Four days after Ramdev demonstrated 'pranayam' and a Hindu priest recited Vedic hymns at a meet of Muslim clerics at Deoband, Islamic seminary Darul Uloom on Saturday issued a directive asking Muslims to avoid a camp run by the yoga guru as it begins with the singing of Vande Mataram.
"Singing of Vande Mataram is a prayer and against Islamic law as Muslims cannot offer prayers to anyone except Allah. Muslims should not sing Vande Mataram," said Mufti Ehsan Kazmi, deputy-in-charge of Darul Uloom's fatwa department.
He, however, said yoga can be practised as an exercise.
Another cleric Mufti Ehsan also said Muslims should refrain from singing Vande Mataram during the yoga camp.
Darul Uloom had issued an edict which opposed any prayer involving Vande Mataram and it was supported by top Muslim body Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind at its 30th general assembly at Deoband.
More than two lakh clerics and students watched Ramdev's demonstration.
Incidentally, the 143-year-old influential seminary Darool had in the past issued a fatwa in favour of yoga after some clerics banned Muslims from practising it.