November 10, 2008

Yoga = Haram = I don't know....

Fatwa on Yoga..

Every time when it comes to religion... it deemed to become something sensitive... as a Malaysian Muslim, actually I'm grateful to have fellow friends which are not Muslims and yet we respect each other religions very well...Thanks for that... Love y'all... I want to say so many things, and I hope I can make it in one simple blog entry...

Fatwa on Yoga. Definitely, I'm not in an 'educated position' to challenge the National Fatwa Council (NFC) on this matter. Moreover, to make comments which unknowingly can bring 'harm' to my Muslim beliefs. I do Yoga, and I know lots of my Muslims friends who practice it as well. As 'jahil' as I am in this matter, I never thought that what I'm doing could be wrong as I only do it for health purposes... With this fatwa, makes me wonder, "did i do wrong?" "did i do something bad?" well... until NFC decided and explained, i can never sleep well... with this issue as well, makes me more active in 'Google-ing' :D. Found lots of reactions towards this matter.. some are very reasonable and some are very 'emotional'... i won't blame them as that's their personal opinion...

these are my personal opinions:
1. In Islam, not all things we can figure it out by making sense of it. 'Unknowingly' (again..), we might give comments which contradict to our belief. Eg: Yoga, I thought it's okay as it gives us health benefit (my logical sense). But I never thought that 'certain areas' in Yoga could be 'unIslamic'. Again, let's wait for NFC, as they are more 'educated' in this. That's a 'FACT' that i have to accept.
2. Bad reaction comes when I feel 'dissatisfaction'. This Fatwa Yoga, if NFC were to declare it 'Haram'.. then NFC owes Muslims a longggggggggggg explanation on the WHYs.... Not for debate, but to educate me why is wrong... So I'll understand... i'm waitinggggggg.......

below... is one of a 'personal opinion' of a Muslim Yoga Instructor in Malaysia, posted in The Star... I partially agrees on the council monitoring the Yoga centers... but if the Fatwa rules it 'Haram'.. then it is 'Haram'... NO COMPROMY! again, we can't rebut it in a logical way when it comes to religion... the council definitely knows better than us... if it's 'Haram', then I am obliged to repent on this matter and it goes to others as well...

Monitor yoga centres
AS a renown yoga personality in Malaysia, I feel compelled to voice my personal opinion as a Muslim yoga advocate, practitioner and instructor while praying for a positive decision by the National Fatwa Council (NFC) with regards to the issue of fatwa on yoga.
From the age of 13 to 17, I suffered chronically from asthma, requiring bi-weekly visits to the hospital for treatment. The disease subsequently inhibited me from participating in physical activities and sports.
After my introduction to yoga at the age of 18, I have not experienced a single asthma attack.
In April this year, I was diagnosed with kidney stone and was advised to undergo laser treatment, which I had to postpone due to my commitment to participate in a four-day yoga and fitness event in Shanghai organised by the biggest sports brand in the world.
While there, I was privileged to meet a Hollywood yoga celebrity who had personally trained the likes of Steffi Graf (ex-tennis champion) and Laila Ali (boxer and daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali).
She taught me a yoga position to eradicate the pain I was suffering at the time. Once home, I sought treatment for my condition and to my surprise, the stone had miraculously disappeared.
In the eight years of operating a yoga studio, I have received hundreds of positive comments from my students, especially the elderly on lessening joint and back pains as well as an end to period pains by the female practitioners after a few months practising yoga. Wallahualam.
There are too many advantages of yoga which is closely related to physical disciplines and breathing techniques that it will be a colossal loss to the people in this country should it be deemed haram.
The concept of yoga allows the participation of even newborns to elderly and can be practised for free. It does not necessitate one to deviate from the teachings of Islam as long as the intention is health.
I honestly believe as His servants, it is our obligation to safeguard the wellbeing of our health and with our knowledge entwined with faith (Iman), we are able to judge and differentiate the good from the wrong.
To impose a total ban on yoga is to blatantly reject the effectiveness and importance of physical exercise while shutting our eyes and deafening our ears to the findings of scientists as well as the recommendations of medical practitioners citing yoga as the most complete and effective alternative medication ever documented.
If it is the will of God to grant the NFC in coming to its decision to allow the continued practice of yoga, I would like to propose some measures to ensure the issue of deviation from Islamic teachings never resurfaces:
Firstly, as a Muslim yoga entrepreneur, I welcome the monitoring by Jakim on all yoga centres throughout the country and to identify centres conducting elements of yoga teachings that may deviate from Islamic principles and make it known to public so that Muslim yoga practitioners can avoid such centres.
Secondly, introduction of halal certification by Jakim to centres conducting yoga classes as well as the setting up of a hotline facility as an avenue for complaints against suspicious yoga centres.
NINIE AHMAD, Publisher and editor of Hati Yoga.


  1. hhmm, kitorang Christian pun face d same dilemma. but i tak gi yoga sbab memang tak minat. dat's why i never dispute or ask 4 reason frm d church. kalo diorang haramkan BJ, i'd surely fight harder!! hehehehe

  2. izit.. i never knew Kristian ada 'Fatwa' jugak.. same reason ka?

  3. yeke yo? i never knew that..then, lets wait for the fatwa i always believe that, every single thing yg kita buat, bergantungla kpd niat kita kan? dak?

  4. yeah, kind of d same reason but not enforced by law la. paling paling u kena funny looks kat church....huakhuak

  5. ya Jaja... kecoh gak kat FFst tuh... tu lah, mufti2 tu pun ada niat gak.. tapi takde lak nak explain pjg2 kat kita yg kurg ilmu nih... tgh tunggu kenyataan2 depa... takde pungggggg.....

  6. Yoe, I pun tengah tunggu this fatwa to be out.penantian suatu penyesaan.

    p/s: If I'm not mistaken, you are my junior masa taekwondo kat SIS dulu. kalau salah harap maappp.......

  7. yup yup... i was ur junior dolu2... :D


    apparently the debate has been done way before malaysians realise it elsewhere..

    immitating the kufaar has its wrongs too.
    i do think its highly worrying, that the state of the religion is being questioned so freely by most of us muslims here.

    i may not be pious enough for you to refer to me, but my simple understanding of the quran says smoking is haram.simply because it endangers your health.

    btw, it is so obvious most of the malaysians are going to keep ignoring this just as they did with consuming alcohol, aurah, and even choosing halal dining which wasn't even constituted by the fatwas but by the quran. so why the sudden burst of "haram,horror!!!".