KUCHING, 9 Dec 2008: Sarawak has ruled that yoga is “haram” (forbidden) for Muslims in the state in line with the fatwa (edict) issued by the National Fatwa Council on yoga exercise last month.
Assistant Minister (Islamic Affairs) in the Chief Minister’s Office, Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman, said the decision on the fatwa was made by the State Fatwa Council which met last week to discuss the matter and it agreed to accept and gazette the fatwa.
“The State Attorney’s Office is in the process of gazetting the fatwa,” he told reporters after the distribution of sacrificed meat in conjunction with Aidil Adha, at Taman Heng Guan, here, today.
Though he could not ascertain when the fatwa would be implemented, Daud said it was up to Muslims in the state to adhere to the fatwa or continue doing yoga exercise.
He said no legal action would be taken against Muslims who continued to do yoga.
“However, Muslims are advised to do other forms of physical activity, which are many, to keep fit and healthy.”
On the effects of the fatwa on the owners of yoga centres in Sarawak, Daud said it depended on their own initiative whether to adapt the yoga exercise to their own religious belief.
Besides Sarawak, Malacca has also agreed to implement the fatwa while the other states like Penang, Kedah, Terengganu, Perak and Selangor were reported to be discussing whether to apply the fatwa.
The National Fatwa Council had on 22 Nov announced the fatwa and asked Muslims not to practise yoga as it involves worship and chanting of mantras.
Its chairperson Prof Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Husin was reported to have said that the National Consultative Council decided that the practice contained such elements which were forbidden for Muslims as they were against Islamic teachings. — Bernama