The National Fatwa Council has declared that yoga is prohibited in Islam. Sources said the decision was on the basis that yoga involves physical movements, chanting and worshipping.
The issue cropped up late last month when a university lecturer advised Muslims to stop practising yoga for fear that it could deviate their belief. The council then stepped in and said it would issue a fatwa.
Council chairperson Dr Abdul Shukor Husin however, stressed that the fatwa was strictly applicable to Muslims.
"The fatwa (edict) is meant solely for the Muslims to follow. Non-Muslims need not question or debate this because they are free to do whatever they wish. It is the Muslims who have to adhere to this rule," he added.Apart from the physical movements, the yoga practices contain worshipping and chanting, which were prohibited for Muslims, it said.
"Malaysia is not the only country which has declared yoga as haram in Islam. Singapore and Egypt have come out with the same edict as well."
He said Muslims must be careful to not do things which could erode their faith, adding that the religion strongly advocates "prevention is better than cure".
"There are many other forms of exercise that Muslims can partake in, especially as the religion promotes healthy living and lifestyle. Performing prayers, for example, is a good form of exercise," he said.
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