With everyone under lockdown around the globe, watching television has become one of the most trending pastimes. People have subscribed to Netflix in droves and developed a taste for watching drama serials and movies, which is understandable; there is hardly anything else to do amidst the lockdown.
Ertugrul, the new heart-throb of all girls from 13 to 93, is the lead character from the renowned Turkish series Resurrection Ertugrul, comprising five seasons. It has wowed the audiences around the globe, particularly in Asia and the Middle East, and has been praised by Prime Minister Imran Khan himself, who advised the nation to watch this Turkish series. And, Pakistani people have actually fallen in love with it.
Ertugrul Ghazi is a historical figure dating back to the 13th century, who belonged to the ‘Kayi tribe’ and fought for his religion, conquering many lands in the way of Allah. He was the son of Suleyman Shah of Oghuz descent. Ertugrul’s son, Osman, succeeded the throne and founded the Ottoman Empire around 1299. The term “Ottoman” is derived from Osman’s name, which was “Uthman” in Arabic. At its height the empire encompassed most of south-eastern Europe to the gates of Vienna, including present-day Hungary, the Balkan region, Greece, and parts of Ukraine; portions of the Middle East now occupied by Iraq, Syria, Israel, and Egypt; North Africa as far west as Algeria; and large parts of the Arabian Peninsula.
Ertugrul Ghazi was a warrior whose strength, belief, loyalty and strong spiritual belief always helped him move forward with one aim: to defeat the enemies and establish peace and brotherhood all over, by inculcating belief in law and justice.
The series, ‘Resurrection: Ertugrul,’ starts with a melodious title song accompanied with rubab and violin that has become very popular and is on repeat on many people’s playlist. What actually has appealed to people is the historical setting and the mesmerizing portrayal of all the sterling qualities of Ertugrul, along with his love story with Halime Sultan, the niece of Sultan Alauddin (Sultan of Konya). The unconditional love and loyalty between the two, and the respect they have for each other has captivated the viewers’ attention to the extent that fans are now idealizing the characters. A couple of other things that have impacted the viewers are Ertugrul’s bond with his Alp friends - Dogan, Bamsi and Turgut, and his spiritual bonding with Sheikh ul Arabi (a spiritual figure in the drama).
The show’s ratings clearly prove that the Turkish drama industry has become very popular. Most of the Turkish dramas are well-crafted with strong stories, but none of the other Turkish dramas can compete with the success of ‘Resurrection: Ertugrul’.
The question that comes to mind is, what has made this show so special? Well, the war scenes for one, were truly amazing, as they depict the love for fighting in the way of Allah. Despite all odds, our beloved characters don’t give up, and are not afraid to die.
When asked in an interview on BBC what he likes most about his character as Ertugrul, Engin Altan Duzyatan (aka Ertugrul) pointed out the strong qualities of the character like his vision, strength, purpose in life, and values that Ertugrul gave importance to. This is what made the character stand out.
Indeed, Ertugrul’s character is an embodiment of virtue, boldness, sincerity, loyalty and spirituality. This show is a complete manifestation of bravery, courage, faith, dignity and honour. Repeated references to the Holy Quran and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and his descendants, performance of the basic obligations and duties as a Muslim, showing mercy to the poor and dealing justly with the non-Muslims have created a special place in the hearts of his fans all over the world. Untiring efforts of Ertugrul Ghazi to unite Muslims against the Crusaders/Templars and Mongols, and dealing with the dirty politics played by Muslims within the Muslim tribes, has rightly shown how Muslims remain divided and cause harm to themselves and other Muslims. Throughout the show, Ertugrul has emphasized the importance of unity since he believed that traitors and enemies could only be defeated by a united Muslim front.
I highly recommend this series as I have thoroughly enjoyed watching it, and I believe it is better than watching a bunch of local dramas that are mostly promoting politics, diplomacy, deception and erroneous depiction of our culture.