Sunday, 23 November 2008

What next? Fatwa against thosai?

The National Fatwa Council has issued a fatwa that the ancient Hindu art of Yoga is off limits to Muslims. You can read Malaysiakini's article about it here. I must say that while this fatwa does not come as a surprise to me, I see it as something distasteful in multi-racial Malaysia. Of course, the fatwa is only binding on Muslims. I understand that. But whatever said and done, I am a Hindu. Yoga is part of my thousands-of-years-old tradition. So I am obviously irritated that a part of my tradition is being judged by someone else as being a threat to their religion.

Let's get a few things straight. First, Hinduism is one religion that you can't actually convert, per say, into. Hinduism is a way of life. It is a collection of rites and rituals, based on ancient wisdom and teachings. While you can always learn the religion, start going to temples and call yourself a Hindu convert, there are no rituals in particular to declare one 'a Hindu from this day forth', religiously speaking, that is.

Second, to the best of my knowledge, we Hindus never did any promotion campaign for yoga. We never marketed it to the world, neither do we actually profit from its worldwide popularity and interest these days. The non-Hindus are tho ones who learnt it, saw its health benefits (and market potential) and willingly accepted it as a form of exercise. No doubt, it is quite an industry nowadays, both abroad and right here in Malaysia. Of course it is linked with Hindu practices and worship. That's just the way Hinduism is. Religion and life is inseparable to a Hindu, much like how it is for a Muslim.  Our daily routine is intertwined with our religion. To what extent, is a matter of individual choice.

On a lighter note, I'd really like to see what else the fatwa boys will decide to ban after tomboys and yoga. Thosai perhaps? Most Hindu-owned restaurants have altars, you know! And they do a prayer before starting business for the day. Ban murukku perhaps? How about issuing a fatwa banning all Muslims from watching Bollywood movies? Datuk Shah Rukh Khan has played Hindu and Buddhist roles before, you know! After all, to quote the words of the National Fatwa council chairperson Dr Abdul Shukor Husin, "doing one thing could lead to another" and "it will ultimately lead to religious worshiping and chanting which is against Islam".


Anak Perelih said...

based on your argument given here... it's consistent with the Majlis Fatwa Declaration that Yoga (together with mantra)is Haram... But the 'exercise only' yoga is only discouraged...

mr.kehpeesee said...

@anak peralih

Based on Mr. Premnath's argument (which i very much agree), the FATWA should not only ban Yoga, but other things related to Indians and Hinduism as well. Your FATWA is making a mockery of both Hinduism and Islam, by 'choosing' the more convinient one to be made 'haram' for a muslims.

As mentioned, Hindu- Indian food outlets always perform morning prayers by chanting manthras, seeking blessings for the food that we get to eat. But i doubt Indian food will ever get banned, because at the end of the day, even ur FATWA officers crave for nutritious and affordable Indian food.

In fact Mr.Prem also has a point regarding Hindi movies. Since your people worship shah rukh khan, what about those Hindu roles tht he plays in Hindi blockbusters? Shouldn't tht 'influence' people like you? Coz, at the end of the day, even ur FATWA officers find Hindi movies something to die for. All fucking hypocrites.

tzul said...

Dear Mr. Premnath.

I am a Muslim. And I thank you for your interest in my religion.

1. To answer your question: I doubt if there should be a fatwa on thosai. Unless there are ingredients in thosai that are 'haram' for muslims.

2. The practice of Yoga by Muslims is not a threat to Islam (as you wrongly perceived). What the fatwa states is that 'the practice of Yoga - with regards to the chanting of mantras in the advance stages - is deemed 'a threat to the faith' of the Muslim who practises yoga. Two different understanding altogether.

3. The fatwa also states no concern on the conversion of Muslim Yoga-practioner to Hinduism. What it states is the concern on the erosion of the faith of the Muslim practising Yoga.

4. Hindu-Indian food outlets will continue to do brisk business, even among muslim customers. Islam does not prohibit Muslim eating food cooked by others practising a different faith. Unless, the food has been cooked expressly an as offering to the the gods (and the Muslim person is aware of that). That food we cannot eat.

5. The comment on Shah Rukh Khan is not worth commenting on, because the comments made were based on unfounded frustration, more than anything.

6. Some with see Islam as a very strict religion, and arguments may be made for that (especially by non-muslims). But in truth, the 'strict-ness' of Islam, far from being restrictive, is in fact very liberating.

Here is a link to a site maintained by Yusof Islam. Formerly, he was known as Cat Steven. He explains well issues on Islam raised especially by Non-Muslims who are curious about the religion.

mr.kehpeesee said...


pls la bro, i was showing some of my Arabic Muslim friends the news involving FATWA, and they were laughing their asses off.

Now even The Selangor state Fatwa Committee is distancing itsef from the whole hola-baloo, does tht mean Selangor Muslims are different from the rest? I dont think i can get answers from

Anak Perelih said...


I think the one who is a FUCKING HYPOCRITE is you!!!

Does eating at a hindu restaurant involve akidah???

On Shah Rukh Khan... does he a Malaysian eventhough he got that Datuk title??? I think Islamic scholars in India already made a ruling on this... just google about it....

On your Arabic Muslims... does you show the full statement of the Majlis Fatwa or just your version.... orare they laughing at you as the joker of the day??? hehehe

mr.kehpeesee said...

@ anak perelih

ok you've come up with some really dumbass replies to all the things ive said so far,nevermind, by the way, i showed the whole news as reported by NST, The Star and CNN to my Arabic friends, and yes they were laughing at the ARTICLE together with about few hundred millions of other readers as well. don't worry im not like your half past six Government which only reveals half truth and all lies, so you could bet tht they were laughing at the news.

Ok, so you've rebuted everything i said, EXCEPT for the last one, regarding the S'got Fatwa committee? Why dont you go ahead and throw in some dumbass comments about tht? huh wht is it? Cant? of course cant la you bloody moron, because its the truth ma! go and bury your head somewhere la!

tzul said...

Dear Mr. kehpeesee,

Thank you for responding to my comment above.

1. To correct a common misconception, Arab Muslims do not represent the final words on Islam.

2. You need not 'go far' to the Arab world to get laughters on the matter. You can find Muslims laughing here in Malaysia itself. Or at least, shaking their heads. Because, as many level-headed commenters (at other sites) have stated, there are many other pressing matters concerning the eroding Muslim akidah, than the practise of yoga by Muslims. And on this, you will find agreement among learned (ulama) Muslims.

3. You should not dismiss off-hand the site I gave in my earlier comment. Dismissing it of-hand would only show that you are not interested in constructive discourse, but merely putting down comments based on prejudiced (and unfounded) emotions.

Your earlier two comments bear witness to that.

4. Was the issue of the fatwa handled well by the relevant authorities? My answer is, it could have been handled better. But that is a different matter altogether.

Check the site. At the very least, it may answer concerns you may have about Islam.