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Stay away from yoga camps: Cut off your nose to spite your neighbour’s faith!

By Maulana Nadeem-ul-Wajidee

Translated from Urdu by Syed Raihan Ahmad Nezami


“Yoga is not prohibited.”

The news is published in the newspapers with the reference to some of the renowned Islamic scholars.


In the opinion of the Maulana Waheedud-Deen Khan, “only the positive side of anything should be considered, not the negative side-that is against the spirit of Islam”.


According to him, “The survival of life is based on the realities and truth, ignoring its life cannot be led successfully. Yoga is an exercise so it should be considered with this point of view.”  As it is his habit, he has transferred this trifling matter into a philosophy. How can one believe that Yoga is such a great necessity and reality of life that the existence of life is not possible without it?


As far as this opinion of Maulana Waheedud-Deen Khan is concerned-that the positive points of anything should be considered, not the negative side, this theory cannot be applied to everything. On certain occasions, in certain things, the negative side is more important and so the positive side is ignored.


For example, in Islam, alcohol and gambling are banned on the basis of its negative effects notwithstanding the positive side of its benefit and profits.


I do accept that yoga is a kind of exercise and many physical disabilities and diseases can be cured by the function of right breathing, rhythmic physical movements and by meditation. Unfortunately, in recent times, it is being associated as a symbol of a particular religion. The way some of the communal organizations have introduced yoga in recent years and the way it is being propagated by the “Aastha” channel for the global recognition, forces us to feel that it is being publicized as an integral part of the life of a particular religion.


Baba Ramdev, who is travelling far and wide for the attainment of this purpose, is busy with full zeal and energy in the publicity of his religion as well, though he imparts yoga lessons as well. One can watch his programme on the “Aastha” channel where he keeps on reciting the “shlokas” of the Hindu scriptures and talking about the Hindu gods and goddesses and makes the audience repeat the word “Om” time and again during his endless long speeches.


Actually, by laying emphasis on the word “Om”, he wants the audience to believe that the effectiveness in the physical exercises and meditation comes from the recitation of this word from Hindu scripture. If he is a genuine well-wisher of the nation and wants his countrymen to lead a healthy life without any discrimination of caste, creed and religion, he should not use his yoga camps for the propaganda and publicity of his religion and stop this absurd activity immediately.


He looks more like a representative and mouth-piece of the Hindu religion and less a scholar of Ved Shashtra – that is quite clear from the vast support he is obtaining from the fundamentalist and communal outfits like the RSS. Quite often he looks like a fanatic sycophant and mentally sick person.


His poisonous feelings and ugly design were obviously exposed when he attended the final of a musical reality show as a judge – where his speech based on the denouncement of terrorism spoiled the fun of the whole show of the entertaining programme. Not contented with this he went to deplore and condemn terrorism by naming Muslims and Islam. After this, no one should have any doubt and dare to call him a well-wisher of the nation and the community that he always propagates himself to be and is being labelled also by some filthy minds.


The yoga camps organized by Baba Ramdev are being used for the publicity of the medicines being produced in his pharmacy that’s why he talks less about the physical training and mental peace and more about his products. Apparently he claims that pure herbs are used in the medicines but this far from the reality.


In 2005, a bitter incident took place when about 1500 employees of his pharmacy were dismissed. A great hue and cry was raised by the communist leader Brinda Karat. Later, she went to Haridwar for the talks with the authorities and came to know from the dismissed employees that they were dismissed as they had opposed to mix the powder of human and animal limbs in the medicines. This accusation was found correct when Brinda Karat got the samples of the medicines examined.


The central minister A. Ramadoss had also mentioned in an interview at that occasion, “The sign of human and animal bones and limbs are found in the samples of the medicines examined.”


In this connection, the famous Ayurveda scholar Dr. R .P. Prashar says, “In Ayurvedic literature, some medicines are mentioned in which the powder of the human and animal bones and limbs are used. So, Ayurveda should not be considered as limited to the herbs only”.


Can it be believed that the body parts of the “Halal” animals only are being mixed in the medicines produced in the pharmacy of Babaji?


As an assumption, in case, the body parts of “Halal” animals alone are used even then, what is the guarantee that the animals are sacrificed in the proper Islamic way? In the light of the facts given, can the Muslims be given full liberty to use such doubtful medicines?


In my opinion, the Muslims should not be allowed to participate in the yoga camps of Baba Ramdev and use the medicines being produced in his pharmacy. The participation is the yoga camp may be good for the physical fitness and charm but its negative side-effects on the Faith can’t be ignored.


Generally, the people, who are unaware of the Islamic teachings about health and fitness, are inclined towards yoga. Harqul, the Emperor of Rome, had sent an expert doctor/physician to the prophet Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) so that he should stay in Medina Monawwarah to treat the ailing people. It is narrated in the history books, the doctor stayed there for a month but not a single patient contacted him. Ultimately, in distress, he appeared before the prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) and said, “O, Messenger of the Almighty Allah Kareem, what is the reason that the people of Medina Monawwarah don’t fall sick so they don’t need a doctor?


Obviously, for the perfect physical growth and the attainment of complete physical fitness, the things or the actions which were taught to the Sahaba Karam (May the Almighty Allah Kareem be Agreed with them) during their spiritual training and Islamic learning are responsible for it. After the infinite treasure of “Eman” the healthy body is the greatest gift “Ne’mat” of the Almighty Allah Kareem to the people.


According to a “Rewayat” the prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) asserted:

“The one among you who greeted the dawn of the day with his family and children in peace, his body is in perfect condition, if he has the food for the day also, the entire world is gathered for him”.

(Saheeh Muslim Part-4 Page 252, Al-Hadeeth 2664, printed in Beirut)


According to another Hadeeth Shareef, “The stronger Muslim (Momin) is better than the weak Muslim (Momin) and is more favourite near the Almighty Allah Kareem, and the welfare is in everything”.

(Saheeh Bukhari, Parat-7, Page 218, Hadeeth 6412)


According to one more Hadeeth Shareef, “Two gifts of the Almighty Allah Kareem are such as many people are ignorant to them i.e. “Health and Leisure”.

(Saheeh Bukhari, Parat-7, Page 218, Hadeeth 6412)


With the above-mentioned Ahadeeth Shareef, it is crystal clear that health is a great gift and the precious “Ne’mat” of the Almighty Allah Kareem for the people of the world. So the people must safe-guard it.


The prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace be upon Him), the messenger of the Almighty Allah Kareem not only enlightened the souls of the Sahaba-e-Karam (May the Almighty Allah Kareem be Agreed with them) with the Islamic teachings, spiritual and worldly learning but also, He (Peace be upon Him) cared a lot for the physical training and fitness efforts. For the attainment of the same, He (Peace be upon Him) ordered the five practices being given below.


Complete and balanced diet

Physical cleanliness and purity

Physical exercise

Preventive measures

Use of medicines in illness


A man can be perfectly healthy and fit if he leads his life in the light of above teachings of the prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace be upon Him), these were the hidden secrets adopted by the Sahaba-e-Karam (May the Almighty Allah Kareem be Agreed with them) which helped them to maintain their perfect health and peace of mind throughout their lives so they (May the Almighty Allah Kareem be Agreed with them) rarely needed a doctor. That’s why the doctor was ultimately forced to return from Medina Monawwarah dejected and depressed after a patient wait for the sick people for a month.


Now, it’s a bare truth, if the Muslims follow the Islamic rules to maintain their good health, there is no question that they need to visit Baba Ramdev’s yoga camps  and accept his discipleship.


It doesn’t mean that yoga exercises are against Islam, absolutely not, but the ways and means adopted by Baba Ramdev for the physical exercise are, of course, against Islam.


The Muslims must abstain from it as the Faith cannot be endangered for the sake of physical fitness. After all, the protection of Faith is more important than the health and the physical beauty.

Courtesy: Hamara Samaj, 14-1-2009

Translated from Urdu by Syed Raihan Ahmad Nezami