Deoband calls for boycott of Yoga day over chanting 'Om'

Deoband calls for boycott of Yoga day over chanting 'Om'

Well-known Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband has termed chanting of “Om” as “un-islamic”. It also said that Muslims should make sure that they and their children do not attend the Yoga Day, scheduled to be observed next month .

The seminary, based at Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district, about 500 km from here, decried the directive of the Ayush Ministry in this regard and said that Islam did not allow Muslims to “chant” the word “Om”.

“Chanting Om is a way of worship in the Hindu religion...it should be not imposed on Muslims...it is unconstitutional as our constitution gives everyone the right to follow his or her religion,” said Maulana Abul Quasim Nomani, a senior cleric of the seminary  in Deoband.

Nomani said that he had not seen the reported directive from the centre in this regard, but if there were such a directive, then it must be condemned. “We appeal to the Muslims that they boycott Yoga Day if there indeed is an instruction to chant Om...they should also not send their children to the schools and other educational institutions on that day,” the cleric said.

The prestigious Islamic seminary commands widespread respect and recognition among the Muslims in the country. Earlier, the seminary issued a “fatwa” (religious decree) asking the Muslims not to chant “Bharat Mata ki Jai”.

In the state capital also, the Muslim clerics voiced their strong opposition to the inclusion of chanting of “Om” during Yoga Day celebrations. “The centre must withdraw the directive...it is against the tenets of Islam,” said a prominent Sunni cleric here on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Ayush decided to observe Yoga Day on June 21 at educational institutions. Opposition parties criticised the government for what they termed attempts to impose “communal agenda” on people.

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