Indian Muslim cleric issues ‘fatwa’ against A.R. Rahman for Muhammad film

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Indian Muslim cleric issues ‘fatwa’ against A.R. Rahman for Muhammad film

Oscar-winning Indian music composer AR Rahman while promoting his film ‘Highway’.

A Muslim group, The Raza Academy in Mumbai, India said it has issued a “fatwa” against the Oscar-winning Indian music composer A.R. Rahman and Majid Majidi, the Iranian director of the film Muhammad: The Messenger of God.
The institute also wrote to the Indian government, seeking a ban on the film.
Rahman responded to criticism against him for composing music for a film on Prophet Muhammad, in a Facebook post where he said he composed the music in “good faith”.
The Oscar winning composer was born a Hindu, but converted to Islam in 1989 at age of 23, changing his name from RS Dileep Kumar to Allah Rakha Rahman.
His decision to make a public statement is interesting, given that the musician generally steers clear of media interviews and talking about his beliefs.
In his statement Rahman said, “What, and if, I had the good fortune of facing Allah and He were to ask me on Judgment 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 about kindness, about uplifting the poor, and living in the service of humanity and not mercilessly killing innocents in my name.”
Majid Majidi’s film, Muhammad: The Messenger of God, does not depict the face of the Prophet, but reportedly includes shots of the Prophet’s back, via a low-angle shot of a teenage Muhammad against the sky, and his hands and legs as a baby. Any kind of physical depiction of the Prophet is not allowed in Islam.
“Firstly, the name of the Prophet shouldn’t be in the film’s title. People use a film’s name loosely, like when someone says bad things about the film, it sounds like an insult to Muhammad himself. Secondly, photography isn’t allowed in Islam. We have a problem with various actors shown playing Muhammad,” a statement from the Raza Academy read.
It further said that Rahman would need to solemnize his marriage again and also read the Kalma once more.
Rahman’s response to the criticism has gained massive traction on social media, garnering more than 42,000 likes and 4500 shares. Most of the comments – from both Hindus and Muslims – have expressed support for him.