The Omar series, produced and broadcasted by MBC1 and directed by Hatem Ali and Co-produced by Qatar TV, is based on the life of Umar Ibn Al Khattab (RA), the companion of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and the second Caliph and one of the 10 who have been promised paradise. The series is in Arabic, and is available with English subtitles on Youtube.
The series consists of 30 episodes and was originally aired in the month of Ramadan since July 20, 2012. It was made at a cost of 200 million Saudi Riyals (SAR) and filmed in Morocco, mostly in Marakesh, Tangiers, El Jadida, Casablanca and Mohammedia.
The series fell into controversy, due to its depiction of Omar, Abu Bakr, Osman and Ali (may Allah be pleased with them), with some scholars issuing fatwa, that it is not permissible to depict the close companions of the prophet (PBUH). However, there were other scholars who said that it is permissible to depict the companions in a drama as this one, as there is no Quranic verse or Hadith prohibiting it.
One of the objections raised was that the people who play the roles of the companions in the series may not be practicing muslims in real life, and come nowhere close to the companions themselves and that images of these actors may come to the minds of the audiences, whenever the name of the companion is mentioned, and therefore it is not permissible to watch this series. However, this argument is not valid, because, logically speaking; the audience know very well that these actors are not the companions, but just actors. No sane person would come to think that these actors were the companions or are like the companions of the prophet (PBUH).
I saw this series on youtube, and I personally feel that it is one of the best Islamic productions ever made. The series starts with the life of Umar (RA) in the pre-Islamic Arabia, and then continues with his life at the time of the mission of the prophet (PBUH), his conversion to Islam, the caliphate of Abu Bakr (RA) and finally, the Caliphate of Umar (RA) himself. The series is as accurate as it was possible without showing the prophet (PBUH), in a 30 episode drama.
The series is very well made. One of the most positive points of the series is that it lays great emphasis on the teachings of Islam, and how they changed the society of the time from the days of ignorance and injustice to the justice of Islam. It shows the efforts and the sacrifices of the companions of the prophet in spreading the message of Islam.
The Series really touches the heart. It increases the love of the companions.
In the end, all that I would like to say is that, although the series may not be perfect in every sense, it is a source of a lot of good. It is a series not to missed. So if you have not seen it already, then please click here to watch it on Youtube.