READ Related article in BBC News
Related Article : Islam and Yoga: Read here for more
"...A couple years ago I returned to yoga while keeping up my Islamic practice. How are these two developments related? How do they interact?From Malaysian Insider
When I returned to the practice of yoga, I found that it is easily integrated with the Islamic life; in fact the two assist one another. Not only is there no conflict, but Islam and yoga together make a mutually beneficial synergy.
Both are agreed that, while the body is important as a vehicle on the way to spiritual realization and salvation, the human being's primary identity is not with the body but with the eternal Spirit.
It can be valid and beneficial for Muslims to learn yoga, not as their spiritual path per se, but as a valuable adjunct to the spiritual path of Islam. Islam is a complete, integral spiritual path, so yoga is no substitute for any Islamic requirement. The Prophet said that wisdom is the believer's stray camel: wherever he finds it he will recognize it (and claim his right to it).
How to explain the many points of correspondence between yoga and Islam? There are close similarities between Islam and yoga not because of borrowing or cultural diffusion, but because of both originating in the Primordial Tradition, sanâtana dharma, al-dîn al-hanîf, which all the prophets of Allah have brought and reaffirmed throughout the ages, among all nations, revealed directly from the Creator. READ HERE FOR MORE
PAS research chief Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (said) the (Fatwa) council should not make a blanket ban but “lay down what is or is not permissible about yoga.”
“This allows a Muslim to be critical of their own faith and empower them to make judgments based on convictions.”
The Kuala Selangor MP added that if the intention of taking up yoga was for the well-being of the body, mind and spirit, then religion need not come into it.
“There is no need for this siege mentality where everything is viewed from the perspective of encroaching on Islam and attacking us,” he said, adding that if one wanted to stray from Islam, there were other ways besides yoga to do it.
PKR Youth’s chief strategist Yusmadi Yusoff also said that the council needed to be more specific with what forms of yoga it found objectionable as generalising the entire art under a ban was discriminatory and denied Muslims a choice of a healthy lifestyle.
“The form of yoga practised in Malaysia is simply a healthy exercise. If the fatwa is on the basis of religious rituals or inclinations, then it must be more specific and detail what parts exactly,” he said. READ HERE FOR MOREExcerpts :
Malaysia's top Islamic body, the National Fatwa Council, fresh from banning tomboys, issued an edict Saturday that prohibits Muslims from practicing yoga, saying that elements of Hinduism in the ancient Indian exercise could corrupt them.
The 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 clamoring 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 percent of the population is ethnic Chinese and 8 percent 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, but some, like Putri Rahim, plan not to follow the latest fatwa.
"I am mad! Maybe they have it in mind that Islam is under threat. To come out with a fatwa is an insult to intelligent Muslims. It's an insult to my belief," said Putri, a Muslim who has practiced yoga for 10 years.
There are no figures for how many Muslims practice yoga in Malaysia, but many yoga classes have Muslims attending.
Egypt's highest theological body also banned yoga for Muslims in 2004.
A top yoga practitioner in India, Mani Chaitanya, said the Malaysian clerics seem to have "misunderstood the whole thing." Chanting during yoga is to calm the mind and "elevate our consciousness," said Chaitanya, the director of the Sivananda Ashram in New Delhi.
"It is not worship. It's not religious at all. Yoga is universal. All religions can practice yoga. You can practice yoga and still be a good Christian or a good Muslim," he said.
Malaysian yoga teacher Suleiha Merican, 56, who has been practicing yoga for 40 years, also denied there is any Hindu spiritual element to it. "It's a great health science that is scientifically proven and many countries have accepted it" as alternative therapy, said Merican, a Muslim.
From Din Merican Blog
A Respected Muslim Woman Comments on Yoga Fatwa
(Commentary by Hajjah Marina Yusoff)
From Zaharan Razak in "Ground of Being to Ground Below" Blog
"...I am shocked, aghast and dismayed at the fatwa on Yoga and the dressing of not so feminine clothes.
What will they think of next?
It seems to me these people have nothing better to do. Their posts are redundant and they have to do something to attract attention. Unfortunately the attention they attract is very negative and further destroys the liberal image of Islam Hadhari which the Prime Minister had tried to portray.
I have been practicing yoga since I was young and have never become a “lesbian” or joined the Hindu religion as alleged by these ignoramus!
What an insult to Muslims and particularly women. Insulting women and belittling them seems to be the main target of these men!
Stop it before people start calling you MORONS!
There are more important issues to focus and worry about such as the killing of innocent civilians, women and children under the false guise of ‘jihad’. The killing of innocent women who have been raped. Instead of punishing the rapists, the poor innocent victim is put to death for the ‘shame’.
This is not ISLAMIC! Islam stopped the killing of innocent female infants! Read the Quran and know its meaning properly. Study what is the SUNNAH – THE WAY OF LIFE OF THE PROPHET and follow it!
Any level thinking person will know that they are way off track. No wonder the International media too has been has such a negative view of ISLAM by headlines such as ‘Muslim terrorists’ and the like.
How is that we never see headlines like ‘Christian terrorists’? As such they blame every negative incident on Islam whereas it is these ignorant and not so well informed people who are further enhancing the true meaning and purpose of Islam.
Stop it now before it is too late!
JAKIM should be shut down immediately and safe good public funds which could be put to better use to assist the poor and needy. There are enough ‘Muslim’ organizations already looking after the Muslim interests without them messing it up and making more Muslims particularly women angrier.
When the women march there will be no stopping them!
Hajjah Marina Yusoff
A Muslim Malay woman who loves her religion
The Fatwamen's Schindler's List
Excerpts: Read here for more
Along with Yoga, I'd recommend fatwamen to fatwa the followingactivities and products on the grounds that they contain non-Islamic elements and go against the teachings of Islam. They should be replaced by alternative activities to reflect Islam's purity.
And what are some examples of the kafir products that we should ban?
- No swimming please, we're Muslims
To discourage swimming which as a sports has pagan roots and therefore can cause Muslims to deviate from their faith.
Swimsuits are tight-fitting and show off the human figure which might cause girls who look like boys to rape boys who look like girls.Our swimming team must instead be covered up from head to toe in a cylindrical-shaped costume to hide the figure and reduce water resistance.
If the OCM does not approve, ban OCM for meddling in Islamic matters.
Also ban swimming pools because Muslims who visit them are not sincere. They go there not to swim but to ogle at foreigners.
If these foreigners are deemed to cause Muslims to stray from the straight and narrow, ban the foreigners also.
As an alternative, I'd recommend we build a Muslim-friendly swimming pool.
Failing which ban swimming and swimming pools because the Hadith and Quran do not say a single word about swimming therefore it is alien to Islam.
Traditionally, among Muslim Malays, only naughty children who disobey their parents can be seen swimming in the river or monsoon drain.
We Malays don't swim, we bathe, in the river.
- Boycott all products made by kafirs
All products made by kafirs are financed by loans with interest, riba. Thus the two are intertwined and should therefore be deemed haram by association.
Another good reason to ban kafir-made products is that kafirs eat pork.
From the haram meat of the pork they draw their sustenance, energy and intelligence to do work which goes into the making of the products. Therefore the products are derived from pigs which are haram.
- . The material to make tudung is called polyester/nylon/ terylene/ PTTPE which to my cerebellum do NOT sound Arabic at all and therefore safe to conclude is non-Islamic.
- Names of cigarettes like Marlboro, Dunhill, Benson & Hedges also do not have that sonorous Islamic ululation like the azan and should therefore be banned. It is alright if we repackage them using an Islamic sounding name like Zaitun and encourage smoking by tagging it with a chirpy slogan like, "Hisaplah rokok Islam tanpa was-was," the way we have repackaged St John Ambulance and the Red Crescent to Bulan Sabit Merah which to me sounds more like the name of an associate of Awang Sulong Merah Muda. The day they make this cigarettal Islamover, that would be the day they make Islam pure and complete if not hell.
- All the materials to make a mosque - the bricks, the cement, the wiring, the ICI paint, must NOT be sourced from kafir sources. Instead, Muslims must first build their own factories using pure Islamic machinery sourced from the deserts of Saudi Arabia whose spanking airport at Jeddah was built with American and Korean - kafir - finance - riba - and expertise - porcine-sourced.
- Tear off the non-Islamic brand names of The PA sound system used in mosques such as Sony, Sennhauser, Onkyo, and replace them with Islamic names like Soh, Braheng and Stopa. And as for the Chinese sub-contractor who installs the fittings, install a Malay datuk as a front or sleeping partner to make it look Islamic. Feed him off to sleep with a fat payoff. There, all the Islamic work done for the day!
- What about the Mercedes or Volvo the head of the fatwamen is driven in to the meeting at which all the above products and activities are to be banned? Same methodology and theology - tear off the three star and V icon and replace it with a framed name of Muhammad (pbuh) and Allah (tam) which can be bought at any pasar malam stall whose owner bought it from a frame-maker who sourced his materials from a Chinaman!
Forget about status symbols, even representations (a stylized writing is a representation of the thing it refers to no different from an image drawn, photoshopped or reflected in the mirror or the surface of the water) of our prophet and god are made in China, land of kafirs despite the 60 millions of Muslims who live there, and by kafirs despite the fact even kafirs are also made by the Muslim god which presumably must be the same god of the kafirs since there is only one of him!
Savor the convoluted sentence! I purposely contort it to reflect the sinuous maze fatwamen set as a course for themselves to work through in order to justify their sinecures, or as one visitor to this blog puts it, "got all their panties/underwear in a twist ... "
Ban golf and five-star hotels
After all our prophet didn't play golf and what is so Islamic about golf anyway that drives droves of Muslim datuks to drive a ball and a buggy down its drive?
Golf is a western conspiracy and plot to tempt Muslims to deviate from their faith and praise western imperialism.
And as for five-star hotels, there is not an iota of Islam within its beeholes bar the kaabah-pointing arrow on the ceiling above the beds on which courting couples, er, court, but which the Muslim staff has a 24-hour watch on goings-on and exposed human tissue which could get the underwear of fatwamen into another twist to come up with the next fatwa issue.
The new issue could well read:We hereby declare that it is NOT haram for Muslims to work in five-star hotels, ogle at bare skins, serve alcoholic drinks and mix freely with kafirs as this will not detract them from their faith."Get real." I suppose I could do worse than to borrow (the) thunder and apply it to the fatwamen. Btw, that last word is NOT supposed to resonate with "fat women."