Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yoga and Quraan


The president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Albert Mohler, caused a stir with a recent column decrying the practice of yoga by Christians. Eleven Texans including Mike Ghouse responds to the Texas faith panel. http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/10/texas-faith-should-non-hindus.html

Here is Mike's take including a reference to the Muslim clerics in Malaysia whose stand was similar to Albert Mohler, followed by Muhammad Irtaza's references from Quraan on the subject.
Mohler can chill.

It is human to protect oneself from perceived threats to his or her way of life and Al Mohler’s take on Yoga is the classic case of deficiency in one’s faith.  When
Galileo supported the view that Sun was at the center of the universe, the church condemned it as false and contrary to scripture, thus he was forced to spend the rest of his life under house arrest. The discovery shook up the guardians of religion; it was like pulling the rug out from under their feet.  It was a loss of control rather than the perceived depletion of faith. 

Mohler seems to be threatened with the popularity of Yoga, a beautiful practice to bring composure to oneself. He is obsessed with the idea that Yoga is a bait to lure his congregation away into “a spiritual practice that threatens to transform their own spiritual lives into a `post-Christian, spiritually polyglot’ reality”, and then he asks, “Should any Christian willingly risk that?” How mistaken can one be? Yoga is not a mutually exclusive practice, nor is it a religion; it is indeed a catalyst in achieving the union of mind and body that is central to all spirituality.

A similar call was made in Malaysia a year ago, the Muslim clerics called Yoga was Hinduizing their faith and wanted to ban the practice of Yoga in their country, likewise, the radicals among Hindus routinely vandalize the stores that sell Valentines cards claiming that it is an invasion of their culture. The Middle Eastern nations ban display of religious symbols in public space for the fear that they may lose their flock. 

The power of faith is stronger than anything out there, even though it is an intangible possession; people have given up their lives but not their faith. Historic events like Masada, Inquisitions, Bilal, Guru Tej Bahadur and several other events of the world stand testimony to one’s commitment to faith. People should have the freedom to pursue happiness and spiritual fulfillment.  

The insecurity of self proclaimed guardians of faith is exhibited by their desire to keep a tighter leash on their followers without realizing that humans are born to be free, you cannot bind them through fatwas, but freedom. 
Should we stick to the earlier Christian belief that God gave the life and let’s not give medicine to the sick, because it has pagan or Muslim origins?

Throughout the history of mankind, men and women have sought methods and systems that can keep them from getting off the handle; that can ease them from tensions and bring peace of mind and tranquility to one. 

When you are scattered with too many things in a given moment, you take a break, have a cup of coffee, go for a walk, meditate or make a list. This act of refreshing oneself is called yoga, getting your act together, bringing your body and mind together to function well.

Yoga is neither Christian nor Hindu; it is a beautiful gift that originated in India for the benefit of mankind to function cohesively.  All individuals and nations should give and receive the good without labeling it.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker on Pluralism and Islam offering pluralistic solutions to the media and public on issues of the day. His blogs and sites are listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/ 


It is a great blessing from God that He committed in our service everything. The Quran does not exclude yoga from His blessings.  Yoga is one of Creator's wonderful creations. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that yoga can make us feel good!
[45:13] He committed in your service everything in the heavens and the earth; all from Him. These are proofs for people who reflect.

Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years.  Most Westernized yoga classes focus on learning physical poses, which are called asanas. They also usually include some form of breathing technique and possibly a meditation technique as well. Some yoga classes are designed purely for relaxation. But there are styles of yoga that teach us how to move our body in new ways. Choosing one of these styles offers the greatest health benefits by enabling us to develop our flexibility, strength, and balance

[16:18] If you count GOD's blessings, you cannot possibly encompass them. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

[5:87] O you who believe, do not prohibit good things that are made lawful by GOD, and do not aggress; GOD dislikes the aggressors.

[7:32] Say, "Who prohibited the nice things GOD has created for His creatures, and the good provisions?" Say, "Such provisions are to be enjoyed in this life by those who believe. Moreover, the good provisions will be exclusively theirs on the Day of Resurrection." We thus explain the revelations for people who know.

Thank you and may God guide me,
Muhammed Irtaza

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