Well-known music composer AR Rahman has posted a strongly-worded response to a fatwa that was issued against him for his involvement in a movie called Muhammad: Messenger of God.
Mumbai’s Raza Academy recently issued a fatwa against AR Rahman for composing the music for an Iranian movie named Muhammad: Messenger of God. A fatwa has also been issued against the director of the film, Majed Majedi. According to the Academy’s founder secretary, Mohammed Saeed Noori, the action was taken because of several reasons — one of them being that the movie depicts the Prophet as a child, and this is against Islam.
The film, set in the 6th century, depicts the life of Prophet Mohammad, and is planned to be made in the form of a trilogy.
On Monday, the Oscar winning composer, song writer and music producer, gave a very apt reply to the fatwa in the form of a strongly written Facebook post.
“I’m not a scholar of Islam. I follow the middle path and am part traditionalist and part rationalist. I live in the western and eastern worlds and try to love all people for what they are, without judging them,” he wrote.
Saeed Noori says that his organization is also against the title of the movie because there is a possibility it can be misinterpreted and insult the Prophet. The fatwa also says that the movie has cast non-Muslim actors in some of the major roles. It demands that Muslims shun the film as it mocks Islam.
“See, as Muslims we have to do something about it since it is against our religion so that tomorrow, if and when, we face Allah, He doesn’t say that you didn’t do anything to stop this from happening. So we have to try,” Noori was quoted as saying. Rahman responded to this statement by writing:
“My decision to compose the music for this film was in good faith and with no intention of causing offense. In fact, the decision was based on a similar point of view as expressed by Mr Noori. What and if I had the good fortune of facing Allah (Sbt); and He were to ask me on Judgement Day: I gave you faith, money, talent, fame and health. Why did you not do music for my beloved Muhammad (sals) film? A film whose intention is to unite humanity, clear misconceptions and spread my message, that life is about kindness, about uplifting the poor, about living in the service of humanity and not mercilessly killing innocents in my name.”
Read the full response here:
The Raza Academy was set up in 1978 with the purpose of promoting Islamic Sufi culture by publishing books and research work. As per Noori, they have published 800 books to spread awareness about Islam, which include editions of the Quran in Hindi, English and Urdu. The Academy has been mired in controversy many times in the past as well.
Rahman’s clear and intelligent response to the fatwa has been met with admiration in most circles.
This is what some of his supporters on Twitter had to say:
SUPPORT A R Rahman, facing a fatwa for his music in Iranian Majid Majidi's respectful "Muhammad: The Messenger of God". Jai ho, @arrahman!
— KABIR BEDI (@iKabirBedi) September 14, 2015
The attack on AR Rahman by the Raza Academy is unfair, unjust and I dare say a bit silly.
— Pritish Nandy (@PritishNandy) September 16, 2015
@arrahman i stand in solidarity with you.Raza Academy has no locus standi.They issued a fatwa against me too and i just ignored them
— Azmi Shabana (@AzmiShabana) September 14, 2015