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Talk:Muhammad/images

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RfC on image use[edit]

Semi-protected edit request on 19 October 2016[edit]

I would request to have the pictures of Prophet Muhammad's face be removed as it is against the rules of the religion of Islam to depict the faces of the any Prophet. Thank You.

220.240.117.23 (talk) 10:50, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

Not done. Please read the Muhammad FAQ at the top of the page for more information. It has been decided by a wide scale RTF that pictures are both acceptable and used correctly within the article. Tivanir2 (talk) 11:06, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
RTF? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 11:59, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps they meant an RfC? Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 12:07, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
It was indeed suppose to be RFC my phone's autocorrect just hates me. Tivanir2 (talk) 16:00, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
That'll teach you to use your phone on Wikipedia for anything but reading articles. I learned that lesson recently too. Nothing is so urgent that it can't wait for me to get to my laptop or desktop. ~Amatulić (talk) 21:36, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 7 August 2017[edit]

The subject image should be replaced to:

Mohammad, the prophet and founder of Islam https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mohammad,_the_prophet_and_founder_of_Islam.jpg

the current imagery used within this wiki does not represent or depict the subject. This image depicts this subject using conventions found within comparable wikis. IlikeMonkeys (talk) 17:57, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

Not done: Islam censors all imagery of the actual Mohammad. jd22292 (Jalen D. Folf) (talk) 18:04, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
Also that image no longer exists on Commons due to licensing problems. ~Anachronist (talk) 18:20, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 7 August 2017[edit]

The subject image should be replaced to:

Mohammad, the prophet and founder of Islam https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mohammad,_the_prophet_and_founder_of_Islam.jpg

the current imagery used within this wiki does not represent or depict the subject. This image depicts this subject using conventions found within comparable wikis.

The idea that Islam censors images of Mohammad should not force or control this wiki. IlikeMonkeys (talk) 18:12, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

  • Instead of repeating the same request, please reply to the above response instead. But, in any case, this has been discussed extensively. There are pictures of Mohammed in the article, just not the initial picture. It is just considered the best practice. And not to be rude, but posting this request again will likely be considered spam. ‡ Єl Cid, Єl Caɱ̩peador ᐐT₳LKᐬ 18:34, 7 August 2017 (UTC) EDIT: adding info regarding specific discussion per Ferret. From FAQ:
  • A4: This has been discussed many times on Talk:Muhammad and many debates can be found in the archives. Because calligraphic depictions of Muhammad are the most common and recognizable worldwide, the current consensus is to include a calligraphic depiction of Muhammad in the infobox and artist's depictions further down in the article. An RFC discussion confirmed this consensus.
  • As info, note the editor made the same image swap at Muhammad (name). I've reverted, as the new upload the user made is improperly licensed and likely to be deleted from Commons. No comment on current consensus for lead images of Muhammad. -- ferret (talk) 18:56, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

Important summary for the future[edit]

The article is permanently semi-protected. There have been coordinated off-wiki attacks on the article, as well as long term abuse by one or more block-evading individuals editing via IP edits and/or sockpuppet accounts. Such edits should be dealt with as WP:Revert, block, ignore, including edits to this talk page.

  • There is no credible dispute that multiple Reliable Sources have described image File:Maome.jpg as Muhammad prohibiting Nasī’ / prohibiting intercalation. Several such sources are listed in the Archive 3 RFC, and additional sources were listed in the more recent RFC.
  • There is no credible dispute that multiple Reliable Sources have used this image for the purpose of illustrating this topic.
  • At one point the image caption described this as happening at the Farewell Sermon. The sources using this image generally do not make that claim. While it is believed Muhammad prohibited intercalation at the Farewell Sermon, we do not know whether he did so at multiple times and places. The image caption should not make claims about the time or place.
  • Accuracy of the image contents: Photographs did not exist fourteen hundred years ago. This image is obviously an artist's attempt to depict or recreate events of the era. Was Muhammad wearing a blue robe when he said these words? Maybe, maybe not. Was he standing at the top of stairs when he said these words? Maybe, maybe not. It is undisputed that Reliable Sources consider this image suitable for illustrating this topic. Anyone viewing the image will immediately know it's an artist's impression of the event. Readers know that details of image do not have photographic-accuracy.
  • Exactly zero time should be wasted engaging long term block-evading individuals simply demanding that Images of Muhammad be removed.
  • Exactly zero time should be wasted engaging attempts to attack the expert-judgement of multiple Reliable Sources.
  • Exactly zero time should be wasted engaging attempts to attack incidental details an artist's depiction.
  • Exactly zero time should be wasted engaging any other desperate excuses, when those excuses are clearly just another ploy for removing images of Muhammad in general. Alsee (talk) 09:58, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
The problem with the above argument is that it's based entirely on speculation (not even original research). The first person to suggest that Muhammad prohibited intercalation on more than one occasion was Alsee himself/herself, on Wednesday morning. (S)he has not produced one source (reliable or otherwise) to back his/her claim. So we have to assume that the prohibition of intercalation took place outside (not in a mosque) and was delivered when Muhammad was sitting on a camel, not standing on a minbar. In that work the artist recreated many events of the era. Most of the events recreated are not the events described in the adjacent text. I agree that the caption should not make claims about the time. I disagree that a picture of a man preaching in a mosque should not be captioned as a picture of a man preaching in a mosque.
Alsee himself/herself used this very argument to remove a picture from a BLP on 24 April 2016, citing WP:SYNTH. The objection was that the source did not mention the subject of the article. Likewise, the artist does not claim the man standing on the minbar is Muhammad. All the pictures promote Shia sectarianism, Ali was the founder of Shiism and is pictured elsewhere in the series, Ali had a short beard and Muhammad had a long beard. You cannot caption a picture of a man standing on a minbar as a man sitting on a camel unless you can provide a reliable source stating that the picture of a man standing on a minbar is a picture of a man sitting on a camel, and no reliable source has said that.
The above facts demolish the reliability of any source which claims that this is Muhammad prohibiting intercalation, but in fact no reliable source has claimed that. Robert Hillenbrand, "Images of Muhammad in al - Biruni's Chronology of Ancient Nations", in: R. Hillenbrand (ed.), "Persian Painting from the Mongols to the Qajars: Studies in Honour of Basil W. Robinson" (London/New York: I.B. Tauris Publishers, 2000 (pp 129 - 146) says this is highly unlikely to be a picture of Muhammad prohibiting intercalation. The statement in Aguilar is based on three cited sources. One of them is Hillenbrand, discussed above. Another is Priscilla P. Soucek, "An Illustrated Manuscript of al-Bīrūnī’s Chronology of Ancient Nations”, in: P.J. Chelkowski (ed.), The Scholar and the Saint: Studies in Commemoration of Abu’l-Rayḥan al-Bīrūnī and Jalal al-Din al-Rūmī (New York: New York University Press, 1975), pp. 103-168. This contains a passing reference on page 156 - no argument that this is Muhammad prohibiting intercalation. Not mentioned is T. W. Arnold, Painting in Islam, republished in 2002, Gorgias Press, which discusses the picture at p.89 and says nothing about intercalation. The only plank for the claim is the one - line description by Yvette Sauvan & Marie-Geneviève Balty-Guesdon, Bibliothèque Nationale. Département des Manuscrits. Catalogue des Manuscrits Arabes. Deuxième partie. Manuscrits Musulmans, tome V, Nos. 1465-1685 (Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, 1995), pp. 35-38, and they say it is a simple transcription of Priscilla Soucek! 78.146.222.141 (talk) 13:50, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
Alsee did not have an answer to the above argument, so (s)he wiped it and asked for the discussion board to be protected for fourteen months. 78.146.222.141 (talk) 11:35, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
It's a discussion thread about a picture of an unidentified imam with a short beard. The debate is about whether it is reasonable to conclude that the man in the picture is Muhammad, given that in this picture Mohammed kaaba 1315.jpg which all are agreed is Muhammad, he has a very long beard, and commenters noted that it rustled when he spoke for that very reason. 78.146.222.141 (talk) 13:27, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
We don't conclude anything. Do reliable outside sources say that this is an illustration of Muhammad? If so, then we can say that it is an illustration of Muhammad. --Khajidha (talk) 14:11, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
No reliable sources say that, as was explained here:

* Comment If a judge sat through a trial and then delivered a judgment without any reasons he would be laughed out of court. Alsee's first exhibit is a caption. There is no investigation into the reliability of the sources but there should be - in Jimbo's words "We are not transcription monkeys". Monkeys cannot identify the key issues but editors can:

  • The picture is of a man preaching in a mosque. The Farewell Sermon was preached outdoors.
  • Contemporaries say that Muhammad had a long beard which rustled as he spoke. The imam pictured has a short beard.
  • The artist did not say that he had painted a picture of Muhammad, let alone one of him prohibiting intercalation.

The caption of Alsee's second exhibit is difficult to read but it appears to say

Page 13. The Prophet Muhammad preaching. Of relevance as science was his attack on intercalation - the annual addition of extra months or days to ensure that the calendar precisely adheres to solar time. Biruni severely criticised this stance, claiming it had caused much harm. Courtesy of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. On ms Arabe 1489, fol. 5v.

The picture is claimed to be a generic picture of Muhammad preaching (there are no others). This is the point made by the first of the sources quoted in the RfC - that prohibiting intercalation is an unlikely topic for a painting. As Codename Lisa asked, where are the Nasī, the camel and the pilgrims that would justify this interpretation? Without them, this is no more than synthesis. The obvious subject of the painting - a shi'ite imam preaching to a shi'ite congregation in a mosque - is far more likely to be the actual subject of this work by a theologically illiterate artist who was commissioned by his shi'ite ruler to illustrate one of the volumes in his possession. All the pictures in the manuscript follow the same polemical, sectarian agenda. Very, very few of the pictures bear any relation whatsoever to the matters Biruni is discussing at the points where they appear.

Alsee's third exhibit is a book which does not illustrate the picture but claims the manuscript "explicitly says it's an image of Muhammad prohibiting intercalation." It doesn't. It couldn't, because the picture was painted 500 years after the book was written.

The fourth exhibit is the manuscript itself and commentary by a cataloguer - not an art historian - which, in the absence of scholarly investigation, can only be the result of synthesis. Alsee goes on "The discussion cited multiple reliable sources, scholars and historians, describing this as a depiction of Muhammad prohibiting intercalation." It didn't. As mentioned, the first source made the point that the prohibition of intercalation was a highly unlikely topic for a book's illustrator. With so many interesting issues being discussed, why would the artist alight on that? The second source simply says the picture is one of Muhammad preaching - no mention of intercalation. The third source was cited by AstroLynx, who refuses to reveal the author's view on the matter, so it is probably safe to conclude that she concluded that this was neither Muhammad, nor the Farewell Pilgrimage, nor the prohibition of intercalation. 151.227.21.236 (talk) 09:32, 28 July 2017 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 78.146.222.141 (talk)

  • It is an artistic depiction of Muhammed, many years after his death. Noting the length of his beard is not persuasive. No one is claiming that it is accurate, only that it is a DEPICTION. Jesus is depicted in thousands of ways- no one claims any one depiction is accurate. ‡ Єl Cid, Єl Caɱ̩peador ᐐT₳LKᐬ 15:15, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
  • "Page 13. The Prophet Muhammad preaching. " So the source says it is an illustration of Muhammad, therefore we can describe it as an illustration of Muhammad. End of story. --Khajidha (talk) 15:28, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict)What reliable source do you rely on to support your claim

It is an artistic depiction of Muhammed, many years after his death?

Certainly not the artist, because he said no such thing. He painted many pictures of different people doing various things. Friday prayer in a mosque is an obvious subject for a painting. Moreover, in the milieu in which he worked, it was not the done thing to paint pictures of Muhammad. See this comment in this discussion [1]:

However, it so happens that the man on the image represents not the prophet, but an imam (Ali, since the image is from Persia).

And again:

I've been told that depictions of Ali are relatively common in Shi'a areas (more so than any historical Muslim leader including Muhammad), though I have no direct knowledge of this.

And again:

I don't know if it helps you through the decisions making process but that said i'm quite confident that this is not a Mohammed picture. Most probably it is Ali. and for that reason it should be fine. in Iran(Majority Shia Moslem) a lot of Ali pictures can be found. there is not objection from religious authorities about that. But you can rarely find a Muhammad picture. in most of the old paintings Mohammed face was not painted in detail. instead it was drawn as a big source of light. I come from Iran and would be more than happy to help you with this topic or any related issue.

I'll respond to Khajidha when I've looked at her source. 78.146.222.141 (talk) 15:53, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Thank you, El cid. I think your link just about wraps up this discussion, because it says nothing about the picture being a prohibition of intercalation. That's only to be expected, because there are no clues in it which lead to that conclusion. This means that the picture has no direct relevance to the subject of the article, the Islamic calendar, and therefore, under Jimbo's principle of least astonishment it is not appropriate to include it in that particular article. 78.146.222.141 (talk) 16:13, 9 August 2017 (UTC)


This talk page is regarding the article Muhammad. I'm very confused beyond that. ‡ Єl Cid, Єl Caɱ̩peador ᐐT₳LKᐬ 16:17, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

This whole issue has been discussed in detail on Talk:Islamic_calendar and in the archives (Archive 2, Archive 3 & Archive 4) of the same talk page. The London-area IP has for many years tried to get the image removed or the caption changed while nearly every academic source which uses or discusses the image identifies the central figure as Muhammad abolishing the practice of intercalation. AstroLynx (talk) 16:22, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict)AstroLynx, which are the academic sources which identify this picture as "abolishing the practice of intercalation"? El cid's source does not say that, and having looked at Khajidha's source (plate 13) it simply claims that this is Muhammad preaching. It goes on to mention (being a book on Islamic astronomy) that Muhammad took a stand against intercalation, but in the absence of a direct claim by the author that this is a picture of prohibition of intercalation any caption saying it is would be an example of WP:SYNTH. 78.146.222.141 (talk) 16:39, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Note that the 78.* IPs that have been active in this thread are banned user Vote (X) for Change, so anything they write here can/should be summarily ignored or reverted. Fut.Perf. 12:07, 11 August 2017 (UTC)