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In a series of YouTube videos, IQRA Cartoon gives a series of cartoons which describe the Prophets' lives. One example is Yunus (AS) - Prophet story (No Music) - Islamic Cartoon and this is an idea of what it looks like:

Prophet Yunus

We see that Prophet Yunus is blurred out, while the other characters are not. This holds throughout the videos, where characters are blurred out whenever they are Prophets.

For Is drawing people prohibited in Islam?, NesreenA answers "The Prophet SAAWS strictly prohibited the drawing of beings with souls" (see also Is downloading cartoon images Haram?).

The above cartoon series takes steps to blur out the Prophets, presumably because images of the Prophets are "more haram" in some way. I want to understand why there is a specific importance of the images of the Prophets over other beings with souls.

Question: Are images of the Prophets more haram than images of other beings with souls?

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Islam forbids images in general, regardless of whether they are of prophets or of others. However at least some scholars hold the view that creating images of prophets is more serious than making images of others. The encyclopedia of fiqh for example states this: وتصوير الأنبياء أولى بالتحريم

Among the evidence cited for this is the hadith which explicitly condemns Christians for making images of righteous people (prophets are foremost among them):

أن أم حبيبة، وأم سلمة ذكرتا كنيسة رأينها بالحبشة فيها تصاوير، فذكرتا للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال ‏ ‏ إن أولئك إذا كان فيهم الرجل الصالح فمات بنوا على قبره مسجدا، وصوروا فيه تلك الصور، فأولئك شرار الخلق عند الله يوم القيامة

Um Habiba and Um Salama mentioned about a church they had seen in Ethiopia in which there were pictures. They told the Prophet (ﷺ) about it, on which he said,

"If any religious man dies amongst those people they would build a place of worship at his grave and make these pictures in it. They will be the worst creature in the sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection."

Bukhari and Muslim

Images of prophets can be considered more serious sins due to the following:

  • Drawing a prophet can be a seed for idolatry and shirk, it is possible that at some point people will start revering the depictions and may eventually even start worshiping them. It has been narrated that idolatory in the time of Noah started with veneration of the images of saints.

  • It is considered as disrespectful since the imagined figure will not be true to the likeness of a Prophet. The same extends to human actors depicting the Prophets in movies and serials.

Further reading (opinions against depicting the Prophets and Sahabah):

https://islamqa.info/en/10452
https://islamqa.info/en/14488
https://islamqa.info/en/158232
https://islamqa.info/en/181704

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