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Chrysalis
 
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 22 July 2010 at 3:33am
Originally posted by Divya_Mohammed

Assalam Alaikum
 
From childhood, I have been practising Hindu Yoga excercises. Even after my marriage, I have been rgularly practising Yoga poses and meditation with immense benefits.
Recently, one of my husband's relatives came home and told me that yoga is a Hindu practise and is haram in Islam. She advised us not to do yoga from now on.


Wa'alaikum salaam dear Sis,

While I agree with Bro Faisal, that in Islam we are encouraged to think for ourselves and research, and any person has a right to knowledge and research, one should still be careful.

In some matters it is better to take a scholarly opinion. Sometimes there aspects in Islam that can become Makruh, Halal or Haram depending on our circumstances, situation, environment etc.

For example, if you live in a multi-religious environment with Hindus who practise Yoga as an act of worship - then if you too are practicing Yoga along with them, it may be perceived as an act of worship. If Muslims continue to do so, there can be a time when Yoga becomes assimilated in Muslim culture and become an act of innovation i.e. bid'aah. So we have to use Hikmah (wisdom) when it comes to such matters.

So sometimes you have to look at the opinion of the majority of your local scholars. For example, in Malaysia - the Islamic Scholars issued a Fatwa that Yoga is haram. Perhaps they were thinking on the same lines as I explained above, i.e. to prevent it from becoming an innovation in religion.

"The National Fatwa council has declared that the yoga practice which involves three elements of physical movements, worshipping and chanting as haram (prohibited) in Islam.

Its chairman Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Husin said although merely doing the physical movements of yoga minus the worshipping and chanting might not be wrong in the eyes of the religion, it should be avoided as “doing one would lead to another

Because of this, we believe that it is inappropriate for Muslims to do yoga and the council has declared that practising yoga when it comes all together with the three elements as haram".

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?sec=nation&file=/2008/11/22/nation/20081122111842

So if I were living in Malaysia - I would have to follow the Fatwa, and listen to the opinion of my local scholars (as long as it was an agreed-upon majority, and based it upon Islamic sources). On the other hand, if you look at the above Fatwa, it says that just the physical movements would be okay - but the chanting part should be avoided, even if you are saying "Allah Akbar". Just treat it as a normal exercise, don't try to introduce religion into it. 

This is why you should perhaps look at what the majority of the scholars in your region say. If you cannot identify a clear, consistent opinion - then choose an opinion with which your heart agrees.

I looked this issue up on www.islamonline.net , I find this site very useful and they list Islamic sources when backing up Fatwas. If you ever need information on any other issue, I would recommend you search this site:

"If yoga, or any other sport, contains religious elements and rituals that are peculiar to other faiths, it will be disallowed for a Muslim to practice."

You can read the entire fatwa here:

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar%2FFatwaE%2FFatwaEAskTheScholar&cid=1227019231779

Having said that - we as Muslims have faith that Allah puts both worldly as well as spiritual good in all Islamic rituals. The Islamic prayer i.e. Salaah is physically beneficial as well. You could increase your Prayer/Salaah and gain bot the exercise as well as sawaab during your pregnancy ! Smile


"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Chrysalis
 
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 22 July 2010 at 3:56am
Here is a good article regarding Yoga, exercise and pregnancy, unfortunately I am not able to copy-paste the article, Hope you find it helpful inshAllah !

"The Yoga of Islamic Prayer" By Karima Burns


Called “one of the oldest systems of personal development encompassing body, mind and spirit” by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, yoga has become one of the fastest growing health trends today. It has been renowned for centuries for its curative powers of movement.

Yoga consists of a number of “asnas,” or body positions, which one retains for a desired length of time while either reciting “mantras” or breathing in a rhythmic manner. Its benefits have been researched by many doctors who now recommend it to their patients, by many medical schools such as Harvard, and by many foundations such as the Menninger Foundation.

n fact, yoga has become so popular that secretaries have developed a simplified sitting version that they can do at their desks. The elderly, pregnant women and athletes also have their own versions.

Interestingly, for the millions of people enrolled in yoga classes, the Islamic form of prayer has provided Muslims for fourteen centuries with some of yoga’s same (and even superior) benefits. This simple form of “yoga” offers physical, mental, and spiritual benefits five times a day as Muslims assume certain positions while reciting Qur’an and athkar (remembrances).

Of course, not all the yoga positions are found in the Islamic prayer. However, hospital researchers have concluded that patients benefit from even a simplified version of yoga, and most hospital yoga programs, such as those at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center in Massachusetts, consist of only five to seven positions.

The Muslim prayer has five positions, and they all (as well as the recitations we make while performing the prayer) have a corresponding relationship with our spiritual and mental well being, according to modern scientific research. The benefits of performing specific movements and recitations each day come from the correct rendition of the position or action itself, the length of time the position is held, and from careful and correct recitation techniques.

Each of the five prayer positions has a corresponding yoga position, and the positions together “activate” all seven “chakras” (energy fields) in the body. The idea of activating a chakra may sound linguistically strange, but it is easier to understand once one translates that word into more familiar language.

Eastern healers believe that each of the chakras correlate to major nerve ganglia that branch forth from the spinal column. Thus, the concept of activating these nerve centers is akin to getting a chiropractic adjustment or installing a medical stimulating device on the spine to correct corresponding bodily malfunctions.

In layman’s terms, the idea of chakras can be understood by thinking about how the sense of “feeling” functions. One notices, when touching any part of the body, that that part responds by being more “awake” and aware. Another part of the body that was not touched, but is along the same nerve pathway, may also respond.

When a person is sitting, for instance, they may not be thinking about their legs, which are momentarily at rest; however, if someone touches them, they will again be “aware” of them. Chakras work in much the same way.

Studies have found that varying areas of the body, when activated by touch, movement or thought, evoke specific emotional and physical responses in much the same way that a smile can evoke the feeling of happiness, and actually increase circulation – even if one was feeling sluggish and unhappy before smiling. This is one of the reasons that it is so important to perfectly perform all of the movements of the Islamic prayer, rather than haphazardly rushing through them.

The Takbir and Al Qiyyam together are very similar to the Mountain Pose in yoga, which has been found to improve posture, balance, and self-awareness. This position also normalizes blood pressure and breathing, thus providing many benefits to asthma and heart patients.

The placement of the hands on the chest during the Qiyyam position are said to activate the solar plexus “chakra,” or nerve pathway, which directs our awareness of self in the world and controls the health of the muscular system, skin, intestines, liver, pancreas, gallbladder and eyes. When the hands are held open for du’a, they activate the heart “chakra,” said to be the center of the feelings of love, harmony, and peace, and to control love and compassion. It also governs the health of the heart, lungs, thymus, immune system, and circulatory system.

Muslim researchers have shown that when Muslims recite the Qur’an, old thoughts, feelings, fears and guilt are released or healed, and blood pressure and stress levels are reduced. Virtually all of the sounds of the Arabic language are uttered while reciting Qur’an, creating a balance in all affected areas of the body.

Some specific sounds, in fact, correspond to major organs in the body. In his research and creation of eurhythmy, Rudolph Steiner (founder of the Waldorf Schools), , found that vibrations made when pronouncing the long vowels, 'A', 'E' and 'U,' stimulated the heart, lungs, and the thyroid, pineal, pituitary, and adrenal glands during laboratory tests.

The position of Ruku is very similar to the Forward Bend Position in yoga. Ruku stretches the muscles of the lower back, thighs, legs and calves, and allows blood to be pumped down into the upper torso. It tones the muscles of the stomach, abdomen, and kidneys. Forming a right angle allows the stomach muscles to develop, and prevents flabbiness in the mid-section.

This position also promotes a greater flow of blood into the upper regions of body – particularly to the head, eyes, ears, nose, brain, and lungs – allowing mental toxins to be released. Over time, this improves brain function and ones personality, and is an excellent stance to maintain the proper position of the fetus in pregnant women.

The Sujud is said to activate the “crown chakra,” which is related to a person’s spiritual connection with the universe around them and their enthusiasm for spiritual pursuits. This nerve pathway is also correlated to the health of the brain, nervous system, and pineal gland. Its healthy function balances ones interior and exterior energies.

In Sujud, we also bend; thus activating the “base chakra,” which controls basic human survival instincts and provides essential grounding. This helps to develop levelheaded and positive thinking along with a highly motivated view of life, and maintains the health of the lymph and skeletal systems, the prostate, bladder, and the adrenal glands. We also bend the “sacral chakra” during Sujud, thus benefiting and toning the reproductive organs.

Last, but not least, the “throat chakra” is activated by turning the head towards first the right and then the left shoulder in the closing of the prayer. This nerve path is linked to the throat, neck, arms, hands, bronchials, and hearing – effecting individual creativity and communication.

It is believed that a person who activates all seven nerve pathways at least once a day can remain well balanced emotionally, physically and spiritually. Since this is the goal of all sincere Muslims, we all should strive to attain the perfection of stance, recitation, and breathing recommended in the Hadith while performing our prayers – the very same techniques of perfection taught in popular yoga, Tai Chi, and many other exercise classes. 


Karima Burns, MH, ND has a Doctorate in Naturopathy and a Masters in Herbal Healing. She has studied natural healing for 12 years, published a natural healing newsletter for 4 years, and writes extensively on natural healing and herbs. Sister Karima became interested in natural healing after ending her personal lifelong struggle with asthma, allergies, chronic ear infections, depression, hypoglycemia, fatigue and panic attacks with herbs and natural therapies.








Edited by Chrysalis - 22 July 2010 at 4:00am
"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Divya_Mohammed
 
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Quote Divya_Mohammed Replybullet Posted: 23 July 2010 at 10:39am
Assalam Alaikum,
 
Divya is a Sanskrit word meaning 'Beautiful, splendorous, angelic'. Divya is my Hindu maiden name and my husband suggested Divya Mohammad Iyer or Divya Saleem Iyer and I chose Mohammed.
 
The priest in the Masjid suggested the names Uzma and Rubiya but I preferred to retain Divya.
 
Hope it is allowed in Islam to continue my former Hindu name, to avoid confusion to lot of people, as I have lived almost my entire life of 21 years as a Hindu.
 
I felt, since I believe in  Islam and accepted Islam as a way of life for me, my previous name may not matter much. Of course my awaited children shall have Quranic Islamic names.
 
Allah Hafiz
Divya Mohammed Iyer
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Chrysalis
 
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 23 July 2010 at 11:09am
Originally posted by Divya_Mohammed

Assalam Alaikum,
 
.
 
Hope it is allowed in Islam to continue my former Hindu name, to avoid confusion to lot of people, as I have lived almost my entire life of 21 years as a Hindu.
 


Wa'alaikum salaam,

Sis - as long as the name has a good meaning, and does not represent kufr, or any anti-islamic philosophies - a Muslim Convert (revert) is not under any compulsion to change it after accepting Islam. During the Prophet's time, out of the companions that accepted Islam, many retained thier pre-Islamic names. Only the ones who were named after Idols etc changed.

Infact it is preferred and encouraged to retain the surname in particular - because it identifies a person's lineage and ancestors. It is not liked to cut ties from the family and removing one's surname is somewhat  doing that.

Smile
"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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UmmFatima
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Quote UmmFatima Replybullet Posted: 23 July 2010 at 11:55am
I also have kept my non-Muslim name, even though it is Hindu and can sometimes even refer to a Goddess. Shocked But it's also a philosophical concept in Hinduism and also used in other languages to mean other things...

Some of my friends who changed their names have regretted it. Even Hamza Yusuf has stated his regret with changing his name and has started using his old name as part of his Islamic one.
“Our Lord! Grant us comfort in our spouses and descendants, and make us leaders of the God-fearing.” -Al-Furqan 74
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Quote Hayfa Replybullet Posted: 23 July 2010 at 2:27pm
I have kept my name. Its a good name and comes from my parents. It does not hurt it is a good Biblical name. Smile

Its okay to keep you name unless it is a negative meaning or bad associations. And in fact it helps to identify that Muslims are from all cultures. 
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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Quote fais Replybullet Posted: 24 July 2010 at 12:19am
Salam sister,
 
Nice to see so much information from sister cherisil,All information can be correct or not it depends on the the persons heart,it is only allah and divya knows what is her relation with Allah.
 
My suggestion to Divya,istead of confusing herself so much be firm on the base of iman,which is TAWHEED most of the born muslims are also not aware of this and becauce of this they fall in to bidaa and black shirk and sometime open shirk.
 
go step by step:
 
Tauheed
fiqh
hadith
 
Allah say in the Holy quran the person whome he likes,he bestows the knowledege of his deen.
 
divya will learn learn deen only though hardowrk and interest so the relegion is open to learn how much you can.I am sorry i gave this suggestion  cause divya is a new muslim and she might get confused if she does not understand TAUHEED.
 
Hope this helps
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Quote Nausheen Replybullet Posted: 29 July 2010 at 11:18pm
Originally posted by Angel

Just about everybody nowdays does yoga across the globe, that doesn't mean they are hindu's. The exercise and meditation itself is good for you as many research studies shows, and spreads across many religions. There is alot more to being a hindu. Wink Just doing the exercise is not being or practicing hinduism Smile that would make just about everyone being a hindi across the globe when they are not Wink 

Hey Angel! Good to see you around.
 
Once a hindu friend here had an argument with a Japanease colleague, because this guy thought Yoga was from America ... yoga is not just popular, people are tending to forget its origin which aches many Indians :) Nevertheless its wonderful for body, mind and soul.
 
take care!
nausheen
 
 
 
 
 
Wanu nazzilu minal Qurani ma huwa
Shafaa un wa rahmatun lil mo'mineena
wa la yaziduzzalimeena illa khasara.
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