Prominent Qatar-based Sunni cleric Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, head of the Association of Muslim Scholars, will lead research on the film and serve as technical consultant on the project.
While the prophet will not appear in the movie, his companions will be screened.
“Following the studies and the consultations, I have come to the conclusion that there was nothing wrong with showing the companions in dramatic work,” Sheikh Qaradawi said in statements published by Qatari daily Al-Sharq on Tuesday.
Although visual depictions are not explicitly banned in the Qur’an, Sunni scholars have generally agreed that personifications of religious figures are banned because it can lead to idolatry, which is strictly forbidden.
“I used to oppose the idea as we have formed our own cognitive image and characterization of the prophets and companions and that we should not distort them with human images,” Qaradawi said.
“However, following long researches and studies, I realized that we have been excessive in our approach and that there is no text or reference in the Qur’an or in the Prophet’s Tradition and Sayings that does not allow it.”
Uproar engulfed the Arab world in July over a television series depicting the life of second Muslim Caliph Omar ibn al-Khattab.
Al-Azhar, the highest Sunni seat of learning in the Sunni Muslim world, issued a fatwa against the series, saying that portrayals of Prophet Muhammad and his companions are forbidden.
Saudi Arabia’s Dar al-Ifta, the kingdom’s Islamic legal research center that issues religious edicts, also issued a fatwa against the series.
But Kuwait scholar Tariq Al-Swaidan, the head of the consultancy team, opines that film will serve the new generations, who have new ways of gathering information
“There is a need to understand the mentality and mindset of other people.”
Earlier this year, a U.S.-produced low-budget movie called Innocence of Muslims that mocked Prophet Mohammed triggered a wave of deadly anti-U.S. violence around the Islamic world.
In recent months, an Egyptian campaign to defend Islam’s Prophet was launched under the title “Knock on Doors,” which aims mainly to collect one billion Egyptian pounds ($165 million), local Egyptian media reported.
Meanwhile, in the United Arab Emirates, an event in Dubai part of global campaign named “The True Message of the Prophet,” involving a group of young Muslims offering roses with a message of “peace and good manners” inspired by the sayings of Prophet Mohammed.