General Question

2TFX's avatar

Why are images of the Prophet Mohammed forbidden?

Asked by 2TFX (347 points ) March 26th, 2014

I never understood why.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

Pachy's avatar

Good question, and Google turns up lots of links on the topic, including this one.

Judi's avatar

I think it goes back to before Moses. One of the Ten Commandments was forbidding “graven images.”
People used to worship golden cows and images of deities. The thinking was that if you didn’t have an “image” to worship you would only worship God.
I think that’s one way they think Christians messed up. They believe that Christians began worshiping Jesus, the crucifix and even Mary because they abandoned the commandment barring graven images.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I never knew that, good to know.

Buttonstc's avatar

Forbidding images of God is not unique to Islam alone.

For the reason stated above, the same holds true for Judaism (however, they don’t go around killing people who don’t obey this prohibition)

bolwerk's avatar

They aren’t. You can display them if you want.

If you don’t want to, that’s fine too.

raven860's avatar

@Judi is right.

“A picture is worth a thousand words”. Basically, they/god/prophets did not want god to be labeled as a certain picture or LIMITED and MISLEADING idea it might represent. For example: if god was shown to be wearing red color clothing…. since there has to be a certain color to it… some people will start worshiping the red color and make it “Holy” etc.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not showing a face (being forbidden to) tells me that there is something to hide.

rojo's avatar

self edited, sorry did not notice it was general

gorillapaws's avatar

The above answers are good. It’s mostly about preventing idolatry. If you notice, most Middle-Eastern art features lots of intricate geometry and shapes instead of depicting physical representations of things. It may be partly why they were able to excel at advancing mathematics and abstract thinking when Europe was mired in the dark ages.

Judi's avatar

Many religions forbid photographing people for the same reason, and if you look at what photography and film has done with Idol worship it makes sense. Heck, we even have a show called “American Idol.”

flo's avatar

It would still be insensitive/hurtful to put the images out there, (esp. by non-believers) in cartoon form, for example.

ETpro's avatar

The Koran forbids making any image of Allah or any of his Prophets because it considers doing so idolatry, as @Judi speculated, a violation of the commandment against making graven images to worship. So Muslims are against making images of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Jesus as well as images of Muhammad.

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