Many of us idealize and more often than not, fantasize, how it would have been like to stand side by side with the companions and the prophet (saw) in jihad and in salah. In times of peace and in times of tranquility. We easily forget the flip side of the coin, which has a picture of severe adversities, struggle and hardship etched in. No doubt, to harbour longings to be with the prophet (saw) and his companions is a praiseworthy action. However, we have to stop kidding ourselves. We can’t even find the strength to lift our duvet covers for fajr salah. Ye,t we have wishful thoughts of how we would have been at the forefront defending the prophet (Saw). More likely, (Allah forbid) we would have been defending Abu Jah!
MBC, the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation had launched a 2012 Ramadan initiative, in which they produced a series entitled ‘Omar (r) series’. This, as you would guess, is about the life of Syyiduna Umar ibn Al Khattab (r). A biopic series depicting a companion luminous of the Prophet Mohammed (saw). Who was a pillar of sunnah and shariah. Many of the aspects it covers hardly any of us would have known or heard of. MBC have gone to great lengths to represent his life story in its actuality. With endorsements from the likes of Shaykh Yusuf Qardawi, you can rest assured most, if not all the contents of the programme is accurate. With funding from Qataris, the series is not like any other. IF you have seen ‘the Final Legacy programme’ which airs on Islam channel every now and then, and are assuming the ‘Omar (r) series’ will be the same, in quality and film production. Think again. This series is very well presented and well thought out. The cinematography and the use of latest blockbuster technology further enhances the production which brings out the best in ‘Islāmic programmes’. It engages the audience from the very beginning. Leaving you feeling immersed in the programme.
Leaving aside potential controversial issues which the programme may cause to arise, by showing the faces of the Kulafah Ar Rashideen and the rest of the companions, save the mothers of the believers and the prophet (Saw). I would recommend people watch the series, which is available on you tube. Understandably, the series is in Arabic. But, not to worry, as there is subtitles provided for the non-arabic speaking audiences. One thing which the Muslims in general usually lack is, its inability to bring out the life stories of the legendary companions on-screen for the young and old generations to enjoy and take lessons from. For surely, reading and listening has its benefits and limitations on the hearts. Whereas, visual depictions of the lives of the prophets (saw) companions would add a different flavor and level of understanding. Which will InshaAllah go towards aiding people become more practicing Muslims. There are more than 6 or 7 Islāmic TV channels already available to watch. Why then are the masses not interested? The reason is simply, Islāmic TV channels lack the quality programmes which normal channels have. Either it is merely a series of lectures being aired time and again, or a mediocre attempt at producing a 5/10 min nasheed video. Other than that, Islamic channels hardly have anything to offer. Now, that against the action-packed, all-guns-blazing Hollywood movies, who would want to draw themselves away from that to watch a series of lectures given by a person who does not even speak the same language! In the ummah we are not short of sermons and orators. Alhamdulliah we have plenty, unfortunately as other means of communications and TV programmes have moved on and improved in quality and standards. Islamic channel are still 10 or 20 years still behind, in terms of having anything of quality.
It is suffice to say, MBC have done justice (to an extent) by producing this series. IT allows a person to fully dive into the series and feel as you have been transported back in time. The houses, people, animals, the environment, the heat and the everyday sceneries make it almost feel its surreal. Books and lectures give you some understanding of the companions lives. However seeing it with your eyes adds another dimension to the understanding altogether. The action-packed, hand-to-hand combat scenes just brings home the message of how life was tough back then. No two days went without there being a jihad fought. On all fronts, From Madinah to Iraq. The companions did not live a life as we often times paint it to be. Our ‘airy fairy’ idea of there being peace, easiness, and lazy days’ are shattered by this series. IT will leave you with having no doubt of the fact how Syyiduna Khalid ibn Al Waleed for example, lead two or more jihad in a single day! In the blazing heat of the Arabian desert! traveling at times for miles and miles with no rest. Watching this series made me realise one thing, Indeed the companions were super humans! The feats of bravery they displayed in jihad, and the devotion to Islam they had, we cannot begin to even dream of. Never mind being able to endure what they had to.
Their love and steadfastness in Islam and sunnah is unbelievable and frankly, no words can explain it! There is one thing being loyal, another thing having dedication. But, being fearless in your loyalty that drives your dedication to a cause is something unfounded in the history of the human civilization. If the word ‘fearless’ was to replaced by just the name of ‘Khalid ibn al Waleed (r)’ it would do justice, to show what a man he was. This series more than anything, drives home this message; Life was extremely volatile and for us weak ‘by-names-muslims-only‘ we could not have even lasted 1 hour. That our claims to love and bravery have to be backed up bay action, in following the Quran and sunnah! Merely, uttering ‘we love the prophet (Saw)’ will do us no good or get us anything. The companions showed this with their lives. Never mind anything else. Something which is illustrated brilliantly by this series.
It is amusing to think, at our times of ignorance and stupidity, we think ‘if i was at the time of the prophet (Saw) i would have been like Syyiduna Abu Bakr, a defender of Islam, or a fearless mujahid like Syyiduna Khalid ibn al waleed (r). How wrong we are, and how bewilderingly stupid that thought is! Watching the ‘Omar (r) series’ is very humbling, simply put, it shows us, why they are who they are, and why we are who we are in our pitiful, sad and pathetic state!