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Yoga and saying OM allowed in Islam?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Assalam waalaycum brother.

My question is can a muslim do yoga?

In yoga there are some exercises in which a person has to say Om.Is it allowed in islam.

 

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Yoga and saying OM allowed in Islam?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Q-1: My question is can a muslim do yoga?

Dear Brother, Islam encourages Muslims to take care of their health and body. Healthy body allows individuals to enjoy all the bounties of Allah and fosters a healthy mind and soul.

 

According to one of the companions of Prophet Mohammed narrated by Al-Tirmidhi

When we were sitting together, Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) appeared with a trace of water on his head, and when we told him that he appeared to us to be in a happy frame of mind, he agreed. The people then began to discuss wealth and Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "There is no harm in wealth for him who fears Allah, Who is Great and Glorious, but for him who fears Allah, health is better than wealth, and a happy frame of mind is one of Allah's favours."

Ahmad transmitted it. (5290 Al Tirmidhi Hadith)

 

Any type of exercise that conforms to Shariah, is permissible and encouraged in Islam. However, we need to determine whether this exercise involves anything Haram, or leads to Haram, or ignores the doing of an Islamic deed. If, for example, it involves that there is no separation between men and women and/or that the Salah is not performed on time or missed because of it, etc. then this exercise would be forbidden and should be avoided.

 

Q-2: In yoga there are some exercises in which a person has
to say Om.Is it allowed in islam.

Well, there are three aspects that needs to be understood.

  1. The meaning of the word should not be against the teachings of the Islamic Shariah. For example the word should not be such that it denies the Oneness of Allah (the Wahadat), or believing in the Angels, or His Prophets, or Prophet Mohammed as the last Prophet, or the integrity of Quran, etc.
  2. The second aspect is perhaps the word might not have any specific meaning, but indicates a slogan which is against the teachings of Shariah. For example, slogans that indicates asking guidance/help/supplication from anyone other than Allah Subhanah. Some people also tend to use Prophet Jesus Christ's name in anguish and anxiety, that is against the teaching of Islam.
  3. The third aspect is if the word indicates a gesture/customs which is specific to certain nations other than Islam, is also forbidden. The Messenger of Allah (saws) said that if we imitate other nations then on the Day of Judgment we would be raised along with these people.

 




Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4020 Narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar

The Prophet (saws) said: He who copies any people is one of them.

 

 

Beloved brother, we need to verify whether the word "Om" falls under any of the above criteria mentioned. If it does, then you should avoid using this word in all circumstances.

 

The most sacred syllable in Hinduism is OM.

It stands for Brahman, both as personal and impersonal God. The passage below is one of the clearest of the countless references to OM in the Hindu scripture.

 

The goal which all the Vedas declare, which all austerities aim at, and which men desire when they lead the life of continence, I will tell you briefly: it is OM. This syllable OM is indeed Brahman. This syllable is the Highest. Whosoever knows this syllable obtains all that he desires. This is the best support; this is the highest support. Whosoever knows this support is adored in the world of Brahma.

-- Katha Upanishad I, ii, 15-17

The sound OM is Brahman. The rishis and sages practiced austerity to realize that Sound-Brahman. After attaining perfection one hears the sound of this eternal Word rising spontaneously from the navel. "'What will you gain', some sages ask, 'by merely hearing this sound?' You hear the roar of the ocean from a distance. By following the roar you can reach the ocean. As long as there is the roar, there must also be the ocean. By following the trail of OM you attain Brahman, of which the Word is the symbol. That Brahman has been described by the Vedas as the ultimate goal."

-- The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

(To Mahima) "You explain 'Aum' with reference to 'a', 'u', and 'm' only."
Mahima: "'A', 'u', and 'm' mean creation, preservation, and destruction."
Master: "But I give the illustration of the sound of a gong: 'tom', t-o-m. It is the merging of the Lila in the Nitya: the gross, the subtle, and the causal merge in the Great Cause; waking, dream, and deep sleep merge in Turiya. The striking of the gong is like the falling of a heavy weight into a big ocean. Waves begin to rise: the
Relative rises from the Absolute; the causal, subtle, and gross bodies appear out of the Great Cause; from Turiya emerge the states of deep sleep, dream, and waking. These waves arising from the Great Ocean merge again in the Great Ocean. From the Absolute to the Relative, and from the Relative to the Absolute. Therefore I give the illustration of the gong's sound, 'tom'. I have clearly perceived all these things. It has been revealed to me that there exists an Ocean of Consciousness without limit. From It come all things of the relative plane, and in It they merge again."

-- The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

"The sandhya merges in the Gayatri, the Gayatri in Om, and Om in samadhi. It is like the sound of a bell: t-a-m. The yogi, by following in the trail of the sound Om, gradually merges himself in the Supreme Brahman."

-- The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

 

It is evident from the above passages of the Hindu Scriptures that OM is apparently the most sacred symbol in their religion, and it stands for their connotation of Brahma or god! Thus if one recites the word OM, it would be calling on a god other than the One True Lord of the Worlds; and that would be considered a manifest form of Shirk or associating other gods with Allah Subhanah!

 

There is absolutely no harm if one does yoga as an exercise, but it would be absolutely forbidden for a believer, who sincerely believes in Allah and the Last Day, to recite om or any other term of shirk while doing so.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your Brother in Islam,

 

 

Tauseef Ahmed

 

 

 


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