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Omar (Arabic: عُمَرْ‎) or Omar Farouk (Persian: عمر فاروق‎) is a historical[2][3] Arab television drama miniseries-serial that was produced and broadcast by MBC1 and directed by the Syrian director Hatem Ali.[4] Co-produced by Qatar TV, the series is based on the life of Omar ibn Al-Khattab, the second Caliph of Islam, and depicts his life from 18 years old until the moments of his death.[4] The series had to face large controversy[5][6][7][8][9][10][11] due to its depiction of Omar, Abu Bakr, Uthman and Ali, the four Rashidun Caliphs,[12] along with other characters, who some Muslims believe should not be depicted, much like Mohammad. The series consists of 30 episodes and was originally aired in the month of Ramadan since July 20, 2012.[13][14][15] It was made at a cost of 200 million Saudi riyals and filmed in Morocco, primarily in the cities of Marakesh, Tangiers, El Jadida, Casablanca and Mohammedia. After the series was broadcast on MBC, it was dubbed into several languages for international broadcast[1][16][17] and subtitled in English on YouTube; it received great support from many different scholarly bodies and people watching it.[18][19][20] As the series depended largely on reliable historical established facts, the series did not face criticism in terms of its content, as past films faced.

Farouk Omar
Hz. Ömer
Omar (TV Series).jpg
English title card
Also known asFarouk Omar, Omar Series
GenreBiography, drama, religion, history, serial
Based onOmar bin al-Khattab a.k.a. Omar al-Farouk or Caliph Omar I
Written byWalid Saif
Directed byHatem Ali
StarringSamer Ismail
Ghassan Massoud
Hassan Al-Jundi
Muna Wassef
Fethi Haddaoui
Jay Abdo
Suzan Najm Aldeen
Voices ofAssad Khalifa (Omar)
Composer(s)Fahir Atakoglu
Country of originArab World
Original language(s)Arabic
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes30
Producer(s)MBC Group, Qatar TV
Production location(s)Saudi Arabia, Morocco
Editor(s)Raouf Zaza
Running time45 minutes
Budget200 million SAR
Original networkMBC1, Qatar TV, EPTV, Nessma TV, Atv,[1] MNCTV, Nour TV
Picture formatHDTV
Original releaseJuly 20 (2012-07-20) –
August 18, 2012 (2012-08-18)
Followed byAhmad bin Hanbal
External links
Production website



The series starts with one of the pilgrimage of caliph Omar where he delivers speeches to the pilgrims. The next scene comes with an exploration on Mecca of the caliph where he emotionally flashbacks to his own 18 year's life when he was a young boy working for his rude father Khattab ibn Nufayl. The flashback perspective of Omar shows all the past story of his life from when he was a wrestler, a businessman and above all one of the leaders of the Quraish, and then to his life after his conversion into Islam being one of the closest companions of Muhammad and an immensely devoted believer, a brave inspiration for all the contemporary Muslims and a bold warrior in all the contemporary Islamic battles. The story goes through the Meccan victory, Muhammad's death, Abu Bakr's legacy as caliph and his death, and finally Omar's legacy. From viewer's eye perspective, his legacy as caliph shows the biographical stories of improvements and complexities of his own caliphate till his death through assassination by Abu Lulu.



Two actors of this series, Hassan Al-Jundi and Muna Wassef, both acted (as Abu Jahl and Hind respectively) in the 1970s Arabic language film Al Risalah (الرسالة), the version of Moustapha Akkad's religious biopic The Message (a.k.a. Mohammad, Messenger of God) made for the Arab World. Hassan Al-Jundi also acted as Kisra in the English language film while his counterpart in Al Risalah played the character of Abu Jahl in the same film.

List of episodesEdit

01"Umar during his youth"July 20,  2012 (2012-07-20)
02"Islam begins"July 21,  2012 (2012-07-21)
03"Abu Lahab"July 22,  2012 (2012-07-22)
04"Family affairs"July 23,  2012 (2012-07-23)
05"Torture begins"July 24,  2012 (2012-07-24)
06"Bilal ibn Rabah gains freedom"July 25,  2012 (2012-07-25)
07"Hijrah to Abissinia"July 26,  2012 (2012-07-26)
08"Umar embraces Islam"July 27,  2012 (2012-07-27)
09"Boycott against Muslims"July 28,  2012 (2012-07-28)
10"Hijrah to Yathrib"July 29,  2012 (2012-07-29)
11"Battle of Badr"July 30,  2012 (2012-07-30)
12"Prisoners of the battle of Badr"July 31,  2012 (2012-07-31)
13"Battle of Uhud & Khandaq"August 1,  2012 (2012-08-01)
14"Battle of Khandaq, Invasion of Banu Qurayza, Treaty of Hudaibiyah"August 2,  2012 (2012-08-02)
15"The struggle of Abu Baseer, The year of delegations, First Hajj"August 3,  2012 (2012-08-03)
16"Khalid ibn Al-Walid & 'Amr ibn al-'As embrace Islam, attack of Banu Bakr on Banu Khuza'a, conquest of Makkah"August 4,  2012 (2012-08-04)
17"Abu Sufian and some others embrace Islam, Death of Prophet"August 5,  2012 (2012-08-05)
18"Abu Bakr becomes the first caliph, Battle against people not paying Zakat"August 6,  2012 (2012-08-06)
19"Rise of Sajah, Battles against Ridda"August 7,  2012 (2012-08-07)
20"Battle against Musailimah (Battle of Yamama)"August 8,  2012 (2012-08-08)
21"Battle against Persians"August 9,  2012 (2012-08-09)
22"Umar becomes the second caliph"August 10,  2012 (2012-08-10)
23"Battle of Yarmuk against Rome (Byzantine)"August 11,  2012 (2012-08-11)
24"Battle in Syria"August 12,  2012 (2012-08-12)
25"Umar and his subjects"August 13,  2012 (2012-08-13)
26"Conquest of Damascus"August 14,  2012 (2012-08-14)
27"Battle of Qadisiya against Sassanids"August 15,  2012 (2012-08-15)
28"Battle of Madain, conquest of Al-Quds (Jerusalem)"August 16,  2012 (2012-08-16)
29"Famine Year"August 17,  2012 (2012-08-17)
30"Plague, conquest of Egypt and death of Umar"August 18,  2012 (2012-08-18)
31"Funeral of Umar Ibn Al Khattab and Election of Uthman"Unknown, episode suggested by Muhammad Ammar Rashid


The project was started in 30 September 2010 through an agreement signed by Middle East Broadcasting Center and Qatar Media agency (Qatar TV) to make a drama series on the life of Caliph Omar, scheduled to be aired during the Ramadan of 2011.[30] The chief of MBC group Waleed al Ibrahim stated that, the drama would not aim at profits:[31]

The dramatic work is not regarded from the profit or loss perspectives.

— Waleed al Ibrahim, chief of MBC group[31]

Saudi producers, the Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC), said the series is the largest ever Arabic production, with 30,000 actors and a technical team from 10 different countries who toiled 300 days to make the 31-part series.[32] The director Ali said that building a replica of Mecca and the surrounding area was a challenge that faced him until he and the crew finally chose a location in Morocco. The series needed a huge crew amount to 500 actors, actresses, and extras in one single day.[33] Ali also pointed out, several scenes in the series were difficult to shoot like which elephant treads on one of the actors.

The elephant was well-trained for the scene and we made the actor wear an iron shield just in case anything goes wrong."

— Hatem Ali, director[4]

The horses used in the series were brought from Eastern Europe and were trained together with the elephants to make them adapt to each other. The series featured many battle scenes on a large scale. Ali said it took them a total of 54 days with a rate of 12 hours a day and with the participation of 500 extras that were trained on this type of scenes.[4]

Committee members for managing historical contextEdit

A board committee of scholars was created for maintaining the historicity of the script. The major members of the board were:

  1. Yusuf al-Qaradawi[34]
  2. Akram Zia Omari[34]
  3. Salman al-Awda[34]
  4. Abdul Wahab Turairi [34]
  5. Ali al-Sallabi[34]
  6. Saad Al-Otaibi[34]

VFX effectsEdit

Most of the episodes of the series contained many expensive computer-generated imagery (CGI) effects which were maintained by French CGI production BUF in association with Hecat,[35][36] as well as title[37] and ending theme[38] also. Moreover, the sets of ancient Mecca and Medina and other sites in Arabia and elsewhere in the post classical era were also produced by the Soora Studio, a Syrian set producer production, which previously made the sets of many other popular Arabic dramas.


The original soundtrack was composed by Turkish musician Fahir Atakoglu. A nasheed or Arabic song praising Omar and describing a complete archive of the serial was featured after the scene of his assassination in the ending episode. The nasheed, entitled "Salamun Alayka Ya Omar Al Faarouq", was sung by the Kuwaiti Quran reciter Mishary Al-Afasy.[39]

Receptions from scholarly bodiesEdit

International broadcastingEdit

The series later has been broadcast in the television channels of different countries such as Turkey,[1] Indonesia, Iran, Tunisia, Egypt etc. either dubbed or with native subtitle.

Country Network Series premiere
  Algeria EPTV July 20, 2012
  Arab League MBC1, Qatar TV July 20, 2012
  Indonesia MNCTV July 20, 2012
  Tunisia Nessma TV July 20, 2012
  Turkey atv, Kanal 7 July 20, 2012; June 7, 2016
  Lebanon Future Television September 23, 2013
  Iran Nour TV September, 2013
  Morocco Medi1TV September, 2013

Traditional historicitic and depictional controversyEdit

In the events of the Islamic prophet Muhammad's living era, Muhammad himself, his children and wives were not depicted but many direct actions of him have been shown redirected from any other sahaba near to him for the restrictions and limitations of Muhammad's visual depiction in the Islamic world. Although in a sequence before the death of Abu Bakr, there was a shadow depiction of Aisha shown silently conversing with her father. The dress code of male companions after conversion period was also controversial, mostly for wearing gowns below ankle, which was strongly prohibited by Muhammad, and tradition says that, all the companions always used to wear clothes over ankle. Besides, in the event of the battle of Yamama, the characters of the companions behind of Khalid bin Walid have been shown to give the slogan "ya Muhammada" (O, for Muhammad), which was a subject of controversy about historicity among some salafi clerics. They argued that it could not be told by them because calling on any other except Allah is a form of polytheism (Shirk). Historical reference says that Umayyah ibn Khalaf was killed by a group of Muslims led by Bilal ibn Rabah, but in the series, Bilal ibn Rabah has been shown to kill Umayyah ibn Khalaf by himself.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Pickard, Michael (7 May 2012). "ATV delves into Mid East history". C21Media. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  2. ^ Al Tamimi, Jumana (28 July 2012). "TV drama Omar is steeped in Islamic history". Gulf News. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  3. ^ Ritman, Alex (6 February 2013). "Omar could show us the future of history". The National (Abu Dhabi). Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d "Behind the scenes of the biggest Arabic TV series". Al Arabiya. 27 August 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  5. ^ Habboush, Mahmoud (13 Aug 2012). "Ramadan TV show stirs argument across Arab world". Writing by Mahmoud Habboush; Additional reporting by Regan Doherty; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Giles Elgood. Reuters. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  6. ^ Agence France-Presse (23 July 2012). "TV series causes controversy in Arab world". NDTV. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  7. ^ Abu Awad, Riad (24 July 2012). "Arabic TV series depicting Islamic figure triggers backlash". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  8. ^ "TV show stirs argument across Arab world". according to reuters Dubai. Hurriyet Daily News. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  9. ^ Al-Asif, Mohammed (20 July 2012). "The debate over a Ramadan drama". Arab News. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Prophet Companions TV Series Stirs Debate". 23 July 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  11. ^ al-Sharif, Osama. "Controversy Over Omar". Venture. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  12. ^ Roxborough, Scott (24 July 2012). "Fatwa Issued Against Saudi TV Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  13. ^ Al Tamimi, Jumana (6 July 2012). "'Omar' drama series to hit the airwaves". Gulf News. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  14. ^ Montasser, Farah (8 Aug 2012). "Islamic history drama 'Omar' stands out this Ramadan". Ahram Online. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Omar ibn al-Khattab TV series raises controversy - Egypt Independent". Egypt Independent.
  16. ^ "'Omar' marches toward wider range". Saudi Gazette. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  17. ^ "OMAR"-Ibn-Al-Khattab-TV-series-continues-its-march-towards-Global-reach-by-adding-Indonesia-to-the-Broadcasting-countries.html#comment%7Clist "Concurrently with the MENA Region and Turkey during the holy month of Ramadan "OMAR" Ibn Al-Khattab TV series continues its march towards Global reach by adding Indonesia to the Broadcasting countries". 8 July 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Ramadan diary: Why I'm spending my month with controversial TV series 'Omar'". Doha News Team. Doha News. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  19. ^ Salem, Ola (2 August 2012). "Controversial Omar TV drama a big hit across the Arabian Gulf". The National (Abu Dhabi). Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  20. ^ "Controversial Ramadan series wows audiences". Daily News Egypt. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  21. ^ سامر إسماعيل ونجوم «عمر» في ضيافة التلفزيون أول أيام العيد.
  22. ^ MAarwa Abdel Fadeel (12 July 2012). "Egyptian actor talks about playing the role of Prophet's uncle in al-Farouq series". Al Arabiya. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  23. ^ 'وحشي' قاتل حمزة بن عبد المطلب وحمزة الخطيب. Archived 2012-08-08 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ استياء جماعي من برمجة رمضان... ومغاربة يتألقون في مسلسل الفاروق، مجلة لها، 8 أغسطس 2012.
  25. ^ تحية إلى أبي جهل، خطابات، 2 أغسطس 2012.
  26. ^ غازي حسين: ما زلت طفلاً وأشاهد أحياناً توم وجيري.
  27. ^ نادرة عمران: الدراما تعدت دور الترفيه إلى التأثير على أنماط التفكير. Archived 2013-10-21 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ ألفت عمر: "عاتكة" نقطة التحول في حياتى'، صحيفة الوفد، 10 أغسطس 2012.
  29. ^ منى واصف: الأعمال التاريخية الأقرب إلى قلبي.
  30. ^ "MBC to produce series on Islam's second caliph". Al Arabiya. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  31. ^ a b "Caliph Omar Drama does not aim at profits: MBC chief". Al Arabiya. 5 November 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  32. ^ "TV series causes controversy in the Arab world". NDTV. 23 July 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  33. ^ "الجزء الأول من كواليس #مسلسل_عمر". MBC Group. YouTube. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  34. ^ a b c d e f "The Prophet Mohamed's companions are biggest drama hit this Ramadan". 12 August 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  35. ^ a b c d "VFX Making Of OMAR". BUF and Hecat Studio. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  36. ^ OMAR VFX Making Of - 2012. Vimeo.
  37. ^ OMAR "TV Series" - 2012 - Beginning titles. Vimeo.
  38. ^ OMAR "TV Series" - 2012 End Titles. Vimeo.
  39. ^ "'Omar al-Farooq [English Subtitles] - Mishary Rashid Al-Afasy". YouTube. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  40. ^ Salman al-Awda (12 January 2013). "The Question of Muslim Drama & Cinema". Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  41. ^ "Looking Back as We Look Forward - Change & Modernity ~ Dr. Yasir Qadhi". YouTube. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  42. ^ "Saudi scholar slams critics of MBC's Omar ibn al-Khattab TV series". Al Arabiya. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  43. ^ Ola Salem (July 20, 2012). "Scholars split on Ramadan series". The National (Abu Dhabi). Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  44. ^ a b "جريدة مباشر - هل يُشعل مسلسل الفاروق عمر مزيدا من الفرقة بين المسلمين؟".
  45. ^ "Top Saudi cleric slams TV series on Umar set for Ramadan telecast". Emirates 24/7. 7 July 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  46. ^ "Saudi prince vows to stop TV film on Muslim Caliph". Emirates 24/7. 16 July 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  47. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2012-07-18.
  48. ^ "ميدل ايست أونلاين:.عمر: أول 'هزيمة' للأزهر على يد الدراما العربية:".

External linksEdit