Why Muslim Youth Find Historical Drama ‘Dirilis: Ertugrul’ Fascinating?
A true understanding of a nation’s history can inspire its youth to re-shape their future and regain past glory. Turkish government took such responsibility by recalling their glorious past, mesmerizing their youth and connecting them to their roots through a historical drama Dirilis:(Resurrection) Ertugrul.
The Legend Behind Ertugrul
It vividly portrays, Oghuz Turks headed by Ertugrul, the father of the caliphate Osman, who founded the great Ottoman Empire (1300 to 1922), spanning over 600 years.
At the heights of its greatness, Ottoman Empire held vast area of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, Central Europe, North Africa and portions of Eastern Europe.
Little is known about Ertugrul’s life. According to various Turkish sources, he was the son of Suleyman Shah, the leader of the Kayı tribe of Oghuz Turks, who fled from western Central Asia to Anatolia to escape the Mongol conquests. Some historians claim, he may have been the son of Gunduz Alp. According to this legend, after the death of his father, Ertugrul and his followers entered the service of the Sultanate of Rum. For this he was rewarded with dominion over the town of Sogut on the frontier with the Byzantine Empire. This set off the chain of events that would ultimately lead to the founding of the Ottoman Empire.
A tomb and mosque dedicated to Ertugrul is said to have been built by Osman I at Sorgut, but due to several re construction nothing certain can be said about the origin of these structures. The current mausoleum was built by sultan Abdul Hamid II in the late 19th century. The town of Sogut celebrates an annual festival to the memory of the early Osmans.
Dirilis has won the hearts and minds of the Muslims youth since Turkey started airing it in December 2014 and streaming began on Netflix in October 2017, completing 448 episodes in five seasons. Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) a state-run broadcaster, launched the drama with Urdu dubbing in collaboration with Turkish Radio & Television (TRT), reaching out to a huge number of audience in Pakistan.
Reactions of various countries over Dirilis: Ertugrul
Several countries have reacted differently, due to the political repercussions, they attach to the drama. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates have banned it, even Egypt’s Global Fatwa Index(GFI) issued a statement that Turkey was aiming to use its soft power, creating an area of influence for themselves in the Middle East and to re-claim control over Arab countries.
In Turkey, people who criticize the drama, think that Dirilis, strengthens a message of Muslim nationalism that has assisted, President Recep Tayyeb Erdogan legitimizing his power.
In Pakistan, the government has encouraged people to watch Dirilis, to identify themselves with wider concept of Muslim Ummah and to learn Islamic culture, history and ethics. Pakistan has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Turkey since its inception.
Impact on Muslim Youth
Whatever, the political or cultural dimensions of the Dirilis: Ertugrul are, it has fascinated the Muslim youth across the world, irrespective of their nationalities.
Syed Arif from Pakistan, a civil engineer by profession is a great fan of Dirilis: Ertugrul. “I am personally moved by the, sublime theme, captivating action, gripping story and hypnotizing performance of the characters which inspire me to imagine the magnificent period of Ottoman Empire”, Arif spoke as his eyes glittered with pride.
In India, Dirilis: Ertugrul has conquered the huge Muslim youth by the sheer force of its powerful message from the past. Muslims of Subcontinent before the partition had supported Ottoman empire under Khilafat Movement in1919-1922 to protect the position of caliph as an International Muslim unity.
Ahmad Hamad, an Indian Muslim, working in Germany, gets immense inspiration from Dirilis: Ertugrul, and he feels attracted to the bravery, courage and steadfastness of the Muslim leaders. “Indian Muslim youth must uphold their dignity and they need to play a positive role by voicing their issues in a peaceful way to influence policies that affect them” Ahmad stressed.
In the present day, digital world, Muslim youth need to take a keen interest in Islamic history, to know about the enormous contributions, their ancestors made to the development of the world and to plan wisely for a brilliant future.
(Written by Ijaz Ali, a development professional from Pakistan. He has a Master Degree in European Studies from Germany and can be reached at [email protected])