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Documentaries for Ramadan

What makes the perfect documentary for Ramadan?
Alchemiya has reviewed some of the best documentaries for you to watch in the holy month to leave you spiritually refreshed and nourished. Here is our round-up of great picks which tick all the boxes for an enjoyable documentary to watch while fasting or for post-iftar evening viewing.

Inspiring and spiritually uplifting; armchair travel around the Muslim world to see the wonders of Islamic art and architecture and the diversity of Muslim cultures; stories of courage, perseverance and integrity; exploring, celebrating and preserving the spiritual core and heart of Islam for future generations: Here is our round-up of great documentaries to watch this Ramadan.

1. Cairo in One Breath

This documentary takes us into the beautiful mosques of Cairo to talk to the muezzins replaced by a machine, documenting their dismay as they are made to stand by and listen to a technically perfect, centrally broadcast adhan, played from the minarets of their mosque. This documentary raises important questions about the appropriate use of technology in forging a path between the spiritual traditions and heritage of Islam and modernity. Read our review of Cairo in One Breath here.

Reading Quran

2. The Blessed Tree

Considered the last living companion of the Prophet ﷺ, the tree under which he was shaded as a child is miraculously still alive today. The documentary The Blessed Tree is an archaeological detective story, tracing the steps that led to the rediscovery of this tree in an empty desert environment in Jordan. Read our review of this uplifting documentary which transports you to a sacred landscape here.

3.  Breath of the Beloved

In this documentary a hopeful apprentice sets out on a quest to master a disappearing spiritual musical tradition in Istanbul. Meshk is a centuries-old method of teaching the traditional forms of singing praise poetry in which knowledge is passed down orally from master to apprentice. Breath of the Beloved follows Abdurrahman Düzcan as he endeavours to keep the ancestral way of singing mawlid hymns alive by seeking out a dwindling number of masters to instruct him. Breath of the Beloved is a lyrical and meditative journey in the footsteps of an apprentice, reflecting on and listening to the refrains and verses of the Turkish meshk tradition in the atmospheric setting of the streets and mosques of Istanbul. Read our review of Breath of the Beloved here.

Documentaries for Ramadan: Breath of the Beloved, singing praise poetry in the garden

4. Ramadan in the Islamic World

This thirty-part travel documentary series takes us on an amazing trip around the world in thirty iftars, in an immersive experience discovering the cultures and traditions of different countries as they celebrate the month of Ramadan. The series also explores the geographical beauty and diversity of the regions it visits and gives you the satisfying feeling that you have almost visited them yourself, together with a feeling of celebration and nostalgia seeing brothers and sisters around the world as they welcome and bid farewell to the holy month. Read our review of the episodes on Ramadan in Tunisia, Sudan and Malaysia, three of the stops on the thirty day itinerary.

Boys in Tunisia wearing traditional clothes

5. Don’t miss these: Ramadan 2022 – Inspirational Talks

Alchemiya has curated a selection of uplifting and educational talks for you to watch during Ramadan. Talks not to be missed include Capturing the Spirit of Ramadan series of talks from Seekers Hub, 30 Lights for 30 Nights, Ramadan Ruminations and Food for Thought: Healthy Habits to Enhance Your Ramadan Experience from Zaytuna College, Ramadan Reflections by Imam Suhaib Webb, and The Quran An English Translation by Abdel Haleem divided conveniently into 30 episodes, each covering one Juz.

Ramadan Inspirational Talks 1Ramadan Inspirational talks 2Ramadan inspirational talks 3

'Circling the House of God' is an amazing documentary interviewing renowned writer and scholar Dr. Martin Lings (1909-2005) about his pilgrimages to Mecca in 1948 and 1976, interspersed with incredible archive material of the Hajj from the early twentieth century.
'Circling the House of God' is an amazing documentary interviewing renowned writer and scholar Dr. Martin Lings (1909-2005) about his pilgrimages to Mecca in 1948 and 1976, interspersed with incredible archive material of the Hajj from the early twentieth century.

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