Yoga an Exercise or Worship?

“Mama some ladies are on the door, they need to talk to you,” my son called me.

They were two middle-aged ladies. After greeting, they handed me a book and asked me do I pray. I said yes, we pray five times a day. They further asked me about names of God. I said yes there are 99 names of Allah. There is only one God Allah. I said in response to some of their comments. These were some Hindu Missionaries trying to persuade their belief of God as a Father. This non-Profit organization was inviting for Yoga, which is an exercise during which some names are practiced for self-contentment and relief from worldly worries. The conversation started when it was emphasized to convince God is like a father.

Me: God is only one and He is the Creator of all creatures. He is not son or father of anyone as some sets consider Isa (alahi salam) as a son of God.

Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was. (Surah Al-Imran: 59)

So do not assert similarities to Allah. Indeed, Allah knows and you do not know. (Surah An-Nahl: 74)

Missionary: Oh yes that’s not right considering someone son of God but God is like Father. Me: God is only one. He is the Creator of all creature, He is not son or father of anyone and for Allah is the highest attribute. And He is Exalted in Might, the Wise [1]

Missionary: Yes, this is true that He has no son but He is the Father of all creatures.

Me: Ok see this is my daughter (I pointed to my 6-year-old daughter standing beside me). I eat and she as well. I sleep and she needs to sleep too. She is like me. Kids are like their parents. God does not need anyone for support. He is independent. He does not eat or sleep as we do.

Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. (Surah Al-Baqara-255)

Missionary: Yes but we do have minute characteristics like God.

Me: Yes that’s right. For example one of the names of God is Ar-Raheem. He is most Merciful. He placed mercy in our hearts too. He is all giving Al-Wahhab. We humans do have these attributes too.

There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.

(Surah Al-Shu’ra: 11)

Missionary: Still he is like a father. I don’t have parents (One of them said). He is like the father for me. I rely on him for everything.

Me: That’s right, He takes care of us. He provides us but He doesn’t like to be named as the father. We are humans only His creatures. Let’s see this example if there is some celebrity, he has a sweeper, would he like to be related with his sweeper.

Allah presents an example: a slave [who is] owned and unable to do a thing and he to whom We have provided from Us good provision, so he spends from it secretly and publicly. Can they be equal? Praise to Allah ! But most of them do not know. (Surah An-Nahal: 76)

Missionary: (with some uncertainty)…we are only humans, we are like that but God is more than that. (A bit hesitation in saying) but we have some attributes of God. (The other lady said).

Me: If I make a car or Vase, I am the maker of that car. How can I be similar like my manufacture? God made Adam the father of all humans from dust. First, He made his structure then he blew his “spirit “ in that structure.

Who perfected everything which He created and began the creation of man from clay. Then He made his posterity out of the extract of a liquid disdained. Then He proportioned him and breathed into him from His [created] soul and made for you hearing and vision and hearts; little are you grateful.

(Surah As-Sajda: 7-9)

Missionary: So see He blew his spirit in humans…(smiling)

Me: Yes but that was to honor humans. Think about fish. It means Fish has a father too… Missionary: No answer, (but surprised expression)!!

Me: God loves his creature. He provides his creature but He does not like to be associated with His creation such as to be called as He has a son or to be called as a father. If people call Him father out of love, it’s against respect. This allowed people to add others to him. If you Google and see the translation of Chapter Al-Ikhlas of Quran.It explains how God is only one and has not born or nor given birth to anyone.

Missionary: Yes I will do. We are a non-profit organization. We also take in-kind donations for shelter homes. Would you like to give something?

Me: For now I have lots of Apples at home. Would you like to take apples…(I smiled) Missionary: Yes sure.

I gave them a bag of Apple.

Missionary: Oh they are a lot, are you sure (said with bliss and surprise)

Me: Yes of course (smile)

Missionary: Oh thanks a lot. I can’t resist myself giving you another book. What is your good name? (She said in very delight manner and handed me book).

Me: I took the book and said thanks. I also invited them to come in for tea. But they wanted to go to next door.

Our conversation ended up opening a broader understanding of Islam. Things become even more vibrant when paralleled with reverse. It seemed as a message was conveyed and will sure set in hearts because Truth has its own distinctive light. Once it lits up, it illuminates the surrounding at Once.

If some sets consider eccentric names as the name of God and exercise those names and invite others as well. We must aware, Allah SWT has beautiful names. He himself encourages us to call upon him with these names.

And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave [the company of] those who practice deviation concerning His names. They will be recompensed for what they have been doing.

(Surah Nuh: 180)

There are now literally tens of forms of yoga, which range from the overtly religious/ spiritual to the entirely secular (only physical exercises, no intoning of Sanskrit chants and such). The most common form is physical, where the focus is on breathing patterns, flexibility, and general health.

In this case, Yoga is placed under the category of mu’aamalaat (general actions) rather than that of ‘ebaadah (worship). Thus, the principle of everything is permissible until proven otherwise kicks into play.

If someone invites to Yoga for spiritual enhancement, be cautious if they are saying some peculiar names during this exercise. They consider these strange names as names of God and consider them as a source of inner tranquility and harmony.
Quran is a marvelous book of Allah SWT. This Book is a source of guidance and light to lighten up our trails in this world. We must have this supplication in our routine to shield our faith from deceptions and illusions.

اللهم ارنا الحق حقاً وارزقنا اتباعه وارنا الباطل باطلا وارزقنا اجتنابه

Allahumma arinal haqqa haqqaw warzuqnat tiba’ah, wa arinal batila batilaw warzuqnaj tinabah

O Allah! show us the truth as true, and inspire us to follow it. Show us falsehood as falsehood, and inspire us to abstain from it.


Written by Binte Abdul Waheed

Source: Quran 

[1] Al-Quran (Surah An-Nahl: 60)

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2 thoughts on “Yoga an Exercise or Worship?

  1. Very impressive and explained in a beautiful way that even kids will be able to comprehend.
    The topic selection is very good and many of us don’t know that yoga could be Inislamic.

    Like

    • JazakAllah khairun kaseera Sr. Ayesha, your response is highly appreciated. If you find it useful, kindly please spread the word. May Allah SWT keep us all on right path Ameen.

      Like

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