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JAIP director withdraws statement on yoga ban

IPOH, 24 Nov 2008: Perak Islamic Religious Department (Jaip) director  Datuk Jamry Sury today withdrew his statement to The Star yesterday that Perak would adopt the fatwa (edict) issued by the National Fatwa Council to ban Muslims from practising yoga.

He said as Jaip director, it was beyond his jurisdiction and discretion to make a stand on a religious matter which was the prerogative of the Sultan of Perak.

“The fatwa (on yoga) cannot be adopted in Perak yet as it has not been discussed by the State Fatwa Committee and brought to the attention of the State Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council before being presented to the Perak Sultan for consent,” he told Bernama here today.

The Star newspaper today carried Jamry’s statement that Perak would abide by the fatwa on yoga issued by the National Fatwa Council.

Jamry, who is also the secretary of the Perak Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council, was also reported as saying that a meeting would be held on 9 Dec before a public announcement would be made on the matter.

The National Fatwa Council had on 22 Nov issued a fatwa declaring yoga as “haram” (forbidden) for Muslims as it contains elements of Hinduism.

Council chairperson Prof Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Husin was reported as saying that the National Consultative Council had also agreed that any practice containing such elements were forbidden in Islam.

“There are three things that can erode a Muslim’s aqidah (religious faith), namely conviction, words and deeds. As these elements are found in the practice of yoga, Muslims must protect their religious belief from being eroded.

“I would like to advise Muslims to stop practising yoga and choose other activities like cycling, praying and zikir (chanting) for physical well-being and peace of mind,” he had said. — Bernama


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