So a TV series about the life of Caliph Omar Ibn Al Khattab, which has been considered one of the largest TV productions in the region is being aired now in Ramadan. This series has a cast of 30,000 actors and a technical team from 10 different countries.
A committee of seven leading Islamic scholars reviewed the facts presented in the series to ensure their religious and historical facts accuracy and the authenticity of this project. It has raised a lot of controversy on whether its "halal or haram" and whether we should even watch the show. I have been reading and seeing many heated debates on tv, twitter and facebook. Facebook groups calling for boycotting MBC and so on.
Again what i say here is merely my opinion and you can agree or disagree but im just blogging out loud. I am not attacking anyone nor am i giving out any fatwas. I am just speaking my mind..
We have been watching all sorts of tv shows on tv .Most are pointless and are just a waste of time others showing women walking around half naked. I feel slowly show after show women are dressing less, there is a lot of sexual implications, nudity, other scenes that i am sometimes shocked to see on TV. There is a noticable increase in violence, profanity, disrespect for traditonal values, unethical & morally unacceptable ideas, along with sexual connotation in movies as well.
Nowadays, what is considered a "G" Rated movie is FAR from "General"! Shows showing woman talking openly about being bisexual or lesbians or having sex changes and almost every tv show has gay couple now.. cause you know.. its cool and OKAY to be GAY :S
Just today i was watching american idol on MBC4 which i believe is a SAUDI channel and one of the contestants talent was POLE DANCING.. and well she did her performance and showed us her butt and well.. it was ALL AIRED ON TV IN RAMADAN?
Ok before i stray away from the main subject..All this commotion and sa7wa deeneyah (islamic consciousness) and people who dont even pray or hardly know or apply any islamic beliefs in their life are now calling for this tv series to NOT be aired. Why is there no reaction to all the real islamic threats on TV? The daily shows poisoning our everyday life and our minds and the minds of our children? I feel these shows are much more harmful and if Muslims around the world want to speak up they should start by the REAL problems in the world.
Don't underestimate the effect of what we see on tv. I personally feel the difference when i watch too much tv. At first you are shocked and maybe sometimes even revolted by what you see and slowly, its no longer shocking and you dont even react to what you see.
An average person watches around 4 hours of television DAILY & that number increases on holidays and ofcourse it probably doubles or triples in RAMADAN with all the variety of musalsalat on 24hours a day!
People rarely read nowadays and have replaced books with tv shows or movies.. this also means that TV is their MAIN source of information and what people are continuously viewing will definitely have an effect on them.
Now that they decide to make a show that is actually meaningful and informative, that can actually teach you a thing or two about the birth of Islam and how Sayidna Omar Ibn Al Khattab played a very important role in the history of islam and in spreading ISLAM. It receives all this criticism even though it is very likely to reach MANY who would never bother to pick up a book to read about his legacy in ISLAM.
I understand the reason why many are against this show to be aired although visual depictions are not explicitly banned in the Qur’an, Sunni scholars have generally agreed that personifications of religious figures are banned. But there are other scholars that disagree and support this show, including the prominent Egyptian Scholar Shiekh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi and Shiekh Salman Al Odah. I respect their strong stands to what they believe in but i don't like how some attack and refuse to agree to disagree.
The beauty of Islam is that when there is an issue that is not mentioned in Quran and Hadith the Islamic Scholars release fatwas and there are usually opposing fatwas both with strong justifications. Which is when you decide what you feel is the right fatwa in your heart and this is Ra7ma men Rabna. (Mercy From Allah)
They are merely actors and doing their best to play their roles and reading out the script they are given. Yes there will be a lot mistakes done im sure and i heard one of the actresses was wearing braces :S
And that is expected because no one is perfect and no one can ever play a perfect role but that makes us want to learn more about the real OMAR and also encourages us watch the many other series on TV now talking about his life, like Amr Khaleds show " عمر صانع الحضارة"
" Omar Sane3o Al 7adara" or Qisat Al Farouk by Nabil Al Awadi قصة الفاروق للشيخ نبيل العوضي
I think that just by the fact that this show was even made, without even watching it all this talk about it has not harmed but actually made more people ask about who this show is about and why all the media is focused on it. Many of those people now have learned who Omar is and will actually make the effort to educate themselves to learn more about him.
Some fear that by airing this show it will open a door to other shows, that in the future MBC might air a show on the life of the prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and that this is just a start of a series of shows using the name of Islam to get money by getting the highest number of viewers. The producers of this series have stated that the main purpose of producing such an important dramatic work is to correct the misunderstood parts of Islamic history.
I believe that nowadays not many people read and when they read not many read books about thier Islamic Heritage or History. They read books by authors like "Paulo Coelho" or books like "why men marry bitches" that is IF they read. Im sure there are other people who read books about islam but i feel the majority will NOT.
We are at a time where people would rather wait till a good book is made into a movie. Visual Media is much more powerful and effective and will reach out to much more people.
For ex, we know drunk driving or texting and driving is dangerous and can cause major accidents on the road, yet no matter how many times we hear it or read it, when we see a video of a car crash or watch a touching video showing a mom crashing into a tree while her baby flys out of the car. That is MUCH more powerful. it sticks to you!
How many movies were made about people that we never heard about that made us actually get to KNOW them and admire them?! How many times did you watch a movie about someone and it made you google them and want to know more about them?! Movies like " Ghandi" and " OMar al Mukhtar" MANY!
And yes i know there is no comparison to those people to OMAR as he was afterall one of the prophets companions, and unlike any other but we need to know in the end he was not a prophet but a human being, extraordinary but not divine.
If the series showed the Prophet (pbuh) it would be a different story as there is no debate on whether that would be acceptable or not.
So even if the characters were not represented 100 % and we should know in the end of the day they are ACTORS !
Arent you actually intrigued to READ and KNOW more about this important person. And wont many who never heard of him actually know who he was after this?!
The people opposing the show fear that this show will affect the image in our minds and in our children's minds of Omar ibn al Khatab. So before you judge others for watching it, know that whether you admit or not there is a lot of GOOD coming from this show. The real fear in times like this is not just how he will be remembered but more like IF he will be remembered if we don't take the right measures to spread his legacy.
I find its easier for any message or information to stick to my mind when its visual. Maybe its because im a visual communicator and i don't have much time to read nowadays, but thats just me. And i personally will be watching this show and believe a lot of GOOD and useful information will come out of it.
Lets not fight if we disagree. If you disagree with me and others who support the show. just simply Do NOT watch it and accept that people might disagree with your point of view.
Your fear is how he will be remembered after this show, my fear is IF he will be remembered by many without this show. And whether or not the actors play their roles accurately the script is approved by Muslim Scholars and we will definitely learn from it. Please Dont forget we are in the "lady gaga" generation :S
Here is a fwd i received on BBM messenger that i would like to share with you as well because i felt it pretty much said what im trying to say :