Muhammad and Images

Sam Shamoun

The Holy Bible, God’s true Word, as well as the Quran permit the fashioning of images, provided that these objects are not worshiped or venerated:

"They shall construct an ark of acacia wood two and a half cubits long, and one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high. You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and you shall make a gold molding around it. You shall cast four gold rings for it and fasten them on its four feet, and two rings shall be on one side of it and two rings on the other side of it. You shall make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, to carry the ark with them. The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be removed from it. You shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you. You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and one and a half cubits wide. You shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends. The cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be turned toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony which I will give to you. There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel." Exodus 25:10-22

"Now he made the sea of cast metal ten cubits from brim to brim, circular in form, and its height was five cubits, and thirty cubits in circumference. Under its brim gourds went around encircling it ten to a cubit, completely surrounding the sea; the gourds were in two rows, cast with the rest. It stood on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east; and the sea was set on top of them, and all their rear parts turned inward. It was a handbreadth thick, and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, as a lily blossom; it could hold two thousand baths. Then he made the ten stands of bronze; the length of each stand was four cubits and its width four cubits and its height three cubits. This was the design of the stands: they had borders, even borders between the frames, and on the borders which were between the frames were lions, oxen and cherubim; and on the frames there was a pedestal above, and beneath the lions and oxen were wreaths of hanging work... He engraved on the plates of its stays and on its borders, cherubim, lions and palm trees, according to the clear space on each, with wreaths all around... and the four hundred pomegranates for the two networks, two rows of pomegranates for each network to cover the two bowls of the capitals which were on the tops of the pillars; and the ten stands with the ten basins on the stands; and the one sea and the twelve oxen under the sea;" 1 Kings 7:23-29, 36, 42-44

"Moreover, the king made a great throne of ivory and overlaid it with refined gold. There were six steps to the throne and a round top to the throne at its rear, and arms on each side of the seat, and two lions standing beside the arms. Twelve lions were standing there on the six steps on the one side and on the other; nothing like it was made for any other kingdom." 1 Kings 10:18-20

"Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.’ And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived." Numbers 21:8-9

And (further) their Prophet said to them: "A Sign of his authority is that there shall come to you the Ark of the covenant, with (an assurance) therein of security from your Lord, and the relics left by the family of Moses and the family of Aaron, carried by angels. In this is a symbol for you if ye indeed have faith." S. 2:248 Y. Ali

And unto Solomon (We gave) the wind, whereof the morning course was a month's journey and the evening course a month's journey, and We caused the fount of copper to gush forth for him, and (We gave him) certain of the jinn who worked before him by permission of his Lord. And such of them as deviated from Our command, them We caused to taste the punishment of flaming Fire. They made for him what he willed: synagogues AND STATUES, basins like wells and boilers built into the ground. Give thanks, O House of David! Few of My bondmen are thankful. S. 34:12-14 Pickthall

Muhammad, however, condemned the making of images:

Narrated Abu Talha:
The Prophet said, "Angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or there are pictures." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 833)

Narrated Salim’s father:
Once Gabriel promised to visit the Prophet but he delayed and the Prophet got worried about that. At last he came out and found Gabriel and complained to him of his grief (for his delay). Gabriel said to him, "We do not enter a place in which there is a picture or a dog." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 843)

Does this mean that there were no angels that attended Moses or Solomon, or that they never entered God’s temple because of the images which were placed therein?

Narrated ‘Aisha: (the wife of the Prophet)
I bought a cushion having pictures on it. When Allah’s Apostle saw it, he stopped at the gate and did not enter. I noticed the signs of hatred (for that) on his face! I said, "O Allah’s Apostle! I turn to Allah and His Apostle in repentance! What sin have I committed?" He said, "What about this cushion?" I said, ‘I bought it for you to sit on and recline on." Allah’s Apostle said, "The makers of these pictures will be punished (severely) on the Day of Resurrection and it will be said to them, ‘Make alive what you have created.’" He added, "Angels do not enter a house in which there are pictures." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Number 844)

Narrated ‘Aisha:
The Prophet entered upon me while there was a curtain having pictures (of animals) in the house. His face got red with anger, and then he got hold of the curtain and tore it into pieces. The Prophet said, "Such people as paint these pictures will receive the severest punishment on the Day of Resurrection." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 130)

Again, if Muhammad was correct then does this imply that God will severely punish Moses, Aaron, Solomon and those Israelites who were commissioned to make images? Will God also demand that these righteous and God-fearing men bring to life those very images which he himself commissioned them to make?

Moreover, since Sura 2:248 explicitly states that angels carried the Ark of the Covenant does this therefore mean that these angels will be punished and thrown in hell for assisting in carrying something expressly condemned by Gabriel according to Muhammad?

What makes this truly amazing, as well as astonishing, is that although Muhammad condemned image-making, something permitted by both the Holy Bible and the Quran, he kissed a black stone and thereby venerated it, something that is expressly condemned in both the Holy Bible and the Quran as idolatry! For further discussion, see Stone Kissing and Idolatry.

The foregoing conclusively shows just how contradictory and confusing Muhammad’s practices and teachings truly are.

Further reading: Are Pictures of Muhammad Really Forbidden In Islam?

Muhammad's Inconsistency
Articles by Sam Shamoun
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