Islamic educational institutions and the Dar-ul-Uloom slammed the Union HRD ministry directive to chant ‘Om’ at yoga practice in schools, colleges and universities on the International Day of Yoga on June 21 on the ground that pronouncing it is against Islamic teachings.
The UGC has directed all universities and colleges to follow the protocol on June 21, under which it has been made compulsory to pronounce ‘Om’ and chant Sanskrit shlokas.
However, Muslim intellectuals and Islamic teachers are averse to chanting these verses while admitting that yoga is a good form of exercise. Dar-ul-Uloom’s Maulana Abdul Qasim Naumani said, “Om is part of Hindu worship rituals, making it compulsory for Muslims is against the Indian Constitution.” He appealed to Muslims to boycott the Yoga Day programme if the government pressurised them to pronounce ‘Om’ “Muslims should not send their children to school on Yoga Day,” he said.
Aligarh Mufti Muhammad Khalid Hameed, said, “Muslims pass through various yoga stages during their namaz and nobody has any objection to yoga . It helps us maintain health. But inclusion of Om and other shlokas cannot be accepted as pronouncing Vedic verses is against Islam. We will oppose all such government directives.”