Yoga: Behind the Fatwa - Part 1

By: malaysiakini


Uploaded on January 08, 2009 by malaysiakini Powered by YouTube

On November 22, 2008, the National Fatwa Council announced that Yoga is 'haram' in Islam and in one fell swoop, Muslims will no longer be allowed to practice it -- once it is gazetted as law.

Yoga attracted what is arguably, unwarranted attention from no less than the NFC as a result of an opinion from an Islamic scholar that Yoga, could be 'haram' in Islam because it could cause Muslims to deviate from his or her faith.

This decision drew criticisms from Muslim and non-Muslim practitioners who have felt real physical and mental benefits of Yoga through its physical exercise and meditative elements.

The Fatwa or religious decree once gazetted, will become enforceable and challenges the rights of individuals of a particular faith from practising what is essentially an ancient form of exercise.

The reason for the ban -- only that Yoga has Hindu roots.

Malaysiakini talks to Yoga instructors and practitioners on their views towards the ban.

We also talked to Norhayati Kaprawi of Sisters-In-Islam and Yusri Mohamad of Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM) for their views on the Fatwa.

This is the first of a 2-part feature on the 'Yoga Fatwa'. The second part will be available on Friday.

Producers: Lydia Azizan & Azreen Madzlan
Editor: Lydia Azizan
Camera: Shukri Mohamad & Fiqtrey Al Hakimey

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