Badea Abu Al-Naja
RIYADH — Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti has described the Iranian film Muhammad Messenger of God as un-Islamic, and said that its production is not permitted under Shariah.
“This is a Magian film and a hostile work against Islam,” Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh, who is also head of the Senior Scholars Commission and the Ifta Council, told Al-Hayat newspaper on Wednesday.
Al-Asheikh warned against showing or circulating the film, saying that it mocks and belittles the Prophet (peace be upon him).
He said the Prophet (pbuh) has special physical and moral features that should never be portrayed in film.
“The film makers are not reflecting the reality,” he said. “This is a lewd work which has no religion. It is a downright defamation of Islam.”
Al-Asheikh said those who are keen to glorify the Prophet should focus on spreading his Sunna, not showing his images.
“The film producers are not trustworthy,” he said. “Lying is the crux of their lives. They are not honest in all their matters.”
About 140 movie houses in Iran began showing the film last week.
The film’s producers say that it features the life of the Prophet.
They said it was the most expensive film in Iran’s movie history, costing about $40 million to produce.
The film’s director, Majid Majidi, said the aim of the 171-minute-long film is to reinforce Islamic unity.
The Azhar of Egypt has also denounced the film and asked for its immediate withdrawal from cinemas.
Secretary General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Abdullah Al-Turki denounced the production of the film and called for its immediate withdrawal from all movie theaters.
“The personification of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in movies or TV series is totally against Islam,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
The secretary general said that showing the Prophet in person in any art work will undermine his esteem.
Al-Turki asked the Iranian authorities to stop showing the film immediately.
The film was recently shown at Montreal movie festival.