Da Vinci Code and Muslims


Should Muslims support Catholics demanding a ban on Da Vinci Code movie? Or should they stay neutral? Well, some Muslim leaders in India and Canada have already issued religious decrees seeking a ban on the movie. In fact, a few Muslim leaders from Bombay went even further threatening violent demonstrations if the movie was released.

What is Da Vinci code and why should one take it seriously even though it is a book of fiction. The issue at hand is not the literary style and the descriptive narratives or the mystery it weaves around its characters, it is the distortion of some of the historical facts around the character of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him - ), which is at the center of the controversy. The book and the movie deal with a number of issues related with faith, history and culture. They definitely erode the foundations of faith for both protestants and Catholics as they present Jesus in a manner that an average Christian is not familiar with.

From the perspectives of Muslims, some of the assumptions reinforce their own religious views on Jesus , while the others are contrary to Islamic beliefs.

For instance, on four issues, Da Vinci code essentially presents a view point similar to that one finds in the Quran as well as in Muslim history. The book and the movie assert that Jesus was not viewed as God until the fourth century. Muslim historians concur with that assertion. The movie highlights the role of emperor Constantine in projecting Jesus as God and Muslims agree with that analysis. The movie suggests that the Roman emperor unified Christians on the divinity of Jesus and forced a version of New Testament upon them that suited this ideology. Muslims' view is slightly different. They argue that it was the split within the Church that caused this issue to dominate the Christian scene and priests rather than politicians influenced the decision of the Roman emperor. The final point on which both Muslim and the author of the book agree is that the message of Jesus was distorted to suit the will of Emperor of Rome and his supporters.

However, when the movie talks about the character of Prophet Jesus, Muslim viewpoint does not agree with the views of the author. Muslims support Christians claim that the movie distorts the figure of Prophet Jesus . The movie shows that Jesus and Mary Magdelene married secretly. Muslims do not agree with this assertion and believe that even if he did it would not diminish his character. The movie further says that the two had a daughter whose name was Sarah and whose progeny still survives in Europe. Muslims reject this claim as well.

The argument is simple. Those who are revered by billions of people all over the world can not be subject to fictional distortions. Religious figures should be spared from harsh criticism by those who rely only on selected and subjective sources.

The movie also asserts that the Catholic church is involved in murders and assassinations of those who knew of this secret and wanted to expose it. Obviously, it is an assertion that exists in the imagination of the author. The second issue is that the Church is aware of the truth and is deliberately trying to cover it up. Both assumptions are based on fiction and both are meant to create more confusion.

The film and the book supporters present the first amendment in support of their work. In their zeal of freedom of speech they fail to recognize that freedom does not give them a license to assassinate the character of religious icons. The movie is promoting fictional falsehood about the character of Jesus .

We hope that the true nature and mission of Jesus will bring the essence of the Lord of all Creation into our lives.

 

Dr. Aslam Abdullah is editor-in-Chief of the Muslim Observer and the director of the Islamic Society of Nevada as well as the director of the Muslim Electorates Council of America.


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  36 Comments   Comment

  1. Mark Thomas from USA

    The DaVinci Code book represents speculative fiction about knowledge suppressive by the Catholic Church. The groups in question are the Knights Templar and the Rosicrucians and whether they possess "secret knowledge". I was a member of the Rosicrucians for 20 yrs and the Knights Templar for 10 yrs. They both represent traditions in Christianity that are Unitarian with their principles disguised in mystical allegories, Kabbalah, and sacred geometry. Through these traditions, Allah guided me to Islam. One must read between the story lines of mystical allegories. For example, the word "Magdalene" means "High Tower" and Mary represents the pristene spirit of man. So in the allegory, Jesus (pbuh) was wedded to his loft spiritual aspirations (the woman in the high tower)"in whom 7 demons had been cast out" (a soul purified of the seven deadly sins). So when understood one way, Jesus'(pbuh) marriage to Mary Magdalene is in error. When understood spiritually, the statement is much more accurate. Alhumdullilah

  2. Taqyuddin Kadir from Indonesia

    I agree what DR Aslam is describing. Apart from the content of the book which might be inline to some instances with our belief, I don't agree the book and film since that can be categorized as character assasinantion against our christian brothers.

  3. Daniel from United States of America

    Assalamu Alaykum.

    To "a believer in christ's divinity" ... I agree everybody has the right to say whatever he/she wants, as long as it is respectful, but I think you pretending to ignore (or on purpose??) that this is an Islamic Website, so... how come you feel free to shout your belief? I respect your belief, of course, you can believe in 0,1,2,3 divinities or god's persons, but i don't get your interest of shouting your belief in the divinity of Jesus (pbuh), unless you are using this website to preach your faith. I humbly rememenber you that you are an "outsider" of our belief.

    Now, see the point why so many Muslims don't even bother to listen to christians? They claim respect and fill their mouths of democracy and human rights, particularly americans, with their so called model of freedom, and complain about lack of respect for christians in arab countries... but let me tell you, you do the same, you are sending millions of free bibles to Muslim countries, preachers also pretending to be Muslims (true storie) to get into Muslim comunities and dliver their message.

    You believe whatever your heart says so, I respect that, we Muslims respect that, but don't use this Islamic website to preach.

    Next time, show me with your actions what you believe, not with your words.

    With respect, a former christian, now Muslim, alhamdulillah.

  4. Muslimah from USA

    I disagree that Muslims should get involved in the issue of the Da Vinci code. My main reason is that Christians have already injured greatly the name of prophet Jesus by deifying him. The notion that it is more outrageous to attribute a wife to him shocks me. Muslims know that there is no greater blasphemy and sin than shirk. If this movie/book says he was not a god, than they have improved a great deal, compared to the churches who worship this pious prophet instead of God Almighty.

  5. ayesha ajmal from india

    though i completely agree to Dr.Aslam Abdullah

    about our beliefs which match with the book,but my question is that is there in Islam in any way told about Jesus's marriage at all.i think there is no information in our books wether Jesus (alaihisalaaam)married or not.So wot should we, being muslims answer if a non muslim wants to know do about it?

  6. Lynn from USA

    Overall, I agree with the article as far as what the author has done to disrepect Jesus. Even though this is fiction, there are many who take this to heart and their beliefs begin to be questioned. If the freedom of speech allows this to be done to a major religious icon, who is to say the author may not write about other religious leaders? There may be differences in the article that I do not agree with because I am a protestant Christian, however, the main idea is that the author has disrespected Jesus. Who will the author choose to write about next? Freedom of speech should be tempered with consideration for other's beliefs.

  7. Rabia Shafiq from United States

    I simply agree this film and book should be fictional and jesus was not god he was prophet PBUH.

  8. Md. Tanwir from India

    The articel by Dr. Aslam Abdullah vey much clears the idea about muslims opinion and the opinion Christians have. I had discussed the matter with one of coleague who is Catholic and he said that the film is false but he also said that this is the darkest view point in Christian religion. I asked him why then the pope and the Church not fight against this idea and must have done at the time when such idea came to the minds of people, but his answer shocked me and it was 'ON WHAT GROUND WE WILL FIGHT, WHEN WE DON'T HAVE THE ORIGINAL TETIMENTS'. All prays to Allah, the All mighty who guided us and saved us from such type of conflicts.

  9. Nadia Tolba from USA

    Inspite of the Moslems disagreement with the views of the author about Jesus(pbuh). The story brings to the world the idea of thinking over two major points that must be considered:

    1-That Jesus is a prophit and not God.

    2-That God's word to Jesus has been modified to suit some power seekers.

    Thus, I would like to have all christians see the movie and read the book as an eye opener. They may revise these points as they would make a much larger improvement in their faith than the harm caused by the story of jesus' marriage, which still supports his being a human being.

  10. A Believer in Christ's divinity from Norway

    Of course Jesus is God, he was given a name that is above all names according to the a New Testament and the profetic word states that He the star of Bethlehem would bring satan to nought,Genesis 3:15,Hebrews 2:14, and no other than God could do that.

    Jesus at Calvary was The Omnipotent JHWH suffering to perfectly save those that believe in His work of redemption, Halleluja! May God bless you all in the Name of Jesus the ever living One, The Great Son Of Jehova God...Thankyou...

  11. fairuzah from cape town south africa

    i think the movie realy touches invariably on the pertinent issues concerning gender stereotyping ,which in my opinion has been the erosion of society for thousands of years..power in the past was clearly defined in terms of male dominance in churches ...religions of the world have to a large extent compounded this bias and hense the net result being women of the world being marginalised...today women still struggle with these doctrins of the past and clearly neither the christianity nor islam have contextualised their scriptures to make women more inclusive ....

  12. Suhel Deshmukh from Canada

    I understand that portraying Jesus (peace of allah be upon him) as what Dan Brown has claimed is wrong but we also agree that certain facts made by Dan Brown are infact agreed upon by Muslims as well. This just brings one thought: what if the HOLY GRAIL that Dan Brown talks of is not the "bloodline" but possibly scriptures that prove that Jesus (peace of allah be upon him) was only a messenger of God and that there will be one in the end, namely, Muhammad (peace of allah be upon him). May Dan Brown chose not speak about this openly as it would create give credence to the claims Muslims make and thus could change the entire world map. Just something to think about

  13. Sidiki Konneh from Liberia

    I do agreed agreed entirely that Jesus is not God, as the Holy Qur'an states. However, I disagreed that Jesus marry Mary Magdelene. As such, the Da Vinci Code has distorted the Character of Prophet Jesus. Therefore, all Muslims should be against it.

  14. Surrayya from USA

    Assalam Alekum

    I think the Hollywood would like to make a fuss over the movie so that as many people as possible become curios and end up going to watch it. This is a proven strategy and it has worked.

    Personally I won't go and waste my time on it. After anti Christ (Dajjal) has appeared and is busy creating havoc and calling himself God, Jesus Christ peace be upon him will come back to Earth and then he will get married, that is all I know and care about.

  15. Waseem Ahmed from pakistan

    Alhamdolillah ! the movie supports the Quranic arguement that Jesus (Peace be upon him) was not God. Being Muslim I fully support this view. Those who believe Jesus (pbuh) as God must think over it.

  16. Tauheed Ahmad from Saudi Arabia

    True that book displays few of the imaginary facts and goes to extra length in applauding feminity. Further, it does puts the true followers (actually blood lineage of Jesus AS) in negative light, by depicting them to be reaching to divinity through Sex.

    But it nowhere does mention that this or any like thing was actually tought by Jesus AS. Also it does mention Jesus AS to be married but atleast that has been shown to be in knowledge of His companions. So it does not put any shadow on Jesus AS. Rather it puts on most important thing too vociforoulsy, that is the Humanity of Jesus AS and clearly mentions that it was only centuries later that the facts were altered and Jesu AS was represented as Son of God to suit the interest of Romen Emperor Constantine.

    As regards to church, it does put the church of the time of constantine in negative light, but it clearly bails out todays church and priests as the holy and peacful entities.

  17. Daniel from United States of America

    I have read the book, and haven't seen the movie yet. However, my question is simple: Why do we bother about it? Parts of this theory has been around us for so long. And the book is a simple fiction novel, chained with partial facts, facts sometimes taken from only stories and theories (templars, freemasons, etc, etc, etc).

    My only comment is: is it worth to enjoy or not. Any other concern is, at least for me, nonsense.

    you go, enjoy the movie or not, and forget about it. It is just for fun.

    Can the movie confuse people? Oh yes, some people will be confused even with Mickey Mouse... and I don't care. Ignorants will be around up to the end of this world.

    If someone takes a movie to make religious or historical, or philosophical conclusions is a true fool. Fools who want to remain fools, and fools who refuse to read and study to make serious conclusions are even more fools. And they have their own reward.

    Come on guys!, is just a movie! ... and don't tell me that "concerned and pious" Muslims are banning this movie... they are fools too.

    Salaam.

  18. allan borromeo from phil

    although its only a fiction,but some part of the book which i agreed, that jesus was married to marry magdaline. The said book gave us sign on seeking truth, so what we need is to read more.im a pro jesus but anti "christ", im a pro jesus buecause i adhire his teaching. the word "christ" was an aglicanized term from the greek "crio or crien" taken from the armaic "maseh" meaning to massage.

  19. Anees Ahmed from Saudi Arabia

    I have not seen the movie. Will see it next time home. I am reading the book at this time. There are parts of the book from which I gaining some knowledge. I plan to research the statements further before beleiving or disbeleving.

    I come from the perspective of Religion being "Faith Based". If one has faith then one has religion - irrespective of what religion he/she follows. Once you adopt to this emotion called Faith, then you learn or atleast endevour to learn to seperate Faith from all else. As for the book, I really don't care what the author or anyone else writes or talks about - simply becasue I have Faith in the Divine and His Message. For me Jesus (Peace be Upon him) was a human and among God's Prophets. That is the beginning and end of my faith. All else don't matter. I will sit through the movie and for duration it lasts enjoy it and forget about it. Was the catholic church involved in criminal activities?. One should search the history and infact look around us in the current world. The answer is there for all to see

  20. Mohammed ADEBOLA from Nigeria

    As-salam Alaikum Waramotullahi Wabarakatu- This is a manifestation of the dangerous contradictions in the so-called freedom of speech of the western world.

    We can look forward to more dastadly and useless write-ups in the days ahead as it were.

    We MUSLIMS do not necessarily have to be agrieved as it is apparent that all forces, their agents and promoters will one day, all end up in hell, In-Sha ALLAH.

  21. amin21 from USA

    I read the book and have both objections and agreement.

    I would say first that the Catholic Church (at least at the top) takes a very open approach to Islam compared to its stance of previous centuries... and that it shines out amoung many Christian organizations for this reason. This is specific however to the Catechism.. and some bishops take a different position.

    I do not think the current day Catholic church is capable of such a thing, though its role in suppressing alternative theologies in past centuries is undeniable... it has been effectively declawed since Vatican II and that needs to be addressed...

    Either way it is work of fiction and the author is not saying the modern church did what the member of the Opus dei did in the book...

    As for Jesus being married or not... it is irrelevant to his message... and marriage in secret is debated in Islam between Shia and Sunni anyway...

    The main thing I don't see mentioned here is that the supposed true followers of Jesus engaged in sex ritual. While we know if we read the epistles that some of this did occur in the early church I am inclined to believe that this was simply an example of the amount of decentralization and paganization of early christianity... and was only an early symtom pagan corruption that would become a later problem...

    Returning that back on a prophet and the proper practice his religion is revolting... and the book displays a love of the ammoral sexual attitudes taking hold in the west to the disgust of christian religious leaders, conservative Christians and Muslims alike.

    Making Jesus more human is good.

  22. Rafiq from Finland

    I read this book and I don't think it harms muslims belief. According to Al-Quran we know Isa (pbuh)was our one of the important prophets who preached about One God. He performed many miracles by almighty Allah's will. We don't know if Jesus was married or had child at all. So we can't argue on that.

    If Da Vinci Code could prove today that Jesus was a simple human being not a divine figure, it was happenned because of freedom of speech. This point goes on favour of Islam. The writer didn't dishonour Jesus, he tried to present his arguement for it. We know that lies can't reign long time...therefore, one big lie is about to come out from Christianity. This may shake the basement of their belief and inspire them to search for truth.

    If they search for the truth, they will end up to Islam. And Allah challanges in Quran to disprove his words if anyone can. Islam never scare of seeking truth. So, I am in favour of this book and movie.

  23. Basem EK from USA

    Assalamu Alaykum.

    I only had 3 options to choose from: For, Against and Indifferent. Mine is number four.

    I disagree with Dr. Abdullah about some of the conclusions:

    1. The movie shows that Jesus and Mary Magdelene married secretly. Muslims do not agree with this assertion and believe that even if he did it would not diminish his character.

    Unless the comment was misquoted, it's contradictory within itself. We do not know if Jesus married or didn't, secretly or otherwise. And who said that Muslims reject the point that if Jesus did actually marry, that he had a daughter?

    2. The movie also asserts that the Catholic church is involved in murders and assassinations of those who knew of this secret and wanted to expose it. Obviously, it is an assertion that exists in the imagination of the author.

    This maybe true, but the Church (Vatican) is a powerful entity on its own. How can we as Muslims reject that the Church could not be involved in such a practice? Do we know that for a fact?

    My final point is that we seem to make a bigger deal of this just suddenly. What about Prophet Musa (Moses) who was depicted in various ways in movies? Where was our voice then?

    Wassalam,

    Basem EK

  24. Syed from Canada

    I didn't read the Da Vinci code but after reading this article, I think the biggest insult for any prophet is to change his message after his death, and biggest sinful act according to Islam is taking someone else as god. Christians commit both the sins, they change his message and make Jesus as god which according to Islam it not forgivable. The issue of he married or not is a minor and personal issue. Even if the Da Vinci code says he married secretly, that doesn't mean he did a sin, because at that time the Islamic Shariah as today was not in effect. Anyway, we can never take the side of Christians because that mean we accept their portal of Jesus, and because as Muslims we don't slander any dignity of other religions, we cannot side with Da Vinci code if the Christians think that slander Jesus.

  25. N Ameen from USA

    I agree with the basic premise of the movie. The movie highlights the basic precepts of our Islamic beliefs, and brings to question the divinity of the prophet Jesus (PBUH). From this aspect, it concurs with our Islamic beliefs.

    Where the movie detracts from our Islamic beliefs is when it asserts that the prophet Jesus married and had a child BEFORE HE WAS ALLEGDELY CRUCIFIED (note: we Muslims don't believe he was crucified). If you analyze this more thoroughly, you can see that this is in line with what we as Muslims will believe to the Prophet Isa in future.

    Weighing the pros and cons of the movie, I feel that it does more good than harm for Muslims. At the very least, it shakes up the tenets of the Christian faith, and at it worst it ascribes character to the prophet Isa that we believe, will happen in the future.

    I really do not see the need for violent demonstrations by Muslims due to this movie. It will be interesting to note how the Catholics respond to this movie. I doubt that they will resort to violent protests like that of the Muslim cartoon chariciture event.

    Salaam, Ameen.

  26. N Rahman from usa

    I agree with the 4 points of the author in favor but disagree with him -- on the point that Jesus was married or not. Neither Bible nor

    Quran has reference that he was not married. I had the chance to go to web site: mostmerciful.com, whose argument that Jesus should have been married as per Quran---- seems to be acceptable to me.

  27. Siddiqui from USA

    While Muslims have a moral obligation to defend our beloved Holy Prophet, Christ Jesus (PBUH), we must be careful not to get caught up with so-called western Christian rhetoric. Apparently, they are so influenced by materialism, capitalistic greed and hegemony, they don't really care who they slander and disrespect. They fail to realize that one day they will be faced with imminent death, when they will have to answer to the Almighty Creator for their lies, misconceptions and misleading deeds, under the guise of freedom of speech. This book/movie reminds me of a cover story that appeared many years ago, on one of the leading popular World magazines, " Is God Dead ", (Publicity stunt to make money) Clearly, this movie, "DaVinci Code and the Passion" appears to be in the same veign. Made solely to confused the masses while the producers/makers of these movies laugh all the way to the bank, with their millions of $$$.

  28. Kabiru from Nigeria

    Any negative portrayal of Jesus should be condemned by Muslims. Perhaps out of this God intends to advance the truthfulness of Islam which has always insisted that Jesus was not killed by crucifixtion. Muslims should now strive to know what happened to him after he was saved by God. Modern research is shedding light on that; and that should be encouraged. Such revelation might lead to the real salvation of many Christians.

  29. Akram Baloch from US

    There is no solid eveidence in Islamic tradition that Jesus (PBUH) did not marry. So Muslims can't imperatively 'reject' the notion that he was married. Howver, Muslims can reject the contention that he was 'secretly' married.

  30. Muzammil from Malaysia

    Well written comments. It shows Muslims' views are based on truth, not emotion.

    The film is absurd to suggests that Jesus (pbuh) has married Mary and had had daughter.

    Perhaps Muslim should also boycot the film?

    If I remember correctly, we did boycot The Last Temptation of Jesus?

  31. D. Thomas

    I haven't ready the book, and might or might not see the movie, so I'm not fan. However I'm a fan of free speech and there is nothing in the book or movie that deserves peoples temper to flare. What the author doesn't understand is that in the West we are able to understand that this is fiction and take as such. It can be ignored or at best this book/movie can be used as a topic of debate.

    Religion is an ideology and therefore deserves no protection plain and simple. Any religion should be able to stand up to discussion or ridicule, especially if it is the 'one'!

  32. M Ahmad from Germany

    Assalamoalaikum

    I am a little disappointed to read this article. After reading the

    book I can say is that there is nothing in the book that Muslims

    should object to. The book does not abuse Jesus or cast

    aspersions on his character. To state that he married is perfectly

    believable and can in no way be considered objectionable to

    Muslims. The objection being raised by some Muslims is in my

    opinion because of two reasons. First, Muslims see this as a

    good opportunity to side with believing Christians expecting

    them to return the favour when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is

    insulted. This in my view is too much to expect, atleast from the

    christian right. Secondly, it is due to our tendency to feel

    suscipious about all modern artistic expressions about religious

    figures. This suspicion is well founded to some extent (e.g. in

    light of Satanic verses and cartoon controversy). However we

    should try look at each issue seperately and judge it on its own

    merit.

  33. Adam Ibrahim Muhammad from Nigeria

    I think no fiction (factual or ortherwise) should be used to narrate the history of any prophet (on film). These are special people of God to which mimicking them in any way will only lead to the wrath of god on the rest of creation. May Allah save us from the doom of our own making, Ameen.

  34. mike from USA

    Muslims should also stand up for the distortion of image of the blessed messenger Isa. Just because it was made to be a movie and is called "fictional" does not change the fact that it is taking the charactor of a messenger and play with it.

    Islam is clear, Allah,the prophet, and the truth are not to be toyed with.

    Stand up, Muslims, for truth, for you are the only people who know it, able to stand for it,and pay the price for such act. The cost is dear, but Paradise isdearer.

    Salam

  35. Amer from India

    I'am for this write up except for and i quote "The movie shows that Jesus and Mary Magdelene married secretly. Muslims do not agree with this assertion and believe that even if he did it would not diminish his character." There is no question of beleiving even for the sake of argument that jesus married anybody.He is one of the greatest prophet of God,and God has taken him away and will send him back to this earth to complete his life cycle.

  36. Chuck Smith from USA

    The theory is old and has been around almost since the inception of Christianity.And Biblical Christianity is the best antidote to such trash.