Musician AR Rahman has reacted strongly to a fatwa issued against him for working on renowned Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi's film on Prophet Muhammad saying he composed music for the film "in good faith and with no intention of causing offence".
"I didn't direct or produce the movie
. I just did the music. My spiritual experiences of working on the film are very personal and I would prefer not to share these," the Oscar-winning musician wrote on his Facebook page on Monday.
A fatwa was issued against musician AR Rahman and filmmaker Majid Majidi for their film Muhammad: Messsenger of God.
The fatwa was issued last week against Rahman and Majidi for working on the film on Prophet Muhammad by Mumbai-based Sunni Muslim group, Raza Academy.
"I am not a scholar of Islam. I follow the middle path and am part traditional and part rationalist. I live in the Western and Eastern worlds and try to love all people for what they are, without judging them," said the double Grammy winner.
"My decision to compose the music for this film was made in good faith and with no intention of causing offence. In fact the decision [to compose music for the film] was based on a similar point of view as expressed by Mr Noorie. What, and if, I had the good fortune of facing Allah, and He were to ask me on Judgement Day: 'I gave you faith, talent, money, fame and health… why did you not do music for my beloved Muhammad film? A film whose intention is to unite humanity, clear misconceptions and spread my message that life is kindness, about uplifting the poor, and living in the service of humanity and not mercilessly killing innocents in my name'," he continued. Rahman was reacting to comments made by Saeed Noorie, chief of Raza Academy, who had said that people may misuse the title of the film and end up insulting the Prophet.
The musician-singer further expressed his views on extremism being practiced in the name of religion and the need to counter such reactions with "love and kindness, and through the audio-visual media reach out to people who wish to broaden their understanding".
Actors on the set of Muhammad: Messenger of God, the first part of a trilogy on the life of the prophet. (AFP)
He also said that people born in India are "fortunate and blessed" where "religious freedom is practiced and where the aim of all communities is to life in peace and harmony sans confusion and violence." "Let us set a precedent in clearing conflict with grace and dignity and not trigger violence in words or actions. Let us pray for forgiveness, and from our hearts bless those who suffer in the world and bless the country that we live in. To so pray is to reflect the noble and enlightened nature of our beloved Muhammad," the musician concluded.
Muhammad: Messenger of God, Iran's most expensive film, opened nationwide in the Shiite Islamic republic earlier this month. The movie depicts the Prophet on screen, an act prohibited in Sunni Islam. The visually stunning 171-minute film cost around $40 million, partly funded by the state, and took more than seven years to complete.