The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has asked organisations and imams to mobilise Muslims to counter all moves to damage Islamic beliefs through “Brahmin dharma and Vedic culture”.
AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Mohammad Wali Rahmani has written a letter to Muslim institutions, clerics and prayer leaders across the country, asking them to be vigilant against attacks on Islam and its teachings.
The letter criticised the NDA government’s efforts to popularise yoga, surya namaskar and Vande Mataram, saying these are part of a “Brahmin dharma” that goes against the beliefs and ideology of Muslims.
Rehmani contended the government’s celebration of the International Day of Yoga on Sunday was part of a conspiracy to link the event to the RSS because it was observed on the death anniversary of the first sarsanghchalak, KB Hedgewar.
The letter marks possibly the first effort by the AIMPLB to reach out to Muslim organisations and clerics across the country to push its agenda.
Kamal Faruqui, a member of the AIMPLB’s executive committee, said the letter is aimed at ensuring clarity about Islamic philosophy and preventing any move by the government to introduce practices that go against secularism and the Constitution.
“We have serious objections if the government tries to introduce things that are clearly linked to Hindu mythology and culture because this is a secular country and the Constitution makes it very clear that the state has no religion,” Faruqui told Hindustan Times.
“We also wanted to make Islamic philosophy very clear. In Islam, there is no worshipping of creations. There can only be prayers to the creator, who created things for the betterment of mankind,” he said.
The government was forced to drop surya namaskar – a set of 12 ‘asanas’ that is a salutation to the sun – from the drill for Yoga Day because of opposition from groups such as the AIMPLB. The body has also opposed moves to make yoga compulsory in schools.
AIMPLB leaders said the NDA government had given a “religious colour” to the Yoga Day and the chanting of ‘Om’ at the government-sponsored event went against the country’s secular ethos and the Constitution.
“This is clearly a political issue. Yoga is a ‘dharmic’ (religious) exercise because it was introduced by Lord Shiva. In the Mahabharata, it was Lord Krishna who told Arjun how to perform the surya namaskar. So it should be made clear once and for all whether it is part of Hindu mythology and culture,” Faruqui said.
In his letter too, Rahmani referred to the Gita to contend yoga is a religious activity and part of “Brahmin dharma” and “Vedic culture”. Such actions are a violation of the Constitution, which does not allow the promotion of religion by the government, he said.
“Muslims should remain cautious as there are organisations that are attacking Islamic beliefs and trying to impose Brahmin dharma. Yoga, surya namaskar and Vedic culture are part of Brahmin dharma and totally against Islamic beliefs,” he said in the letter written in Urdu.
Rahmani asked imams to discuss these subjects in their sermons at the Friday prayers and prepare Muslims to oppose such practices.