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Depictions of Muhammad

depictions of muhammad, depictions of prophet muhammad
The permissibility of depictions of Muhammad in Islam has been a contentious issue Oral and written descriptions of Muhammad are readily accepted by all traditions of Islam, but there is disagreement about visual depictions The Quran does not explicitly forbid images of Muhammad, but there are a few hadith supplemental teachings which have explicitly prohibited Muslims from creating visual depictions of figures It is agreed on all sides that there is no authentic visual tradition as to the appearance of Muhammad, although there are early legends of portraits of him, and written physical descriptions whose authenticity is often accepted

The question of whether images in Islamic art, including those depicting Muhammad, can be considered as religious art remains a matter of contention among scholars They appear in illustrated books that are normally works of history or poetry, including those with religious subjects; the Qu'ran is never illustrated: "context and intent are essential to understanding Islamic pictorial art The Muslim artists creating images of Muhammad, and the public who beheld them, understood that the images were not objects of worship Nor were the objects so decorated used as part of religious worship"

However, scholars concede that such images have "a spiritual element", and were also sometimes used in informal religious devotions celebrating the day of the Mi'raj Many visual depictions only show Muhammad with his face veiled, or symbolically represent him as a flame; other images, notably from before about 1500, show his face With the notable exception of modern-day Iran, depictions of Muhammad were rare, never numerous in any community or era throughout Islamic history, and appeared almost exclusively in the private medium of Persian and other miniature book illustration The key medium of public religious art in Islam was and is calligraphy In Ottoman Turkey the hilya developed as a decorated visual arrangement of texts about Muhammad that was displayed as a portrait might be

Visual images of Muhammad in the non-Islamic West have always been infrequent In the Middle Ages they were mostly hostile, and most often appear in illustrations of Dante's poetry In the Renaissance and Early Modern period, Muhammad was sometimes depicted, typically in a more neutral or heroic light These depictions began to encounter protests from Muslims, and in the age of the internet, a handful of caricature depictions printed in the European press have caused global protests and controversy, and been associated with violence


  • 1 Background
  • 2 Portraiture of Muhammad in Islamic literature
  • 3 Depiction by Muslims
    • 31 Verbal descriptions
    • 32 Calligraphic representations
    • 33 Figurative visual depictions
      • 331 Halo
    • 34 Contemporary Iran
    • 35 Cinema
  • 4 Depiction by non-Muslims
  • 5 Controversies in the 21st century
    • 51 Cartoons
    • 52 Charlie Hebdo
    • 53 Wikipedia article
    • 54 Metropolitan Museum of Art
    • 55 Everybody Draw Mohammed Day
    • 56 Muhammad Art Exhibit & Contest
  • 6 See also
  • 7 Notes
  • 8 References
  • 9 Further reading
  • 10 External links


Main article: Aniconism in Islam

In Islam, although nothing in the Qur'an explicitly bans images, some supplemental hadith explicitly ban the drawing of images of any living creature; other hadith tolerate images, but never encourage them Hence, most Muslims avoid visual depictions of Muhammad or any other prophet such as Moses or Abraham

Most Sunni Muslims believe that visual depictions of all the prophets of Islam should be prohibited and are particularly averse to visual representations of Muhammad The key concern is that the use of images can encourage idolatry In Shia Islam, however, images of Muhammad are quite common nowadays, even though Shia scholars historically were against such depictions Still, many Muslims who take a stricter view of the supplemental traditions will sometimes challenge any depiction of Muhammad, including those created and published by non-Muslims

Some major religions have experienced times during their history when images of their religious figures were forbidden In Judaism, one of the Ten Commandments forbids "graven images" In Byzantine Christianity during the periods of Iconoclasm in the 8th century, and again during the 9th century, visual representations of sacred figures were forbidden, and only the Cross could be depicted in churches The visual representation of Jesus and other religious figures remains a concern in parts of Protestant Christianity

Portraiture of Muhammad in Islamic literature

A number of hadith and other writings of the early Islamic period include stories in which portraits of Muhammad appear Abu Hanifa Dinawari, Ibn al-Faqih, Ibn Wahshiyya and Abu Nu`aym tell versions of a story in which the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius is visited by two Meccans He shows them a cabinet, handed down to him from Alexander the Great and originally created by God for Adam, each of whose drawers contains a portrait of a prophet They are astonished to see a portrait of Muhammad in the final drawer Sadid al-Din al-Kazaruni tells a similar story in which the Meccans are visiting the king of China Kisa'i tells that God did indeed give portraits of the prophets to Adam

Ibn Wahshiyya and Abu Nu'ayn tell a second story in which a Meccan merchant visiting Syria is invited to a Christian monastery where a number of sculptures and paintings depict prophets and saints There he sees the images of Muhammad and Abu Bakr, as yet unidentified by the Christians In an 11th-century story, Muhammad is said so have sat for a portrait by an artist retained by Sassanid king Kavadh II The king liked the portrait so much that he placed it on his pillow

Later, Al-Maqrizi tells a story in which Muqawqis, ruler of Egypt, meets with Muhammad's envoy He asks the envoy to describe Muhammad and checks the description against a portrait of an unknown prophet which he has on a piece of cloth The description matches the portrait

In a 17th-century Chinese story, the king of China asks to see Muhammad, but Muhammad instead sends his portrait The king is so enamoured of the portrait that he is converted to Islam, at which point the portrait, having done its job, disappears

Depiction by Muslims

Verbal descriptions

Main articles: Shama'il Muhammadiyah and Hilya Hilye by Hâfiz Osman 1642–1698

In one of the earliest sources, Ibn Sa'd's Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, there are numerous verbal descriptions of Muhammad One description sourced to Ali ibn Abi Talib is as follows:

The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, is neither too short nor too tall His hair are neither curly nor straight, but a mixture of the two He is a man of black hair and large skull His complexion has a tinge of redness His shoulder bones are broad and his palms and feet are fleshy He has long al-masrubah which means hair growing from neck to navel He is of long eye-lashes, close eyebrows, smooth and shining fore-head and long space between two shoulders When he walks he walks inclining as if coming down from a height I never saw a man like him before him or after him

From the Ottoman period onwards such texts have been presented on calligraphic hilya panels Turkish: hilye, pl hilyeler, commonly surrounded by an elaborate frame of illuminated decoration and either included in books or, more often, muraqqas or albums, or sometimes placed in wooden frames so that they can hang on a wall The elaborated form of the calligraphic tradition was founded in the 17th century by the Ottoman calligrapher Hâfiz Osman While containing a concrete and artistically appealing description of Muhammad's appearance, they complied with the strictures against figurative depictions of Muhammad, leaving his appearance to the viewer's imagination Several parts of the complex design were named after parts of the body, from the head downwards, indicating the explicit intention of the hilya as a substitute for a figurative depiction

The Ottoman hilye format customarily starts with a basmala, shown on top, and is separated in the middle by Quran 21:107: "And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds" Four compartments set around the central one often contain the names of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali, each followed by "radhi Allahu anhu" "may God be pleased with him"

Calligraphic representations

The most common visual representation of the Muhammad in Islamic art, especially in Arabic-speaking areas, is by a calligraphic representation of his name, a sort of monogram in roughly circular form, often given a decorated frame Such inscriptions are normally in Arabic, and may rearrange or repeat forms, or add a blessing or honorific, or for example the word "messenger" or a contraction of it The range of ways of representing Muhammad's name is considerable, including ambigrams; he is also frequently symbolised by a rose

The more elaborate versions relate to other Islamic traditions of special forms of calligraphy such as those writing the names of God, and the secular tughra or elaborate monogram of Ottoman rulers

Figurative visual depictions

Muhammad leads Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others in prayer Persian miniature

Throughout Islamic history, depictions of Muhammad in Islamic art were rare Even so, there exists a "notable corpus of images of Muhammad produced, mostly in the form of manuscript illustrations, in various regions of the Islamic world from the thirteenth century through modern times" Depictions of Muhammad date back to the start of the tradition of Persian miniatures as illustrations in books The illustrated book from the Persianate world Warka and Gulshah, Topkapi Palace Library H 841, attributed to Konya 1200–1250 contains the two earliest known Islamic depictions of Muhammad

This book dates to before or just around the time of the Mongol invasion of Anatolia in the 1240s, and before the campaigns against Persia and Iraq of the 1250s, which destroyed great numbers of books in libraries Recent scholarship has noted that, although surviving early examples are now uncommon, generally human figurative art was a continuous tradition in Islamic lands such as in literature, science, and history; as early as the 8th century, such art flourished during the Abbasid Caliphate c 749 - 1258, across Spain, North Africa, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Mesopotamia, and Persia

Christiane Gruber traces a development from "veristic" images showing the whole body and face, in the 13th to 15th centuries, to more "abstract" representations in the 16th to 19th centuries, the latter including the representation of Muhammad by a special type of calligraphic representation, with the older types also remaining in use An intermediate type, first found from about 1400, is the "inscribed portrait" where the face of Muhammad is blank, with "Ya Muhammad" "O Muhammad" or a similar phrase written in the space instead; these may be related to Sufi thought In some cases the inscription appears to have been an underpainting that would later be covered by a face or veil, so a pious act by the painter, for his eyes alone, but in others it was intended to be seen According to Gruber, a good number of these paintings later underwent iconoclastic mutilations, in which the facial features of Muhammad were scratched or smeared, as Muslim views on the acceptability of veristic images changed

A number of extant Persian manuscripts representing Muhammad date from the Ilkhanid period under the new Mongol rulers, including a Marzubannama dating to 1299 The Ilkhanid MS Arab 161 of 1307/8 contains 25 illustrations found in an illustrated version of Al-Biruni's The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries, of which five include depictions Muhammad, including the two concluding images, the largest and most accomplished in the manuscript, which emphasize the relation of Muhammad and `Ali according to Shi`ite doctrine According to Christiane Gruber, other works use images to promote Sunni Islam, such as a set of Mi'raj illustrations MS H 2154 in the early 14th century, although other historians have dated the same illustrations to the Jalayrid period of Shia rulers

Muhammad, shown with a veiled face and halo, at Mount Hira 16th-century Ottoman illustration of the Siyer-i Nebi

Depictions of Muhammad are also found in Persian manuscripts in the following Timurid and Safavid dynasties, and Turkish Ottoman art in the 14th to 17th centuries, and beyond Perhaps the most elaborate cycle of illustrations of Muhammad's life is the copy, completed in 1595, of the 14th-century biography Siyer-i Nebi commissioned by the Ottoman sultan Murat III for his son, the future Mehmed III, containing over 800 illustrations

Probably the commonest narrative scene represented is the Mi'raj; according to Gruber, "There exist countless single-page paintings of the meʿrāj included in the beginnings of Persian and Turkish romances and epic stories produced from the beginning of the 15th century to the 20th century" These images were also used in celebrations of the anniversary of the Mi'raj on 27 Rajab, when the accounts were recited aloud to male groups: "Didactic and engaging, oral stories of the ascension seem to have had the religious goal of inducing attitudes of praise among their audiences" Such practices are most easily documented in the 18th and 19th centuries, but manuscripts from much earlier appear to have fulfilled the same function Otherwise a large number of different scenes may be represented at times, from Muhammad's birth to the end of his life, and his existence in Paradise


In the earliest depictions Muhammad may be shown with or without a halo, the earliest halos being round in the style of Christian art, but before long a flaming halo or aureole in the Buddhist or Chinese tradition becomes more common than the circular form found in the West, when a halo is used A halo or flame may surround only his head, but often his whole body, and in some images the body itself cannot be seen for the halo This "luminous" form of representation avoided the issues caused by "veristic" images, and could be taken to convey qualities of Muhammad's person described in texts If the body is visible, the face may be covered with a veil see gallery for examples of both types This form of representation, which began at the start of the Safavid period in Persia, was done out of reverence and respect Other prophets of Islam, and Muhammad's wives and relations, may be treated in similar ways if they also appear

T W Arnold 1864–1930, an early historian of Islamic art, stated that "Islam has never welcomed painting as a handmaid of religion as both Buddhism and Christianity have done Mosques have never been decorated with religious pictures, nor has a pictorial art been employed for the instruction of the heathen or for the edification of the faithful" Comparing Islam to Christianity, he also writes: "Accordingly, there has never been any historical tradition in the religious painting of Islam – no artistic development in the representation of accepted types – no schools of painters of religious subjects; least of all has there been any guidance on the part of leaders of religious thought corresponding to that of ecclesiastical authorities in the Christian Church"

Images of Muhammad remain controversial to the present day, and are not considered acceptable in many countries in the Middle East For example, in 1963 an account by a Turkish author of a Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca was banned in Pakistan because it contained reproductions of miniatures showing Muhammad unveiled

Contemporary Iran

A colourised version of the original photograph by Lehnert & Landrock, which later became the base of an Iranian depiction of a young Muhammad

Despite the ban on the representation of Muhammad, images of Muhammed are not uncommon in Iran The Iranian Shi'ism seems more tolerant on this point than Sunnite orthodoxy In Iran, depictions have considerable acceptance to the present day, and may be found in the modern forms of the poster and postcard

Since the late 1990s, experts in Islamic iconography discovered images, printed on paper in Iran, portraying Mohammed as a teenager wearing a turban There are several variants, all show the same juvenile face, identified by an inscription such as "Muhammad, the Messenger of God", or a more detailed legend referring to an episode in the life of Muhammad and the supposed origin of the image Some Iranian versions of these posters attributed the original depiction to a Bahira, a Christian monk who met the young Muhammad in Syria By crediting the image to a Christian and predating it to the time before Muhammad became a prophet, the manufacturers of the image exonerate themselves from any wrongdoing

The motif was taken from a photograph of a young Tunisian taken by the Germans Rudolf Franz Lehnert and Ernst Heinrich Landrock in 1905 or 1906, which had been printed in high editions on picture post cards till 1921 This depiction has been popular in Iran as a form of curiosity

In Tehran, a mural depicting the prophet – his face veiled – riding Buraq was installed at a public road intersection in 2008, the only mural of its kind in a Muslim-majority country


Main articles: List of films about Muhammad and Depictions of Muhammad in film

Very few films have been made about Muhammad The 1976 film The Message, also known as Mohammad, Messenger of God, focused on other persons and never directly showed Muhammad or most members of his family A devotional cartoon called Muhammad: The Last Prophet was released in 2004 A new Iranian film directed by Majid Majidi is to be released in 2015 named Muhammad It will be the first part of the trilogy film series on Muhammad by Majid Majidi

While Sunni Muslims have always explicitly prohibited the depiction of Muhammad on film, contemporary Shi'a scholars have taken a more relaxed attitude, stating that it is permissible to depict Muhammad, even in television or movies, if done with respect

Depiction by non-Muslims

Western representations of Muhammad were very rare until the explosion of images following the invention of the printing press; he is shown in a few medieval images, normally in an unflattering manner, often influenced by his brief mention in Dante's Divine Comedy Muhammad sometimes figures in Western depictions of groups of influential people in world history Such depictions tend to be favourable or neutral in intent; one example can be found at the United States Supreme Court building in Washington, DC Created in 1935, the frieze includes major historical lawgivers, and places Muhammad alongside Hammurabi, Moses, Confucius, and others In 1997, a controversy erupted surrounding the frieze, and tourist materials have since been edited to describe the depiction as "a well-intentioned attempt by the sculptor to honor Muhammad" that "bears no resemblance to Muhammad"

In 1955, a statue of Muhammad was removed from a courthouse in New York City after the ambassadors of Indonesia, Pakistan, and Egypt requested its removal The extremely rare representations of Muhammad in monumental sculpture are especially likely to be offensive to Muslims, as the statue is the classic form for idols, and a fear of any hint of idolatry is the basis of Islamic prohibitions Islamic art has almost always avoided large sculptures of any subject, especially free-standing ones; only a few animals are known, mostly fountain-heads, like those in the Lion Court of the Alhambra; the Pisa Griffin is perhaps the largest

In 1997, the Council on American–Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group in the United States, wrote to United States Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist requesting that the sculpted representation of the Prophet Muhammad on the north frieze inside the Supreme Court building be removed or sanded down The court rejected CAIR's request

There have also been numerous book illustrations showing Muhammad

Dante, in The Divine Comedy: Inferno, placed Muhammad in Hell, with his entrails hanging out Canto 28:

No barrel, not even one where the hoops and staves go every which way, was ever split open like one frayed Sinner I saw, ripped from chin to where we fart below His guts hung between his legs and displayed His vital organs, including that wretched sack Which converts to shit whatever gets conveyed down the gullet As I stared at him he looked back And with his hands pulled his chest open, Saying, "See how I split open the crack in myself! See how twisted and broken Mohammed is! Before me walks Ali, his face Cleft from chin to crown, grief–stricken"

This scene was sometimes shown in illustrations of the Divina Commedia before modern times Muhammad is represented in a 15th-century fresco Last Judgement by Giovanni da Modena and drawing on Dante, in the Church of San Petronio, Bologna, Italy and artwork by Salvador Dalí, Auguste Rodin, William Blake, and Gustave Doré

Controversies in the 21st century

The start of the 21st century has been marked by controversies over depictions of Muhammad, not only for recent caricatures or cartoons, but also regarding the display of historical artwork

Die Berufung Mohammeds durch den Engel Gabriel by Theodor Hosemann, 1847, published by Spiegel in 1999

In a story on morals at the end of the millennium in December 1999, the German news magazine Der Spiegel printed on the same page pictures of “moral apostles” Muhammad, Jesus, Confucius, and Immanuel Kant In the subsequent weeks, the magazine received protests, petitions and threats against publishing the picture of Muhammad The Turkish TV-station Show TV broadcast the telephone number of an editor who then received daily calls

Nadeem Elyas, leader of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany said that the picture should not be printed again in order to avoid hurting the feelings of Muslims intentionally Elyas recommended to whiten the face of Muhammad instead

In June 2001, the Spiegel with consideration of Islamic laws published a picture of Muhammed with a whitened face on its title page The same picture of Muhammad by Hosemann had been published by the magazine once before in 1998 in a special edition on Islam, but then without evoking similar protests

In 2002, Italian police reported that they had disrupted a terrorist plot to destroy a church in Bologna, which contains a 15th-century fresco depicting an image of Muhammad see above


Controversial cartoons of Muhammad, first published in Jyllands-Posten in September 2005 Further information: Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy

In 2005, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a set of editorial cartoons, many of which depicted Muhammad In late 2005 and early 2006, Danish Muslim organizations ignited a controversy through public protests and by spreading knowledge of the publication of the cartoons According to John Woods, Islamic history professor at the University of Chicago, it was not simply the depiction of Muhammad that was offensive, but the implication that Muhammad was somehow a supporter of terrorism In Sweden, an online caricature competition was announced in support of Jyllands-Posten, but Foreign Affairs Minister Laila Freivalds and the Swedish Security Service pressured the internet service provider to shut the page down In 2006, when her involvement was revealed to the public, she had to resign On 12 February 2008 the Danish police arrested three men alleged to be involved in a plot to assassinate Kurt Westergaard, one of the cartoonists

Muhammad appeared in the 2001 South Park episode "Super Best Friends" The image was later removed from the 2006 episode "Cartoon Wars" and the 2010 episodes "200" and "201" due to controversies regarding Muhammad cartoons in European newspapers

In 2006, the controversial American animated television comedy program South Park, which had previously depicted Muhammad as a superhero character in the July 4, 2001 episode "Super Best Friends" and has depicted Muhammad in the opening sequence since that episode, attempted to satirize the Danish newspaper incident In the episode, "Cartoon Wars Part II", they intended to show Muhammad handing a salmon helmet to Peter Griffin, a character from the Fox animated series Family Guy However, Comedy Central, who airs South Park, rejected the scene, citing concerns of violent protests in the Islamic world The creators of South Park reacted by instead satirizing Comedy Central's double standard for broadcast acceptability by including a segment of the episode "Cartoon Wars Part II" in which American president George W Bush and Jesus defecate on the flag of the United States

The Lars Vilks Muhammad drawings controversy began in July 2007 with a series of drawings by Swedish artist Lars Vilks which depicted Muhammad as a roundabout dog Several art galleries in Sweden declined to show the drawings, citing security concerns and fear of violence The controversy gained international attention after the Örebro-based regional newspaper Nerikes Allehanda published one of the drawings on August 18 to illustrate an editorial on self-censorship and freedom of religion

While several other leading Swedish newspapers had published the drawings already, this particular publication led to protests from Muslims in Sweden as well as official condemnations from several foreign governments including Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt and Jordan, as well as by the inter-governmental Organisation of the Islamic Conference OIC The controversy occurred about one and a half years after the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy in Denmark in early 2006

Another controversy emerged in September 2007 when Bangladeshi cartoonist Arifur Rahman was detained on suspicion of showing disrespect to Muhammad The interim government confiscated copies of the Bengali-language Prothom Alo in which the drawings appeared The cartoon consisted of a boy holding a cat conversing with an elderly man The man asks the boy his name, and he replies "Babu" The older man chides him for not mentioning the name of Muhammad before his name

He then points to the cat and asks the boy what it is called, and the boy replies "Muhammad the cat" The cartoon caused a firestorm in Bangladesh, with militant Islamists demanding that Rahman be executed for blasphemy A group of people torched copies of the paper and several Islamic groups protested, saying the drawings ridiculed Mohammad and his companions They demanded "exemplary punishment" for the paper's editor and the cartoonist Bangladesh does not have a blasphemy law, although one had been demanded by the same extremist Islamic groups

Charlie Hebdo

See also: Charlie Hebdo shooting 3 November 2011 cover of Charlie Hebdo, renamed Charia Hebdo Sharia Hebdo The word balloon reads "100 lashes if you don't die of laughter!" Cover of 14 January 2015 in the same style as the 3 November 2011 cover, with the phrase Je Suis Charlie and the title "All is forgiven"

On November 2, 2010, the office of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo at Paris was attacked with a firebomb and its website hacked, after it had announced plans to publish a special edition with Muhammad as its “chief editor”, and the title page with a cartoon of Muhammad had been pre-issued on social media

In September 2012, the newspaper published a series of satirical cartoons of Muhammad, some of which feature nude caricatures of him In January 2013, Charlie Hebdo announced that they would make a comic book on the life of Muhammad In March 2013, Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen, commonly known as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula AQAP, released a hit list in an edition of their English-language magazine Inspire The list included Stéphane Charbonnier, Lars Vilks, three Jyllands-Posten employees involved in the Muhammad cartoon controversy, Molly Norris from the Everybody Draw Mohammed Day and others whom AQAP accused of insulting Islam

On January 7, 2015, the office was attacked again with 12 shot dead including Stéphane Charbonnier

Wikipedia article

In 2008, several Muslims protested against the inclusion of Muhammad's depictions in the English Wikipedia's Muhammad article An online petition claims to have collected over 450,000 signatures in three months December 2007 to February 2008 The petition was started by Faraz Ahmad of Daska, Pakistan, resident in Glasgow, Scotland, formerly editing Wikipedia as "Farazilu"

Muhammad prohibiting Nasīʾ

The petition opposed a reproduction of a 17th-century Ottoman copy of a 14th-century Ilkhanate manuscript image MS Arabe 1489 depicting Muhammad as he prohibited Nasīʾ Jeremy Henzell-Thomas of The American Muslim deplored the petition as one of "these mechanical knee-jerk reactions are gifts to those who seek every opportunity to decry Islam and ridicule Muslims and can only exacerbate a situation in which Muslims and the Western media seem to be locked in an ever-descending spiral of ignorance and mutual loathing"

Wikipedia considered but rejected a compromise that would allow visitors to choose whether to view the page with images The Wikipedia community has not acted upon the petition The site's answers to frequently asked questions about these images state that Wikipedia does not censor itself for the benefit of any one group

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in January 2010 confirmed to the New York Post that it had quietly removed all historic paintings which contained depictions of Muhammad from public exhibition The Museum quoted objections on the part of conservative Muslims which were "under review" The museum's action was criticized as excessive political correctness, as were other decisions taken close to the same time, including the renaming of the "Primitive Art Galleries" to the "Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas" and the projected "Islamic Galleries" to "Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia"

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day

Main article: Everybody Draw Mohammed Day

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day was a protest against those who threatened violence against artists who drew representations of Muhammad It began as a protest against the action of Comedy Central in forbidding the broadcast of the South Park episode "201" in response to death threats against some of those responsible for the segment Observance of the day began with a drawing posted on the Internet on April 20, 2010, accompanied by text suggesting that "everybody" create a drawing representing Muhammad, on May 20, 2010, as a protest against efforts to limit freedom of speech

Muhammad Art Exhibit & Contest

Main article: Curtis Culwell Center attack

A May 3, 2015, event held in Garland, Texas, held by American activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, was the scene of a shooting by two individuals who were later themselves shot and killed outside the event Police officers assisting in security at the event returned fire and killed the two gunmen The event offered a $10,000 prize and was said to be in response to the January 2015 attacks on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo One of the gunmen was identified as a former terror suspect, known to the FBI

See also

  • Culture portal
  • Islam portal
  • Middle Ages portal
  • Visual arts portal
  • Freedom of speech portal
  • Qadam Rasul
  • The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  • 2006 Idomeneo controversy


  • Censorship in Islamic societies
  • Criticism of Muhammad


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  36. ^ Gruber 2010, quote p 43; generally pp29-45
  37. ^ Gruber, Christiane 2010-03-15 The Ilkhanid Book of Ascension Tauris Academic Studies p 25 ISBN 1-84511-499-X 
  38. ^ Tanındı, Zeren 1984 Siyer-i nebî: İslam tasvir sanatında Hz Muhammedʹin hayatı Hürriyet Vakfı Yayınları 
  39. ^ Gruber Iranica
  40. ^ Gruber 2010, p43
  41. ^ The birth is rare, but appears in an early manuscript in Edinburgh
  42. ^ Arnold, 95
  43. ^ Gruber, 230, 236
  44. ^ Brend, Barbara Islamic Art, p 161, British Museum Press
  45. ^ Schimmel, Annemarie, Deciphering the signs of God: a phenomenological approach to Islam, p45, n 86, SUNY Press, 1994, ISBN 0-7914-1982-7, ISBN 978-0-7914-1982-3
  46. ^ "Ottomans : religious painting" Retrieved 1 May 2016 
  47. ^ From an illustrated version of Al-Biruni's 11th-century Vestiges of the Past Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, Arabe 1489 fol 5v Bibliothèque Nationale on-line catalog Mandragore
  48. ^ a b c d Pierre Centlivres, Micheline Centlivres-Demont: Une étrange rencontre La photographie orientaliste de Lehnert et Landrock et l'image iranienne du prophète Mahomet, Études photographiques Nr 17, November 2005 in French
  49. ^ Gruber 2010, p253, illustrates a postcard bought in 2001
  50. ^ a b "http://iconicphotoswordpresscom/2010/06/11/mohammed/" Iconicphotoswordpresscom Retrieved 2013-06-06  External link in |title= help
  51. ^ "Fine Media Group" Retrieved 2006-03-11 
  52. ^ Alessandra Raengo & Robert Stam 2004 A Companion To Literature And Film Blackwell Publishing p 31 ISBN 0-631-23053-X 
  53. ^ "Istifta" Retrieved 2006-03-10 
  54. ^ "The Daily Republican: Supreme Court Frieze" Retrieved 2006-03-13 
  55. ^ "Archive "Montreal News Network": Images of Muhammad, Gone for Good" Retrieved 2006-03-10  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list help
  56. ^ MSN : "How the “Ban” on Images of Muhammad Came to Be" by Jackie Bischof January 19, 2015
  57. ^ Seth Zimmerman 2003 The Inferno of Dante Alighieri iUniverse p 191 ISBN 0-595-28090-0 
  58. ^ a b Philip Willan 2002-06-24 "Al-Qaida plot to blow up Bologna church fresco" The Guardian 
  59. ^ Ayesha Akram 2006-02-11 "What's behind Muslim cartoon outrage" San Francisco Chronicle 
  60. ^ Terror am Telefon, Spiegel, February 7, 2000
  61. ^ Carolin Emcke: Fanatiker sind leicht verführbar, Interview with Nadeem Elyas, February 7, 2000
  62. ^ 6 Februar 2006 Betr: Titel, Spiegel, 6 February 6, 2006
  63. ^ Spiegel Special 1, 1998, page 76
  64. ^ "Italy frees Fresco Suspects" New York Times 2002-08-22 
  65. ^ "Swedish foreign minister resigns over cartoons" Reuters AlertNet Archived from the original on 22 March 2006 Retrieved 2006-03-21 
  66. ^ Staff Danish cartoons 'plotters' held BBC, 12 February 2008
  67. ^ "Super Best Friends" South Park Season 5 Episode 68 2001-07-04 
  68. ^ "Ryan j Budke "South Park's been showing Muhammad all season!" TVSquadcom; April 15, 2006" Tvsquadcom Retrieved 2013-06-06 
  69. ^ Ströman, Lars 2007-08-18 "Rätten att förlöjliga en religion" in Swedish Nerikes Allehanda Archived from the original on 2007-09-06 Retrieved 2007-08-31 
    English translation: Ströman, Lars 2007-08-28 "The right to ridicule a religion" Nerikes Allehanda Archived from the original on 2007-08-30 Retrieved 2007-08-31 
  70. ^ "Iran protests over Swedish Muhammad cartoon" Agence France-Presse 2007-08-27 Retrieved 2007-08-27 
  71. ^ "PAKISTAN CONDEMNS THE PUBLICATION OF OFFENSIVE SKETCH IN SWEDEN" Press release Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2007-08-30 Retrieved 2007-08-31 
  72. ^ Salahuddin, Sayed 2007-09-01 "Indignant Afghanistan slams Prophet Mohammad sketch" Reuters Retrieved 2007-09-09 
  73. ^ Fouché, Gwladys 2007-09-03 "Egypt wades into Swedish cartoons row" The Guardian Retrieved 2007-09-09 
  74. ^ "Jordan condemns new Swedish Mohammed cartoon" Agence France-Presse 2007-09-03 Retrieved 2007-09-09 
  75. ^ "The Secretary General strongly condemned the publishing of blasphemous caricatures of prophet Muhammad by Swedish artist" Press release Organisation of the Islamic Conference 2007-08-30 Retrieved 2007-09-09 
  76. ^ "How I created the Charlie Hebdo magazine cover: cartoonist Luz's statement in full" The Telegraph 13 Jan 2015 
  77. ^ Taylor, Jerome 2 January 2013 "It's Charlie Hebdo's right to draw Muhammad, but they missed the opportunity to do something profound" The Independent Retrieved 12 October 2014 
  78. ^ "Has al-Qaeda Struck Back Part One" 8 January 2015 Retrieved 2015  Check date values in: |access-date= help
  79. ^ "ANALYSIS: Was Charlie Hebdo massacre Al-Qaeda's bid to re-establish itself as global terror force after being 'eclipsed by ISIS', asks Michael Burleigh" 9 January 2015 Retrieved 2015  Check date values in: |access-date= help
  80. ^ "Muslims Protest Wikipedia Images of Muhammad" Fox News 2008-02-06 Retrieved 2008-02-07 
  81. ^ a b Noam Cohen 2008-02-05 "Wikipedia Islam Entry Is Criticized" New York Times Retrieved 2008-02-07 
  82. ^ MS Arabe 1489 The image used by Wikipedia is hosted on Wikimedia Commons uploadwikimediaorg/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/Maomejpg The reproduction originates from the website of the Bibliothèque nationale de France
  83. ^ Wikipedia and Depictions of the Prophet Muhammad: The Latest Inane Distraction, 10 February 2008
  84. ^ Wikipedia defies 180,000 demands to remove images of the Prophet The Guardian, 17 February 2008
  85. ^ Wikipedia Refuses To Delete Picture Of Muhammad Information Week, 7 February 2008
  86. ^ 'Jihad' jitters at Met – Mohammed art gone by Isabel Vincent, 10 January 2010
  87. ^ Kevin Conlon and Kristina Sgueglia, CNN 4 May 2015 "Two shot dead after they open fire at Mohammed cartoon event in Texas" CNN Retrieved 1 May 2016 
  88. ^ $10,000 Muhammad Art and Cartoon Contest to Be Held At Site of ‘Stand With The Prophet’ Conference in Texas, breitbartcom, February 11, 2015
  89. ^ ABC News "Garland Shooting Suspect Elton Simpson's Father Says Son 'Made a Bad Choice'" ABC News Retrieved 1 May 2016 
  90. ^ "FBI knew of 'draw Muhammad' shooting suspect Elton Simpson - Daily Mail Online" Mail Online 4 May 2015 Retrieved 1 May 2016 


  • Arnold, Thomas W First published 1928, reprint 2002–11 Painting in Islam, a Study of the Place of Pictorial Art in Muslim Culture Gorgias Press LLC pp 91–99 ISBN 978-1-931956-91-8  Check date values in: |date= help
  • Ali, Wijdan, M Kiel; N Landman; H Theunissen, eds, "From the Literal to the Spiritual: The Development of Prophet Muhammad's Portrayal from 13th Century Ilkhanid Miniatures to 17th Century Ottoman Art" PDF, Proceedings of the 11th International Congress of Turkish Art, The Netherlands: Utrecht, 7 1–24, p 7 
  • Grabar, Oleg, The Story of Portraits of the Prophet Muhammad, in Studia Islamica, 2004, p 19 onwards
  • "Gruber 2005", Gruber, Christiane, Representations of the Prophet Muhammad in Islamic painting, in Gulru Necipoglu, Karen Leal eds, Muqarnas, Volume 26, 2009, BRILL, ISBN 90-04-17589-X, 9789004175891, google books
  • "Gruber 2010", Gruber, Christiane J, The Prophet's ascension: cross-cultural encounters with the Islamic mi'rāj tales, Christiane J Gruber, Frederick Stephen Colby eds, Indiana University Press, 2010, ISBN 0-253-35361-0, ISBN 978-0-253-35361-0, google books
  • "Gruber Iranica", Gruber, Christiane, "MEʿRĀJ ii Illustrations", in Encyclopedia Iranica, 2009, online

Further reading

  • Gruber, Christiane J; Shalem, Avinoam eds, The Image of the Prophet Between Ideal and Ideology: A Scholarly Investigation, De Gruyter, 2014, ISBN 9783110312386, google books, Introduction
  • Gruber, Christiane J, "Images", in: Fitzpatrick, Coeli; Walker, Adam Hani eds, Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God, ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2014, ISBN 9781610691772, google books

External links

  • Devotion in pictures: Muslim popular iconography, University of Bergen
  • "Religious" Paintings in Islamic Art
  • "The Koran Does Not Forbid Images of the Prophet", Newsweek, 9 January 2015, by Christiane Gruber,
  • The winning cartoon of the Muhammad Art Exhibit & Contest 2015
  • A collection of Charlie Hebdo cartoons Articles with additional cartoons: Collection 2 and Collection 3
  • Mohammed Image Archive: Depictions of Mohammed Throughout History
  • Muhammad in Dante's Inferno 28

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