Everybody loves a good drama series but how often can you find dramas and films that are Muslim biopics, historical Islamic records and educationally and spiritually uplifting all at the same time? Here is a round-up of some of the great titles in Alchemiya’s drama series collection, particularly those that focus on key figures in the history of Islam.
Jurist and theologian, Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal was born in 164 AH/780CE, Baghdad, Iraq and died in 241AH/855CE. One of the most important scholars who has ever lived, Ibn Hanbal has been seen as an exemplary figure in all the traditional schools of Sunni thought throughout Islamic history. This comprehensive 31 part historical drama series tells his remarkable and often difficult story, and looks at the many events that occurred during his lifetime.
Harun al-Rashid, given the title ‘al-Rashid’ the ‘just’ or ‘rightly guided’, was the fifth Abbasid Caliph who ruled from 786 to 809, during the peak of the Islamic Golden Age. This drama series follows Harun al-Rashid’s life and career from the moment his older brother, Caliph al-Hadi, decides to make his own son the Crown Prince instead of Harun.
There are several animated series about figures in Muslim history that you can watch with your children. Saladin is a series, inspired by the life of medieval statesman and warrior, Salah al-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub. This action and adventure series has heroes, villains, bold rescues and battling armies but it also has comedy, enduring friendships, love and important lessons for our young audiences. Men around the Prophet tells the stories of those who accompanied the Prophet throughout his life and how they aided him in enlightening the world with the message of Islam.
These companion piece, Iranian dramas tell the stories of two of Islamic histories’ greatest thinkers, Jaber Ibn Hayan and Abu Ali Sina. Although born 200 years apart they each left a huge legacy of knowledge in numerous fields. Scientist and alchemist, Jaber ibn Hayan is particularly associated with his foundational work in modern chemistry but his body of writing ranges from cosmology, pharmacology and zoology to metaphysics, logic, and grammar. Ibn Sina was a Persian physician and philosopher. Most famously he is seen as the father of early medicine but he also wrote extensively about astronomy, geography, geology, Islamic theology, logic mathematics and poetry.
Last but not least, Palace Spies is a Turkish drama series about the conflict between the Persian and Ottoman Empires in the 18th Century. Ottoman Sultan, Ahmed III, navigates a web of conspiracies and plots by politicians, traitors and spies. For a taster of this series you can watch the first episode for free. Fans of Turkish drama Ertugrul may be intrigued to know that Palace Spies had been broadcast in Turkey a year before Ertugrul hit the screens but it then seemed to vanish so watch it here while you can!