A fatwa was issued against renowned music director, AR Rahman, as well as, well known Iranian filmmaker, Majid Majidi, for working on the Iranian film, Muhammad: The Messenger of God, a film about Prophet Muhammad, by a Mumbai based Sunni group, Raza Academy. As the title suggests, the film is about Prophet Muhammad. It opened across Iran, last week, and is said to be the most expensive film ever made in the Shiite state.
The Mumbai based Sunni group, issued the fatwa, urging all Muslims to reject the film on the basis of it’s depiction of the Prophet on screen, an act that is rejected by Sunni Islam.
The fatwa issued by the groups, suggests that, Rahman and Majidi have committed sacrilege by working on a film that depicts the Prophet in a visual form, an idea that is against the word of the Prophet. The fatwa, reportedly, goes on to suggest that Rahman and Majidi read the kalma again, and re-solemnise their marriages to their respective wives.
In response to the fatwa issued by the Raza Acacemy, AR Rahman, on Monday, said that his decision to work on the film was in “good faith”, and not to hurt anyone’s sentiments.
In a statement released by Rahman, in response to the query raised by the chief of Raza Academy, Saeed Noorie, who claimed that people may misuse the title of the film, and subsequently insult the prophet, Rahman said that,”My decision to compose the music for this film was made in good faith and with no intention of causing offence. In fact the decision [to compose music for the film] was based on a similar point of view as expressed by Mr Noorie. What, and if, I had the good fortune of facing Allah, and He were to ask me on Judgement Day: ‘I gave you faith, talent, money, fame and health… why did you not do music for my beloved Muhammad film? A film whose intention is to unite humanity, clear misconceptions and spread my message that life is kindness, about uplifting the poor, and living in the service of humanity and not mercilessly killing innocents in my name'”.
The Oscar Award winner, further went on to add, “I am not a scholar of Islam. I follow the middle path and am part traditional and part rationalist. I live in the Western and Eastern worlds and try to love all people for what they are, without judging them.”
The film, directed by Majid Majidi, took seven years to complete, and cost a total of $40 million. It has been partly funded by the state. According to the director, his intentions of making the film, are to reclaim the rightful image of Islam, which he feels, has been destroyed by extremists.
The entire transcript of Rahman’s statement can be found, below: