The Message - T heMessage(1976 . ,althoughthefilmwas

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The Message (1976) This film recreates the traditional Sunni narrative of the early days of Islam. The directors strove to  remain as faithful as possible to the series of events described in Sunni texts, although the film was  approved by both Sunni religious authorities at al-Azhar University in Cairo and the Shi`a High  Religious Council in Lebanon.  INDIVIDUALS PORTRAYED: Muhammad ibn `Abdullah, the Prophet (approx. 570-632) . Not visible on screen. This is in deference to a  Sunni belief referred to as “aniconism:” the prohibition of the creation of images or statues of God,  Muhammad, or in some cases, even all humans and animals. The fear here is that these representations,  which are objects, might be worshipped, rather than God himself, which is unseen. The worshipping of  anything other than God is called  shirk , and is considered by many Muslims to be the worst sin a person can  commit. While there is no  aya  (verse) in the Qur’an that explicitly issues this prohibition, there are general  prohibitions against the creation of idols. There are  hadiths  (reports of the words and deeds of the Prophet)  that more specifically indicate that creating representations of living things was prohibited: Sahih Muslim vol.3 no.5268 says, "Ibn ‘Umar reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) having said: Those
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This note was uploaded on 10/20/2011 for the course HISTORY 508:201 taught by Professor Russell-jones during the Fall '11 term at Rutgers.

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The Message - T heMessage(1976 . ,althoughthefilmwas

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