It is safe to say that 2020 is possibly the most dreadful year and it’s not even July yet. The coronavirus pandemic and onslaught of tragedies one after the next is enough for a normal person to quiver in fear. While the world remains under lockdown, social media is overcompensating and perhaps overload with content. If you are someone who spends a disturbing amount of time looking for binge-worthy shows, chances are you have come across the name “Ertugrul” maybe once or 100 times in the last few months.
Also Read | How to Download Ertugrul Ghazi in Urdu
The Turkish show Ertugrul is based in 13th century Anatolia and narrates the time before the Ottoman Empire. Its story illustrates the struggle of Ertugrul Gazi, father of the empire’s founder, Osman. Often referred to as the Turkish Game Of Thrones, it bears starking similarities to the show except for the sex and dragons. The castles, the sceneries, the clothing, the sword-clashing, the exhilaration are downright mind-blowing.
The show which got momentum in Pakistan after Prime Minister Imran Khan urged citizens to watch the show to learn Islamic history and Ethics has now broken multiple YouTube records. It has increasingly become the go-to Muslim household show to watch in India as well. Minting a whopping 55 million views on youtube the show seems Turkish world’s most popular dramas yet.
The Resurrection of the Show
Ertugrul which released in Turkey in 2014, quickly took over Azerbaijan for its shared history. Pakistan Prime Minister’s fondness over Turkish dramas is no secret. He urged the show to be dubbed in Urdu and released it on the first of Ramadan. It wasn’t much later that the show spread like wildfire across all of South Asia.
Major Muslim dominating countries have been trying to fend off Islamaphobia through content that rightly represents the community. Ertugrul was made in an attempt to fight the damage done by the West through Muslim misrepresentation in every film for decades. The support from different countries broke the language barrier and Ertugrul got a resurrection it rightly deserves.
A Real and Honest Representation
The show is great on all aspects be it the engaging storyline, the direction, or the incredible performances. It manages to present a perfect realness the Muslim community is yet to see in any other show. The characters are real, relatable not just a caricature only to uplift the stardom of an already established lead.
Ertugrul represents a kind man who lives by the word of the Quran and tries to be a good leader. Muslims all over the world have clutched on it emotionally because for once the protagonists actually seem human and that’s all kudos the creatives and production of the show.
The show does not display a sense of white or black abstract in its story. It treats all characters regardless of their positioning as humans. It is refreshing to see for a show based on Islamic history to portray another religion (Christianity) with humanness rather than as evil warmongers. There is a balance.
Ertugrul is laced with direct messaging from the Quran which is refreshing to see on mainstream television. Finally, our parents and Millenials have found a show that isn’t just excellently made but is relatable and as close to reality as it can be.
Fatwas and Controversies
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"I would suggest to those who're not watching Ertugrul to noy watch it because it's Haram" says #ZakirNaik. He further says “Etrugrul is not like Bollywood/Hollywood movies it doesn’t have those bigger Harams. What do you guys think of it? . . #Bollywood #Lollywood #Hollywood #EnginAltanDüzyatan #esrabilgiç #DirilisErtugal #ErtugrulGhazi #Ertugrul #EntertainmentPopcorn
Famous scholar Zakir Naik recently came out with a video preaching how the lack of hijab and music makes it “Haram”. He also urged people to not indulge in watching the show as it isn’t permissible for the Muslim eye. However, whether you agree with him or not is truly up to you.
The show may be amazing but the long excruciating episodes are kind of a turn-off. The show is endless with over 300 episodes in 5 seasons. However, the show has become a glue for families to sit together and discuss with earnest prideful reactions. Given the lockdown, coming together for something hopeful and positive like this is surely a win-win. It may not have reached other sects or regions but it definitely has imprinted a mark of its own.
The most important factor of the show is the normalization of such content in fighting Islamophobia. While the West keeps on portraying Muslims as gory negative creatures, Ertugrul gives a peek into the culture and lives of Muslims, making them a regular being as they are.. something the world doesn’t seem to take notice.
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