In an attempt to provide meaningful Islamic content to a new generation of Muslims, Shaykh Omar Suleiman and Mohamed Zeyara have created the ‘Inspiration Series’ – a series of short films that attempts to bring the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw) to life.
In today’s media and communication centric world, the amount of content available to a user seems almost limitless. With the advent of social media platforms and a whole host of video content hosting sites, the way in which we receive, process and share information has radically changed. The ease with which users can both find and upload content means a constant jostling to ‘own the online space’ and remain visible in the public eye. With so much content available, it becomes difficult to know where to look.
In addition to the growth of the online space as our primary means for information, the current young generation of Muslims living in the West are constantly faced with challenges to their faith and identity. It is safe to say that due to the rise of new forms of media and communication, for the most part, understandings of Islam now take place outside of traditional settings (Mosques and Madrassahs). The dangers of this are of course evident but it also means that it can become difficult for young Muslims to understand how their faith and traditions can best inform their lives and be applied to their social settings.
It seems also that the role of the Imam itself has changed with the advent of new age media. The amount that the Imam and Scholar can now genuinely influence the lives of young Muslims seems to depend on how well they understand the everyday challenges a young Muslim faces (in School, University or Work) as well as how well integrated they are on social media platforms in order to be having a conversation.
Within this current social context then, the production of ‘Inspiration Series’ showcases the evolution of Islamic leadership by combining religiously relevant, easy to access content with new forms of social communication and high quality production values. Shaykh Omar’s and Mohamed Zeyara’s series, which has recently finished releasing its second season, is a refreshing and innovative way of providing positive Islamic content that is able to expertly contextualize prophetic teachings to everyday and sometimes hard-to-discuss social issues that affect everyone.
When discussing the series, Shaykh Omar Suleiman has commented on how surprised he has been with the overwhelmingly positive response the series has received, including stories of conversions to Islam through this engagement. The series itself is well set to release additional seasons in the future and the rewards for the hard work and dedication that goes on behind the scenes showed when the series was awarded with an ‘International Contribution to Dawah Awards 2016‘ in Dubai.