Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yoga and mosques: What's the issue?

All about Islam. I dont know whether this has a lot to do with its 'hadhari'. Readers comments are most welcomed to correct me if I am on the wrong footing.

1. Yoga - Some Muslim clerics are already branding this ancient Hindu-style healthcare excercise as un-Islamic and may issue a fatwa banning Muslims from practising it in the near future. After so many years, someone - through her researches - found out how this ala-Hindu movement may adversely affect a Muslim's 'aqidah', and that this yoga is not supposed to be practised as a health routine because it contains a lot of Hindu elements. As to whether they are right or wrong, I would like to contest this argument.

For hundreds of years, the Malays (in Malaysia, all Malays are Muslim, right?) have been adopting to some foreign practises that are 'imported' from India, China, the Arabs, British or other races. In Melaka, most Malay weddings are still favoring the Indian+Chinese style 'bunga sanggul' which weighs up to 5kg. The 'pelamin' is sometimes more-Indianiase than Malay while the 'kompang' is believed to be a mixture of Indians and Arabs. The Malays started to wear 'sarung' after the arrival of Indians a few hundred years ago (according to Hikayat Abdullah Munshi). At the same time, does a songkok really reflects Islam as the Bataks and many non-Muslims in Indonesia who breed and sell pigs also wear it to their custom.

If you say yoga contains 'mantra', let us take a look at some other health and self-defense organisations, including the silat. Some silat teachings - I know you are aware of it - contains a lot of mantras which are from unknown origin. Even nobody understand what it means. Some are al-Quran verses which are 'modified' to suit the spirit of the silat. Remember Nasrul-Haq which was banned about 20 years ago? And what about our 'bomoh', 'dukun' and all sorts of talisman? What do they normally recite?

Do you know that some politicians, too, go to 'bomohs' to secure their survival, especially at this time around when Umno general assembly and elections are just four months away?

2. Mosques - Minister at Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was right when he defended the idea to erect a Chinese-style mosque somewhere in Kuala Lumpur. What's really wrong with the people who protested it was they are just like 'katak di bawah tempurung' (a toad under a coconut shell).

Islam makes life simple and without complication in its many aspects. A mosque is still a mosque and a place to worship Allah may it comes in many structural design. In China, all mosques are Chinese-designed and so are the ones in India, Spain, Russia and all parts of the world. We have a Hindu-style mosque in Masjid Kampung Hulu in Melaka. Even its Masjid Negeri is a combination of Malay, Chinese and Middle East architecture.

Why make a fuss out of design, shape and structure. No matter how big and beautiful a mosque is built, it meets no purpose if it fails to attract enough 'jemaah' on Fridays... or if its 'kiblat' is not properly arranged.


sitihar, MANTIN said...

First, yoga is good as long as you dont get to its mantra. nothing is wrong with it. other yoga-like activities too contain their respective mantra. however, this is modern era and they dont use mantra anymore. all this has been commercialised for the good of human kind.

Second - yes, the mosques are still mosqes in china, india and everywhere. why make a fuss out of it?

HJ SIRAJ, kajang said...

kau baca ke hikayat munshi abdullah tu?

apa pun, memang benar orang melayu banyak meniru budaya dan adat resam bangsa lain. entah yang mana satu budaya sebenar mereka, susah nak cakap.

macam kau kata hal songkok ni. aku dah banyak kali ke indonesia, terutamanya ke medan.

sepanjang jalan dari medan ke danau toba, kita akan lihat orang bersongkok jual babi di tepi jalan. mereka tu islam ke?

sebab itulah jangan pandai cakap je para ahli politik dan penyelidik kita ni.

chong said...

funny, uh?

they got nothing better to do. thats why they look into petty, petty things.

sometimes when you get too smart, u may end up becoming stupid

Anonymous said...

boleh blah la dengan pendapat seperti diorang tu.

bila dah elok je kita buat, dia kata haram pulak. apsal dari dulu lagi tak buat kajian?

banyak lagi benda yang boleh dikaji mengenai nilai islam ni.

jangan sampai akhirnya umat islam tak boleh buat apa pun... semuanya haram!

PEKONG, mersing said...





Anonymous said...

tak lama lagi, ada pulak yang kata kentut tu haram...

kalau haram, nak buat macam mana pulak tu!

YOGA BEAR said...

this cannot, that cannot. why la?
we have been practicing it so many years already. why only now you want to ban it? i have been doing too but never involved any mantra or whatsoever. dont make life difficult la, please! islam is a simple and easy religion to follow.

Anonymous said...

Good piece.
Yoga bukan islam. Berlandaskan pendapat yang sama, orang islam masuk gereja pun haram, orang islam pergi rumah orang bukan islam pun haram, makan kedai bukan islam (halal) pun haram, kawan dengan orang bukan islam pun haram, mengajar penuntut bukan islam pun haram,naik kapal terbang buatan orang bukan islam pun haram, melancong ke negeri bukan islam un haram. Orang bukan islam masuk masjid telah menjadi orang islam, bukan islam menziarahi rumah orang islam sudah menjadi islam.
So, orang islam mesti dan wajib bersama orang islam sahaja. Orang islam tidak boleh belajar dan bergaul dengan bukan islam.
Susah menjadi orang islam sekarang semua tidak boleh buat.
Kalau nak ikut Islam betul-betul duit kita yang melambangkan wajah manusia adalah haram tetapi dia siapa pun mempersoalkannya.

azreen said...

When it comes to akidah, be careful for what we say

donplaypuks® said...

If they want to ban it let them go ahead.

It will be no loss whatsoever to Yoga which is over 5,000 years old and practised worldwide without anyone else worrying about being 'brainwashed' by elements of Hinduism!

But then, don't complain if Muslims in M'sians are accused of having Taliban mentality and FDI's go to Thailand, Singapore & Indonesia.

You can't have it both ways!

My Raison D'etre said...


Haram is haram and halal is halal, but there are always some haruses (for want of a better word) along the way.

That's how I was thought all along.

These haruses are the middling things which could veer into haram if our intentions are that they are halal.

Yoga could be one, for all I know.

Yes there are mantras, but these muslim can exercise discretion not to do and the exercise portions allows practitioners to become healthier and thus better to serve God.

You are right where Silat is concern, too. Same argument as above.

Good thing about the raising of the issue is that it can be discussed in the open.


Nasariyev Usovich said...

Hi Jayy,
My late wife (may Allah shower her with Grace boundlessly)used to practise yoga for a short while before becoming a Xi Qong enthusiast. Both exercise modalities involve physical movements of our body and breathing techniques. Yes, in both there are certain incantations to be invoked which are certainly alien to Islamic precepts. But my wife was conscious enough (may Allah bless her soul) to recite Quranic verses in place of the unIslamic incantations. Devoid of such incantations, both forms of exercise are perfectly normal and not objectional to our own beliefs.

Nasariyev Usovich said...

When the exalted Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) established the first mosque on his migration to Madinah, it was made of trunks and fronds of dates palms. What that could have been as a mosque ? While studying years back in Glasgow, Scotland, my Arlington Mosque was sited in the basement of a townhouse. What about that ?

bujai said...

islam adalah agama yang cukup mudah diikuti. maaf jika saya cakap ada pihak yang mendakwa sebagai pendakwah menyebarkan amalan yang langsung tidak 'islamic'.

sya teringat zaman al-arqam di mana apa saja yang ada kaitan dengan bukan islam dianggap haram, hinggakan ada kawan yang membuang tv, peti ais, kusyen dan sebagainya yang pembuatnya adalah orang bukan islam.

patut ke macam ni?

bujai said...

azreen, akidah is for us to savor and protect.

however, those who claim of having strong akidah should first of all make study of certain issue in the context of universal.

if yoga is haram, then get our government to ban all judi-related businesses which are also contributing to the govt purse in terms of taxes.

bujai said...

many people like it both ways... or even three ways...

how about u? hehe

bujai said...

my raison,

good points about those 'haruses'. there are even 'makruh' elements in islam, right.... like makan jering or petai (that's what they always say). some even say that 40 makruhs in a day will lead to haram.


sharidah, KL said...

i agree with nasariyev, bro.

mosques are still mosques, in whatever forms they may come.

yoga is just a fitness activity. if u argue too much on halal-haram, it will lead us to nothing

bujai said...

you got the best points of professional argument there.

thank you...

al-Fatihah to your late wife

profesor, USM said...

para penyelidik kita perlu lebih berhati-hati apabila menjalankan sesuatu kajian. jangan terlalu ekstrim dengan pendapat dan pandangan.

yoga sudah diamalkan di banyak negara, termasuk di negara islam, sejak ribuan tahun. di arab saudi, malah di mesir sendiri tidak ada halangan terhadap amalan kesihatan ini asalkan ia tidak membabitkan mentera dan sebagainya.

sembahyang itu adalah sebaik-baik pergerakan kesihatan. bagaimanapun, tidak salah melakukan perkara lain asalkan ia tidak menjejaskan akidah kita.

saya setuju dengan sdr bujai bahawa banyak lagi amalan orang melayu kita yang masih mengandungi banyak unsur khurafat, termasuk silat.

jika kita nak haramkan sesuatu yang kita sendiri tidak pasti halal-haramnya, janganlah dirumitkan lagi keadaan.

saya cuma beri pendapat

anak iban, SIBU said...

from what i learnt, non-muslims too can walk into a mosque for shelter.

however, in most cases many mosqes are now locked after each compulsary prayer.

are we, the non-muslims not allowed to visit a mosque or to take shelter from rain or anything?

Anonymous said...

mana people want to be looked upon as holy.

holy shit! so many fatwas on this and that.

as for yoga, i dont agree for its 'harament'. its a fitness excercise laaa!!!

CIKU MASAK said...

massya-Allah, bro
apsal la diorang ni sampai nak haramkan yoga pulak.

buatlah kajian ke atas benda yang kita makan dan minum dulu.

soal amalan kesihatan ni tak patut jadi isu kalau ia tidak membabitkan jampi serapah dan kawasan yang sama waktu dengannya.

macam you kata, silat kita pun banyak yang guna serapah, kenapa tak buat kajian dan keluarkan fatwa agar sebahagiannya diharamkan?

TETMENTONET, cheras said...

your point on songkok really tickles me. hahahakahkahkah!

i have been to indonesia, esp medan.

like u said, is songkok reflects islam or culture?

memang ramai peniaga babi pakai songkok di indonesia. cuma kat malaysia je takda.

nanti la, i will ask ah guan who sells pork at pasar cheras to wear one.

huaarrrghh!!! huaarrg! huarrrrghhh!!!