Main Abdul Qadir Hoon- a serial of a guy’s religious not spiritual evolution

First aired: December 2010

Beamed at: Hum TV

Writer: Sarwat Nazeer

Director: Babar Javed

Cast: Asif Raza Mir, Saba Pervaiz, Fahad Mustafa, Aamina Sheikh, Faisal Qureshi and Anita Camphor

Episodes 1-15

Abdul Qadir (AQ), the title role is played by Fahad Mustafa, an actor who is frequently seen on television these days in drama serials and as the screaming host of the dance show Nachley, which is in its third season.

Abdul Qadir is basically a story of a lonely boy who is looking for love, but his dominating workaholic mother (Saba Pervaiz) spurns him, his corrupt girl-friend (she introduces him to smoking and alcohol) dumps him for someone much more good-looking and smarter than him. Heart-broken the once innocent AQ goes abroad as in London where he drowns himself in booze and partying (note: all this is due to the bad women in his life). He goes through an image makeover as in loosing his T-shirt and baggy jeans for more hip outfits but he is still sad and lonely. He then meets up a black british indian girl Nell Ibrahim (Aamina Sheikh) who works as a maid for him. She questions him about his moral and religious values which sets him thinking over his actions. Nell, a saintly woman, has Aids which she contracted when she used to be a sex worker, and eventually dies leaving AQ crushed, as he had fallen in love with her, marries her and he then turns to religion whole-heartedly and in the process becomes a maulvi-type chap, complete with the shariah beard and the shalwar kameez and returns to Pakistan. His mother is shocked over his turn around is rightly concerned that he will be singled out and be victimised.

While this is an interesting and challenging role for any actor considering the trajectory that he has to travel which Fahad does attempt to give justice and occasionally he does well, my objection is to the black and white characterisation of AQ. So if a person is drinking and partying there is no way he/she  has or can have any spiritual connection? Yet there are people around us who are supposedly immoral and spiritual at the same time. While there are loads of people among us who are supposedly religious and so corrupt that it defies belief. Such simplistic exploration of religion means that it is catering to the lowest common denominator and refuses to challenge people’s perceptions.

Another objection are the portrayals of the women in Main Abdul Qadir Hoon. The mother working is equal to a neglecting narcissistic materialistic bitch who couldn’t care less for her family. While there may be such women in our society but it is highly irresponsible of the writer and the director to portray women as such with not an iota of goodness in them. It also accuses professional women of unable to balance their home and professional life. It is a sexist view that needs to be discouraged.  Similarly AQ’s girlfriend is seen as this corrupting influence again it is very demeaning to women plus doesn’t AQ have any brain cells to make it his decision to smoke or drink and let him take responsibility for it. But one thing that is commendable is for the protagonist to have a romantic liaison with an Aids victim, giving the message that it is possible to have a relationship with such people.

All in all a disappointing drama serial that perpetuates most stereotypes rather than defying them.


One thought on “Main Abdul Qadir Hoon- a serial of a guy’s religious not spiritual evolution

  1. Spiritual and immoral at the same time? Firstly, religion of islam is being a true servant to Allah through spirituality AND through everyday actions, words, etc. This is why people can be drunk and ‘spiritual’ at the same time. But what do they gain from it? Real change? Real common sense? They never apply the same rules they believe in their heart to real life. You can’t just say that you’re a good person because you are having sex or drinking alcohol and being ‘spiritual’ at the same time, that is a contradiction. But that is what most people go through. True muslims have to apply those same rulings to every day life, therefore they must leave the immoral acts in order to be spiritual and religious, and THAT is a true insaan. You can’t be spiritually connected to Allah and then go back and drink alcohol or smoke, then you must be ignorant on what the teachings of Allah and His prophet (s) really are…which goes back to why you aren’t applying those teachings to real life.
    Secondly, yes there are people who are ‘religious’ but are really hypocritical, but do we really want to get into that 1%? Why focus on that? That isn’t what the drama is even portraying and is a comment that people make just to justify that you don’t have to be fully religious because sometimes even religious people are corrupt. Seriously? We’re trying to go against the good message of the drama, it’s all Shaytan trying to lure us into thinking it’s bad when really it’s the right thing.

    Next is the portrayal of women in the drama is really accurate in my opinion. The mother is actually portrayed as a workaholic, and shows that she cannot control every quality of Abdul Qadir because she is always working and no one person can ever change the heart of a human being to his/her preference, only Allah can change hearts. Yes, women work, women are doctors, educators, writers, businesswomen etc. However these women are also taking a big sacrifice in life to helping other people and women who can do taht AND actively balance out their homelife are commendable, but there are always setbacks to it. I’m not saying all women should be housewives, but there are so many women who choose to have a job just to get some money and they forget all about how to take care of their family. That is how an entire community gets messed up. A good community is only due to the qualities of a good mother. You don’t have a good mother, you have nothing. This isn’t a sexist portrayal, rich families who don’t need to have the mother working so much has exactly that just because they love money, and they don’t put any importance into their children.
    The portrayal of the bad girlfriend isn’t sexist either, there are bad women on this earth who can influence innocent naive guys like Abdul Qadir. Just because they portray one bad women doesn’t mean all of them are like that. Nell wasn’t like that, was she? How is that sexist then? Abdul Qadir drank and smoke because he fell in love with her, and was also very naive at the time. When you want acceptance from a person especially one that you love, you will do anything.

    This drama is amazing, and is very in depth in its religious aspects. IT is not just on the surface, this is what real religious people are like and have to go through. I’m saddened to see your thoughts on this, as I hope they are the minority of what the rest of people think out there on this.

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