Like many, I am hooked on Dirilis Ertugrul on Netflix and have been making my way through it for the past year or so. I am towards the end of Season 4 (so no spoilers in the comments, please!)
Obviously it is very inspirational and everyone seems to recommend it and love it. But why? What are the main lessons? How exactly does Ertugrul inspire and benefit?
Here are my thoughts.
1. It is perhaps one of the only examples of how Islam was meant to be lived. A ferocious focus on truth, to glorify God, to be able to withstand as much pain as you can being patient and how intense struggles polish and perfect you.
2. It demonstrates the extreme trials and tribulations you have to go through if you truly want to change the world or leave a lasting legacy.
3. Men were warriors, who were skilled, courageous and had a never say die attitude. No fear of death, fiercely passionate, willing to give everything for the cause. But with wisdom and a penchant for unity and brotherhood.
4. Women were equally skilled, with an intense work ethic, immense patience and entrepreneurial spirit. All coupled with an innocence rarely seen anymore.
5. You can see and appreciate the challenges they had to withstand, whether it was the deception and infiltration of the Templars, to the brutality and ruthlessness of the Mongols, to the hatred and conniving of the Byzantines. And it really puts your own problems into perspective.
6. Ertugrul showed how the groundwork to greatness is laid, through having a vision, a mentor, a never say die belief in yourself (and even more so, faith in God) that success is imminent, not a maybe.
7. The importance of understanding business and economy matters.
8. The importance of sacrifice. The collective, the community, the tribe over the individual or even one’s own family. We over me.
9. The importance of conquest — that is to expand and grow.
10. Not to get upset or downbeat at the haters — even if the whole world is against you. Being content with whatever is written.
11. How chasing after power or money or anything for any sake other than God corrupts the hearts of men and will ultimately lead to your downfall in the end.
12. How men and women are supposed to act with each other in marriage. There was still shyness, respect, gratitude, true understanding of their respective roles within marriage and an ability to withstand extremely difficult times but stay strong.
13. The importance of secrecy. Keep things to yourself to be on the safe side. Information really is power.
14. The critical and strategic importance of following one Ameer (leader) — and even the leaders (beys) follow leaders (the Margrave, Sultan etc). No arrogance, just the greater good in mind and implicit trust.
I can’t actually think of another programme quite like it, that actually changes your spirit and shifts your mindset as you watch it in a positive way. You see the personification of wisdom, bravery, of persistence, of deep faith and brotherhood playing out in real time. It humbles you. It influences you. Even my dad (who watched all 5 seasons in record time, having only discovered it in February) is now always citing Ertugrul examples when he’s trying to explain or advise family members!
Oh yeah, and not to mention — it’s got an awesome theme tune! Altogether now…. de de de de de…
A lifelong learner, avid reader and passionate writer, I am the founder of KNOW and a serial entrepreneur.
I am a huge believer in personal development and am also the co-founder of Muslim CEO.