Velayat-e Eshgh TV series
Wilāyat-i Eshq, a TV series about Imam al-Rida (a) directed by Mahdi Fakhimzada, which was broadcast on the IRIB TV1 in 2000. This series deals with a part of Imam al-Rida's (a) life, including al-Ma'mun’s pressure on Imam (a) to stay in Merv, accepting crown princeship and related events until his martyrdom. Showing Imam's (a) face in the form of light and playing his voice in direct speech are considered to be an innovation of this TV series.
The production time of Velayat-e Eshgh was mentioned two and a half years. This TV series was broadcast in thirty episodes and was dubbed and broadcast in Arabic, Turkish, French and Wolof (the official language of Senegal).
Velayat-e Eshgh TV series was a 30-episode television series that took two and a half years to make and was broadcast on the IRIB TV1 in 2000. This series is the narration of the years when Imam al-Rida (a), under the pressure of al-Ma'mun al-Abbasi, was forced to go to the city of Merv and accept al-Ma'mun’s crown princeship, and finally Imam (a) was martyred by al-Ma'mun.
The first 12 episodes of this series are about al-Harun al-Rashid’s death, the war between his two sons over the succession of the father and finally the caliphate of al-Ma'mun, the middle 15 episodes of the series are about how al-Ma'mun imposed crown princeship to Imam al-Rida (a) and the final three episodes are about al-Ma'mun’s moving to Baghdad and the martyrdom of Imam al-Rida (a).
Some parts of the series Velayat-e Eshgh in the location of Kufa city were filmed in Iran Cinema and Television Town (former name: Ghazali Cinema Town), which was previously made for the production of Imam Ali (a) TV series in 1992. This location was designed on a land with an area of 62,000 square meters and with Arabic architecture of the post-Islamic era. Other TV series such as "Tanhatarin Sardar", "Tiflan-i Muslim", and "Akharin Dawat" have also been filmed there. Some other parts of Velayat-e Eshgh were filmed in the deserts around Robat Karim city in Tehran province.
Some time after the end of the broadcast of Velayat-e Eshgh, it was compiled into a telefilm with the same name and was aired on December 23, 2014 on the IRIB TV1.
This series was aired in the form of radio-film, every night at 19:30 on Radio Namayish of IRIB’s domestic radio every night since December 2014.
Velayat-e Eshgh was translated into French and Wolof (the official language of Senegal) in Dakar in the summer of 2018. It has also been translated into Arabic on Al-Kawthar and was aired on Ifilm and Al-Kawthar with the title “Gharib-i Tus”. It was also dubbed and broadcast in Turkish.
Cast and Crew
The writer and director of this series was Mahdi Fakhimzada, and its composer was Babak Bayat. A group of first-rate Iranian actors (at the time of the production) played the roles in this series. Some of them considered it an honor to appear in Velayat-e Eshgh and said that being present in this series brought them closer to Imam al-Rida (a), a deeper understanding of religion and blessings in their lives.
Nasir Makarim Shirazi, one of the Shia authorities, praised the cast and crew in a letter in the middle of the airing of Velayat-e Eshgh. The series was prepared under the supervision of a council called the Council of Islamic History in the IRIB, which determined the method of the series in presenting the history of the presence of Imam al-Rida (a) in Iran. In this series, for the first time in cinematic products, projection of light was shown instead of the face of the Infallible Imam (a), and the voice of Imam (a) was played as a direct speech.
According to the film’s director, Fakhimzada, one of the criticisms leveled at the Velayat-e Eshgh series was that it was not made by religious people. Also, not paying attention to some historical narrations led to criticism of Velayat-e Eshgh series; events such as the deer taking refuge in Imam al-Rida (a) and the reluctant marriage of Imam (a) with the daughter of al-Ma'mun al-Abbasi. Weakness of historical studies, lack of correct understanding of the life conduct and personality of Imam al-Rida (a), lack of familiarity with the history of the Abbasid caliphs, especially al-Harun and al-Ma'mun, and lack of attention to the correct characterization of Imam al-Kazim (a) and Imam al-Rida (a) were other criticisms made about this TV series.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from ولایت عشق (مجموعه تلویزیونی) in Farsi WikiShia.