‘Sculptures placed as a symbol of beauty or as a memorial to a historical event are not forbidden according to Islamic teachings’
Describing the creation or installation of sculptures as shirk or foreign culture is completely unreasonable, according to the Bangladesh Sommilito Islami Jote.
Creation of sculptures and idolatry is not the same thing, and sculptures are not always elements of shirk, said the organization’s President Maulana Ziaul Hasan on Sunday, reports Bangla Tribune.
Notably, in Islam, shirk refers to idolatry or the association of God with other deities.
Sharing their observation on the issue at a press conference at the National Press Club in Dhaka, Ziaul said: “In our Bangali culture, there are things that have been done or observed for a long time without committing shirk; and suddenly describing them as part of a shirk culture is nothing but dirty politics.”
He continued: “It is mentioned at the very beginning of Bukhari Shareef that a deed depends on the intention. Sculptures don’t always mean they will be used for shirk.”
According to Hadiths, he said, there was a small horse sculpture in Hazrat Aisha’s (ra) room. She also had several dolls that she used to play with along with her friends. But Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did not forbid her from doing that and also never said anything about them being elements of shirk.
Because that sculpture or those dolls were not there for worship; they were there only for playing, he said.
“Similarly, sculptures that are placed as a symbol of beauty or as a memorial to a historical event are not forbidden according to Islamic teachings,” added Maulana Ziaul.
Ziaul further said that when the country’s Muslim citizens pay homage with flowers at the Shaheed Minar, the National Memorial or the Martyred Intellectuals’ Memorial, they do not do that with the intention of worshipping. “Through that, they only show their respect to national history, tradition and sacrifice of the martyrs.”
“In Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah, there is a sculpture of a fist called The Fist. There are also sculptures of horses and fishes. Similarly, there are sculptures of horses and other creatures in the Muslim-dominated United Arab Emirates, Iran, Indonesia and Egypt.
“Thus, it can be said that even if it’s a sculpture of a living being or part of a living being, there is nothing wrong with it if it was not created with the intention of committing shirk,” Ziaul added.
He also said: “It is not a mark of religiosity to confuse general people in the name of religion and create anarchy by spreading rumours. Any government can take action against the perpetrators of such anarchy.”
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has also talked against going overboard over religion, he said.
Talking about a possible solution, Maulana Ziaul added: “I would say this to the government — the only way out of this situation is to form a ‘National Education Commission,’ comprising academics and patriotic Islamic thinkers, to introduce a science-based, mass-oriented and non-communal education system.”
Sommilito Islami Jote vice presidents Mufti Jobayed Ali and Abdus Sobhan Miah, General Secretary Maulana Abul Hossain, among others, were present at the press conference.