Why is worship not allowed in Islam?

Worship of idols is forbidden

Lecture series on the Luther Decade

belterz / iStockphoto

There is no general ban on images. What is condemned in the Koran is the worship of idols, according to Professor Dr. Yasar Sarikaya on the topic: "Image, ban on images, caricature in Islam".

04.05.2015red article: Download PDFPrintShareFeedback

Author: Multimedia Redaktion

Category: News, Islam, Pastors, _Newsletter

Source: Andrea Wagenknecht

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Keywords: image and bible

Gesine Werner / Ev. Deanery WiesbadenProfessor Dr. Yasar Sarikaya, Dr. Fereshteh Hamidifard and Pastor Klaus Endter in the house at the Marktkirche during the lecture "Image, ban on images, caricature in Islam" (from left).

No, there is no general “ban on images” in the Koran. "What is criticized and condemned in the Koran is not the image itself, but the worship of idols and sacrificial stones instead of God, the One." Clear words from Professor Dr. Yasar Sarikaya, who does away with a widespread cliché and prejudice. Muslim cultural areas are by no means without images, figurative representations can be found everywhere. Calligraphy and representational painting have long blossomed in the profane world. And "since the 13th century at the latest" portraits of Mohammed - "a person with prophetic, not divine abilities" - have been part of Muslim art. The facial features remained free, were illustrated with characters or a ball of fire, covered with a white veil.

“Reformation, Bible, Image” - Lecture series on the Luther Decade

In the lecture series “Reformation, Bible, Image” on the Luther Decade in the Wiesbaden dean's office, Professor Dr. Yasar Sarikaya, professor for Islamic theology and its didactics at the Liebig University in Giessen, is a guest. Klaus Endter, pastor for ecumenism, as the host, emphasized at the beginning the “double point” of the topic “image, ban on images, caricature in Islam”. From the beginning, Islam, based on Judaism and Christianity, shared the image skepticism of the monotheistic religions. Sunni Islam has retained the ban on images, figurative representations are known from the Ottoman Empire and Shiite Islam.

It is about a "ban on idols", emphasized Professor Sarikaya

“You shouldn't make an image of God for yourself.” The question of the “ban on images” has political, cultural, art-historical and theological aspects as well, explained guest speaker Sarikaya. The prohibition of images in Judaism secured the idea of ​​the “one” god, an idol symbolized the danger of relapse into paganism. A concern taken on by Christians and Muslims and held on to. Idols and their images are created things, powerless on their own and subject to the omnipotence of God. An alleged ban is justified by hadiths: "Every manufacturer of images is in hellfire." It is about a "ban on idols," emphasized Professor Sarikaya. The ban on Mohammed images is also based on the danger of idolatry and "could sometimes degenerate into a blanket condemnation of the images of living beings." The idea of ​​a “general, absolute” ban prevailed with the rise of Wahhabism and its puritanical understanding of God. The “Salafist movements” took over the radical image-critical stance, but considered new technical image media to be usable.

In Iran, people live with pictures, poems, music and chants

In the discussion, the Persian Islamic scholar Dr. Fereshteh Hamidifard gave the lecture with the remark that every people “took over the religion on their own background”. In Iran, people live with pictures, poems, music and chants. There are pictures in every household.

Andrea Wagenknecht