The word Ertugrul has many meanings, some say it means wild bird, for some, it is a fragrant flower, and some define it as The Warrior Fighter for Islam. Who was Ertugrul? Where did he come from? none of us ever knew about such an astounding character until this Turkish drama named Dirilis Ertugrul went on-air.
Background history of Ertugrul
Some major events took place during the 12th and 13th century, A single power was emerging in central Europe and Eastern Europe. Genghis Khan with his war-loving, violent, and barbarous army was spreading his empire which was known as the Mongol Empire. They had invaded Siberia, China, Persia, and the major areas in the subcontinent. With them, as their opponents losing was always a gifted prize, giving innumerable empires a hard time, ruthlessly conquering everything. Genghis Khan was well known for his cruelty, while might was eating away every culture and religion that came in its path, not so far away from this devil was another empire the Khwarazm empire, who was fragile as compared to the Mongol Empire, but was continuously increasing its power. It conquered Khorasan, Iran, Syria, and Iraq and had plans to expand its territory.
Genghis Khan came to know about this rising empire, he then sent his army to distort their power in which they claimed success, the empire like many others before it was defeated, it was torn into pieces, the tribes inhabiting there scattered, most of them were shepherds and nomads, they settled in various areas where they found water and greenery, the tribes that were once part of this empire now migrated to different places, some went to Iran which was initially the part of its power, other turned their routes towards Egypt and Syria.
Suleiman Shah was the leader of a Turk warrior tribe named Kayi tribe which was residing in Khorasan and was one of the tribes that were present in the Khwarazm Empire. Suleiman was the father of 4 sons Sungurtakun, Gundugdu, Ertugrul, and Dundar. His tribe was stronger than the others and was comparatively more populated. Since it had fighters in it, chances were much higher for their survival, under his leadership it was decided for the tribe to settle in Syria, during their travel they reached Euphrates river, which is the longest river and along with river Tigris covers the land between it which is Mesopotamia, Euphrates passes from Syria to Iran and end up in the Persian Gulf. While passing through that river Suleiman drowned in it and died, the tribe which he was leading scattered, two of his 4 sons Sungurtakun and Gundugdu went to Ahlat with their families and allies, the rest of the tribe that was left chose Ertugrul as their leader. People trusted him, they knew well about his bravery and his leading skills, he was an intellectual person, with broad tactical skills, Ertugrul along with his brother decided to seek refuge under Sultan Ala-ud-deen to whom the Seljuk throne belonged, it was the point from where Ertugrul started getting his fame and land to rule, he helped Ala-ud-deen by helping his troops fight against the Byzantine army and Mongolian army, impressed by his skills the ruler gave him the hilly areas of Karaca Dag near Ankara, it was the area which was frequently being attacked by Byzantine, and because he found Ertugrul and his tribe members who were filled with fighting abilities, it became the reason why he was given this part, to protect it from the enemies. He received many victories and was later considered as chief, many other Turkish tribes soon came to join his tribe and to live with him. He started conquering places from the Mongols and Byzantine, this pleased the sultan, he kept on allotting him those places which he managed to conquer and even made him Commander of his army. Ertugrul was given the title of Ghazi. Ertugrul later married a strong woman named Halema Sultan, and together they had three sons Gunduz, Savci, and Osman. The youngest son Osman became his successor, and because of him, the Ottoman Empire came into being which ruled over vast areas for over 600 years.
Why do Muslims worldwide like this show?
This drama series of Ertugrul has played a positive role in promoting an optimistic and undisputed image of Islam, unlike our Hollywood and Bollywood counterparts that are busy in spreading Islamophobia through their media. These series based on Ertugrul’s life is even being watched by the non-Muslims without any religious discrimination, or hatred. Muslim Film-makers basically never focus on history, or what achievements Muslims had in their past, All these years portraying has been done through the non-Muslim media out there, that showed the whole world what they thought about Muslims and about their history not what actually happened and what was taught, others who do make films or try to illustrate about Islam and Muslims, end up showing Muslims as barbaric and cruel beings, who were bloodthirsty. Apart from these issues, viewers are relating these series to the popular series of Game of thrones. What needs to be appreciated here are the female characters, they were shown strong and courageous, not like those typical serial actresses who needs help all the time, and cannot even face a single thing without their male counterparts on their own, no sense of independence and no sense of bravery is seen in dramas that aired in the Asian continent, media is a powerful mean of communication, it educates an individual in several ways, and many other serials like Ertugrul have shown us that difference can be made, and knowledge can be given without any hatred, this drama serial has shown many people that Islam isn’t all about man slaughtering and blood-shedding, this religion is about spirituality and peace.