Muhammed at the Museum – a comment on Klas Grinnell’s article

A response to Klas Grinell, Muhammad at the Museum: Or, Why the Prophet Is Not Present in Religion, in Religions December 2019

Grinell points out the lack of images of the Prophet on museum websites and discusses why this is. A quick search of British Museum images on their website does indeed produce just one:  Manuscript page from vol IV of Ḍarír’s Siyar-i Nabí. Illustration depicts the historical moment in which the Prophet Muhammad blesses Imam Ali and Hamza as they engage in the battle of Badr [also in Akbarnia, Porter et al, The Islamic World- A History in objects p59] 1985,0513,0.1 [Ottoman].

In preparing the Sacred exhibition at the British Library in 2007 there was discussion with the faith consultants on whether to show Jewish images of God and also Islamic images of Muhammad and they were included. See the catalogue [Reeve ed., Sacred BL 2007]: p161 shows an Iranian image of The Prophet’s ascent into heaven BL Or Ms 2265.f.195.

For other recent discussion see Eye of the beholder – how the Prophet Muhammad has been depicted through the centuries, Sameer Rahim, Apollo, 18 December 2019

John Reeve


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