Assalamu alaikum (Peace be unto you!)
I wanted to draw your attention to this series produced during the month of Ramadan of this year,1433 by the Islamic calendar. Unlike the Gregorian, the Islamic calendar begins its count with the ‘hijra’ or migration of the prophet (peace and blessing of God be upon him) and his small band of loyal followers, who are called the ‘sahaba’ meaning ‘companions’, from Mecca to Medina. It was a great thing to do, and I am sure even nowadays with skype, and phones and airplanes and what have you, when it is so easy to stay in touch, even now to migrate or immigrate is a big deal for people. It is a rebirth in a sense, a rejuvenation, a process that forces one to examine all one’s beliefs, mannerisms, culture and way of life whether one wants to or not. So the prophet may God elevate his beautiful soul, left his beloved hometown, the city that had persecuted and mocked himself, his message and his small number of followers for 13 years…where he had endured great torture and the first Martyr of Islam was made as well as its first follower; both women mind you (the former is Sumayya, freed African slave woman and the later Khadija the great, the prophet’s beloved wife and mentor, may God be pleased with them both), yet where his heart always would call home. He left to go to Medina and there welcomed with open arms, a nation-state was born. One of the first things he did when he settled in to Medina was to draw up a constitution for the governing of the city, remarkable. But I am digressing. So this was produced in 1433 hijri or 2012 by the gregorian calendar(!), a few short months ago, and with thanks to the producers that it is already up on youtube with English subtitles.
The series is about Umar, one of the prophet’s (peace be upon him) closest companions who at one time, wanted to kill him! He outlived the prophet (peace be upon him) by many years, and he lead the Muslim nation for much of that time. He died as he wished to die, martyred… it was also the first of many assassinations of the state’s head, the Muslim nation was to face. It is in 30 parts and I will post the first one below. You can youtube them all. It is a vast period in history to cover in 30 episodes and there is much to be commented on. But I don’t personally prefer to critique what is obviously a massive amount of work, except to say thanks for taking it on, thanks for the effort to make it as best as possible, and thanks for sharing it. So while there may be much to be improved upon, and much that has been left out or needs working on, it is a remarkable production and one of the most accurate ones out there in my amateur opinion.
I don’t want to go on too long. By watching it you will learn much about what this message is all about. It is actually nothing new. Only a renewal of messages before and a pointing toward a deeper examination of the meaning of existence, where we came from and where we are going. I learned about the importance of integrity, of being ‘upright watching it, and it reminded me of the hadith;
There is an important hadith (narration). A sound and authentic narration in which when the prophet was asked to say something only he could understand about Islam he said the below On the authority of Abu ’Amr — and he is also called Abu ’Amrah — Sufyan bin Abdullah ath- Thaqafee(ra) who said: I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about al-Islam which I can ask of no one but you.‘ He (peace and blessing of God be upon him) said, Say I believe in Allah — and then be Steadfast (the arabic word is Mustaqim, translated as being upright, righteous, a person of integrity and sound morality and patient etc.) [Bukhari]
I wonder why we Muslims complicate things so much. We are so worried about the external we have forgotten all about what this way of life is meant to teach and refine. It is meant to build character, keep us honest, people of truthfulness (yes, even if to our own detriment as the famous verse in the Quran enjoins) and self-awareness, people of joy and balance. All our ibadaath (acts of worship) are meant to train the soul, but we mask our soul from ourselves in all the clutter and noise. We cannot hear the voice of God, we are too busy trying to find the best way to listen! So watching this series was educational, for it reminded what it was all about, just being true to what one believes in, standing up for justice and for peace. For my non-Muslim brothers and sisters who stumble upon here or visit, I think it will be educational as well, for at least it will help to dispel all this nonsense myths circulating about Islam and Muslims (and by no means am I denying the Muslim nation has its share of rotten apples, as do all groups of people, but indeed the disgusting ones among the Muslims or so called Muslims do seem particularly evil. To clarify, those comments are as my mind goes to the Taliban when writing this, so no one misunderstands me. What is interesting is this same type so called ‘muslims’ existed even in the time of Ali, the great caliph! Some day I must blog about that episode. Human history has much to teach indeed).
To end, Muslims have given Umar the title of ‘Farook’ roughly meaning the one able to rightly judge, the one upon a true criterion. He was a strict and strong man. A lover of poetry. There is much to learn from his amazing life.
Enjoy the series. In keeping with Muslim etiquette, no image or voice from the prophet or his closest family is shown.
And to my Muslim brothers and sisters, Eid-ul-Adha Mubarak!
And to all, I leave you with the farewell of peace
BTW to watch the entire series, just youtube ‘MBC1 Omarseries English Subtitles’