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‘Yoga perfect for sound health but keep religion away’  

Most Muslim clerics welcome Yoga in curriculum, saying it was opposed only when it was mixed with religion.

lucknow Updated: Apr 08, 2017 16:45 IST
Anupam Srivastava
Anupam Srivastava
Lucknow, Hindustan Times
Yoga in schools would help students keep a fit body and mind, feel many people.
Yoga in schools would help students keep a fit body and mind, feel many people.

The Muslims have shown a cautious reaction to the UP government’s decision to make Yoga part of state schools’ curriculum.

Most of the Muslim clerics welcomed introduction of Yoga as a physical exercise, saying the practice was opposed when it was mixed with religion.

Muslim cleric Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali, who also runs a madarsa said, “ I am not averse to Yoga as a physical exercise but if it is given a religious twist then opposition will emerge. As for Surya Namaskar, if it is performed as a physical exercise then there is no question of opposing it but if it is imposed as worship of land or Sun, we will oppose it because in Islam we are supposed to bow only in front of Allah.”

Nasir Qureshi, convener of Dargah –E- Ala-Hazrat, Bareilly said, “ Yoga as a physical exercise will never be opposed but some exercises like Surya Namaskar will always be opposed. I think the state government will respect the sentiments of Muslims in this regard. “

However, Shia cleric and member of the Shia Personal Law Board Maulana Yasoob Abbas, who is also trustee of Shia Post Graduate College, batted for Yoga, saying it was for everyone. He said, “I don’t think Yoga is associated with any religion. I welcome the step of the state government and will soon start Yoga classes in Shia Post Graduate College, Lucknow, as part of the curriculum.”

Maulana Abbas had hogged the limelight when he shared the stage with union home minister Rajnath Singh on International Yoga Day at the KD Singh Babu stadium here on June 21 2016.

“Islam is not so weak that it should feel threatened by Yoga or Vande Mataram,” Maulana Abbas told HT.

“Please do not associate Yoga with any religion. Yoga is directly related with health,” Maulana Abbas said.

Abbas also took on clerics who often issued fatwa against Yoga urging Muslims community to shun it.

“Clerics who issue fatwa against Yoga have only one thing in mind and that is personal fame by courting controversy,” said Abbas.

In the backdrop of all controversy and misconceptions related with Yoga, especially among members of Muslim community, Maulana Abbas wants to reach out to members of his community to dispel misconceptions about Yoga.

“I want to clear all misgivings about Yoga among Muslims. And what can be a better way than starting Yoga classes in Shia College,” he said.

“There is no compulsion on chanting of ‘Om’ while doing Yoga. Muslims are free to chant the name of Allah while performing Yoga,” he said.

Dr Mansoor Hasan, a noted cardiologist of the city said,

“I have been practising Yoga for the past 50 years and I still remain a devout Muslim. Those who talk against Yoga must remember that it has nothing to with any religion. Anyone can practice yoga and lead a healthy life. If it is made part of a curriculum, then it would surely benefit the students.”

Read more: Yoga becomes part of school curriculum in Uttar Pradesh

First Published: Apr 08, 2017 16:45 IST

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