Yoga, if modified, can unite Indians, Maulana Madani tells Aap Ki Adalat
New Delhi: Maulana Mahmood Madani, prominent leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, has said, Muslims have no problem with Yoga provided certain modifications are made to it.
He however alleged that a concerted effort is being made to give a particular colour to yoga and "that is what is creating problems".
Replying to questions from Rajat Sharma in 'Aap KI Adalat' show, to be telecast on India TV tonight at 10 pm, Maulana Madani said, "We Muslims have no problem with yoga but there are certain words that need to be corrected. As a physical exercise and as a way of life, yoga has great benefits but it has been given a particular colour and that is not correct."
Yoga, he said, should not be associated with any particular religion. "If certain changes are made then the day is not far away when more and more people will start practising it," he added.
Explaining his reservations on Surya Namaskar, Maulana Madani said, "Considering Sun as god is against the basic tenets of Islam. It should not be made a part of government organized functions. "
Maulana Madani disclosed that he himself had practised Surya Namaskar for a long time as a physical exercise only.
He said that if three changes are made in Surya Namaskar then nobody among the Muslims will have anything to complain about.
"Three changes that need to be made are 1. Remove Shlokas 2. Don't insist on performing this while keeping your face towards sun and 3. Don't make it compulsory for everybody," Maulana Madani said.
"If these changes are made then Yoga may become a medium for uniting people in this country," Maulana added.
He welcomed government's clarification that Surya Namaskar will not be part of International Yoga Day celebrations slated to be held on June 21.
He also appreciated Union AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik's statement that Muslims can take Allah's name in place of shlokas.
When asked to explain if he would meet Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister has expressed his willingness to meet Muslim leaders saying he has kept his doors open for everybody, Maulana Madani said that he is not averse to meeting the PM.
"If need be, I'll definitely meet him. He is the Prime Minister of the entire nation. He should keep his doors open," added Maulana Madani.
Maulana Madani seconded the statement of Prime Minister Modi in which he had said that Muslims of India will live for India and die for India.
"Two things are very important for Muslims faith (Imaan) and nation. There is no doubt that Indian Muslims have lived for the country and they will die for the country.
On India's relations with Pakistan, Maulana Madani said that India is not against its neighbour and a strong and stable Pakistan is in the interest of the entire region.
"India should offer all help to Pakistan but they are not willing to ask for it. Majority on both sides want peace and finally, they will emerge victorious," Madani said.
On Pakistan's objections to Prime Minister Modi's remarks in Bangladesh regarding 1971 war, Maulana Madani said that Pakistan should be ashamed of its Army's role in Bangladesh.
"Pakistan is yet to forget the scars of 1971 war. But they should be ashamed of what their Army did in Bangladesh. Islam is all about joining countries and the entire world. It's not about hurting anybody," Maulana added.
When asked to comment on the nervousness in Pakistani establishment after Indian Army's Myanmar operation and ex-ruler Pervez Musharraf's remark that Pakistan army is not wearing bangles, Maulana Madani said that they should mend their ways if they are so scared.
"If Pakistan does not want Indian Army to enter their territory then they should take corrective steps," he said
When asked to evaluate the performance of Modi government, Maulana Madani evaded a direct reply and said that people will judge Modi on his performance in areas like inflation, unemployment and corruption.
"If he delivers on these parameters then people will give him another chance; otherwise people don't hesitate in punishing governments," Maulana Added.
Maulana Madani, however, added that Modi government is still left with four more years to deliver.
"Whatever he has done in the last one year is appreciable. But it's just one year. They are left with four more years. Let's hope for the best," Maulana added.
On a question related to use of fatwas, Madani said that it can be issued only by a practising Mufti and it's issued on a specific question raised. It can't be applied to every situation.
"There can be no political fatwas. People need to be educated on this. Only a practising Mufti can issue a fatwa. Even I can't issue a fatwa," Maulana said.
In reply to a question, Maulana Madani unequivocally said that all illegal religious structures should be demolished as no fatwa can justify their existence.
Maulana Madani denied that he used religion for political purposes and to enter parliament.
"Islam is not limited to religion only. It's about raising voice in favour of weaker sections and speaking against injustice and I'm just doing that. I have not used religion to reach parliament. Religion can't be used for political purposes," he added.
Interestingly, Maulana Madani effusively praised former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for his achievements as PM.
"Few people can achieve what Manmohan Singh achieved during his 10 years of rule. Undoubtedly, he was a visionary," Maulana Madani added.
Maulana Mahmood Madani in Rajat Sharma's Aap Ki Adalat will be telecast Saturday night at 10 pm and repeat telecast on Sunday morning 10 am and 10 pm.