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

 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

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

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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 worshippers, 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.

 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

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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

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

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

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 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.

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 arrives on the shores of the White Sea. Also from the Apocalypse of Muhammad, written in 1436 in Herat, Afghanistan (now in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris).

Mohammed arrives on the shores of the White Sea. Also from the Apocalypse of Muhammad, written in 1436 in Herat, Afghanistan (now in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris).

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 (far right) and the Archangel Gabriel standing in front of a giant angel. From the Miraj-name, Tabriz (c. 1360-70). In the Topkapi Palace Library, Istanbul.

Mohammed (far right) and the Archangel Gabriel standing in front of a giant angel. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (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.

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 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 (on the left) leading Hamza and the Muslims against Banu Qaynuqa'. From the Jami'al-Tawarikh, dated 1314-5. In the Nour Foundation's Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, London.

Mohammed (on the left) leading Hamza and the Muslims against Banu Qaynuqa’. From the Jami’al-Tawarikh, dated 1314-5. In the Nour Foundation’s Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, London.

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.)

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.

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 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.)

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.

The Mi'raj (also called the "Night Ride") of Mohammed on Buraq. 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.

The Mi’raj (also called the “Night Ride”) of Mohammed on Buraq. 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 (upper right) visiting Paradise while riding Buraq, accompanied by the Angel Gabriel (upper left). Below them, riding camels, are some of the fabled houris of Paradise -- the "virgins" promised to heroes and martyrs. This image and the following five images are Persian, 15th century, from a manuscipt entitled Miraj Nama, which is in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. Taken from The Miraculous Journey of Mahomet, by Marie-Rose Seguy.

Mohammed (upper right) visiting Paradise while riding Buraq, accompanied by the Angel Gabriel (upper left). Below them, riding camels, are some of the fabled houris of Paradise — the “virgins” promised to heroes and martyrs. This image and the following five images are Persian, 15th century, from a manuscipt entitled Miraj Nama, which is in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. Taken from The Miraculous Journey of Mahomet, by Marie-Rose Seguy.

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.

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.

Further on, Mohammed sees a red demon that is torturing women by hanging them up by hooks through their breasts, as they are engulfed in flames. The women are being punished for giving birth to illegitimate children whom they falsely claimed were fathered by their husbands. Persian, 15th century.

Further on, Mohammed sees a red demon that is torturing women by hanging them up by hooks through their breasts, as they are engulfed in flames. The women are being punished for giving birth to illegitimate children whom they falsely claimed were fathered by their husbands. Persian, 15th century.

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 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.

Another miniature showing Mohammed astride Buraq. Provenance unknown.

Another miniature showing Mohammed astride Buraq. Provenance unknown.

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.

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.

Detail of Mohammed from the picture above, in Paradise with beautiful females.

Detail of Mohammed from the picture above, in Paradise with beautiful females.

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.

Images of the Prophet Muhammad from non-Muslim sources:

This Russian painting from 1840-1850 shows prophet Muhammad preaching. The artist is Grigory Gagarin.

This Russian painting from 1840-1850 shows prophet Muhammad preaching. The artist is Grigory Gagarin.

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.

This gravure of Mohammed can be found in Alexander Ross's Pahsebeia, or A View of all Religions in the World, a book from 1683. It should be noted that these clothes were not known in the Arabic peninsula during that period and thus the image is not correct.

This gravure of Mohammed can be found in Alexander Ross’s Pahsebeia, or A View of all Religions in the World, a book from 1683. It should be noted that these clothes were not known in the Arabic peninsula during that period and thus the image is not correct.

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.

This depiction of Muhammad appears on the frontispiece for the 1900 reprint of the book The Life of Mohammed, by an author coincidentally named George Bush.

This depiction of Muhammad appears on the frontispiece for the 1900 reprint of the book The Life of Mohammed, by an author coincidentally named George Bush.

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 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.

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

  1. January 13, 2015 at 7:39 AM

    Great work Sir.

  2. sadhan mukherjee
    January 14, 2015 at 2:40 AM

    Excellent. Why should some one who was born should not have an image and why so much fight over it?

  3. hasrul
    January 15, 2015 at 11:42 PM

    Sadhan, let me try by saying this: “Muhammad’s job is to oneness Allah (GOD), not to show himself. He dare not to be remembered in any way, because of knowing peoples’ obsession with anything miracle , including him. he wanted people to only impress Allah the Almighty. So does God fulfill his will. That’s why all his followers (including every moslem who live nowadays, trying to control and maintain that”. it’s a God will. And by maintaining that, his generation won’t be abused by his haters. in the final chapter of Quran (the book) says, Muhammad’s generation is the one who will rule this world, again. anything, do email me if we want to discuss more. thanks and take care ya. -Hasrul

    • bobby
      January 18, 2015 at 10:49 AM

      Without trying to start any kind of argument, I would like to query some of what you said. With the utmost respect.

      He date not be remembered in any way.

      Any way? Any? He is a prophet, with huge volumes of text chronicling his life. Had he not been remembered drawing a picture in the shape of a human and labelling Mohammed wouldn’t be offensive, the name Mohammed is the most common name in the world – after the prophet, that’s a big reminder of his existence.

      I don’t understand why images are off limits but reading his biography, praying to him, naming their sons after him and, in some extreme and horrible cases, killing for him aren’t off limits.

      If one can love their Lord and/or prophet to such an extent they’ll endorse killing, how do paintings become disgusting?

      • Omar
        January 21, 2015 at 9:04 AM

        Just a small correction, Muslims do not pray TO Muhammad PBUH.

      • January 12, 2016 at 8:50 PM

        Bobby,
        Muslims do not pray to prophet Muhammed (PBUH) We pray to god the one and only. As far as being remembered he is remembered in many ways throughout out history through stories written about him nasheeds being attributed to him and many other ways; but let me remind you what was written was about what kind of person he was through his amazing characteristics and what historically went on in his time period such as war and traveling to Abysinnia and the revelations he received but nothing about how he looked. Drawing him is not offensive really its just wrong and religiously speaking is a sin in judasim, christianity, and islam as all theses religions believe in the second commandment that states “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” Graven meaning any image that has a soul- like no humans and animals but other images like trees are ok. Islam was the last religion revealed and so he did want images of him to be painted/drawn as that over time can be attributed to idol worship and so that his features -skin color etc. do not create any source of rasicm. Muhammed is the most common name as muslims all over the world love him as a prophet and name their children. I like most of the muslims of the world have never ever seen an image of him and that creates no problem as he is still known to muslims. We people don’t need to see an image of god to know who he is and what qualities he has. Books like the torah, bible, and Quran give us much explanation and knowledge. A picture of god does not teed to be drawn for us to remember him. Also god might be different from one person to another due to their knowledge and imagination.As far a when u bring up killing; muslims make up 1.6 billion people of there earth and islam is the second largest religion in the world were are not a small population are religion is peaceful, hence the word islam translated means peace if it was violent their would be deaths in America like everyday. Also ISIS is an extreme group that kills all people and if u look carefully in the news they are killing muslims and raping muslims in muslim countries in hopes of conquering thier land they are people with no morals or respect they represent inhumanity don’t get them confused they are not muslims and to that every muslim agrees.If the prophet was present today of course if he was endanger we his followers will put are lives on the line just like a lot of what christians would do if jesus was alive today. I hope you understand and we do not see paintings as disgusting there is such a thing as islamic art-google it lol Islam is amazing but lots of people all over the world take its name and hijack are religion like the nation of islam that happened in America by african americans and by terrorists what they preach is unislamic and the quran and Prophet Muhammeds life is proof.

      • Steinhem
        January 24, 2017 at 2:26 AM

        What did Mohammed ever prophesy that came true? Things that third parties saw and reported at the time of his life?

    • marc.herman@artefact.be
      January 20, 2015 at 8:34 AM

      Good luck with ruling the world. It’s been tried before.

    • Somnath Guha Roy
      January 23, 2015 at 2:33 PM

      Sikhs recite: “Raaj karegaa Khaalsaa Aqi Rahe naa koi, Khaak mein mil jaayegaa Bache Sharan jo hoi”. It means that the righteous shall rule/inherit the earth, and the unrighteous shall be no more.

      Christians say: “The meek shall inherit the Earth.”.

      Hindu Scriptures say” “Satyam Eva Jayate” meaning “Truth and Truth Only Shall Triumph”.

      • April 20, 2015 at 2:10 PM

        FYI
        The Correct words are:

        “Raj karega Khalsa aqi rahei na koe Khwar hoe sabh milange bache sharan jo hoe.”

        And it means:
        The pure shall rule, and impure will be no more, Those separated will unite and all the devotees shall be saved.

        • MAHENDER JAT
          April 20, 2015 at 2:51 PM

          you both wrong , khalsa by that time was a organisation to fight invaders hence raj krega khalsa (military organisation ).

      • lmsharma
        January 24, 2017 at 2:14 AM

        Roy Sahib,
        lovely! Only truth will prevail.What a great religion is Sanatandharma.

    • Nathanael Khan
      April 20, 2015 at 6:10 PM

      Hi Hasrul,

      I hope you are well my friend. I was Hindu so read Gita, Christian so read Bible and read Koran as well. I have read many books related to these subjects.

      I believe there is a serious flaw in the concept of God. None of the religious people have dare to challenge it and nor they educate themselves. They rely on scolars and they are also people locked in a box so they can’t see anything more. The reason is they do not have rational power. Prophet said himself be rational in your thinking.

      He proved many thousand time. God, Bhagwan or Allah is a same thing and mistunderstood badly. Now second fever in muslims is that they will rule the world. It is nothing do with anything else just arrogance and ignorance. Prophet said the most important is rule your mind and heart. Peace in your heart. If fellow humans ‘muslims’ have only desire to rule other people. How they can have peace in their hearts? They will be engaged in inner bettles and outer bettles. It defeats the purpose of prophet.

      Now you might have question that Koran said go and kill people. It is a manipulation by one of the relative of prophet which do not have any idea. I am sure you do not who Gabriel is. It is a unfortunate that Prophet wanted use to be highly consious beings but Islam is going to destroy everything and itself as well. It was so beautiful Islam before Mangol invasion and after that everything just changed.

      Now it has only one purpose to harm other people same like Christian before and before that Jews. They have done there turn why Islam stay behind after all it came from same land. You might not find the truth until you seek for it. Prophet said for knowledge go distance places. Muslim are stuck in few phrases of Koran and that suits their nature. Though all are not same but many are. Sorry.

      Have a good day!

      N Khan

      • Prabhakar
        January 24, 2017 at 4:27 AM

        I will ask you a very simple question. Just write down the last 13 years life of Muhammad. Lets talk numbers. How many people in total were killed by Muhammad, how many wars? How many executed and why?

        Now let me ask another very simple question? Shall I believe if someone claims that he is a special agent from GOD? Even if he is very nice and humble.

    • Tonia
      April 6, 2017 at 3:41 PM

      I’m Christian and don’t believe in hurting anyone. My question if Muhammad is who you worship why all the hate and violence

  4. smith
    January 16, 2015 at 5:47 AM

    nice.

  5. Henrik
    January 16, 2015 at 9:48 AM

    This is excellent!

  6. Md. Ahasan Habib
    January 17, 2015 at 3:48 AM

    Is there any Muslim ever accepted or, asked for a portrait of Muhammad Sallel-lahu-alaihesalam, then why there is any argument about it. The way Almighty Allah do not need to show continuous evidence for his existence, same way the Muslims do not need any portrait of Muhammad Sallel-lahu-alaihesalam to have faith about his existence too. So, please let the Muslims keep their belief the way feel satisfied, not the way non-Muslims desire.

  7. Rahul Sharma
    January 20, 2015 at 6:16 AM

    Oh… All frogs of well…Plz comes out…

  8. Omar
    January 21, 2015 at 9:09 AM

    Portraying the Prophet Muhammad SAW is one thing (which has been going on, even though not unanimously accepted), and portraying him in derogatory ways is a different thing (unanimously unacceptable by all Muslims)

    • MALLIKARJUNA SHARMA
      January 25, 2015 at 1:31 PM

      I understand that for any religionist, the derogation of their religious heads is quite hurtful but one should also understand that persons who do not belong to that religion have their right to criticize the religious head of that particular religion also. Likewise the dissenters and reformers in the same religion may have some strong criticism against their own religious head. In modern times expression of such dissent and criticism, even to the point of offensive speech, is looked on as a precious value and also right – part of freedom of speech and expression. True, such freedom is not absolute, but in modern times it is the modern secular/political state that decides whether a particular conduct or type of conduct on the part of a person or group is to be curtailed in the interest of enjoyment of right to free speech by many others too. Subject to that restraint freedom of speech and expression has to be protected, preserved and promoted. So, Muslims or such Muslims (whether a majority or minority) who are irked by caustic comments and cartoons against their prophet also have to conduct themselves within restraints – they can protest and do all legal things to express such protest and try to influence the people and the state to not let such derogatory things happen regarding their own religion or prophet, etc. but they have no right or justification to take law into their own hands and resort to wild shouting or diabolic shooting of persons who may even cross some limits in criticizing or satirizing their prophet or other leaders. Muslims should realize that they too have to change with the changing times and become more liberal, tolerant and amicable.

  9. tareq
    January 28, 2015 at 3:37 PM

    I notice the prophet is either chinese or persian in appearance never an arab. Does that tell you anything?

  10. Sohail Hashmi
    April 20, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    The problem with all those who are fulminating against the image of the Prophet is essentially the fact that they are in denial . The images date back to the 13th and 14th century and are from Afghanistan, Istanbul,Tabriz.Egypt, Uzbekistan Algeria an many other placs and were being reproduced till as recently as the 1930s and 40s. So let us not fool ourselves, people drew and painted the image of the Prophet and the angels and the Kaliphs for centuries, till the Wahabis began to decide how Islam had to be practiced .

  11. eli
    April 20, 2015 at 2:57 PM

    Actually Islam is not the only religion to forbid images of different kinds and in particular of God, prophets, etc. Forbidding such images is called iconoclasm and has a long history in all the Abrahamic religions.

    • Miguel
      May 6, 2015 at 6:47 PM

      Indeed, Evangelical Christians forbid images (paintings, sculptures) of Jesus Christ, of God… And they don´t believe in Virgin Mary or in other saints.
      The crucial point for me, nowadays, is that they are not killing or even threating to kill people who do that. Even people who do that as mockery and/or in a derogatory way

  12. Vikas Lohia
    April 21, 2015 at 1:39 PM

    I would like to express my views on images of hell as seen by Mohammed. Its funny he found only women there. Even Bukhari (2:28) quoted Mohammed saying that hell is filled by women.
    Women burns in hell for eternity in horrific way just because they lied,disobeyed or even step out of house without telling their man? Is this the place of women in Islam? What a misogynistic religion!
    Every religion is nothing but an elaborate tool to control women. Nature has given power of Sex to women. We defy this natural command by enforcing stupid religious laws on Women. By religion, we control & command a woman’s life as we please.

    Mohammed was a discreet womanizer and must be a passive misogynist too! And thus all the women who followed this Prophet are condemned to hell right here on Earth!

    • FAHIM SHAIKH
      April 22, 2015 at 8:55 AM

      U don’t have the proper study or Islam. First study completely about our beloved prophet and then u will be also answered for the total questions u r having in our tiny mind.
      The main thing is that subject is beyond any human imagination and the human being has limits and ego matters in any thing.

  13. Selective Sight
    April 26, 2015 at 3:24 AM

    Westerners forget that all religions began in Arab lands.

    • Tarek Fatah
      April 26, 2015 at 7:40 AM

      All religions began in Arab lands? How about just Islam.
      Christ was a Jew in the Levantine, Buddha a Hindu in India and Moses an African who crossed the Nile into Sinai

      • Shahbaz mirza
        January 24, 2017 at 2:13 AM

        What is wrong in having a prophet or beginning of a religion in Arab or for that matter in India China USA Africa or any other country or nation?
        Does it matter more than pitting nations or people against each other?

        • Tarek Fatah
          January 24, 2017 at 4:04 AM

          Its the truth that bothers you Shahbaz and what you see in the mirror. Think, using your head; don;t smash the mirror.

  14. vivek
    May 4, 2015 at 12:48 PM

    Grt job

  15. Manish
    May 4, 2015 at 2:12 PM

    Thanks for putting all these images together. Mohammad was a history, he does existed. He was a very good scholar, before him Medaterian area was too discrite and there was no social boundation. As a good leader he United that area and given better way of life. Over the period he was looking for more liberalization. He had studied different existing society in different part of world. He adapted many things and modified many according to Arabin areas. He took many methadogy which could be easily adopted by very rudimentary society as we as he tookcare of environmental ecosystem as well. He must have taken classes from that time university to know about different culture from different parts of world.

    • MSM
      May 6, 2015 at 1:41 PM

      He was illiterate, read the history and the background of the man who wrote down what he said. Nothing to be ashamed of though.

  16. May 5, 2015 at 5:37 AM

    Shouldn’t this article say : ‘alleged god’s alleged messenger?’

  17. Charles
    May 6, 2015 at 10:42 AM

    Very interesting. Thank you for this collage. I have 1 question: why is Mohammed sometimes depicted with fire and flames where his head should be?

  18. July 9, 2016 at 12:01 AM

    These are not real images.

    • Tarek Fatah
      July 9, 2016 at 6:54 AM

      What are you looking for Aftab? What would make these images ‘real’?

      Should they talk to you? Or should you be able to touch and feel them? Spell it out.

      • Rahman
        November 2, 2016 at 2:18 AM

        Tarek fatah you are a qadiyani dog.

  19. Hilal
    August 16, 2016 at 4:01 AM

    Tarek Fath is trying to be fanatic and grab some fame.. but let us be clear that these are just prophets and God is one that is Allah in arabic,, God In English.. and may languages spell it differently..buit there is one belief. and Holy Quran is updated version of all holy books which is acceptable in today education too. Islam never condemns or denies any former prophet, but respect them. lETS NOT TALK THIS WITH THOSE WHO ARE NOT AWARE OF THE REAL WORD “RELIGION”

  20. Shehnaz Khan
    August 30, 2016 at 10:31 AM

    Prophet Mohammed was given enlightenment to inform the then people worshipping IDOLS The then people gave images for GOD on their own and started praying as if they were their gods. Therefore Prophet Mohammed did not allowed images of him so that in future people should not make his Idols and start worship.

  21. Shekh Anish
    October 9, 2016 at 9:38 AM

    All are fack images.

  22. Hanafi
    October 19, 2016 at 8:37 AM

    These are some Persian paintings. Mohamed ( Peace be upon him) is the last prophet and born as blessing to all human kinds ( Rahmattun lil Aalameen). Like any other prophets who came before him, he preached monotheism ( onness of god) and not encouraged any of his pictures.

    Tarek listen the recitation of the Quran and also read and understand its interpretation.

  23. Jai Chavan
    November 2, 2016 at 12:59 AM

    “I hate you!”

    “A devil cites scriptures for it’s own purpose”. This is no invention of Mr. William Shakespear. It’s been in existence ever since politics was discovered.

    There are many good people around the world in every generation, and so we are alive. Some get trapped in our baits, only to become prophets. The poor souls die a miserable death, which we realise when it’s too late. To cover our guilt we proclaim they ascended to heaven magically.

    This is the beauty of Human Legacy. If this is neglected EXTINCTION is eminent.

  24. Sree
    January 24, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    Religion is redundant. Actually, it is only a creator of misery in today’s world. A tool in the hands of power hungry men.
    If religion were to be so greatly peaceful with a live and let live philosophy, why do we have Christian missionaries trying to convert or even Muslims who want to make the whole world Islamic?
    If one finds religion necessary, let it be confined to the homes. If one believes in God, whatever the religion, then that has to be a very personal faith, not for public to see.
    At least half the problems in this world will be solved if the public display of religion is banned.
    Just doesn’t matter whether a person is a Muslim, Christian, Hindu or any other faith if the same person is simply has a good heart. So why tag? Anyways most people have no choice since they are born with a religion and a miniscule percentage change it in their life. What if a Hindu priest was born in a Muslim household or a Muslim cleric born as a Christian? Would they be less devoted to their gods?

  25. Sunny Gupta
    January 24, 2017 at 2:48 PM

    Muslims who support and justify MF Hussain for his paintings on Hindu Gods, suddenly feel outraged, violated and victimized..!!

  26. Aman
    January 25, 2017 at 6:23 AM

    In very First Picture you can see the “OM” Sign in Clouds….
    Is this a co-incidence ???

  27. Sonia
    January 25, 2017 at 10:10 AM

    I don’t understand this..why hell is only for women…I don’t understand this concept…a male can also be culprit..

    • Laila
      February 27, 2017 at 2:01 PM

      Hell is not only for women. This man is either vulgarly lying or doesn’t know what he’s talking about. In Islam, gossip is considered a very big sin that is punished severely, because gossip can ruin lives. Rumors can damage people’s emotional health, reputation, social lives, and even careers. This is why Islam strictly forbids gossiping and spreading rumors. Because this quality is so widespread in women (women are mostly the ones who do the gossiping), the prophet once said: “A big part of hell’s population are women.” His intention in saying that is to warn women of this act that is almost inseparable to some women. However, no where in the quran or hadith (prophet’s sayings) did they specify which gender enters hell; that’s ridiculous. The quran states clearly that “al mu’umineen w al mu’uminat” ,meaning men and women, who commit significant sins will be tortured in hell for their wrongdoings.

  28. Wayne
    February 2, 2017 at 12:52 AM

    The Quran has so many contradictions and errors that it cannot be from any god.
    6:108 allah admits there are other gods. Biggest contradiction in the Quran.

    109 verses commands muslims to fight or hate non muslims.

  29. Bakancs Atilla
    February 28, 2017 at 10:06 AM

    Tolerant and enlightened Islam before the evil Saud-clan: Muhammad ibn Zakariyā Rāzī (865 – 925 AD): If the people of this religion [Islam] are asked about the proof for the soundness of their religion, they flare up, get angry and spill the blood of whoever confronts them with this question. They forbid rational speculation, and strive to kill their adversaries. This is why truth became thoroughly silenced and concealed.

    • Genghis Khan
      March 6, 2017 at 10:14 AM

      Yeah you are right bacancs atilla we are fools who left you to live peacefully if you ask questions in a way that is obsolete and unpure,the warriors are going to raise hell within and the world will cover with blood and cries

  30. akshay kumar
    March 17, 2017 at 2:44 AM

    islam religion is a flase.so i cannot believe on islam.because if prophat is a messenger then how massage he came.

  31. Server Hussain
    April 2, 2017 at 10:30 PM

    Fake every thing on this page about the photos of PROPHET MUHAMMAD (PEACE BE UPON HIM)

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