As you may or may not hear, movie theatres across America this weekend are premiering the movie, “Noah,” starring Russell Crowe.  Several of my Muslim friends and colleagues have expressed interest and excitement about the movie and their desire to attend a showing of the film. Therefore, I felt it necessary to implore us to show restraint and not waste our time watching it.  As Muslims, we should abhor that Hollywood or any entity would produce a movie depicting a Prophet.

1. Why are only the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) Images Offensive?

We often get desensitized, especially those of us living in the West, when it comes to making images of the prophets since we see so many portraits of Jesus 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) everywhere we go. Nevertheless, we should firmly be against the imaging of any of our Islamic Prophets.  Many of us get up in arms when others portray our Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) in a cartoon, but don't blink an eye if any of our other beloved prophets are depicted.  Before you say that cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) are meant to be offensive while other images are not, just think about the outrage caused by Maajid Nawaz with his cartoon in England back in January.  As Muslims, we rightfully should be offended when anyone depicts our Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) whether done to be offensive or not.  What I'm also trying to advocate is that, as Muslims, we should similar be offended when others depict other prophets as well, including but not limited to Prophets Eesa and Nuh 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him).

2. Russell Crowe has nothing on Prophet Nuh

Another problematic aspect of the movie includes the role played by Russell Crowe.  As Muslims, we honestly don't know too much about what Prophet Nuh 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) looked like.  However, if we watch this movie, we will start to intertwine the character played by Russell Crowe, looks included, into our imagination of Prophet Nuh 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him).  Russell Crowe has nothing on Prophet Nuh 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), so let's not give him the opportunity to represent him in our minds.

The producer of the movie “Noah,” a self-professed atheist, according to the Washington Times, says he is proud of the fact that he's taken a story inspired by God's word and turned it into something so secular.

3. Don't want to mess up my Reading of Surah Nuh

By sitting through a two hour movie specifically about one of the greatest human beings in history, our subconscious may start to associate the props in the movie (the clothes, the bad guys, the language) as all being part of the story of our beloved prophet.

Even if we fight the urge, our subconscious may start thinking of Russell Crowe's version of Prophet Nuh 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) when we are reciting the verses regarding the flood in the Qur'an.

As Muslims, we should firmly restrain ourselves from showing support for the “Noah” movie.  Many conservative Christian groups have already expressed concerns regarding the movie.  Paramount Pictures has admitted it took some “artistic license” in producing the movie.  Several Muslim countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have already banned the movie (source).

O Muslim, won't you also abstain from watching “Noah”?

Art by Zohayma Montaner

95 Responses

  1. jamicam

    Why should we be *offended* when others create visual representations of the prophets (peace be upon them all)? We do not create such visual representations and disagree with the very idea of it. But why take offense? People who do not adhere to Islamic standards are not obligated to do things the way we would do them, but that need not cause offense. Are we offended if someone eats pork?

    The language we use around these types of disagreements needs to change. We do not depict the prophets(p), we disagree with doing so and might explain the reasons why. But to claim it is offensive is just pitting us up for a losing battle.

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    • basma

      Its true we cant prevent them them doing what they want ( unless its seriously harmful to human life etc. obviously!). We have example from the life of the prophet(pbuh) of showing tolerance to other peoples ways. But that did not stop him from advising them about their wrong ways ,inorder to benefit them. I believe this is what we should do too. Advice , but in a peaceful way. We certainly cant pretend everythings alright.
      I second the decision of Qatar and UAE to ban this movie. All muslim countries should foolow suit

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      • Call Me Ismail

        I think it is always a mistake to try to silence that which offends or that with which one disagrees. To do so only confers respect upon opinions that often merit none by permitting their exponents to portray themselves as victims of intolerance.

        The right way is to rebut, and try to refute, that which we believe wrong; and — in sha allah — we will prevail.

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    • The Salafi Feminist

      As Muslims, we *should* be offended by this!

      Definition of offense:
      “Annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one’s standards or principles.”

      Knowing and understanding that the Messengers of Allah were unique individuals who cannot be represented better in any way, shape, or form other than in the manner that Allah conveyed to us (i.e. through the Qur’an and Sunnah), is a principle of ours.
      So yeah, when the Messengers of Allah are cheapened into just another tool for entertainment and NOT for education (let alone an Islamically based education), then I am insulted and offended.

      However, keep in mind that being offended or upset about something is not the same as acting in an inappropriate manner regarding the issue.

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      • Hassan imran

        Its just a “visual representation” . Its up to you if u believe it or not. Whats the bad thing. I just watched it and i really liked it but i dont believe it tho, i just believe what it says on the Quran :)

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  2. Jillian Emily Pikora

    I plan to watch it on dvd. I think it is important from a cultural perspective and to enhance my interfaith dialogue. Yes, we should not watch it as religious teaching and we should discourage children from watching it, since it may confuse them. I think that it is worthwhile for adults to see a wide-variety of media to understand the world around us so we can interact and socialize, additionally we can educate our children well.

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    • basma

      you have a point sister. Maybe only those who are actually knowledgeeable about the islamic versions of the prophetic stories and strong in faith should watch it.

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    • Abdullah

      Sister Jillian, assalam alaikum. The logic is dangerous (i’m sorry). It’s my 2 cents.

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    • Sid

      Salam sister. It won’t enhance any kind of dialogue considering how it portrays Noah. The movie contains scenes of Noah drinking excessively, lying butt-baked on the floor and obtaining his revelation from a drugged cup of tea. For your own benefit sister, do not watch it.

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      • veggiedude

        Because those things happened in the Judeo-Christian version of the story. If you remember that, and remember your version is different, it can be a great source of debate and discussion.

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      • Matt

        I normally hate the term “Judeo-Christian.” This usage is a good example why. For Jews, Noah was “righteous for the age,” which is to say a deeply flawed person in an even more deeply flawed time. That is what the film depicts. The Christian version is closer to the Islamic view (as I gather from this discussion). So a lot of Christians are angry at this film for mostly the same reasons people here are. Please don’t think you know anything about Judaism because some of your prophets come from our stories.

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    • zulkifli h.

      Assalamu alaikum Jiill. Go ahaed, just to say fire wouldn’t burn our mouth. We are in Indonesia must try to find faked CD because the film is also banned.

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  3. JustMe

    There is currently a movie about Mary (pbuh) that you can see on Youtube that is based on a couple of verses in the Quran (which they show at the very beginning). Do we know all the conversations or events that took place during her lifetime? No. The filmmakers took liberty to create a story, dialogue, etc.

    To live in constant fear that people will believe what Russell Crowe did or said in this movie as gospel you’re calling into question if people are actually smart enough to figure things out for themselves by reading the Quran, etc. That in itself is offensive.

    In mentioning that the producer is proud of the fact that he made it secular, you also forget that this prophet (pbuh) is shared by two other faiths: Judaism and Christianity, so of course the filmmakers are trying to make it secular so they’re not trying to offend anyone.

    Just my two cents.

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    • Matt

      If I may, as a secular Jew, from everything I’ve read about the film, it is deeply, deeply Jewish. It is predominantly based on Jewish midrash which is not shared by Christianity (or, to my knowledge, Islam, even though Talmudic inquiry bears more resemblance to Islam than to Chriatianity). And while Aronofsky is secular, he did make Pi about Kabbalah, and has talked about being influenced by Jewish mystics.

      More importantly, perhaps, his depiction of Noah as a flawed and ambiguous figure is uniquely Jewish. Jay Michaelson discusses that here: http://feedly.com/k/1e1qPIM (especially toward the end). From my perspective, I find the discussion of idolatry here, where the problem of idolatry is that we may fail to see Noah/Nuh as perfect enough, to be flat. Reading about the film in articles like Michaelson’s has opened me up to questions and undermined whatever sense I had of knowing. Is that not what prohibitions on idolatry (which are also strict in Judaism) are about?

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  4. Aamir

    Based on your argument of watching the film will result in you linking the actors to their roles and associating what we see in the movie with what happened, then all programmes depicting any story from Islam should be avoided, including programmes like the Omar series from MBC? For me personally, thats a bit of a stretch.

    Completely right we should know the Islamic version well before/after watching the film so we don’t confuse ourselves, but that doesn’t mean an extremely popular medium like television/film depicting a story from Islam/Christianity/Judaism should be avoided for the two reasons you stated.

    Bare in mind, I make this comment without any actual knowledge of the plot of the new film or the depiction of the characters, I’ve heard it differs from the Biblical story, but thats about it. Hence the importance of knowing the facts but if you are informed then I don’t see any harm in watching it.

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  5. Sarah J

    I think it’s stilly to advise people to skip seeing a film without having seen it for yourself to begin with. For all we know it could be very accurate and you and everyone who heeds your advice may be missing a great experience.

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  6. Amar

    Why is it offensive? Why is it supposedly Haram? No where in the Quraan says doing so is Haram. All I read everywhere is general and personal statements that lack any religious text support.

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    • Sid

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • Abu Ibrahim

      Well, if you look at the IMDB’s parental guide http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1959490/parentalguide.
      You can see it contains: “Adam and Eve are seen naked (they’re glowing and the shot is from a distance), as is a drunken Noah. Naameh’s draped top reveals quite a lot of cleavage in one scene.” More from the guide: “Noah, believing he let the Creator down, gets rip-roaring drunk, spending what would seem to be days guzzling down wine. He finally passes out, naked. (We see him from a distance, lying face down.) Methuselah gives Noah some tea that appears to be drugged, leading to a strange vision.”

      I hope based on the above, you wouldn’t watch it either.

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      • Laila

        I saw the film. Praise to Allah *** who gave me a brain to use to its fullest – I am able to discern for myself. There is a strong message of caring for Creation. The clothing is modest – if one notices “too much skin” and takes offense, perhaps the viewer should question himself, not the film. (This was before the veil.) Adam and Eve are in the clothing Allah *** gave them but you can’t see their body parts at all – just a glowing trunk and limbs. Noah’s drunkeness comes from deep despair that he may have disappointed Allah ***. It’s a shame that our brothers and sisters in some countries are forbidden from seeing it. Do their leaders think their faith is that weak?

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  7. mezba

    I am not going to tell anyone to watch or not watch it. But I plan to watch it as I know a conservative Christian friend will also watch it, then I can exchange a dialogue with him on how true it was to his Bible, and what differences are there with the Quran. We get so rare chances to discuss religion with non-Muslims here in North America.

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    • Abdullah

      Using the same logic, what if the Christian friend watches something which you’re prohibited to watch?

      If you just want to talk about the Prophets, just read the Bible and you’ll see how the stories of what they believe to be models for mankind are depicted..

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      • Feesabeelillaah

        Excellent point brother. One shouldn’t use this as an excuse to watch this movie.
        You want a subject to discuss with your non-muslim friends? How about opening up the Qur’an, Bible or bahavatgeeta instead of using this movie? You would get plenty of points for discussion from there.

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      • Waqar

        I insist that you please read behind the aayahs speaking of befriending Christians and Jews. It is not my place to explain, so I will not, but you should look into it.

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  8. Razan

    Salam,

    I’m not crazy about the wording used for this article either – like the person above said, I don’t think that we should be offended if others depict Prophets (often specific to their religions as well) in a non-offensive way.

    However, we SHOULD object to the depiction of the Prophets in general as a principle of our beliefs, and as such MUSLIMS should not watch a film depicting a Prophet. It IS true that we should not associate the very strong imagery and story-telling used in movies, with Quranic tales – look at how images of Jesus (allayhissalam) impacted Christians! Malcolm X himself said – why is Jesus always depicted as white? Of course seeing Russell won’t immediately make you ‘confuse reality with truth’ – but on PRINCIPLE, it’s something that we should avoid.

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  9. O H

    Jazak Allaahu Khair Abu Ibrahim for the beneficial article. Instead of us bickering on about “what’s wrong with watching Noah”, ask the scholars regarding the permissibility, just how it applies to any other Fiqh issue.

    It says in a statement of the Islamic Fiqh Council (of the Muslim World League): … “Depicting him (Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him), whether it is an animated drawing or otherwise, whether it is a three-dimensional image or not – all of that is haraam and is not permissible according to Islam.

    It is not permissible to do that or approve of it for any purpose or aim whatsoever, because it leads to very serious consequences.

    Those who are in positions of authority and those who are in charge of media and publications should prevent any depiction of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), whether three-dimensional or otherwise, in stories, reports, theatrical plays, children’s books, movies, TV shows and so on. That must be denounced and any such productions should be destroyed.

    The ruling that applies to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), also applies to all of the Messengers and Prophets (blessings and peace of Allah be upon them); what is haraam in the case of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is also haraam in their case.”

    End quote from Statements of the Islamic Fiqh Council, 8th session, 6th statement.

    Based on the above, it is haraam to watch such movies, whether they are portrayed by real actors or in cartoons.

    Got this from http://islamqa.info/en/158232

    Even Al Azhar University scholars have issued a statement regarding a ban for Noah and its impermissibility. A quick search will reveal many news sources reporting this.

    May Allaah grant us beneficial knowledge and save us from knowledge which doesn’t benefit, Ameen

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    • gunal

      I totally agree that we must not watch any depictions of any religions. Because, in my view, these depictions are personal interpretations of certain individuals (the writers/movie makers). Religion,… and faith for that matter, must come from personal interpretations within. This must be done through reading and self evaluating the Holy Books –The Qur’an and Bible etc. over and over. In my opinion it is important not to cloud these personal interpretations by polluting them with unnecessary inclusions such as giving them a face, character, wife, sons….., and tying these interpretations to certain surroundings which are irrelevant to the main intended outcome of the messages within our Holy Books. It is dangerous!
      The Bible specifically forbids creating images of God. No one really thinks about ‘all’ the reasons to why this is. If religious leaders can look at all the reasons to why, only then they will realise the danger they are putting their religion under. Hence, in Christianity these personal interpretations has made its followers being unable to follow the religion unless the religion adapted a visual perspective from their own lives. God (the King), with a wife, son (heir to the throne) whom would follow ….follow after what? Surely cannot be after King’s death? because God is Eternal ! No one really questions and thus creates subconscious conflict within the minds of the followers.
      However, few already had pointed out, since we expect tolerance from other religions, other Gods, other faiths, is it our place to inflict our views upon their practices? I would like to remind that all the religions I know command respect to other faiths …(as Qur’an tells us not to judge others’ faith because only “I (God) can tell what is truly in your hearts”). Since these interpretations within Noah are made by an atheist, all religious leaders should demand respect towards religious beliefs and forbid dramatisations of any religious texts. Must be pointed out that these interpretations are real threat and will confuse believers and may affect them negatively at a subconscious level that it is impossible to prevent or devise solutions to such issues. Since they are atheists they, naturally, will find this concept difficult to understand, but, since they do not follow any religion, God, or Prophets, by asking them to abstain from such dramatisations we would not be offending any of their beliefs would we? (Since they have nothing to be offended by (except their pockets perhaps).

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    • Feesabeelillaah

      Jazak Allahu Khair brother O H, for that info.
      “[It says in a statement of the Islamic Fiqh Council (of the Muslim World League): … “Depicting him (Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him), whether it is an animated drawing or otherwise, whether it is a three-dimensional image or not – all of that is haraam and is not permissible according to Islam.]”

      I’ve quoted a paragraphfrom the article you have shared.
      First of all, I admit that depicting our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallalaahu 3alaihiwasallam is not permissible. It’s something all Muslims should stand against.
      Rasulullah Sallalaahu 3alaihiwasallam was sent or our ummah alone and no one else. So, no one else has rights to depict him as though he was their prophet.
      But that is not the case with the other Prophets (blessings and peace upon them). They were sent to the people before our ummah. The jews and christians has right over them too. Of course those Prophets actual teachings were changes and twisted but that doesn’t mean we can take away their rights.
      I’m not saying we should just stand back and watch our Prophets belittled. But hey, it’s their Noah…not our Prophet Nuh. I do realise it’s the same thing but different spelling. But why do we have to think they are talking trash about our prophet when they actually humiliating their own Noah?
      That’s just an opinion, and something to ponder on. If you think I am wrong then please do correct me.

      Now coming to my second point:

      Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 
      “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts)”
      [al-Noor 24:30] 

      [Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa(15/414): 

      Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, has enjoined us in His Book to lower the gaze, which is of two types: refraining from looking at ‘awrahs and refraining from looking at the site of desire. 

      The former refers to a man refraining from looking at the ‘awrah of another person. 

      The second refers to looking at uncovered parts of a non-mahram woman. This is more serious than the former, just as alcohol is more serious than dead meat and blood and pork, and the hadd punishment should be carried out on the one who drinks it, because these haraam things are not as desirable as alcohol may be. End quote.]

      Now, the two points above I have quoted from one from the Qur’an and another from a fatwa article.

      From these two points alone we should ask ourselves whether it’s okay to watch any movies. Is there any movie that has all women covered up without showing their awrah? Is there any movie that has no kissing scenes? Even a story as innocent as snow white has kissing scene in it.

      I’m not here to argue about what is right or wrong. It’s for you to judge for yourself because in the end, it is you who is going to answer your Creator.

      And Allah know best.

      Feesabeelillaah.

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      • gunal

        Regarding your sympathic view on perhaps allowing (mis)representations of ‘Noah’ a.s and however, rejecting misrepresentations of ‘Nuh’ a.s. is not logicall. We have to co live with those people(christians/Jews/Others…). Our young generation will eventually get confused. Having 2 points of view about the same person is not workable. Besides, they (Christians or Jews…) must know that for them it is not good to have Noah misunderstood/ misrepresented in their society neither.

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  10. GG

    And you wonder why people find your religion aggressive and intollerant? “Offensive”? If you disagree with what it does, then don’t watch it. Simple. It isn’t in the slightest way trying to “offend” you, so back off with that kind of language if you want people to be respectful.

    I don’t want to see it because I don’t want to watch Hollywood trash aimed at such low IQ’s – and as an atheist, I do not wish to see any film based on any historical fiction of any major religion – Christian or otherwise – but I’m not “offended” by it existing.

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      • veggiedude

        How can one be offended by something that we do not believe exist? That would be akin to being offended by the tooth fairy. I saw the movie Noah and I applaud the strong vegan message of the film – but it’s just a piece of fiction with a morality message, just like many Star Trek episodes were and on that level I can appreciate it.

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      • gunal

        In GG’s comment it is claimed: “…people find your religion aggressive and intollerant “Offensive””This suggests that those people find our belief in God offensive; therefore our God offensive, because we make our God exist in their, perhaps, Godless world. An atheists would find that existence offensive, naturally. Frustrated by it….This is how an atheist or Christian or Jewish person might get offended by our God.. .

        I like Star Trek. Say the author of Star trek had read somewhere the existence of Clingons. And from what he read, he had portrayed them in his stories. On the basis of what he understood and also he had the added pressure of having to make his stories appealing to millions to watch. And say a Clingon happened to see the production and did not approve the way his people are portrayed in these productions…I personally believe that I will meet Noah one day. I would be ashamed and not be able to look at him if I went along with one of his enemy’s (atheist) interpretation of him. This is not right. Flood happened and Noah warned his people. This is the whole story. The rest is his personal life. Even if Noah was portrayed in a good light there would have been a danger of idolization of him, therefore, he would not have approved that neither

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    • Umm ZAKAriyya

      Low IQs? Einstein believed in God .! And many Nobel laureates in science and philosophy do and did . Majority of the earth believes in God .

      Pls reread your comment . Is being insulting and condescending , virtues for an atheist?

      Do study islam from an authentic islamic source ( not anti-islamic hate sites). May Allah guide you to this amazing way of life . Nothing makes as much sense as islam does . Cuz it’s the truth .

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    • Hyde

      Says the genius with Lara Croft as an avatar. Bravo Atheist Bravo!

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      • Aly Balagamwala

        Akhi Hyde

        Please be courteous to other commenters even if you don’t agree with their views.

        Best Regards
        Aly

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  11. Ruby Varisha Gunderson

    First of all what concerns me is accuracy, for many people watching it this it will be their only glimpse as to what is written in the Bible. Second, I would like to know how the Jewish community feels about it. As for me, will I watch it? Probably not, because I have read the text more than once.

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  12. madams12

    That it is a HOLLYWOOD version of a biblical/Qur’anic surah should be the main factor in guiding adults whether to see this movie business interpretation. The same industry that typically glorifies destruction, death, war along with mindless story lines that attempt to pass for ‘entertainment’ should be reason enough to think long and hard before you pay hard earned money to see it.

    Furthermore, after “12 years a Slave” righteously won the Academy award, I learned – Arnon Milchan, producer of BOTH of these films, proudly announced that he was responsible for the taking of hundreds of ‘nuclear triggers’ from the United States to Israel where he is a dual citizen. It’s been widely reported– but instead of being in a federal prison he’s wealthy and celebrated? I’d say it is a responsible and moral thing to reject this film, made by hypocrites for one purpose only….to make money.

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  13. Arban Shazan

    The writer does not given any evidence regarding the prohibition of watching such movie. Actually from the Holy Quran :-

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُحَرِّمُوا طَيِّبَاتِ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ

    O you who have believed, do not prohibit the good things which Allah has made lawful to you and do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors. Quran 5:87

    We should be very careful and precise when prohibiting or allowing something-in this case watching this movie. What is the evidence that it is haraam to watch it ?

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    • Abu Ibrahim

      Well, if you look at the IMDB’s parental guide http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1959490/parentalguide.
      You can see it contains: “Adam and Eve are seen naked (they’re glowing and the shot is from a distance), as is a drunken Noah. Naameh’s draped top reveals quite a lot of cleavage in one scene.” More from the guide: “Noah, believing he let the Creator down, gets rip-roaring drunk, spending what would seem to be days guzzling down wine. He finally passes out, naked. (We see him from a distance, lying face down.) Methuselah gives Noah some tea that appears to be drugged, leading to a strange vision.”

      I hope based on the above, you wouldn’t watch it either.

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      • Arban Shazan

        well, what about a censored version of this movie without any nudity or obscene scene. would it be acceptable then? what about a decent movie made on the life of a Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) with no vulgarity..would it be allowed in Islam.if not what is the evidence. On what grounds it can be declared haram or halal? I think if there is no evidence for declaring it haram; then it is OK to see such movie without any vulgarity in it.

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    • zulkifli h.

      The problem is most of us (Islam) want to a kaffah one thereby ask this ask that:

      Believers, do not ask about matters which, if made known to you, may cause you
      hardship. If you should ask about them while the Qur’ān is being revealed, they shall
      be made plain to you. God will forgive you these; for God is Much-Forgiving,
      Forbearing. People before your time inquired about them, and on that account they
      came to deny the truth. (Verses 101-102)

      No, the ulemas pretend to be the vice of our Phropet and many fatwas come from them.

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    • Feesabeelillaah

      To Arban Shazan,

      Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
      “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts)”
      [al-Noor 24:30]

      [Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa(15/414):

      Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, has enjoined us in His Book to lower the gaze, which is of two types: refraining from looking at ‘awrahs and refraining from looking at the site of desire.

      The former refers to a man refraining from looking at the ‘awrah of another person.

      The second refers to looking at uncovered parts of a non-mahram woman. This is more serious than the former, just as alcohol is more serious than dead meat and blood and pork, and the hadd punishment should be carried out on the one who drinks it, because these haraam things are not as desirable as alcohol may be. End quote.]

      Now, the two points above I have quoted: one from the Qur’an and another from a fatwa article from islamqa website.

      From these two points alone we should ask ourselves whether it’s okay to watch any movies. Is there any movie that has all women covered up without showing their awrah? Is there any movie that has no kissing scenes? Even a story as innocent as snow white has kissing scene in it.

      You asked if it’s alright to watch if such movies are censored. Well, how good is the censorship board? Will they remove all scenes with women in them? Then how about the women who want to watch the same movie? Will they censor out the males in the movie? You see, my point is there is no censorship boards that would do a clean job. I really don’t know.

      But then, I’m not here to argue about what is right/wrong and/or halal/haram. It’s for you to judge for yourself because in the end, it is you who is going to answer to your Creator.

      And Allah know best.

      Feesabeelillaah.

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  14. Abu Ibrahim

    If one were to look at the IMDB’s parental guide http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1959490/parentalguide.
    You can see it contains: “Adam and Eve are seen naked (they’re glowing and the shot is from a distance), as is a drunken Noah. Naameh’s draped top reveals quite a lot of cleavage in one scene.” More from the guide: “Noah, believing he let the Creator down, gets rip-roaring drunk, spending what would seem to be days guzzling down wine. He finally passes out, naked. (We see him from a distance, lying face down.) Methuselah gives Noah some tea that appears to be drugged, leading to a strange vision.”

    I hope based on the above, you wouldn’t want to watch it either.

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    • Laila

      I saw the film. Praise to Allah *** who gave me a brain to use to its fullest – I am able to discern for myself. There is a strong message of caring for Creation. The clothing is modest – if one notices “too much skin” and takes offense, perhaps the viewer should question himself, not the film. (This was before the veil.) Adam and Eve are in the clothing Allah *** gave them but you can’t see their body parts at all – just a glowing trunk and limbs. Noah’s drunkeness comes from deep despair that he may have disappointed Allah ***. It’s a shame that our brothers and sisters in some countries are forbidden from seeing it. Do their leaders think their faith is that weak?

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      • O H

        Does it expose the ‘awrah? Regardless of whether it was before or after the veil was prescribed we as Muslims are not supposed to see the ‘awrah of the opposite gender. A strong faith requires obedience, even in this issue which is unfortunately considered trivial by many. Modesty is measured by the standards set by Islam and anything which contravenes that is not modest Islamically. The music present is another haram aspect. Visual depiction of Prophets (peace be upon all of them) has also been considered haram by scholars over the last 14 centuries-those who know the deen with evidences.

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  15. asiahkelley

    If you don’t want to see the movie but are curious to know what it is about, Google Matt Walsh blog’s review. He was offended by it as a Christian and his review is hilarious. Rock monsters. Yeah, the movie has them.

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  16. Dagestan to Samarkand

    I’ve watched Passion of the christ and kingdom of heaven. Neither construed my interpretation of the Islamic beliefs of Prophet Isa Alayhi Salam or alternatively Salahuddin Al Ayoubi (alayhi Rehmah). I did not suddenly think Mel Gibson is a prophetic figure.

    If you tell me as a child you were not introduced to the quranic or biblical interpretation of the life of Prophet Nuh (alayhi salam) and you think this will somehow make me think Russell Crowe is what a prophet looked like. Cuckooland.. Narrow mindedness.

    What a movie like this does do is show what the western interpretation of these great Prophets are, how society can now relate to them and how even in this day and age the morals of the story can be imprinted on a human.

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  17. Lamin Jadama

    Allah knows your intention. O Muslims we have better things do.

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  18. Riz Khan

    Is there any scholarly fatwa/discussion available on the matter citing evidence from Quran and Sunnah?

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    • Arban Shazan

      There is none.

      A relevant Ayah is

      يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُحَرِّمُوا طَيِّبَاتِ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ
      O you who have believed, do not prohibit the good things which Allah has made lawful to you and do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors. Quran 5:87

      Imitation is Acting. An actor is actually an imitator. A person acting in a movie as a prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), is actually imitating him. The only thing to look for is how the character of a prophet is represented. if it is in a good way then I don’t know a single Ayah or hadeeth prohibiting it.
      Muslims are in general confused regarding the role of media especially tv and movie in the propagation of Islam.
      I can foresee a growing number of movies such as “Noah” from Jews and Christians to promote their respective religious point of view. Hindus are already doing it in a very effective manner. Muslims in the long run would be on the losing end of such a media war if they did not change their unrealistic classical view of this medium.

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      • Riaz Khan

        @Shazan! it is not very funny, I would change my password. now to your comment..

        Astaghfirullah!
        Prophets were not ordinary men. They were blessed with attributes which can not be found in ordinary human beings. And it would be impossible for any actor to do justice to the role of a Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). How can a film maker show the beauty of Hadrath Yousaf (Peace Be Upon Him). How can an actor do justice to the role of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). His (Peace Be Upon Him) grace, morals, character etc are matchless. Such an actor would have to utter words like “I am Prophet…..” and other similar sentences which only a prophet can use. Then there would the problem of choosing the actor displaying the villain characters i.e. Kuffars and enemies of prophets (Peace Be Upon Him). Who would do these roles. There would be a lot of sentences of (disbelief) kufr in such movies. The uttering of such words is equal or near to committing (disbelief) kufr. There are instances of prophets talking with the Almighty Allah. How on earth such a scene can be filmed. Also if a muslim would make a movie glorifying the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) then a non-muslim director would be free to make a movie to deglorify him (Peace Be Upon Him). I think it is not a good idea to make movies on prophets (Peace Be Upon Them). And there should be a complete ban on movies made on prophets. It is a good idea to write letters to the respective authorities to ban movies like these on the grounds of hurting the sentiments of the adherents of different religions i.e. Islam, Judaism and Christianity etc And I expect that you would also abstain from watching this movie.

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      • Feesabeelillaah

        @Arban Shanaz,

        It is quite sad that you have come to the conclusion that making movies and such medium is the best resort to spread Islam.

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  19. Robert Driver

    My wife and I viewed the movie “Noah” last evening and both being of strong Christian beliefs found the movie at base to be somewhat entertaining and in no way an accurate depiction of Noah or the flood. We both felt it was such a waste of big name talent on such a poorly written and produced movie. We were really expecting so much more and left feeling very disappointed. It is very obvious the writer has never read the Bible, Torah or many of the other writings that tell the stories of Noah, Nuh, Noé or Noach, (Hebrew: נֹחַ,‎ נוֹחַ, Modern Noaẖ Tiberian Nōăḥ; Syriac: ܢܘܚ Nukh; Arabic: نُوح‎ Nūḥ; Ancient Greek: Νῶε. I do not pretend to be any sort of an authority on scripture but as an avid reader I have found many, many writings by scholars, scientists and others that cumulatively prove evidence of a great flood. Unlike many of my Muslim brothers, I am not offended by Russell Crowe’s depiction of Noah and will not associate his likeness with Noah just as I do not associate Charlton Heston with the Prophet Moses, although, the Ten Commandments was a much better written and produced movie. I give the movie 1 star.

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  20. Godfrey Johnson

    Hate to disappoint you, Abu Ibrahim, but Nuh is not an historical figure. Or perhaps you can point me towards the history book he appears in.

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    • Wael Abdelgawad

      Here are three, Godfrey: The Torah, the Bible, and the Quran. They are not purely history books, and one may argue that the histories are inaccurate, but they nevertheless do contain history, and should be considered historical references among other things.

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      • Godfrey Johnson

        The same can be said of Homer’s “Iliad”, Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” and Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”.

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      • gunal

        Yes Godfrey Johnson, on the count of contributions to philosophy or classical tales etc., those you mentioned above can be counted as historical contributions to our world too. Even you, yourself, will be a historical figure within your own family tree to your generations to come. I hope you can comprehend better now about how history works.

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    • Umm ZAKAriyya

      Godfrey , you may never be recorded in any history book . So that would mean you never existed ?

      Prophet Noah/Nuh has been recorded in 3 most respected scriptures from 3 different historical periods . There may be more thAt we are not aware of simply because most ancient languages are dead today and most historical reports of the past are ignored as fables of the ancients .

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    • Siraaj

      Godfrey, you want empirical data demonstrating the existence of a person, but our belief in him is established implicitly via the acceptance of the empirical data related to the proof of Allah, who He is and what He claims, and it is via this means most of us, whether such collections exist, will believe in Him – we believe in the One who knows everything, even what may or may not have been recorded and discovered as of yet about the historical Nuh, so it is based on His knowledge of all things that we reference him.

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  21. Mahmud B.

    Jazakallah khair Abu Ibrahim

    You are so right in what you say. Let us not kid ourselves thinking
    that watching the movie will somehow add to or enhance our
    religious knowledge and spirituality. If you watch it, its only for
    the sake of entertainment and nothing else….mere pastime.

    If you want to learn about Prophet Nuh, then read about him
    in the Quran and in the books of scholars like Ibn Katheer
    and so on.

    There are many youtube lectures about Prophet Nuh from
    Islamic sources. Here is one:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tErn1wnCCzs

    There are many others

    And lastly the author is right. We are essentially hypocrites.
    We never get upset at the depictions of our other beloved
    prophets. How many shows do we watch where they mock
    Jesus peace be upon him. Most popular sitcoms mock Jesus.

    Some shows even show depictions of him.

    Even God is mocked on american TV in the name of comedy and laughter.

    Whenever the sacred is mocked and laughed at, they lose their value
    in the hearts of the people

    And Allah Knows Best.

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  22. Wael Abdelgawad

    I completely agree that Muslims should not see the film, if for no other reason than it contains lies about the Prophet Nuh (peace be upon him), and we cannot and must not support such slander. By seeing the movie, you are putting money into the pockets of men who are telling lies on the Prophet.

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  23. Mahmud B.

    Asalamun Alaykum

    I tried to reach the admin behind this wonderful website

    I want to know about advertising rates

    I tried to fill the form on this page but kept getting an error

    http://muslimmatters.org/contact/advertise/

    The captcha box keeps showing me an error

    Can some please help?

    Jazakallah khair

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    • Aly Balagamwala

      Dear Mahmud

      Your comment and the associated email address has been forwarded to the concerned person. You will get an email from them soon.

      Best Regards
      Aly

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  24. abdul-hakeem

    the prophet muhammad(s.a.w) said if you see something bad try to change it with your hand then try to change with your mouth and try to change it with your heart which is the smallest aspect of faith

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  25. salim

    I am amazed you guys are taking a fictional depiction of a myth so serious.

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    • O H

      If it was the depiction of a random guy called Noah that wouldn’t have been much of a problem. If however it is the depiction of a noble Prophet of Allaah then the false, immoral depiction is a problem for us Muslims. Problem in the sense that we should not watch or support it-I am not advocating burning of cars, violent street protests harming people.property etc. There are posts made further up the page listing more issues and haram aspects of the movie. Being indifferent in such matters isn’t really helpful.

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    • Feesabeelillaah

      @Salim,

      What is it exactly that you are referring as a myth?

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    • Umm ZAKAriyya

      Are you saying you didn’t know Prophet Nuh and Noah are the same person?

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  26. RCHOUDH

    I would also steer clear of such a movie, not only because of its depiction of a prophet of Islam but also because of the falsehoods it perpetuates. Also it’s very true how much these images embed themselves into our brains subconsciously, so that we’ll keep recollecting them at the most inopportune times. I once watched the movie “The Ten Commandments” when I was a child and I still catch myself sometimes imagining the prophet Musa (AS) as looking like Charlton Heston!

    With that said, I agree with the ban placed on this movie within Muslim countries. I wish though that the religious scholars in Muslim countries could also go on to explain to people why such a ban is in place (for the above mentioned reasons), otherwise people might just go ahead and watch the movie anyway through illicit sources.

    For those of us living in the West, while it won’t be possible to have such movies banned because of the 1st Amendment, the least we can do is not go to see it (thereby enriching the film makers behind this thing) and explain to friends and relatives why is is inadvisable to go (linking this article to social media networks could be a start!) With that said, unfortunately I think we’ll have to expect more of these types of movies being made soon in the future. A media analyst claimed that due to Noah’s box office success more “biblical themed” movies would be coming down the pipeline. The next one to arrive will be a film called Exodus.

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  27. Dead when dead

    There is no God or Allah or whatever. And you guys raving about nonsense like Scientologists is what keeps this world divided. The universe is its own truth. Be better humans, take responsibility and stop using ancient myths to justify your hatred

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    • gunal

      You could do with some sense yourself, And come to terms with believers’ existence and speak a little responsibly and respectfully about their beliefs. So far our word is against yours when it comes to prooving beliefs. We realise that.If only you could realise that too. The world would trully be a better place

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    • asla187

      Did you know that we are a miracle within us? Go learn about the human body, go learn about the wonders of the world from plants to creatures to whole universe. If you deny the truth no one can help you. Not even your parents. Not even the most powerful man in the world. So before mocking people who believe in god the one that created us and the perfect balance on earth. We are only here to warn you just like noah did. Peace

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  28. Aaqib Blue

    I watched Noah Movie because i really wanted to picture how the great flood would have looked like. This is the story i’ve been hearing all my life, and nothing more than a movie with some great effects would make it much thrilling and help a man connect back to his roots and understand some fundamentals. Now I can’t go on explaining, whether or not we can depict a prophet, though not being a scholar. I still want to pin point all those Muslims who will criticize the historical integrity of the movie without contributing anything on their own behalf. Seriously, if you know better than this, you need to come up with a movie that is better directed and presented than this, and which can actually speak volumes. Only then you may qualify for a debate or point fingers on others, Peace !

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    • O H

      No one needs to make any movie. The Qur’an has depicted it in it’s own unique and mesmerizing way. Alhamdulillaah Muslims over the last 14 centuries have accessed the Qur’an and its stories have inspired people in the past and continue to do so. We don’t need fake, false hollywood depictions to revive our Iman and ilm in this regard. Alternatively we can listen to the ‘stories of the Prophets’ series (e.g Mufti Menk has one or some other shaykh) with proofs from the Qur’an and hadeeth minus the music, ‘awrah, lies etc contained in the movie.

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  29. Adhila

    Slms,
    Jazakallah for the article.

    I agree 100% with the above mentioned reasons for not watching the movie. To add to this, one of the main reasons I won’t be watching the movie is that it is an artist’s interpretation of a story. The director, Darren Aronofsky, is known for his disturbing, dark movies like Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream. I personally would not like to learn about our beloved prophet (PBUH) through the eyes of someone who will undoubtedly take artistic license in order to deepen the impact of the movie. The producers have said that the biblical story is not very detailed so much interpretation was required to fill the gaps. As Muslims, and just people in general, we know the dangers of misinterpretation all too well.

    Just my two cents – take this into account before making your decision.

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  30. Cas_25

    SA
    Speaking to myself first, but while we all argue if this film or any other religious film is blasphemous or belittling to any of our own beliefs, we may need to check how strong our Iman(faith) is. I’ve watched the film, it sucked. I didn’t watch it in hopes that it would make me have a better of view of the life of one of the most recognized names in the three major religions or in hopes that after watching it that I would bow down to the Gladiator, haha…I watched it for the sole purpose of entertainment. I’m sure the last thing on Russel Crowe, Mel Gibson, or any other actor or director’s minds was to confuse anyone, they’re all just making a living with what they know best. A sheikh once explained to me that if you have a strong feeling that something is wrong deep down, without having to ask him or any scholar I already knew my answer, in this situation my views on all form of entertainment whether it be television, radio, magazines novels etc….they’re all distractions with all their subliminal messaging… everything around us is a fitneh…as much as I believe deep down that these forms of entertainment are the devil, im still lured in to the trap BUT the scriptures are always going to be the light under the tunnel and whenever I’m in doubt I know I can turn to the word of Allah for guidance, isn’t that the idea behind the Quran. We’ve always had our answers to all our questions and inshAllah our children and their children will have the same answers, so why complicate things??? On another note our children’s right over us is be to be shown the light from us. So instead of wondering if hollywood is going to corrupt the minds of our future be the impact of the future, spend that extra hour a day or a week even with the family talking religion, we all know it makes the difference. Sorry if I wasted anyone’s valuable time, just my two cents. Jazzakum Allah

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  31. Abbas Baig

    With all due respect sir…this is a movie..entertainment value. We as human beings have the intelligence to tell fact from fiction. The movie is great visually, but it lacks accuracy therefore the entertainment value. You should not propagate such discrimination. It’s a MOVIE if you want accuracy read your holy book.

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  32. Aisha

    A bit disappointed with the reasons that people are giving to justify watching the movie!

    From what has been described it’s not a movie that any Muslim should watch – Noah or no Noah! A bit worried to say the least how others seems to be justifying certain scenes too!

    And as for needing the Western interpretation of Noah’s depiction? Do we need one other than the one given to us in the Quran?

    For the purposes of interfaith dialogue? Have people run out of things to say when they have to base their discussions on fiction?

    Can we stop pretending that this movie has any benefit for us as Muslims? The sooner the better!

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  33. Asif

    This has to be an antichrist movie production, who tells lies about our prophet, who makes him look silly and confused and bad to his own family. trying to kill his grandchildren, the creator does not even speak to noah in this movie when god speaks to him directly. dont waste your money dont waste your time. my wife came out of the cinema and said to me “please tell me that noah wasn’t like that? because i really dont like him right now”. so yes it does make people believe. bad movie bad production made by an athiest who does not love god nor does he believe in him so why listen to him. changing angels to rock monsters and too many lies about god and his messenger. this film is called crowe’s ark. warn others about this movie is my advice

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    • O H

      But Your Iman is so weak that you will be harmed by this? No one will be harmed by it directly or subconsciously! Its all just fun and merry. Add to that the highly informative plus factual aspect of the movie and you got 2+ hours of awesomeness! Can’t understand how narrow-minded people can be, sigh

      Note: Sarcasm intended…

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      • gunal

        Well, we can not all have strong Iman like you claim to have. But you should also have a little consideration for, perhaps, the narrow-minded us, to make your Iman complete. Your Iman does not seem as strong as you think! After all, with my narrow mindedness I can see your perimeters clearly.
        Note: Sarcasm ‘not’ intended…

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      • Feesabeelillaah

        @gunal,
        I think you misunderstood what O H really meant.
        O H’s sarcasm was referring to those who had given excuses by saying that just by watching this movie it shouldn’t weaken your Imaan or make you narrow minded.

        Allah know best.

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      • gunal

        Oh! I am not so good with jokes or sarcasms. should be avoided around me. Thanks for pointing it out Feesabeelillaah

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  34. Bulent Keles

    I have’t seen the movie but I think the question we should ask is ¨why Islamic sources aren’t referenced or consulted enough?¨ I’m pretty sure the movie wasn’t based on the teachings of the Holy Quran. I’m not saying hollywood should base their stories on our believes but producers should feel comfortable consulting islamic authorities and sources to get our perspective on such stories. I believe this may lead them to understand the drawbacks and make adjustments accordingly.

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    • gunal

      You are forgetting the fact that this film is made by non-believers. If any movie is made by a believer that believer would fear God in case their representation might give wrong ideas and mislead others. They would not risk their afterlife.Anyone who causes others to be misled will be punished more than the ones who are misled. Because the people who are misled will point to the ones who misled them and say: “they are the ones misled me on earth, lead me to my punishment, please punish them more.”…This is, in Quran. This, alone, would make me think twice about giving my own opinions on religion and what lessons I should withdraw from Noah’s story.

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  35. Salman

    I will add a fourth reason (not sure if appropriate to post here):

    SEX/NUDITY – 3 (source: http://www.kids-in-mind.com/n/noah.htm)

    ► An elderly man touches his granddaughter’s abdomen, her vision blurs and a high wind blows through trees around them; previously infertile, she runs to find her boyfriend in the woods where she grabs him and kisses him passionately, ripping off his tunic to reveal his bare shoulders as the scene ends (sex is implied); in a few weeks, the young woman wakes up feeling sick and we learn that she is pregnant.

    ► A young man and a young woman run through a forest and fall to the ground, kissing for a short time; he lifts her tunic to reveal her navel and kisses her abdomen and a faded scar (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details) whereupon she tells him to stop and he complies. A husband and his wife kiss briefly in one scene and embrace for a short time in two other scenes.

    ► In a long shot, a man’s three sons find him naked on a beach and we see his bare back, chest, arms and shoulders; they cover him with a long robe. A woman bends forward toward the camera, revealing a little cleavage inside her loose blouse.

    ► A young woman’s water breaks, pouring onto the floor as contraction pains begin and she screams several times, while two babies are delivered below the frame (we see baby heads covered in wet dark hair after they have been wrapped in cloth).

    ► A young man becomes angry when he learns that all the young women on Earth are dead, including one he particularly liked. A biblical figure states that the human species must die and if female babies are born, they must be killed in order not to bear children.

    ► A man says that his oldest son is blinded by his desire to have children and that a teenage brother wants a wife and children only because he is covetous. A young couple tells a young man’s parents that a young woman is with child and in a later scene we see her with a swollen belly.

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  36. dawd

    I usually watch these movies to understand the dajjal’s religion. As is in “son of god”, these movies are the tools to continue de corruption of the definitions… based in the transition made by jews/christians. You know every religion except Islam are based on “innovations” (ie human doctrine).

    Everyone has a concept of what is divinity and what is the roll of the devine and thus the roll of human being… these movies are destined to the followers of innovations, to syncretism with all false religions… then you get a more corrupted concepts until reach “new” orders and a life’s style distinct of Islam (all begins with the unforgivable sin).

    The clear example is in “son of god”, because the “jesus” in this film is more alike of what we understand for dajjal.

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  37. Periodic Elements (@loxyazote)

    Gosh, reading some of these comments about the Noah film is no different to when they made films like: “The Life of Brian”, “Jesus Christ, Superstar”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat”, “The Last Temptation of Christ”, “Passion of the Christ”, “The Ten Commandments”, “Kingdom of Heaven”, “Bruce Almighty” films about the Apocalypse like “The Day after Tomorrow”, “2012″, etc. etc. but nobody really thinks about discussing a film such as “The Message”, an education DVD animation like “Muhammed, the Last Prophet”, or “Journey to Mecca” on IMAX.

    Whether a film made about one of Allāh’s prophets are accurate or not, they may make or help people to find out more about their messages about the true religion. It’s never quite clear whether skipping or banning the film makes a person, or an entire country, more or less Islamic. Allāh knows best.

    What’s more, referring back to what was revealed in al-Qur’an, and the Torah and Injeel, either before or after watching a film might help to dispel whatever inaccuracies that appear in the film. After all, most people will watch a normal (non-religious) film and not think twice about whether or not it is Islamic, because it’s not directly contradicting their own beliefs or faith.

    The author of the post makes some valid points about the potential for Aronofsky inaccuracies (of which there were quite a few, according to the Scripture and related texts), but then it could be argued, why make a film featuring epic historic (religiously significant) events at all?

    It’s only when religious sensibilities come into play, especially in terms of a cinema release, or books, or whatever the latest political controversy facing Islam is, that the criticism and condemnation are high, but otherwise religious depiction in any form has always been controversial! The prophets themselves were not even accepted by their contemporaries!

    If you think about the amount of blasphemy that occurs in the name of Islam or against the words of God generally, boycotting a film isn’t going to make the understanding of Islam or an Islamic prophet any better. Additionally, at the cinema, some people walked out during the screening, but they didn’t appear to be outwardly offended or religious in appearance.

    Subhan’Allah.

    It will be interesting as and when “Exodus: Gods and Kings” is released at the end of 2014.

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