Yoga should not be used as a political tool or linked to a particular community, top Muslim bodies said on Wednesday on the eve of International Day for Yoga.
The organisations also said that Yoga should be seen as form of exercise and not through the prism of religion.
“Islam lays special emphasis on physical fitness and considers things related to fitness as good. Yoga as an exercise is good, but it should not be made compulsory which may not be acceptable to people of other religions.
“The most important thing is that Yoga should not be used as a political tool. But, sadly this practice is going on,” said All India Muslim Personal Law Board spokesman Sajjad Nomani .
He also said that people of every religion and section of society should be encouraged to celebrate Yoga Day on Thursday.
“It is unfair to force upon someone any particular exercise. There should be no dispute vis-a-vis Yoga. People of every religion and section of the society should be encouraged to celebrate International Yoga Day.
“It is important that Yoga should be perceived as a rahmat (mercy) and not a ‘zahmat‘ (worry),” the spokesman said.
“Yoga should not be seen as something linked to a particular community. It is related to the body only. People who have the habit of seeing Yoga through the prism of religion, actually want to see humanity in a sick state of affairs,” AISPLB spokesperson Yasoob Abbas said.
He said several Islamic nations celebrate International Day for Yoga and people participate happily in events.
On Muslims generally having objections to chanting of mantras during different Yoga asanas, Abbas said, “There is no doubt that Muslims worship Allah alone. But, Islam is not that weak that it will break at the slightest instance and moreover, Yoga is not a God.”