Solat to replace yoga? What a joke.. First and foremost, the issue of yoga which was a practice by the Hindus and Buddhist has never come across my mind. I don’t even know how and where it is origin, But, who cares? The reason people going for yoga is simple; to release stress as well as a form of exercise (some ladies may considered it as to reduce weight). My sis and my friends went for yoga session before. Never before I heard that there is some religion practice in yoga. As from what I heard from their experiences, yoga teaches you how to control your breathing, how to release your stress and how to make some difficult movement smoothly & gently. It is nothing but a form of exercise but utilizes slow movement or calmness element in practicing movement. Malaysia bodohland part 3 and will keep on continues… ‘’ Practising yoga won’t cause a Muslim to deviate and become a Hindu but copying or adding elements which are clearly from other religions is not acceptable in Islam. The reminder was given in Surah Al Kafirun.’’ Can I know what are the mentioned elements that are religious? ‘’ By practising the act which is endorsed by the Hindu and Buddhism religions, one indirectly permits these religions although the faith in the heart remains unchanged.’’ Bodohnya. Let’s give this example. I am a Chinese and I follow the Malays of not using the chopstick but instead use my hands to eat. After eating, I do follow what the Malays practise which is to wash my hands and immediately caress my hair because Malays believe this will prevent the ageing of your hair (meaning to preserve the black colour). OMG. I am considered a Chinese but I am in dangerous state as I allow myself to practise acts which is endorsed by the Malays. Shall we have ‘fatwa’ among the Chinese as well? ‘’ One such activity is Solat, which is to be performed five times a day. Solat dictates a sequence of movements which is good for the body. There are some health benefits in performing the prayer as it has been proven to increase concentration and refine memory, provide a calming effect and regulate stress, and make the body healthy and active.’’
Well, people going for yoga have never intended to increase their memory power. (Plz take note). Regulate stress and make body healthy and active? Well, I am not Muslim and I do not know the exact movement during the prayer and not going to discuss as this is sensitive and due respect must be given to every religion. To my knowledge, praying only utilizes a small spot or area where during the prayer, the devotee will have some sort of movement form sitting, standing up and some head movements.
Such simple movement I would say it’s equivalent like you go for a jog or you do gardening in your house or even the house chore. But, this is not what the yoga practisers want. They want a condusive environment with a soothing music, learn how to calm themselves or self meditation and at the same time to drive the sweat gland to produce more sweat. You may say then why don’t just go jog? Answer is simple. They want something special and an instructor to guide them. If the people found no different in yoga and normal simple exercise as in solat, then there won’t be people signing in the programme. Again, I haven’t try yoga before. But those who had tried before or still practising yoga, what say you? Enlighten use.
The core thing happening in our country is the people are too religious. Whatever simple thing also must be studied whether it is Islamic or not. In my opinion, it is always up to the people to decide. If you are Muslim or Chinese Buddhist but you attend a function or service by the Christians every weekends, it doesn’t means that you allow yourself to let other elements from other religion to so called deviates you. We should have the freedom. If one is strong in his faith to his religion, there is no problem of joining such activities as WE ourselves will learn how to control or how to avoid such things. Another example is attending the open house during festival celebration. Like me who went to my Malay teacher’s house for Raya, I do respect them who will pray before they eat and praise Allah for his generosity in giving them foods. After their prayer, then only I will start eat together with them. This is why Malaysians are so special. We learn how to respect each other.
So, conclusion is we do not need a fatwa on the yoga. Let them practice what they want. Just give reminder to them not to deviate (if you think they will).
Last but not least, I do not condemning any religion, any religion practice or discussing the sensitive issues. I am just giving my opinion shall yoga be practised by all or there should be some restrictions. This is in response to the article published in the Star (Nov 5, 2008)