Rajasthan education minister Vasudev Devnani on Tuesday said Muslims should not oppose yoga as it is popular in several Muslim countries and Namaz postures are similar to yoga. The minister said these are forms of exercise and Muslim groups should not politicise the issue. “Yoga and Surya Namaskar are not related to religion. Yoga is popular in Muslim countries like Mongolia and Pakistan. Some Namaz postures are similar to yoga,” Devnani said.
“Muslim religious festivals are linked to the lunar calendar. The Sun and Moon are complementary to each other,” he said. “Yoga was not invented by the BJP or the RSS. It dates back to centuries. It should be kept above politics,” he added.
Dr Iqbal Siddiqui, state media secretary, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind said: “For Muslims, Namaz is obeisance to the almighty. In Arabic, we call it Salaat and we do not recognize it by any other name or form. If the minister calls it yoga, it’s his wish.”
Haji Nizamuddin, general secretary, Rajasthan Haj Welfare Society, said: “People should not try to inflame religious passions. Namaz and yoga are two different things.”
Devnani said Surya Namaskar and yoga introduced in 48,000 government and private schools across the state will continue.