Manama, 20 Dzulqa’dah 1436/5 September 2015 (MINA) – Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Shaikh Abdul Aziz Al Shaikh said, “that screening the Iranian movie Mohammad, The Messenger of God is not permitted from a religious point of view”.
“Prophet Mohammad, (PBUH), has well-known and specific physical traits and moral qualities, and the movie makers insist on something that is not realistic,” he said. “The Prophet is well above the movie. This film is a sacrilege and it distorts Islam,” he said in remarks published by the London-based Al Hayat daily, Gulf News quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
Anyone who wants to highlight the life of Prophet Mohammad should spread his sayings and teachings, and not through a movie made by spoilers, he added.
“People are warned against watching the movie because those behind it are not trust-worthy and rely on lies. They are not honest,” he said.
The state-sponsored movie, directed by Iranian director Majid Majidi and released on August 27 in Iran, was shot in Qum, Iran, and South Africa. The cast in Iran’s biggest-budget production consists of several Iranian actors.
According to Iranian reports, a number of internationally-acclaimed professionals, including Academy Award winning visual effects supervisor and filmmaker Scott E. Anderson, three-time Oscar-winning Italian director of photography Vittorio Storaro and renowned Croat production designer Milijen Kreka Kljakovic collaborated in making the film, the first part of a big-budget trilogy on the life of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
The movie focuses on Prophet Mohammad’s childhood. His face is not shown on screen, and the camera shows the boy actor playing him only from behind, or only his shadow.
However, several religious scholars, mainly Sunnis, have asked for a ban on the movie.
In Egypt, Al Azhar, one of Islam’s most prestigious seats of learning, called on Iran to ban the film, describing it as “debasing the sanctity of God’s messengers.”
In India, a Muslim organisation, Raza Academy, on Monday wrote to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to ban the movie in India and take “legal action” against the movie’s music composer A R Rahman, an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer and musician.
According to the organisation, showing pictures or portrayal of the Prophet is blasphemous under Islamic traditions, the Indian Express reported.
Raza Academy’s joint secretary Mohammad Arif Rizvi said that the movie hurts the “sentiments of Indian Muslims” by showing a person playing the Prophet.
Sacrilegious depictions of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in movies, cartoons or novels have often been deemed blasphemous by Muslims.
In 2005, “blasphemous” cartoons published by a Danish newspaper sparked violent protests that resulted in deaths, attacks and boycotts.
In 1989, Iran’s late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill writer Salman Rushdie for the publication of his novel The Satanic Verses.
Khomeini reportedly said the fatwa was to make sure “no one will dare insult the sacred beliefs of Muslims henceforth.” (T/Imt/R04)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)