Yoga Day: Beware Believers

Yoga Day: Beware Muslims

The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم) said: “Shirk among you will be more subtle than the footsteps of an ant.” [Ahmed Vol.4 Pg.403]

Below is a summarised transcript of a lecture delivered by one of the foremost mufakkireen (thinkers) of Islam in our era, Hazrat Maulana Khalilur Rahman Sajjad Nomani (May Allah preserve him) concerning Yoga Day:

“The past days the topic of Yoga is one that is on the tongues of all the people. I wish to speak very frankly on this topic to my Muslim and Non-Muslim brothers and sisters and the Government.

To my Muslim brothers, sisters, sons and daughters I will like to say that the Kalimah (لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله) that you have read has two parts. From the first part you have understood and believed in the most important truth of the universe, that other than Allah there is no being or deity that can be worshipped. This tawheed and oneness of Allah was taught by all the Prophets of Allah from the beggining on mankind. However, there is no comparison to the manner in which the Quran Majeed and the Final Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (صلي الله عليه و سلم) explained tawheed and closed every single door and window from which shirk could have seeped through.

Here I would like to mention a few examples.

  1. The day the son of the Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم), Ibrahim (رضي الله عنه) passed away, there was also a solar eclipse. Due to a false belief that was prevalent in the times of ignorance, this notion that the solar eclipse occurred due to the calamity that had befallen the household of Muhammad started to spread amongst the pagans. Immediately the Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم) rejected this false belief in clear words. He said: “The sun and the moon are two of the signs of Allah. They do not eclipse because of the death or the life (i.e. birth) of someone.” [Bukhari #1046]

The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم) could have used this opportunity in his favour when the Non-Muslims started to revere him due to this false belief. This could have been an easy way of pulling them towards his message of the truth. However the Messenger (صلي الله عليه و سلم) was always oppose to reaching the correct destination through the wrong way. (The ends do not justify the means.) He did not tolerate the thought that people believe in his high status, which would take them to shirk and thereafter to tawheed. In no circumstance was he ready for this.

[So the Messenger uprooted this false belief of shirk even though he could have used it to his advantage.]

  1. In Salatul Janazah the corpse is placed in front of the Imam but there is no ruku or sajdah in the Janazah prayer. The wisdom behind this is so no Non-Muslim onlooker gets the impression that we are worshipping the dead. Otherwise, there could have been a ruku and sajdah in Janazah and the Muslims could have been instructed to intend Allah’s reverence in them. However, this was not prescribed, because the issue of tawheed and shirk is very delicate and there is no room for any sort of risk.
  2. This third example is clear for us to take a lesson on the issue under discussion (yoga). The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم) has in many ahadith and on many occasions prohibited performing salah at the times of sunrise and sunset. [Bukhari, Book 9, Chapter 31] He has even prohibited us from burying the dead at these times. [Muslim, Book 6 Chapter 51] The reasons salah was prohibited at these times is due to the fact that there are Non-Muslims who revere the sun and they worship it at these times in their own mode of worship.

It is an issue to ponder over. When a Muslim stands to perform salah for Allah, there is nowhere in any corner of his head that he intends the worship of the sun, moon or anything other than Allah. Yet, why was this command given so harshly? The crux of the matter is that the Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم) simply did not want to protect the ummah from shirk but he also wanted to save them from the slightest doubt of shirk. Rather he has also taken into consideration that Non-Muslims onlookers do not get the false impression that Muslims also commit shirk.

I will also say this clearly to my Muslim brothers and sisters that by the second part of the kalimah you have made a solemn oath that you will obey all the commands of the Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم) and you will never disobey any of his instructions.

In the following days your test is being taken. You will have to prove that you have understood the kalimah and believed in it and that you will never turn away from its dictates. You have to understand that for over a century now there are people who are trying their best to snatch from you, your Deen, your Shari’ah and your way of life. They are making shirk beloved and familiar to your children in schools, colleges and universities. Rather, they are teaching these false beliefs and are exerting all efforts in indoctrinating them with this falsehood. Those children of yours who are educated but are practicing their Deen, these people are branding them as terrorist and throwing them into jails or causing them a lot of trouble. They are threatening you with expulsion from your country. These are the same people that seem unease in making all the people of their country and especially Muslims do yoga. Do you feel that this uneasiness is because they are worried about your health?

The dictates of the kalimah taiyyibah and that of tawheed and risalah is that you should never ever practice yoga. Do not increase the courage of these people who want to snatch imaan from you by participating in yoga.

It is being said the yoga is simply an exercise. It has no connection with any aqidah, creed, religion or civilization. It is sad that such a lie is being told, shamelessly, by those who know without a shadow of a doubt that yoga is purely a creedal discipline of the Hindus and an act of worship of the Buddhist. It is another issue that some acts of worship may have some bodily benefits. In front of me I have some of the most reliable literature on yoga. [The Shaikh names five books.] After reading these books it has become clear, without a shadow of a doubt, that yoga is an important part of Hinduism and Buddhism. It is not simply an exercise, it is not simply an exercise, rather it is an act of worship.

Do you think that those people who are trying to make the whole country (and World, by ‘Yoga Day’) practice yoga are concerned about your health, or do they have another motive? I do not believe that any sane person can think that these people who are at the forefront of this endeavor have any good motives. Can these people who say, those who do not want to practice yoga should be thrown into the ocean, be your well-wishers? However, I am more hurt by those so called Muslims who are advising the Muslims not to fall into any doubt and encouraging them to practice yoga. The most lenient statement that can be said about such Muslims is that they are ignorant of the reality of yoga and that they do not understand the sinister motives of the government. The best thing for these brothers it that they should make a concerted effort in increasing their knowledge and imaan.”

Thereafter the Shaikh addresses the Non-Muslims and the Government.

Shirk is the worst sin. Allah will never forgive the person that dies as a mushrik.

Some argue that they do not have the intention of worship rather they are simply going through the motion and doing the actions. They should know that even certain actions are considered kufr and shirk. Below are a few examples:

1. To postrate to an idol is shirk.

2. To throw a Quran in the dump is kufr.

3. To curse the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).

At the least, the exercise will still be emulating shirk and Hindu acts of worship. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “He who copies any people is one of them.” [Abu Dawud #4031] And Allah knows best.

May Allah protect us from shirk in all its forms, and may He take us from this World with Imaan.

اللهم إنا نعوذ بك من أن نشرك بك شيئاً نعلمه، ونستغفره لما لا نعلم

O Allah we seek refuge in You from committing shirk knowingly, and we seek Your forgiveness for what we do not know. [Ahmed Vol.4 Pg.403]

Author: Ibn Suleman

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