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Al-Fatihah

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fatwa on Yoga

The latest fatwa issued by Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan on the banning of yoga among Muslims had attracted mixed reaction with majority of it condemning and criticizing the fatwa. I have read postings in various blogs and the comments therein. It is scary in deed to get to know how people think about Islam nowadays. The fatwa issued by Majlis Fatwa can be debated openly and criticized by even those who are not well verse in the subject matter. More so, the Indian community was so upset with the fatwa. Nowadays, people are very sensitive but they are being sensitive unnecessarily or should I say over sensitive. The fatwa only concerns the Muslims and the banning is only for Muslims, nothing to do with the Hindus or those who profess other religions. It is still ok for the non-Muslims to do yoga. Islam does not prohibit them from doing so. So, I do not understand why the Hindus were upset with the fatwa to the extent that Samy Vellu wanted to meet the PM (this one must be politically motivated) and that Hindu Sangam said that the Majlis Fatwa should consult them before issuing the fatwa. http://www.hindusangam.org.my/news/index.php?id=105. Who are they at the first place to talk about the do’s and the don’t’s in Islam? To certain extent, the non-Muslims should refrain themselves from getting involve with any fatwa issued by Muslim scholars unless they become a Muslim. Otherwise, it is insensitive of Islam to make it haram for the Muslims to eat pork and to slaughter cows especially during Hari Raya Haji/Qurban. The fatwa here is not about not respecting other religion but about the do's and the don'ts in Islam.
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Not only the non-Muslims criticizing the fatwa, there are also some quarters of liberal thinking Muslims condemning the fatwa. It is a major problem when we fail to look everything and anything from Islamic point of view. If we were to look at everything with liberal mind set, don’t be surprise if one day the Islamic teaching will become “irrelevant” and “obsolete” to the people. That is why there are Muslims who are, not only that they do not appreciate the fatwa issued, they even condemn the said fatwa and in doing so, they did it worst that the non-Muslims did.
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In Islam, there are things that we can’t think of its rationale but we are obliged to follow. That is why Allah said in the Qur’an, “la tas’alu ‘an ash yaa’I in tubdalakum tasu’kum” which means “do not question something that if explained to you will add to your confusion (lead to many other questions)”. For example, why do Muslims have to fast during Ramadhan and not on other months? That alone is difficult for us to understand the rationale behind it and yet we have to do it because it is a divine revelation. So, in this yoga issue, while I am not saying that it is not something that we can’t debate, the issue has been deliberated by Muslims Scholars in the country. If at all we want to debate, we need to have in depth knowledge as to why we need a fatwa, how does fatwa arrived at, things and factors that need to be considered in issuing a fatwa. If we do not understand all these, it is not for us to debate. We may ask questions for clarification but not to debate it. Giving an example here, fatwa is issued only on issues that have no clear ruling in the Qur’an and Sunnah. But there are liberal thinking Muslims, in condemning the fatwa on yoga, said the Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan should issue fatwa on issues that are more important such as corruption. That alone shows their lack of understanding or ignorance about Islamic teaching as corruption is obviously prohibited (haram) in Islam. As the Prophet pbuh said, “ar raasyi wal murtasyi finnar” which means “the person who give bribe and the person who receive it, both will be in the hell”. As such, you don’t need fatwa on that!!!
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There are also a lot of Muslims who asked this question i.e. is our faith is too fragile that can be easily swayed by just doing yoga? My answer is simple. It may not directly swayed our faith and aqidah but slowly and indirectly it may. At first we just do yoga for the purpose of exercise. Yes, nothing wrong. But later when we feel that yoga can do this and can do that for us and started to believe in yoga, that may erode our faith and aqidah because in Islam it is Allah who determine the good and the bad for us. It is not yoga or any other things. And when we started to believe in yoga, we may tend to learn further about yoga and in doing so, we may end up doing the mantra and without us realizing it, we may have be “one with god (their god and not our God [Allah])”. So, why do not we prevent it from happen? After all, prevention is better than cure.

Another point is that why do we bother to compare our fatwa with that of other countries’? Does it mean that since other countries do not issue any fatwa banning yoga, we are prevented from doing so? It must be understood that in Islam, differences of opinion is allowed. So, it is ok for the Muslims scholars in Malaysia to think that yoga is haram in Malaysia though the scholars in other countries disagree with such opinion. The fact that other countries do not make such a ruling, it does not negate the effect of the fatwa issued in Malaysia. In Islam, we have four schools of thoughts i.e. Hambali, Maliki, Shafi’e and Hanafi. In Malaysia, we follow Shafi’e and does it mean that those who follow other school of thoughts are not Muslim? The answer is obviously “NO”. The Prophet pbuh said in his hadith, “khilaafu ummati rahmah” which means “the differences of opinion among my followers is a blessing”.
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For those who want to know more about fatwa, please click here http://www.e-fatwa.gov.my/

5 comments:

sham said...

Fatwa.. erm.. ramai yang tak faham FATWA .. tu apa/ macamana ?

masa keluar Fatwa Merokok Haram dulu pun gitu kak . Ramai yang cuba pertikai ...

now Fatwa untuk Yoga pulak. Aku baca satu statement salam paper( tak ingat mana) - ade satu Pensyarah U ni buat research pasal Yoga ni... n ..kajian ni yang dibentangkan pada majlis Fatwa... so .. ini bukan main2 ... MAjlis Fatwa ni punya decission ni dibuat untuk the best interest Muslim secara keseluruhannya .. now & future ...

Rozaimi Bin Mohd Said said...

this is basically what i understand on fatwa when i talked to ustaz suhaimi rebu...fatwa is a guideline issued by Muslim scholars and it is a matter of choice whether or not to follow the fatwa but if the fatwa is later made a law, the Muslims are obliged to follow. It is not a matter of choice for them anymore. So, in Malaysia context, the fatwa on yoga has not been gazzetted, thus had not become a law. And since Islam is a matter of each state;s administration, it is up to each state to accept the fatwa or otherwise.

sham said...

errmm U mean "the" Ustaz Suhaimi Rebu .. ?

dia dimana sekarang ..?

sham said...

tetapi Mufti Perlis ade pandangan berlainan dalam Fatwa ni ..

Dr Asri: Isu haram yoga, fatwa jangan kaku

Rozaimi Bin Mohd Said said...

Suhaimi Rebu and Jimi @ Nujaimi are now attached at Jabatan Mufti Johor...well, pasal Dr. Asri is having different opinion about the fatwa, as I said earlier, it is ok to have differences of opinion among the Muslim Scholars...again, fatwa is a ruling made on any issue with no clear guideline in the Qur'an and Sunnah, so of course there will be many views on the same subject matter...but those who do not understand fatwa will keep on quoting those scholars who are in disagreement with the fatwa on yoga