Putrajaya (Malaysia), Nov 19 : The Malaysian Government's Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) has said that the National Fatwa Council will come out with a ruling on yoga exercise this week.
Director-general Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz, Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim), remained tight-lipped when asked if the fatwa would ban Muslims from taking up yoga.
However, he said, the council and Jakim would not hesitate to issue a fatwa or rulings to ensure Muslims do not deviate from the teachings of Islam.
"Just like the ruling we issued recently on tomboyish behaviour, our decision on yoga has to be made to preserve the faith of Muslims," The NST Online quoted Wan Mohamad, as saying.
Council chairman Professor Abdul Syukor Husin yesterday said they had finalised the ruling on yoga exercise.
"The draft was ready last week but I still have to analyse it. Let Jakim fix a suitable date and time to announce it."
It is understood that the ruling was agreed upon after an in-depth study lasting more than six months. The matter was referred to the council at least three times.
Recently, Professor Zakaria Stapa, of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's Islamic Studies Centre, advised Muslims who had taken up yoga to stop practising it as it could cause them to deviate from their beliefs.
Yoga, which is related to health, has been practised since 3,300BC and is said to help slow down ageing, reduce risk of diabetes, asthma and heart-related diseases.