Malaysia: Clerics to rule whether yoga is "un-Islamic"

المصدر: 
New Straits Times
The National Fatwa Council will soon announce its stand on Muslims practising yoga, Department of Islamic Development Malaysia said.
Deputy director-general of operations Othman Mustapha, however, declined to reveal the details when approached after opening a seminar on "Fiqh and Sustainable Islamic Thinking" at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) here yesterday.
It is learnt that the matter had been discussed at the council's meeting in Kota Baru recently.

Othman was asked to comment on a statement by Professor Zakaria Stapa of the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, who stated that yoga's origins could be traced back to Hinduism.

On Tuesday, Zakaria called on Muslims not to take up yoga and asked those already doing so to stop practising its art of meditation. He said practising yoga could cause Muslims to deviate from the teachings of Islam.

"I do not understand why Muslims would want to practise yoga for the purpose of finding serenity when Islam, through its teachings, enables its followers to do just that.

"Muslims should just practise what Islam has taught them," he said after giving a lecture entitled "False Islamic Teachings in Malaysia".

30 October 2008

By: Melissa Darlyne Chow

Source: New Straits Times