Yoga sans the religious aspect if fine, said the Darul Uloom Deoband, an influential islamic body. The body also added that there is nothing wrong with any exercise done for health reasons.
Reacting to Indonesia's top Islamic body barring Muslims from practicing yoga, its spokesperson, Akeel Siddiqui, said that Islam does not prohibit anyone from practicing yoga or any other kind of physical exercise.
Advertisement"Why faith in yoga is being given the connotation of religion. The broad purpose of yoga is to make health. Islam has emphasized a lot on being healthy. Islam is a scientific religion. Be it Muslim prayers (Namaaz) or fasting (Roza) all involve exercises. Islam has always given priority to the these exercises;" said Siddiqui.
Indonesia's Ulema Council also known as MUI issued a 'fatwa' on Saturday asking Muslims to stop practicing yoga saying it included chanting of Hindu mantras.
Reports say MUI 'fatwa' is not legally binding on Muslims, yet Indonesians tend to defer to the rulings of the highest Islamic authority in the country for fear of committing a sin.
The MUI 'fatwa' on yoga was inspired by a Malaysian ruling in November last year banning Muslims from practising it.
Yoga is an ancient Indian discipline of exercise, diet and meditation which practiced by millions around the world.