New Age Islam
Thu Jul 18 2024, 10:39 AM

Islamic Culture ( 3 Aug 2020, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

The Movie 'Muhammad - The Messenger of God': Islam Prohibits Idol Worship but Has No Objection to Depicting Life of The Prophet

By Shruti Ganapatye

Jul 17, 2020

A day after the Maharashtra government requested the Centre to prevent the release of an Iranian movie called 'Muhammad: The Messenger of God', Muslim scholars and intellectuals have slammed the demand. The movie was made by famous Iranian director Majid Majidi in 2015 and is slated to release globally on online platforms on July 21. The movie depicts the early life of Prophet Muhammad.


Prophet Muhammad sits with the Abrahamic prophets in Jerusalem, anonymous, Mirajnama (Book of Ascension), Tabriz, ca. 1317-1330Credit: Topkapi Palace Musuem, Istanbul, Turkey.


Objecting to the censorship, Irfan Engineer, Director of the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, criticised the demand of banning the movie. "I am against any kind of censorship. You may disagree with the movie or its content. So, there are ways to register the protest. You can file a lawsuit, debate over the content, educate people or protest on the streets. The thought of banning the movie is wrong and it has happened several times in the past. When the Congress government was in power, import of Salman Rushdie's book 'Satanic Verses' was banned. Recently, there was a controversy regarding the movie 'Padmavat' which cannot be justified," Engineer said.

Also Read: Why Banning The Movie ‘Muhammad - Messenger of God’ is Nonsensical

Writer and scholar on Islam, Abdul Kadar Mukadam questioned as to why an objection was raised if the movie narrates the life of Prophet. "Many Muslims are not aware of Prophet Muhammad's life, which is inspiring. Between the 7th and 13th centuries, Arabs progressed culturally, economically, and scientifically because they were inspired by the Prophet and his teachings. Islam prohibits idol worship but has no objection to talking or depicting life of the Prophet. In fact, the Prophet had said that when he is not receiving revelations, he is like an ordinary person. However, the fundamentalist forces entered in Islam from the 14th century," he said.

Terming the controversy unnecessary, Editor of an Urdu newspaper Sarfaraz Arzoo questioned the objection to the movie. "Does the movie have historical misrepresentation or wrong interpretation? One should first watch the movie to object to it. Instead of banning the movie, a panel of experts could give its opinion on the movie and delete the scenes if objectionable. Why be spanner in the wheel?" he said.

After the demand from Raza Academy and a few other Muslim organisations to ban the movie release, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh wrote a letter to the Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology. "We request you to block/suspend those digital platforms where the movie would be released on the probable date of 21st July 2020, under section 69A and the blocking rules of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and Information Technology Act (Amendment) 2008. It's also requested to issue instructions/directions to all Digital Platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat etc to ban the release of the aforesaid movie," Deshmukh said. 

Raza Academy spokesperson Rehman Noori said the objection is to show the Prophet as a human. "The movie has shown his childhood and mother which is not permitted in Islam. We will not tolerate it. We have written to all the authorities to ban the movie which would hurt sentiments of Islam," he said.

Original Headline: Muslim scholars slam Maharashtra government for seeking ban on film about Prophet Muhammad

Source: The Mumbai Mirror