Saudi Arabia’s Council of Senior Scholars has denounced the release of the Iranian movie ‘Muhammad, Messenger of God’ which has scenes showing representations of the body of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
In a statement, the organization said that any representation of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this manner showed little reverence for him and a disregard for Islamic law.
Earlier this week, the Kingdom’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh said the film “is a mockery of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and a degradation of his status.” The Muslim World League and Al-Azhar scholars have slammed the decision to release the film. Al-Azhar University said “it is not permitted under Shariah to embody the prophets.”
Nearly 140 cinemas in Iran began showing the $40 million film, the most expensive in Iranian history, this week. According to the film’s director Majid Majidi, the 171-minute production is “to promote Islamic unity.” Majidi said the aim of his work, the first part of a trilogy, is to reclaim the rightful image of Islam, which he said extremists have distorted.
While Iran has denounced cartoons depicting the Prophet (peace be upon him), such as those published by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Shiites are generally more relaxed than Sunnis about depiction of religious figures.
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