NEW DELHI: With controversy raging over religious overtures to some of the yogic postures and shalokas being part of the official international Yoga Day celebration, the AYUSH minister Sripad Naik said muslims can take name of Allah during the exercise while appealing to the community to join on June 21.
Naik said this after meeting a delegation of muslims who came to lend support to government’s endeavour for the Yoga day.
Naik assured the community and later told reporters that Yoga has nothing to do with any particular religion but it is for the well being of everyone. He pointed out that there is no compulsion on anyone to practice Yoga but as it is good for body and soul all should make Yoga part of their lives and contribute in the celebrations of International Yoga Day on 21st June, 2015 and support the mission of Prime Minister.
Naik said, "We did not include Suryanamaskar to avoid controversy. And, moreover, it's difficult to do it. But Suryanamaskar is not religious. We want the whole event to go smoothly...Shlokas are not compulsory. Shlokas are merely prayers but it is not compulsory. They can even take the name of Allah instead of chanting shlokas. I request the Muslims to participate and unite the country."
Opposition has been voiced by some organisations, including the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, against performance of Surya Namaskar, saying it is against their faith.
"We did not make anything compulsory. Even the HRD Ministry has merely appealed to the educational institutions. Few parties are opposing it for the sake of politics," Naik added.
The delegation which came to meet Naik included Maulana Syed Kaukab Mujtaba Abidi, President Majlis Ulema e Hind (Uttar Pradesh), Maulana Suhaib Qasmi, President Jamat Ulema e Hind (Delhi), Irfan Salmani Dehalvi, President All India Jamat e Salmani B,Hafiz Mohd Sabreen, President Jamat Huffaz Ikraam, Abbas Ali Bohra, Representative Daudi Bohra Community, Hanif Khan Shastri, Professor Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan among others.
Abbas Ai Bohra, representative of Daudi Bohra Community, said, that out of the total of 177 countries which have given co-sponsorship for celebrating International Day of Yoga, 47 countries are from Organisation of Islamic Countries. These countries have expressed their desire to participate in the yoga sessions being organized in the Indian Missions.”
"There's yoga in namaaz but namaaz isn't yoga. Those who oppose it are enemies of humanity because yoga is for the well being of humans," Maulana Syed Kaukab Mujtaba Abidi, president of Majlis Ulema e Hind (Uttar Pradesh), told reporters.
While some minority groups have objected to the holding of the event by government, especially inclusion of Surya namskar, representatives of some Muslim organisations who met Naik today said those opposing yoga were "enemies of humanity" and yoga has nothing to do with religion.
Spiritual Leader and Founder of the Art of Living Foundation, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar called on the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. They discussed preparations for the forthcoming International Yoga Day on June 21st. The spiritual guru will be at Lincoln Centre, New York, on June 21 to celebrate the Yoga Day at the official function being organised along with the Indian consulate where 5500 people are expected to participate.
During the same day he would address world representatives at the celebrations of the first-ever International Day of Yoga at the United Nation's official event. External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj will also be present in New York for the Yoga Day.