Differences erupt among Muslims leaders over practice of Yoga
New Delhi: Objecting to the Narendra Modi government's order for International Yoga Day celebration , AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said that the centre is forcing the Muslims to take part in the June 21 event that is against the practice of Islam.
Speaking to India TV, the Hyderabad MP said, "I have gone through the order copy. It clearly says that it is compulsory for everyone take part init. It should not be made mandatory. It should not be linked with the nationalism."
He said that instead of promoting yoga, the government can promote other sports like martial arts and Indian wrestling which do not hurt Muslim sentiments.
"The government has no right to make yoga compulsory. While doing yoga, one needs to do suryanamaskar, which means you pray to the sun. The government needs to understand Muslims cannot pray to anybody except Allah. Secondly, it will be Ramzan that day. Why put people through unnecessary physical stress in our holy month?" Owaisi said further.
Mufti Mukarram Ahmed, Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid, also echoed the same views.
"There are some asanas and exercises in Yoga which are against the Islam. Suryanamaskar is against the basic teachings of Islam. The Islamic principle doesn't allow us to perform puja of earth, sun or moon. Muslims don't believe in Yoga. Forcing Muslims to practice is against the Constriction. India is a secular country and everyone has right to practice whatever he/she believes in. We will object if yoga is made compulsory," he said.
On the other hand, Maulana Abdul Hamid Nomani, secretary of Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind, said that linking yoga with religion is wrong as it is an ancient practice that helps creating a sense of union in body, mind.
"There are several aspects of yoga and it is necessary to understand this. It creates good impact on boy and as far as suryanamaskar and chanting of mantras are concern, these are not the basics of yoga. This is the reason why there are several doubts... for health reason, it is good. No need to see it from different perspective," Nomani said.
Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, the Naib Imam of Lucknow's Aishbagh Eidgah, also said that yoga shouldn't be linked with religion.
"Take yoga as an exercise. If you link it with religion, obviously there will be differences," he said.
Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari rejected the controversy of yoga day calling it a non issue. He said that some people are making a non issue to an issue which is not desirable.
He also questioned where in Quran said that yoga is not permitted in Islam? "Some people wanted to be in the head line so they were making noises," he said.
Some Muslim clerics have opposed the government's celebrations on June 21 to mark International Yoga Day and demanded that the celebrations be made optional.
The yoga session on June 21 is expected to kick off at 06:45 am at the majestic Rajpath. Prime Minister along with several top personalities will perform at least 15 yoga asana for about 30 minutes.