Government releases book on ‘Yoga and Islam’
Yoshika Sangal | June 18, 2015 | New Delhi
Amid controversies and campaign against yoga in the Muslim community, the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), a wing of RSS, has come out with a 32-page booklet ‘Yoga and Islam’.
Minister of state for AYUSH, Shripad Naik, launched the book on Wednesday in New Delhi. The book has been compiled by Imran Chaudhary and Abhijeet Singh.
Mohammad Afzal, the national convener of the MRM, answered questions regarding the recent opposition of the Muslim organisation to perform the Surya Namaskar, claiming it to violate the monotheistic nature of Islam.
“Allah praises the sun for the benefits that it gives mankind, and saluting the sun for giving us warmth and light is pivotal. On the other hand, regarding the sun as the God that we worship is completely unacceptable.”
“Namaz is a form of yoga which involves yogic postures. The words Islam and yoga are synonyms of each other. There is no difference between these two terms. The difference is only in the language and how people express it. If Hindus say ‘yoga’ and Muslims say ‘namaz’, it conveys the same thing,” he added.
Naik said, “It is an extraordinary effort made by the state in order to remove existing misunderstandings and this book justly represents the relationship between yoga and Islam.”
The booklet contains 12 chapters that regard yoga as non-religious. It states that yoga is not related to Islam, Sikhism, Jainism, Hinduism etc. and that yoga is a paramount for the attainment of truth. The book also claims that Prophet Mohammad was a “great yogi”.
“Regarding yoga as anti-Islamic is misleading, because if you closely look at the body postures in the Naaz, then including ‘vrajasana, eight other yogic positions are a part of it,” Naik added.
MRM is promoting yoga in schools, and is allocating a separate period for yoga lessons. The book originally written in Hindi will be soon translated in English and Urdu and will be distributed in all the cities within a few days.
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