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Is It Permissible to Depict Prophets in Movies?

29 January, 2024
Q As-salamu `alaykum. What is the Shariah ruling regarding depicting Prophets in movies?


Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

Muslim scholars in the past and the present agree that it is not permissible to depict Prophets in movies.

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Responding to your question, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Ash-Shinqiti, Professor of Political Ethics and Religions History at Qatar University, states:

Muslim scholars from Al-Azhar and other Islamic academies discussed this issue extensively a long time ago. There is almost a consensus among contemporary scholars that it is not permissible to depict Prophets in movies.

The reason behind this is that depicting Prophets would in fact humiliate their noble and dignified status by showing them in the form of an actor that could play various roles; good or bad, in different movies.

Moreover, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti, member of the North American Fiqh Council, adds,

It is not permissible to role-play the Prophets because doing so constitutes a means to abuse and degrade the personality of the Prophets (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all). There is a consensus among Muslim scholars on this issue, and until now no one has challenged this point.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.