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Islam’s hidden history of Muhammad’s images and paintings

Ban on depictions has not always been absolute – Islam has images and icons dating back to the 13th century

Islam’s hidden history of Muhammad’s images and paintings



(Gallery containing over 40 images at the end of the article)

To many Muslims, any image of the prophet Muhammad is sacrilegious, but the ban has not always been absolute and there is a small but rich tradition of devotional Islamic art going back more than seven centuries that does depict God’s messenger.

It began with exquisite miniatures from the 13th century, scholars say. Commissioned from Muslim artists by the rich and powerful of their day, they show almost every episode of Muhammad’s life as recounted in the Qur’an and other texts, from birth to death and ascension into heaven.

Intended as private aids to devotion and prayer, these detailed scenes were made for both Sunni and Shia worshipers, and surviving examples can be found in dozens of major museum and library collections.

They also laid the foundations for a popular, if minority, tradition of devotional and inspirational images that still exists today, from icons cherished in homes to a five-storey government-commissioned mural in the heart of Tehran and even to revolutionary street art in Cairo – although the prophet’s face is obscured in both those public drawings.

In the wake of the murder of cartoonists at French magazine Charlie Hebdo, many Muslims and non-Muslims have argued that Islam has always banned any representation of the prophet, in part because of strong warnings in the Qu’ran and other religious texts against idolatry or anything that could be seen as a pathway towards idolatry.




This position is rarely challenged, perhaps because the existence of images of Muhammad is little known and almost never discussed outside communities that create, study or buy them. But their obscurity frustrates experts who see them as a rich part of Islam’s artistic heritage and resent the misconception that the only depictions of the prophet are mocking or racist creations by non-believers. “It’s really important for audiences that have never seen the pietistic images of Muhammad to make a radical distinction between the mystical and beautiful images that have been produced over the last 1,000 years by Muslims and for Muslims, and the offensive and sometimes pornographic images [currently in the news],” said Omid Safi, director of the Islamic Studies Centre at Duke University in North Carolina.

Author of a book about the prophet’s life, Memories of Muhammad, Safi keeps an image of Muhammad in his home, which he brought from Iran when he fled as a child.

“I think people know that for me, as scholar and as an observant Muslim, this comes out of a tradition where seeing this icon reminds me of the prophet, and thinking of the prophet reminds me of God,” he said. “It’s using the senses to arrive at God.”

Safi does not tell all his Muslim visitors who the painting depicts, though: he sometimes refers to him only as a holy man, because many Islamic theologians would reject it as blasphemous.

Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, an imam in Leicester and assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Great Britain, told the BBC: “Islam in general specifically forbids the usage of imagery, and when it comes to depicting the messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, that prohibition becomes even more relevant: we are not allowed to depict him in any shape, any way or form.”

Arab Muslim countries have shunned all depictions of the human form ever since Islam swept across the region, with early leaders anxious to make a sharp break with the pagan beliefs and idols it displaced. But the same was not true for Persian and Turkish areas where Islam took root, according to Professor Christiane Gruber of the University of Michigan, an expert in depictions of the prophet in Islamic art.

The first surviving pictures from these regions date back to the mid-13th century and were not restricted to any one sect. “Some of the earliest images were created by a Sunni ruler, who wanted to counter his father’s Shiism,” Gruber said.

They may have been part of a much longer tradition, but Mongol armies commanded by Genghis Khan’s grandson sacked Baghdad in 1258 and destroyed the imperial library. “We don’t know much about Islamic book art before that,” Gruber said. “It’s possible that before that there was a tradition but we will never know anything about it or be able to fill that gap.”

Muslim leaders who commissioned the images never tried to place them in public worship areas, and mosque decorations were restricted to calligraphy or floral and geometric designs.

Instead the images were luxury items for use in private devotion by a tiny elite, who wanted to study and meditate on the prophet’s life and teachings at home.

“There hasn’t been much public discussion about images of Muhammad,” said Gruber. “We can’t blame Muslim communities for not knowing that they exist, if we don’t make them publicly available. Publishing these images is artistic restitution in the face of senseless irreverence. It would be wonderful for us to flood our eyes with those beautiful images. Muslims can be proud of them as part of a very richly textured artistic heritage.”

No sacred images of Muhammad are on public display in the UK. New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, by contrast, has put one particularly beautiful depiction of the ascension of Muhammad into heaven at the heart of its Islamic art galleries. A second image appears on the museum website along with an introduction to the artistic tradition behind it.

“These portrayals, while somewhat rare, are not unheard of, as there were (and still are) many different attitudes toward depicting the prophet – and human beings in general – in the Islamic world,” the website states. “An image of the prophet Muhammad at the beginning of a book endows the volume with the highest form of blessing and sanctity. Thus, illustration of him was a common practice, particularly in the eastern regions of the Islamic world.”

A recent display of sacred Islamic art, including images of the prophet, at France’s Bibliothéque Nationale drew a stream of visitors and no controversy.

From around 1500AD, in Ottoman areas, images began to show Muhammad with his face covered by a veil, or in some cases replaced by golden flames, an abstraction to reflect his divinity. His face was not obscured in every depiction, though, and while the tradition of depicting him in human form waned, it never died.

It is most common in Shia Iran, where until recently postcards, pictures and even carpets depicting the prophet could be found on sale, and in 2008 the government commissioned a beautiful five-storey mural of Muhammad riding towards paradise, inspired by one of the manuscript paintings.

It has also reappeared in largely Sunni Egypt, where a wall painting on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, created during the revolutionary turmoil of 2012, shows Muhammad on a horse, perhaps ready to ride into battle, turned away from the viewer but identified by calligraphy floating in stars above his head.

Nasima Begum, spokeswoman for the Muslim Council of Great Britain, said views on representations of Muhammad were uniform, and described the sacred art as a historical anomaly. “The general view about depicting the prophet hasn’t changed over time,” she said. “It is believed that he should not be depicted whatsoever. In the 12th and 13th centuries, there may well have been books producing images of the prophet, however the very fact that images of his face were covered up in the 16th century or so does show that Muslims were not happy about the depictions and therefore resulted in a veil being used to cover the face.”

She declined to comment on whether the council would object to the display of the images in exhibitions of Islamic art, or their publication. To Gruber and other scholars, publishing and celebrating those pictures is essential.

“It’s not patronising just to the heritage; to my mind it’s actually quite belittling of Muslims [not to publish them],” Gruber said. “There is a pernicious unspoken message that Muslims won’t be able to handle seeing these materials or talking about them.” She added that in over a decade of research and teaching, she has never been threatened and does not consider her work dangerous.

“If I cave in to fear, then that would mean I assume that Muslim readers are essentially or inherently inclined towards violence, and I think that’s offensive,” she said. “Every time that I have seen or held any public discussion of these respectful images, there has only been positive reaction.”

By: Emma Graham-Harrison (The Observer / The Guardian Newspaper)




Images of Prophet Muhammad from Islamic Art and History before
the clan of Ibn Saud took Muslims hostage

 

 

Mohammed solves a dispute over lifting the black stone into position at the Kaaba. The legends tell how, when Mohammed was still a young man, the Kaaba was being rebuilt and a dispute arose between the various clans in Mecca over who had the right rededicate the black stone. (The Kaaba was at that time still a polytheistic shrine, this being many years before Islam was founded.) Mohammed resolved the argument by placing the stone on a cloth and having members of each clan lift the cloth together, raising the black stone into place cooperatively. Miniature illustration on vellum from the book Jami’ al-Tawarikh (literally “Compendium of Chronicles” but often referred to as The Universal History or History of the World), by Rashid al-Din, published in Tabriz, Persia, 1307 A.D. Now in the collection of the Edinburgh University Library, Scotland. (Hat tip: Brett K. and Martin H.)

Mohammed solves a dispute over lifting the black stone into position at the Kaaba. The legends tell how, when Mohammed was still a young man, the Kaaba was being rebuilt and a dispute arose between the various clans in Mecca over who had the right rededicate the black stone. (The Kaaba was at that time still a polytheistic shrine, this being many years before Islam was founded.) Mohammed resolved the argument by placing the stone on a cloth and having members of each clan lift the cloth together, raising the black stone into place cooperatively. Miniature illustration on vellum from the book Jami’ al-Tawarikh (literally “Compendium of Chronicles” but often referred to as The Universal History or History of the World), by Rashid al-Din, published in Tabriz, Persia, 1307 A.D. Now in the collection of the Edinburgh University Library, Scotland.
(Hat tip: Brett K. and Martin H.)

Jesus and mohammed

Isaiah’s vision of Jesus riding a donkey and Muhammad riding a camel, al-Biruni, al-Athar al-Baqiyya ‘an al-Qurun al-Khaliyya (Chronology of Ancient Nations), Tabriz, Iran, 1307-8. Edinburgh University Library. EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

Illustration showing Mohammed (on the right) preaching his final sermon to his earliest converts, on Mount Ararat near Mecca; taken from a medieval-era manuscript of the astronomical treatise The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries by the Persian scholar al-Biruni; currently housed in the collection of the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris (Manuscrits Arabe 1489 fol. 5v). This scene was popular among medieval Islamic artists, and several nearly identical versions of this drawing (such as this one [shown in detail below] and this one) were made in the Middle Ages.

Illustration showing Mohammed (on the right) preaching his final sermon to his earliest converts, on Mount Arafat near Mecca; taken from a medieval-era manuscript of the astronomical treatise The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries by the Persian scholar al-Biruni; currently housed in the collection of the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris (Manuscrits Arabe 1489 fol. 5v). This scene was popular among medieval Islamic artists, and several nearly identical versions of this drawing (such as this one [shown in detail below] and this one) were made in the Middle Ages.

Mohammed flying over Mecca, at the beginning of his “Night Journey.” The square building in the center is the Ka’aba. From the manuscript entitled Khamseh, by Nezami, 1494-5. Currently in the British Museum.

Mohammed flying over Mecca, at the beginning of his “Night Journey.” The square building in the center is the Ka’aba. From the manuscript entitled Khamseh, by Nezami, 1494-5. Currently in the British Museum.

Mohammed presented to the monk Abd al Muttalib and the inhabitants of Mecca. 18th century Ottoman copy of a supposedly 8th century original. Now located in the Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul.

Mohammed presented to the monk Abd al Muttalib and the inhabitants of Mecca. 18th century Ottoman copy of a supposedly 8th century original. Now located in the Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul.

An angel presenting Mohammed (upper left) and his companions with a miniature city. In the Topkapi Palace Library, Istanbul.

An angel presenting Mohammed (upper left) and his companions with a miniature city. In the Topkapi Palace Library, Istanbul.

Mohammed (riding the horse) receiving the submission of the Banu Nadir, a Jewish tribe he defeated at Medina. From the Jami’al-Tawarikh, dated 1314-5. In the Nour Foundation’s Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, London.

Mohammed (riding the horse) receiving the submission of the Banu Nadir, a Jewish tribe he defeated at Medina. From the Jami’al-Tawarikh, dated 1314-5. In the Nour Foundation’s Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, London.

Mohammed borne on Gabriel’s shoulders, arriving at the gate of paradise guarded by the angel Ridwan. From the Miraj-name, Tabriz (c. 1360-70). In the Topkapi Palace Library, Istanbul.

Mohammed borne on Gabriel’s shoulders, arriving at the gate of paradise guarded by the angel Ridwan. From the Miraj-name, Tabriz (c. 1360-70). In the Topkapi Palace Library, Istanbul.

The Archangel Gabriel carries Mohammed on his shoulders over mountains where angels are shown among golden flames. In the Topkapi Palace Library, Istanbul.

The Archangel Gabriel carries Mohammed on his shoulders over mountains where angels are shown among golden flames. In the Topkapi Palace Library, Istanbul.

The Prophet Muhammad receives revelations at Mount Hira, al-Darir, Siyer-i Nebi (The Biography of the Prophet), Istanbul, Ottoman lands, 1595-1596. TOPKAPI PALACE LIBRARY

The Prophet Muhammad receives revelations at Mount Hira, al-Darir, Siyer-i Nebi (The Biography of the Prophet), Istanbul, Ottoman lands, 1595-1596. TOPKAPI PALACE LIBRARY

Mohammed (on the right, astride Buraq) and the Angel Gabriel (center) talk with Abraham (left) in Paradise. Persian, 15th century.

Mohammed (on the right, astride Buraq) and the Angel Gabriel (center) talk with Abraham (left) in Paradise. Persian, 15th century.

The Prophet Muhammad enthroned, surmounted by angels, and surrounded by his companions, Firdawsi, Shahnama (Book of Kings), probably Shiraz, Iran, early 14th century. FREER/SACKLER MUSEUM OF ASIAN ART/SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

The Prophet Muhammad enthroned, surmounted by angels, and surrounded by his companions, Firdawsi, Shahnama (Book of Kings), probably Shiraz, Iran, early 14th century. FREER/SACKLER MUSEUM OF ASIAN ART/SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

Mohammed’s birth. Miniature illustration on vellum from the book Jami’ al-Tawarikh (literally “Compendium of Chronicles” but often referred to as The Universal History or History of the World), by Rashid al-Din, published in Tabriz, Persia, 1307 A.D. Now in the collection of the Edinburgh University Library, Scotland.

Mohammed’s birth. Miniature illustration on vellum from the book Jami’ al-Tawarikh (literally “Compendium of Chronicles” but often referred to as The Universal History or History of the World), by Rashid al-Din, published in Tabriz, Persia, 1307 A.D. Now in the collection of the Edinburgh University Library, Scotland.

Mohammed exhorting his family before the battle of Badr. It is not immediately apparent which figure in this drawing is Mohammed. From the Jami’al-Tawarikh, dated 1314-5. In the Nour Foundation’s Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, London.

Mohammed exhorting his family before the battle of Badr. It is not immediately apparent which figure in this drawing is Mohammed. From the Jami’al-Tawarikh, dated 1314-5. In the Nour Foundation’s Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, London.

Mohammed (riding the horse) receiving the submission of the Banu Nadir, a Jewish tribe he defeated at Medina. From the Jami’al-Tawarikh, dated 1314-5. In the Nour Foundation’s Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, London.

Mohammed (riding the horse) receiving the submission of the Banu Nadir, a Jewish tribe he defeated at Medina. From the Jami’al-Tawarikh, dated 1314-5. In the Nour Foundation’s Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, London.

Mohammed (on the right, astride Buraq) and the Angel Gabriel (center) talk with Abraham (left) in Paradise. Persian, 15th century.

Mohammed (on the right, astride Buraq) and the Angel Gabriel (center) talk with Abraham (left) in Paradise. Persian, 15th century.

Mohammed, flying over Paradise, looks at the houris harvesting flowers and enjoying themselves. Persian, 15th century.

Mohammed, flying over Paradise, looks at the houris harvesting flowers and enjoying themselves. Persian, 15th century.

The Night Journey of Muhammad on His Steed, Buraq; leaf from a copy of the Bustan of Sacdi, dated 1514. From Bukhara, Uzbekistan. In The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Night Journey of Muhammad on His Steed, Buraq; leaf from a copy of the Bustan of Sacdi, dated 1514. From Bukhara, Uzbekistan. In The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Muhammad’s Call to Prophecy and the First Revelation; leaf from a copy of the Majmac al-tawarikh (“Compendium of Histories”), ca. 1425; Timurid. From Herat, Afghanistan. In The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Muhammad’s Call to Prophecy and the First Revelation; leaf from a copy of the Majmac al-tawarikh (“Compendium of Histories”), ca. 1425; Timurid. From Herat, Afghanistan. In The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Journey of the Prophet Muhammad; leaf from a copy of the Majmac al-tawarikh (“Compendium of Histories”), ca. 1425; Timurid. Herat, Afghanistan. In The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Journey of the Prophet Muhammad; leaf from a copy of the Majmac al-tawarikh (“Compendium of Histories”), ca. 1425; Timurid. Herat, Afghanistan. In The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mohammed greeting ambassadors from Medina. Likely of central Asian origin, though the site on which the image was found does not give an exact date or location.

Mohammed greeting ambassadors from Medina. Likely of central Asian origin, though the site on which the image was found does not give an exact date or location.

Mohammed receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel. Miniature illustration on vellum from the book Jami’ al-Tawarikh (literally “Compendium of Chronicles” but often referred to as The Universal History or History of the World), by Rashid al-Din, published in Tabriz, Persia, 1307 A.D. Now in the collection of the Edinburgh University Library, Scotland.

Mohammed receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel. Miniature illustration on vellum from the book Jami’ al-Tawarikh (literally “Compendium of Chronicles” but often referred to as The Universal History or History of the World), by Rashid al-Din, published in Tabriz, Persia, 1307 A.D. Now in the collection of the Edinburgh University Library, Scotland.

Another version of the same image as above, also likely from Rashid al-Din’s Jami’al-Tawarikh. This image is likely a redrawn lithograph of the original, and was printed in the book History of Egypt, by S. Rappoport, which contains the caption, “The original of the illustration is to be seen in a finely illuminated MS. of the ninth century, A. D., preserved in the India Office, London. The picture is of peculiar interest, being the only known portrait of Muhammed, who is evidently represented as receiving the divine command to propagate Muhammedanism.” Obviously, the caption is in error; the style of drawing appears to come from later than the ninth century, and needless to say this is not “the only known portrait of Muhammed.”

Another version of the same image as above, also likely from Rashid al-Din’s Jami’al-Tawarikh. This image is likely a redrawn lithograph of the original, and was printed in the book History of Egypt, by S. Rappoport, which contains the caption, “The original of the illustration is to be seen in a finely illuminated MS. of the ninth century, A. D., preserved in the India Office, London. The picture is of peculiar interest, being the only known portrait of Muhammed, who is evidently represented as receiving the divine command to propagate Muhammedanism.” Obviously, the caption is in error; the style of drawing appears to come from later than the ninth century, and needless to say this is not “the only known portrait of Muhammed.”

Mohammed in a cavern, in a painting entitled “The Charge of the Lion.” The painting possibly depicts Mohammed (along with Abu Bakr, not depicted) hiding from pursuers in the Cave of the Bull during the Hijra in 622. Unknown provenance, now in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.

Mohammed in a cavern, in a painting entitled “The Charge of the Lion.” The painting possibly depicts Mohammed (along with Abu Bakr, not depicted) hiding from pursuers in the Cave of the Bull during the Hijra in 622. Unknown provenance, now in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.

A young Mohammed being recognized by the monk Bahira. Miniature illustration on vellum from the book Jami’ al-Tawarikh (literally “Compendium of Chronicles” but often referred to as The Universal History or History of the World), by Rashid al-Din, published in Tabriz, Persia, 1307 A.D. Now in the collection of the Edinburgh University Library, Scotland.

A young Mohammed being recognized by the monk Bahira. Miniature illustration on vellum from the book Jami’ al-Tawarikh (literally “Compendium of Chronicles” but often referred to as The Universal History or History of the World), by Rashid al-Din, published in Tabriz, Persia, 1307 A.D. Now in the collection of the Edinburgh University Library, Scotland.

Mohammed (on the far right) and Abu Bakr on their way to Medina while a woman milks a herd of goats. Miniature illustration on vellum from the book Jami’ al-Tawarikh (literally “Compendium of Chronicles” but often referred to as The Universal History or History of the World), by Rashid al-Din, published in Tabriz, Persia, 1307 A.D. Now in the collection of the Edinburgh University Library, Scotland.

Mohammed (on the far right) and Abu Bakr on their way to Medina while a woman milks a herd of goats. Miniature illustration on vellum from the book Jami’ al-Tawarikh (literally “Compendium of Chronicles” but often referred to as The Universal History or History of the World), by Rashid al-Din, published in Tabriz, Persia, 1307 A.D. Now in the collection of the Edinburgh University Library, Scotland.

Mohammed, along with Buraq and Gabriel, visit Hell, and see a demon punishing “shameless women” who had exposed their hair to strangers. For this crime of inciting lust in men, the women are strung up by their hair and burned for eternity. Persian, 15th century.

Mohammed, along with Buraq and Gabriel, visit Hell, and see a demon punishing “shameless women” who had exposed their hair to strangers. For this crime of inciting lust in men, the women are strung up by their hair and burned for eternity. Persian, 15th century.

Next, Mohammed sees women strung up by hooks thrust through their tongues by a green demon. Their crimes were to “mock” their husbands and to leave their homes without permission. Persian, 15th century.

Next, Mohammed sees women strung up by hooks thrust through their tongues by a green demon. Their crimes were to “mock” their husbands and to leave their homes without permission. Persian, 15th century.

The cover of the 1911 Danish biography called Profeten Muhammed written by Johannes Østrup shows this beautiful image of Mohammed riding on a stylized flying horse.

The cover of the 1911 Danish biography called Profeten Muhammed written by Johannes Østrup shows this beautiful image of Mohammed riding on a stylized flying horse.

This beautiful lithograph of Mohammed belongs to a Spanish edition of the Koran from 1932.

This beautiful lithograph of Mohammed belongs to a Spanish edition of the Koran from 1932.

Portrait of Mohammed from Michel Baudier’s book Histoire générale de la religion des turcs (Paris, 1625). It was sold at auction by Sotheby’s in 2002. The same image was used on the cover of issue #2195 of the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur.

Portrait of Mohammed from Michel Baudier’s book Histoire générale de la religion des turcs (Paris, 1625). It was sold at auction by Sotheby’s in 2002. The same image was used on the cover of issue #2195 of the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur.

Ka‘ba, al-Darir, Siyer-i Nebi (The Biography of the Prophet), Istanbul, Ottoman lands, 1595-96. TOPKAPI PALACE LIBRARY

Ka‘ba, al-Darir, Siyer-i Nebi (The Biography of the Prophet), Istanbul, Ottoman lands, 1595-96. TOPKAPI PALACE LIBRARY

The Prophet Muhammad sits with the Abrahamic prophets in Jerusalem, anonymous, Mi‘rajnama (Book of Ascension), Tabriz, ca. 1317-1330. TOPKAPI PALACE LIBRARY

The Prophet Muhammad sits with the Abrahamic prophets in Jerusalem, anonymous, Mi‘rajnama (Book of Ascension), Tabriz, ca. 1317-1330. TOPKAPI PALACE LIBRARY

This 1928 German advertisement for meat extract shows Gabriel guiding Mohammed on a flying horse up to Allah.

This 1928 German advertisement for meat extract shows Gabriel guiding Mohammed on a flying horse up to Allah.

Mohammed’s Flight from Mecca in 622 AD; Algerian color postcard from the 1920s or ’30s. Mohammed is the figure entering the cave. The original postcard is in a private collection. (Hat tip: Martin H.)

Mohammed’s Flight from Mecca in 622 AD; Algerian color postcard from the 1920s or ’30s. Mohammed is the figure entering the cave. The original postcard is in a private collection.
(Hat tip: Martin H.)

 

 

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17 Responses to "Islam’s hidden history of Muhammad’s images and paintings"

  1. Raghunathan Srinivasan  January 15, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    It is very clear that Islam is an offshoot of the then practice of Hinduism , or name it any ..ism; a revelation had come to the prophet to make corrections; but, the roots of that ..ism and residing in him were very strong that he could not shed them totally; after that flash of revelation, he also could have returned to normal human behaviour, the likes and dislikes; so, he and his followers have inserted severe, may even be interpreted as crude, punishments to any body, who questioned any of the statements; the followers of Islam in its present form of practise will not tolerate any relook; this is her strength and weakness!

    Reply
  2. Hesham  January 17, 2015 at 11:32 am

    FYI

    Just kindly to inform you (Editor), there is a writing mistake under the 3rd photo (illustrat) the on mount Arafat in Mecca not Ararat , Ararat mount located in Turkey
    Best regards

    Reply
    • Sanskriti  January 20, 2015 at 8:54 am

      Thank you, it has been corrected.

      Reply
  3. sabapathy  January 17, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    it is beyond doubt that muslims have no tolerance. every religion in the world has accepted changes in course of time except islam.

    Reply
  4. Nasr  January 20, 2015 at 2:04 am

    Muslim here. No, I come in peace.

    In the course of the history since Prophet Adam a.s, God has send Messengers all over the world and places. It was said that no race or place that doesn’t have Messengers. After the Messenger died, the followers (Muslims at the time), making their idol/images as a form of remembrance for the Messenger. Over time, that remembrance become idolism, and in the end, the children and grandchildren of the followers regard that idol/images as God, which the way the Demon/Shaitann want them to be; to deviate from the true path of God.

    This is not an direct excerpt from Quran, but that is the story. It has always been like that for all religion of the world, all the time.

    May God give us knowledge.

    Reply
  5. Farouq Omaro  January 21, 2015 at 4:45 am

    Nice article, thank you. Anyway, to all those commenting please don’t make sweeping statements about Muslims. Muslims are a diverse group, with many sharp differences in religious practice and beliefs. Just because Wahabbi/Salafi beliefs are fast gaining a following does not mean all Muslims are Salafists or Wahabbis. Shia is more liberal ( except for Khomeiniism). Alawi, Alevi, Bektashi, Druze and Ismaili Islam are very liberal. Many Sufi orders are also worlds away from the rigidity of Wahabbism & Salafism. Don’t forget we also have Ahmadis, Submitters, Quranists, Kemalists and what not.

    Reply
  6. Cookie  January 21, 2015 at 5:31 am

    Very interesting. Beautiful historical collection. So, even the Kaaba, the cornerstone of Islam, does not belong to Islam.

    Reply
    • abu ubaidah  January 21, 2015 at 11:16 am

      From islamic history that i have read, the kaabah is built by prophet ibrahim and his son, prophet ismail as place for worshipping Allah. Over the time, after the passing of both the prophet, the people of Mecca started to deviate and placed numerous idols around the kaabah for them to worship.

      Reply
      • Moses the 3rd  January 23, 2015 at 12:47 am

        Abraham never went to Mecca. Never built any temple. Only Quran says Abraham has been to Mecca. But Historical facts has proven, Abraham has no relation whatsoever with Kaaba. Even Ishmael has never been to Mecca. Not even mentioned in bible nor in archeological findings. In fact not even Moses lol.

        Reply
  7. karthikeyan  March 15, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Really an eye opener in the present day fundamentalist and hardliners r having their voice heard y the majority of softliners r salient and its time for the government to awake and enlighten people about this religion since wrong propaganda has lead to bloodshed and mistrust among various community

    Reply
  8. jay  July 6, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    I couldn’t believe it! It must be shown to all those who are still living in 5-6th centuries! World has changed! And only change is constant!

    Reply
  9. TUSHAR ARVIND MODY  July 7, 2015 at 8:53 am

    THIS IS REALLY VERY VERY INTERESTING……..SEE….just like some day……many many decades back SOMEBODY decided not to PUBLISH PHOTOS OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMED……..similarly if TODAY somebody decides TO CHANGE THOSE RULES…..& START EXHIBITING THE PHOTOS OF THE HOLY PROPHET……..it can CREATE A GREAT DEAL OF INTEREST AMONG PEOPLE….& that will be for the BENEFIT OF PEOPLE…….& A WHOLE NEW WAY OF WORSHIPPING THE GOD can EMERGE…..

    I am TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THIS RELIGION….& I have BEGUN with…….the EARLIEST FACTS AVAILABLE…..STARTING FROM……THE PROPHETS GRANDFATHER….& FATHER…..NEXT in LINE….is the STUDY OF HOLY QURAN…….let me see what CONCLUSIONS ALL THIS STUDY…LEADS ME TO……..

    Reply
  10. t.boy  September 17, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Sub hanallah this image is not true lie lie lie again

    Reply
    • KS  September 17, 2015 at 10:50 pm

      looked at the references before condemning the post? these are old paintings that are well kept, now don’t go blaming shaitan or trying to gouge your eyes out just because you saw them.

      Reply
  11. neeraj  March 21, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    who noticed OM in the second photo .. ?? 🙂

    Reply
  12. GOPI CHAND  March 30, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Me 🙂

    Reply
  13. Kaka  June 1, 2016 at 1:37 am

    I noticed OHM on second poster. Who has knowledge about pre Islamic period ?
    As per my thinking before Islamic period they all believed in Mahadeva ( Shankar -Hindu god).
    As per my knowledge in

    Reply

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