The Turkish epic Diriliş: Ertuğrul is popular in Pakistan. Its popularity increased after Prime Minister Imran asked the national broadcaster PTV to air the Turkish series in Urdu.
The prime minister also suggested that Pakistan should make movies about Islamic heroes such as the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) companion Khalid bin Walid (RA).
Since then there has been a debate going on whether watching series such as ‘Diriliş: Ertuğrul’ is permissible in Islam or not.
When we contacted Jamia Darul Uloom in Karachi regarding this, they provided us with the copy of an already issued fatwa against Islamic dramas.
According to the fatwa, “portraying Islam and Islamic personalities or their deeds through dramas or films is tantamount to insulting the dignity of these personalities themselves because the possibility of misrepresentation is huge.”
“Hence calling it an Islamic drama or considering it as a service to Islam by playing the role of high-profile personalities in the form of dramas is not right,” the fatwa claimed.
It added that in such dramas “they attribute their own costumes, dress and speech, which is not, in fact, a service to Islam but part of a conspiracy against Islam, so making, watching and showing such films is a sin.”
The fatwa advised all Muslims to stay away and avoid such dramas.
However, there is a difference of opinions in different religious circles regarding the Turkish drama. Additionally, the younger generation is quite interested in watching the show. It has become one of the most popular show’s in the country with more than 6.5 million subscribers on YouTube.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Ertugrul and such dramas will help show a different side of Islam.
He said that Ertugurl promotes Islamic culture. “Over here we go to Hollywood then Bollywood and back again… a third hand culture gets promoted this way,” he added.
“I want our children and youth to know what is the difference… about our culture. It also has romance, history…,” he said. “[The show] has Islamic values.”
The show is based on Islamic history and portrays the story before the rise of the Ottoman Empire.
Ertugrul is one of the highest-rated shows on Netflix and has acquired worldwide appreciation from the film critics for portraying an accurate history of the Ottoman caliphate.
It is rated 7.6 on IMDb and has an average of 100% score from the audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.
Note: The story has been re-edited to clarify that Jamia Darul Uloom has not issued a fatwa specifically against Diriliş: Ertuğrul. The fatwa it issued forbids portraying Islam and Islamic personalities or their deeds through dramas or films.