Islamic Saudi ok with Yoga
Yoga is now a sport in Saudi Arabia. This is a landmark step as Saudi Arabia has embraced an activity that home-spun radicals won’t.
With the Saudi Ministry of Trade and Industry putting its seal of approval on Yoga, any Saudi citizen can practice or propagate it by getting a licence from the government.
Interestingly, Nouf Marwaai, a Saudi businesswoman and entrepreneur, is a leading practitioner and the promoter of Yoga in Saudi Arabia and Middle East. In an exclusive interaction with ANI, Marwaai revealed she had to face a lot of accusations, threats for even writing about Yoga or Yoga Day.
The Riyadh-based expert also addressed the controversy of Yoga being declared un-Islamic by some clerics, and divulged that many Muslims practice the ancient regime and see no conflict in it at all. “Yoga was regarded as a sport at that time and was basically developed to help people gain more control over the body and the mind; it is a man-made system based on deep knowledge and philosophy,” Nouf explains. The credit for the landmark decision ought to go to the leadership in Saudi Arabia -- King Salman Bin Abdulaziz and the Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman; the Crown Prince is increasingly focusing on development and investing in youth.
In India, too, recently a Muslim girl Rafia Naaz's life came under threat when she was issued a fatwa and her house attacked for teaching Yoga; so, the decision by an Islamic nation to make yoga an official sport should be a wake-up call to all those clerics who see a health activity through the prism of religion.