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Is Yoga Forbidden?
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Posted on: Friday, April 30, 2010 - Hits: 911

I have a question regarding the permissibility of Yoga. Recently, there has been a fatwā in Malaysia stating that yoga is harām. I understand that this is due to its association with other religions - Hinduism or Buddhism. However, many martial arts, languages, foods and other cultural acts have some sort of background to them. Some forms of martial arts are based on Zen Buddhist philosophy. Does it mean that by practicing the exercise of yoga or karate we are committing shirk? Is there anything wrong with doing yoga but omitting any association with Hindu practices? Is there anything wrong in practicing yoga if one substitutes their mantras with dhikr of God?

There is nothing wrong in practicing yoga if we do not adopt its associated utterances. Many cultural traditions, sports and festivals are at times taken by one nation from another. This is how mankind has developed and progressed. However, while adopting such practices, Muslims must be careful to avoid any irreligious element in them.

Yes indeed you can simply substitute the mantras with conventional religious utterances and supplications. In short, Islam has no objection on Muslims benefiting from yoga and other things if their evil is removed.


Shehzad Saleem

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