Fatwa On Yoga

Fatwa On Yoga

The National Fatwa Council on Saturday banned Muslims from practising yoga, causing an uproar among certain quarters, including Muslims.

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism was however more concerned about the word “haram” that was used in the ruling then the ruling itself.

Datuk A. Vaithilingam, the Hindu Sangam President said that using the word “haram” in barring Muslims was uncalled for. He said that in a multiracial, multi-religious country, the fatwa council should be more sensitive in its choice of words. “Instead, they should used words like ‘unsuitable‘ for Muslims. The word ‘haram’ should have been avoided”, he said. (source NST).

Datuk A. Vaithilingam is right. The Fatwa Council could have been more sensitive in its choice of words. Perhaps the Fatwa Council saw a legal distinction between the word “haram’ and ‘unsuitable’. Maybe my Muslim friends can educate me on this.

Yoga is a treasure trove bequeathed to us by our Hindu ancestors and we are willing to share it with all. This is one the many ways where we Malaysians from different cultural and religious background can learn from and enrich one another. If the National Fatwa Council wishes to draw a line and rule that it is unsuitable for our Muslim Brothers and Sisters, we respect that edict and let our Muslim Brothers and Sisters to deal with it; if they have a problem with the fatwa.

Be that as it may, as a Hindu and a one time practitioner of yoga ( the real one under Divine Life Society, Petaling Jaya Sub-Branch – not the ‘spiced-up’ one currently making its round at our local gyms), this is what I have to say – Let them have their fatwa, its their loss, not ours.

The National Fatwa Council has the right to rule over what a Muslim should or should not do. Lets not get emotional about the fatwa without looking at it from their point of view as well.

We should look at look at the common traits that binds us as Malaysians instead of what separates us. We are after all a Nation that embrace our similarities and celebrate our differences.



November 25, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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