In a film called Kingdom Of Solomon( which is about the Prophet Sulayman AS), a actor is portraying Prophet Sulayman. Is this haram because it is haram to act as Prophet Muhammad (Islamic films about Prophet Muhammad don't have someone acting as him as it is haram)?
Question: A question was asked regarding playing the role of the Prophet (upon him be peace) and/or the Companions [in a dramatic production].
Response: It is good to retell the Qur’anic religious stories through the ways and language of the time. Doing so brings the time of the Prophet to life in the minds of our children. The personalities of the Prophet (upon him be peace) and the messengers of God are so precious and noble that they must not be played by actors, and may not be imitated by Satan.
The Response contests intolerant legal opinions, so their opinions tend to be "gentle". However, in this case, they consider acting as a Prophet as haram (mostly concurring with the "intolerant" opinion).
They derive this opinion from the hadith:
Who ever sees me (in a dream) then he indeed has seen the truth, as Satan cannot appear in my shape.
Sahih al-Bukhari 6997
From this they continue:
... the legal implications of this ensure that it is prohibited for a human to enact (yataqamas) the character of the Prophet (upon him be peace).
If this is the correct legal stance regarding the validity of acting the role of the Seal of Prophets, then the same [prohibition] should apply to playing the parts of God’s previous messengers. ...
I'm not a scholar and I dont know the religious point of view on this but one important thing is that we remember the historic characters as the people who acts which is two serious problem.
- Those people generally don't represent the "historic figures". How can anybody be able to represent sahaba (Abu Bakr, Omar b Khattab, Uthman, Ali radiallahu anhum), the prophets let alone prophet Mohammad pbuh. If those people are "played" by others, the audience will associate actors/actresses with those big names. Consider, prophet Yusuf was acted by a someone who is okay in terms of beauty, so you decrease the beauty of prophet Yusuf.
- The next roles or the real life of those people will cause a confusion or misjudgements in people's mind (This is not very obvious). For example, someone played a prophet and then he played in a "dirty/sinful movie"; this might lead people to have wrong associations of the sin to the prophet he played.
We have a saying:
Things can be represented by its equivalent, if you want to represent a prophet, find a prophet to play him.
In Islam drawing sketches or taking photos of People is forbidden for a valid reason that people out of sheer devotion should not start worshipping such sketches, pictures or sculptures etc. Photos making for valid reasons such as passport, visas or similar inevitable necessities, however, is not haram. Islam does not impose unnecessary hardships on its adherents. It has been declared in Qura'an as well in Hadith. The glaring example, validating this apprehension is well reflected in the case of Jesus Christ (PBUH), Who is being called god, son of god and one-in-three etc. He is being even worshiped by some as a god.
Making movies and acting in them as a character could be done without making a replica of either of the prophets. As this experiment has been done successfully. Islam, in the panoply of Divine religions, by far, is the most logical and far-sighted religion. Some of its injunctions; which used to sound bit strange till yesterday, seem to be making more sense than ever before. The Best Example is that of the Human conception in the mother's womb. Its detailed explanation has baffled medical scientists of today. Thanks shakir2.wordpress.com