The Prophet Muhammad in Pictures

01
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Muhammad in Hell

Muhammad in Hell; Dante's Inferno Canto 28, verses 30-31; Illustration by Gustave Dore
Dante's Inferno Canto 28, verses 30-31; Illustration by Gustave Dore Muhammad in Hell; Dante's Inferno Canto 28, verses 30-31; Illustration by Gustave Dore. Source: Gutenberg Project

Muslims have rioted over Danish cartoons depicting Muhammad. Why? One claim has been that Islam forbids visual depictions of Muhammad, which is strange given how often images of Muhammad appear in Muslim history. We can also find many visual images of Muhammad in European history, all without Muslims rioting or threaten to destroy civil liberties. Here you will find numerous images of Muhammad, some Muslim and some European, accompanied by verses of war and violence in the Quran.

Before we find out how Muhammad described hell for non-Muslims, here is how Dante described hell for Muhammad:

A cask by losing centre-piece or cant
Was never shattered so, as I saw one
Rent from the chin to where one breaketh wind.

Between his legs were hanging down his entrails;
His heart was visible, and the dismal sack
That maketh excrement of what is eaten.

While I was all absorbed in seeing him,
He looked at me, and opened with his hands
His bosom, saying: "See now how I rend me;

How mutilated, see, is Mahomet;
In front of me doth Ali weeping go,
Cleft in the face from forelock unto chin;

And all the others whom thou here beholdest,
Disseminators of scandal and of schism
While living were, and therefore are cleft thus.

A devil is behind here, who doth cleave us
Thus cruelly, unto the falchion's edge
Putting again each one of all this ream,

When we have gone around the doleful road;
By reason that our wounds are closed again
Ere any one in front of him repass.

- Dante's Inferno, Canto 28

02
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Allah Has Predestined some to Hell

Illustration of Muhammad
Illustration of Muhammad Illustration of Muhammad. Source: Public Domain

Apparently, at least some of those who will go to hell will do so because Muhammad has predestined them to do so.

As for the Disbelievers, Whether thou warn them or thou warn them not it is all one for them; they believe not. Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom. [...] In their hearts is a disease, and Allah increaseth their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie. (2:6-10)

And Allah's is the direction of the way, and some (roads) go not straight. And had He willed He would have led you all aright. (16:9)

Allah guideth not the disbelieving folk. Such are they whose hearts and ears and eyes Allah hath sealed. And such are the heedless. Assuredly in the Hereafter they are the losers. (16:107-109)

As for him who disbelieveth, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the doom of Fire - a hapless journey's end! (2:126)

He whom Allah causeth to go astray, thou (O Muhammad) wilt not find a way for him: O ye who believe! Choose not disbelievers for (your) friends in place of believers. Would ye give Allah a clear warrant against you? (4:143-144)

Lo! those who disbelieve and deal in wrong, Allah will never forgive them, neither will He guide them unto a road, Except the road of hell, wherein they will abide for ever. And that is ever easy for Allah.(4:168-169)

03
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Violence and War in Islam

Muhammad Leads Muslims in a Massacre
Muhammad Leads Muslims in a Massacre Muhammad Leads Muslims in a Massacre. Source: Public Domain

There are numerous verses in the Quran that explain to Muslims how they must fight nonbelievers.

How many a township have We destroyed! As a raid by night, or while they slept at noon, Our terror came unto them. No plea had they, when Our terror came unto them, save that they said: Lo! We were wrong-doers. (7:4-5)

Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors. Do not fight wars of aggression. And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. But if they desist, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrong-doers. (2:190-193)

They ask thee (O Muhammad) of the spoils of war. Say: The spoils of war belong to Allah and the messenger, so keep your duty to Allah, and adjust the matter of your difference, and obey Allah and His messenger, if ye are (true) believers. (8:1)

04
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Can Muslims be Friends with Non-Muslims?

Muhammad Preaching Islam
Muhammad Preaching Islam Muhammad Preaching Islam. Source: Public Domain

There are a number of verses in the Quran which instruct Muslims not to befriend non-believers, including Jews and Christians.

O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. And thou seest those in whose heart is a disease race toward them, saying: We fear lest a change of fortune befall us. And it may happen that Allah will vouchsafe (unto thee) the victory, or a commandment from His presence. Then will they repent them of their secret thoughts. (5:51-52)

O Ye who believe! Choose not for guardians such of those who received the Scripture before you, and of the disbelievers, as make a jest and sport of your religion. But keep your duty to Allah if ye are true believers. (5:57)

Why do not the rabbis and the priests forbid their evil-speaking and their devouring of illicit gain ? Verily evil is their handiwork. (5:63)

It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of idolaters even though they may be near of kin (to them) after it hath become clear that they are people of hell-fire. (9:113)

Thou wilt not find folk who believe in Allah and the Last Day loving those who oppose Allah and His messenger, even though they be their fathers or their sons or their brethren or their clan. As for such, He hath written faith upon their hearts and hath strengthened them with a Spirit from Him, and He will bring them into Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide. Allah is well pleased with them, and they are well pleased with Him. They are Allah's party. Lo! is it not Allah's party who are the successful? (58:22)

O ye who believe! Choose not My enemy and your enemy for allies. Do ye give them friendship when they disbelieve in that truth which hath come unto you, driving out the messenger and you because ye believe in Allah, your Lord ? If ye have come forth to strive in My way and seeking My good pleasure, (show them not friendship). Do ye show friendship unto them in secret, when I am Best Aware of what ye hide and what ye proclaim ? And whosoever doeth it among you, he verily hath strayed from the right way. (60:1)

05
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Punishments for Evildoers, Eternal and Temporal

Muhammad Riding a Camel
Muhammad Riding a Camel Muhammad Riding a Camel. Source: Public Domain

The Quran has a number of verses describing how evildoers will be punished by Allah and by Muslims.

As for the thief, both male, and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (5:38)

The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment. The adulterer shall not marry save an adulteress or an idolatress, and the adulteress none shall marry save an adulterer or an idolater. All that is forbidden unto believers. And those who accuse honourable women but bring not four witnesses, scourge them (with) eighty stripes and never (afterward) accept their testimony - They indeed are evil-doers - Save those who afterward repent and make amends. (For such) lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.(24:2-5)

06
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Muslims Fighting the Nonbelievers

Muhammad Arrives in Medina
Muhammad Arrives in Medina Muhammad Arrives in Medina. Source: Public Domain

The fate of nonbelievers is pretty awful. Allah will curse them and has prepared fire for them.

O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey's end. They swear by Allah that they said nothing (wrong), yet they did say the word of disbelief and did disbelieve after their Surrender (to Allah). And they purposed that which they could not attain, and they sought revenge only that Allah by His messenger should enrich them of His bounty. If they repent it will be better for them; and if they turn away, Allah will afflict them with a painful doom in the world and the Hereafter, and they have no protecting friend nor helper in the earth. (9:73-74)

Fight them! Allah will chastise them at your hands, and He will lay them low and give you victory over them, and He will heal the breasts of folk who are believers. (9:14)

Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain. (47:4)

Give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom to those who disbelieve, Excepting those of the idolaters with whom ye (Muslims) have a treaty, and who have since abated nothing of your right nor have supported anyone against you. (As for these), fulfil their treaty to them till their term. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty (unto Him). Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (9:3-5)

07
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Woe Unto Those Who Disblieve Muhammad

Muhammad Teaching About Islam
Muhammad Teaching About Islam Muhammad Teaching About Islam. Source: Public Domain

If you hear the revelations of the Prophet Muhammad and don't believe, you're in a lot of trouble.

 

Woe unto each sinful liar, Who heareth the revelations of Allah recited unto him, and then continueth in pride as though he heard them not. Give him tidings of a painful doom. And when he knoweth aught of Our revelations he maketh it a jest. For such there is a shameful doom. Beyond them there is hell, and that which they have earned will naught avail them, nor those whom they have chosen for protecting friends beside Allah. Theirs will be an awful doom. This is guidance. And those who disbelieve the revelations of their Lord, for them there is a painful doom of wrath. (45:7-11)

Those who deny the Scripture and that wherewith We send Our messengers. But they will come to know, When carcans are about their necks and chains. They are dragged Through boiling waters; then they are thrust into the Fire. (40:70-72)

Nay, but they deny (the coming of) the Hour, and for those who deny (the coming of) the Hour We have prepared a flame. When it seeth them from afar, they hear the crackling and the roar thereof. And when they are flung into a narrow place thereof, chained together, they pray for destruction there. (25:11-13)

08
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Kill or Crucify Your Enemies

Muhammad Riding into Medina
Muhammad Riding into Medina Muhammad Riding into Medina. Source: Public Domain

What will happen to Muhammad's enemies? They will be killed or crucified. Nearly every sura in the Quran describes the fire waiting for nonbelievers.

 

The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom; Save those who repent before ye overpower them. For know that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (5:33-34)

As for those who disbelieve, lo! if all that is in the earth were theirs, and as much again therewith, to ransom them from the doom on the Day of Resurrection, it would not be accepted from them. Theirs will be a painful doom. They will wish to come forth from the Fire, but they will not come forth from it. Theirs will be a lasting doom. (5:36-37)

And forsake those who take their religion for a pastime and a jest, and whom the life of the world beguileth. Remind (mankind) hereby lest a soul be destroyed by what it earneth. It hath beside Allah no protecting ally nor intercessor, and though it offer every compensation it will not be accepted from it. Those are they who perish by their own deserts. For them is drink of boiling water and a painful doom, because they disbelieved. (6:70)

God has cursed the unbelievers, and prepared for them a Blaze, therein to dwell forever; they shall find neither protector nor helper. (33:64)

...but for the insolent awaits an ill resort, Gehenna, wherein they are roasted - an evil cradling! All this; so let them taste it - boiling water and pus, and other torments of the like kind coupled together. (38.55)

09
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Nonbelievers Aren't Allowed Near the Kaaba

Muhammad at the Kaaba in Mecca
Muhammad at the Kaaba in Mecca Muhammad at the Kaaba in Mecca. Source: Public Domain

Nonbelievers aren't allowed near the Kaaba in Mecca. In fact, non-Muslims aren't even supposed to be in Mecca at all.

O ye who believe! The idolaters only are unclean. So let them not come near the Inviolable Place of Worship after this their year. If ye fear poverty (from the loss of their merchandise) Allah shall preserve you of His bounty if He will. Lo! Allah is Knower, Wise. (9:28)

God has promised the hypocrites, men and women, and the unbelievers, the fire of Gehenna, therein to dwell forever. That is enough for them; God has cursed them; and there awaits them a lasting chastisement. (9.69)

Say: 'The truth is from your Lord; so let whosoever will believe, and let whosoever will disbelieve.' Surely We have prepared for the evildoers a fire, whose pavilion encompasses them; if they call for succour, they will be succoured with water like molten copper, that shall scald their faces - how evil a potion, and how evil a resting place! (18:28)

10
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Even the Angels Will Smite Disbelievers

Muhammad Rides al-Burak into Heaven
Muhammad Rides al-Burak into Heaven Muhammad Rides al-Burak into Heaven. Source: Public Domain

Allah hates non-believers so much that the angels will smite them

If thou couldst see how the angels receive those who disbelieve, smiting faces and their backs and (saying): Taste the punishment of burning! (8:50)

Allah promiseth the hypocrites, both men and women, and the disbelievers fire of hell for their abode. It will suffice them. Allah curseth them, and theirs is lasting torment. (9:68)

We have appointed hell a dungeon for the disbelievers. Lo! this Qur'an guideth unto that which is straightest, and giveth tidings unto the believers who do good works that theirs will be a great reward. And that those who believe not in the Hereafter, for them We have prepared a painful doom. (17:8-10)

We have prepared for disbelievers Fire. Its tent encloseth them. If they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which burneth the faces. Calamitous the drink and ill the resting-place! (18:29)

11
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Muslims Should Not Kill Muslims

Muhammad Arrives Triumphantly (possibly at Mecca)
Muhammad Arrives Triumphantly (possibly at Mecca) Muhammad Arrives Triumphantly (possibly at Mecca). Source: Public Domain

There are a lot of instructions in the Quran about killing nonbelievers, but there is also a command not to kill other Muslims

It is not for a believer to kill a believer unless (it be) by mistake. He who hath killed a believer by mistake must set free a believing slave, and pay the blood- money to the family of the slain unless they remit it as a charity. If he (the victim) be of a people hostile unto you, and he is a believer, then (the penance is) to set free a believing slave. And if he cometh of a folk between whom and you there is a covenant, then the blood-money must be paid unto his folk and (also) a believing slave must be set free. And whoso hath not the wherewithal must fast two consecutive months. A penance from Allah. Allah is Knower, Wise. Whoso slayeth a believer of set purpose, his reward is hell for ever. Allah is wroth against him and He hath cursed him and prepared for him an awful doom. (4:92-93)