THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD, a new three-part series presented by acclaimed journalist and author Rageh Omaar, will premiere on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, 7 – 10pm. The film charts the extraordinary story of a man who, in little more than 20 years, changed the world forever.
Taking a journey that is both historical and relevant today, Omaar documents Muhammad’s life from his humble beginnings in Mecca, to his struggles with accepting his prophetic role, his flight to Medina, the founding of the first Islamic constitution and his subsequent military and political successes and failures — and to his death and his legacy.
Filmed on location in Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem, Turkey, Syria, the U.S., the United Kingdom and Jordan, the series also draws on the expertise of some of the world’s leading academics and commentators on Islam, including Tariq Ramadan (academic and fellow of St. Anthony’s College, Oxford), Ziauddin Sardar (London-based scholar and writer specializing in Muslim thought), Tom Holland (British novelist and historian), HRH Princess Badiya El Hassan of the Jordanian Royal Family, Dr. Amira K Bennison (senior lecturer in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Cambridge University), Sajjad Rizvi (associate professor of Islamic Intellectual History, Exeter University), Bishop Nazir-Ali (author of Islam: A Christian Perspective) and John L Esposito (professor of Religion and International Affairs and Islamic Studies, Georgetown University).
Along with the historical narrative, the film addresses Islam’s role in the world today and explores interpretations of Islamic attitudes toward money, charity, women, social equality, religious tolerance, war and conflict, providing a fascinating, timely and unique insight into the Islamic faith.
“I am extremely pleased to present this exciting and groundbreaking series in the United States,” said Omaar. “The details of Muhammad’s life really are little known, and I hope that my series will — for many — shine a light on the very beginning of Islam, taking viewers to the heart of this faith, illustrating just how Muhammad’s life and legacy are as important today as they were over a thousand years ago.”
THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD comprises three one-hour episodes. The first, “The Seeker,” examines the world into which Muhammad was born, his marriage to his first wife, Khadijah, as well as his first revelations and the profound impact they had on his life and on the lives of those closest to him. “Holy Wars,” the second episode, focuses on key events in Muhammad’s life, including the Night Journey to Jerusalem, his departure from Mecca and the eight-year war with the Meccan tribes. The third and final episode, “Holy Peace,” analyzes events during his later life, including the introduction of the moral code known as Shari‘a and the concept of jihad.
In line with Islamic tradition, the program does not depict any images of Muhammad or feature any dramatic re-constructions of his life.
Rageh Omaar is a Somali-born journalist and author. A former BBC World Affairs correspondent, he currently works as a journalist/reporter for ITN UK, where he is the Middle Eastern correspondent, and also hosts his own monthly investigative documentaries called “The Rageh Omaar Report.”
THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD was produced by Crescent Films for BBC Two. The series was produced and directed by Faris Kermani (“Seven Wonders of the Muslim World,” “Karbala: City of Martyrs” and “Karachi Kops”) and executive produced by David Batty (“The Cult of the Suicide Bomber,” “Christianity: A History” and “The Story of Jesus”).