Monday 19 Thu al-Qa‘dah 1445 - 27 May 2024

Depicting the Prophets is wrong and is haraam, and it is not permissible even if some Muslims do that


Its against the rules to show the faces of prophets. Why did Muslims make the 2008 Movie "The Messiah" showing the face of Jesus?


Praise be to Allah.

In the answer to question no. 158232 we explained that it is not permissible to depict the Prophets and Messengers of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon them) or to depict the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them), because doing that involves detracting from their status and showing disrespect to them, and it is a transgression against their dignity and undermines them, and because it involves fabrications and lies against the best of the creation of Allah.

As for the film referred to, its producer claimed that he made this movie from an Islamic point of view, as his idea was based on denying the story of the crucifixion, in accordance with what is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. He also affirmed that the Messiah foretold the coming of our Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).

And he said that it was primarily aimed at the West, to refute the repeated Western insults of our Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in particular and of Islam in general; to highlight the status of the Messiah (peace be upon him) among the Muslims; to show that Islam teaches belief in all the Prophets and Messengers of Allah without exception, and that it does not discriminate between them.

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Although we believe that the Messiah (peace be upon him) was not crucified and was not killed, and the Holy Qur’an clearly states that, we do not agree that this should be presented in theatrical or cinematic form in which a person acts the part of the Messiah (peace be upon him), or even that a picture should be drawn of him. All of that is forbidden and is haraam, because it detracts from the status of the Prophets of Allah (peace be upon them) and lowers their status in people’s eyes, because it usually involves telling some kind of lies about them and shows them in a manner other than how they really were, whether that is to a lesser or greater extent. So it is not permissible for anyone to tell lies about the Prophets of Allah (peace be upon them) or to detract from their status, or to depict them, no matter how noble his intention or aim. The intention may be noble but the means must also be Islamically acceptable.

The scholars of the Standing Committee said, in a statement that explained that it is not permissible to portray the Prophets or the Sahaabah:

The claim that this theatrical production or film about what happened between the Muslims and the kaafirs is a effective means of conveying the message, calling people to Islam and drawing lessons from history is to be refuted on the basis of reality. Assuming that this claim is correct, its negative aspects outweigh any good, and its bad consequences outweigh any good consequences. Anything that is like that should be disallowed and we should stop thinking of it. There are many means of conveying the message and spreading the call of Islam among people; the Prophets explained that to their nations, and these methods bore abundant fruit; by means of these methods Islam because victorious and Muslims gains power and honour. That has been proven by history. So we should follow that straight path, the path of those with whom Allah is pleased of the Prophets, siddeeqs, martyrs and righteous, and we should refrain from that which is closer to frivolity and fulfilling whims and desires than it is to serious effort and high resolve. End quote.

Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah, 3/269-270

In that case, a mistake made by some Muslims should not be taken as proof against sharee‘ah; nor is it a mistake for which all Muslims should be blamed. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say: Shall I seek a lord other than Allah, while He is the Lord of all things? No person earns any (sin) except against himself (only), and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then unto your Lord is your return, so He will tell you that wherein you have been differing.”

[al-An‘aam 6:164]

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A