Toh: I am beginning to wonder whether any yoga centre has offended the National Fatwa Council to the extent that it has to ban yoga for all Muslims. Otherwise, why is this issue being suddenly brought up ?

I am also interested to know why there are other things which are a lot more haram than yoga but Jakim is turning a blind eye to them.

One example would be the numbers forecast shops. Just walk in to any of the 4D number betting shops and you will definitely see large numbers of Muslims.

It's either of Jakim not knowing or pretending not to know. Perhaps the National Fatwa Council could enlighten us.

Concerned Malaysian: I do not question the wisdom of the National Fatwa Council to ban yoga from being practised by Muslims.

After all, if they feel that yoga will erode the faith of Muslims, then who are we say it will not?

However, instead of applying bans on piece meal basis, why doesn't the council institute a total ban on the following which in some form are religious in nature and may erode the faith of Muslims in the country.

1. Names: Many Muslims in this country have the tendency to use Christian names such as Norman, Abby, Amy, Jeanne, Roy, Jeffrey and Sarah to name a few.

Many such names are names of the Christian saints. Does the fatwa council think it is right for Muslims to use these Christian names?

2. The Boy Scouts movement: This movement was foundered by Lord Robert Baden-Powell, who himself was a Christian, and which is based on the Christian belief of doing good to others.

3. Bahasa Malaysia: A great percentage of our national language is derived from Sanskrit. Will continuous usage erode the faith of Muslims?

4. Qi Qong/Tai Chi: Just like any other Asian martial art, these activties are derived from Toaism and Buddhism.

Many of us, even the Malays, would have known by now that the Shaolin martial art that originated from the various Shaolin temples in China are mostly practised by the monks.

I even know of one Malay Qi Qong master who wrote regularly in the Sunday newspapers.

If the National Fatwa Council doesn't see it fit to ban the above, then the banning of yoga will seem to a little farfetched.

Or has the Hindu religion again become the target? To the fatwa council, please stop dividing our society further.

Tony: Jakim Director-General Wan Mohamad Sheikh is reported to have said: ‘Can we appeal to God to change the rules according to our whims and desires?'

I am just wondering if Wan Mohamad is implying that Muslims in general are not capable of deciding for themselves.

A lot of people have been misled by a few who claim that they should not question the ‘wisdom' of these few who are out to gain power and control

The best is to keep this fatwa out of Sarawak and Sabah. We are peaceful lot and we Sarawakians and Sabahans can decide for ourselves.

K Puvirajen : The recent stormy issue is the result of an incomplete knowledge and understanding of the meaning, purpose and power of yoga.

The advice given to Muslims to give up the practice of yoga because it had many poses, positions and concentration techniques based on the elements of Hinduism is a result of misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

Or is it actually a case of misplaced overzealousness? Take for example, the act of bringing both palms together in the pose known as Surya Namaskar in order to offer one's salutations to the sun at the commencement of the Hatha Yoga practice.

This must have been misinterpreted to mean as an act of believing in, accepting and worshiping the sun in the same position as that of The Creator.

How on earth could bathing in the rays of sunlight be construed as affecting one's faith is beyond comprehension.

Like the act of Surya Namaskar, there are other poses, postures and practices that must have been either honestly misunderstood or perhaps intentionally given a gross misinterpretation in order to serve some ulterior motive.

It is unfortunate that yoga, an ancient science of purposeful living that has been recognised even by the United Nations of which Malaysia is a member, has been painted negatively.

How is our Education Minister Hishamuddin Hussein Onn, who also sits on the executive board of Unesco, going to respond to questions in international fora, we will have to see.

On Shah Rukh Khan in Malacca for datukship on Dec 6

Maniam Sankar: I am a non-Muslim but would urge the Islamic authorities to issue a fatwa on the suitability of Shah Rukh Khan receiving a datuk-ship title from Malacca.

This is because he is married to an unconverted non-Muslim wife and acts in many Hindi movie scenes as a devout Hindu.

His will have a negative influence on Malaysian Muslims.

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