[Q-ID0623] Are Muslims allowed to perform Yoga as a form of exercise?

QUESTION:

What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: Is yoga permissible in the form of exercise? If there is no religious act included in this – just exercise – then how is it to do so??

Questioner: Badar from Birmingham, UK

ANSWER:

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

Exercise in itself is permissible in any way, shape or form, provided that there is no similarity to any religious method or procedure of non-Muslims, and nor is it one’s intention to copy non-Muslims and such action should not be specific to non-Muslims.

Just as my master, Ālahazrat Imām Ahmad Razā Khān, upon whom be endless mercies, states that it has become enlightened from this research that only that is prohibited and makrūh [disliked] in which the intention of the one doing so is of likeness [to non-Muslims], or that matter is a particular sign/symbol of deviants or there is a problem in the eyes of Sharī’ah with the basis of said action. There is never a reason of prohibition unless it is of these cases.

[Fatāwā Ridawiyyah, vol 24, pg 535]

Thus, Muslims perform yoga in the form of exercise, and so it cannot be assumed that they are doing so with the intention of copying [non-Muslims]. Thus, it is permissible to perform yoga in the form of exercise, however my advice is to perform some other exercise instead, and one avoid this unless needed.

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0623] Are Muslims allowed to perform Yoga as a form of exercise?

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