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ISLAM, YOGA AND MEDITATION (from Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies) – Patrick DSilva

Abstract:

How have Muslims responded to, engaged with and developed original versions of yoga and meditation? This chapter provides a brief historical overview with an emphasis on Muslim communities in South Asia, especially during the Mughal period. This first part of the chapter establishes the basic framework for understanding the earliest surviving texts demonstrating Muslim engagement with yoga in South Asia, as well as the most important texts and individuals who stand out as key examples of how this engagement develops over subsequent centuries. This chapter also pays special attention to the translation and circulation of a set of Śaivite divination techniques centred on the breath known as Śiva-svarodaya (sometimes svara-yoga or svara-jñāna) from Sanskrit and Hindi into Persian and Arabic as ilm-i dam/ilm al-dam (‘the science of the breath’).1 The second part examines meditation, with an emphasis on the Sufi rituals known as dhikr, the ‘remembrance’ of God. The third section analyses contemporary concerns and controversies regarding Muslims and yoga

ISLAM_YOGA_AND_MEDITATION_from_Routledge