While there are tons of Arabic videos, lectures, programs and TV shows available online, it’s often hard for students to find things to watch that are in clear and easy to understand classical Arabic, and that are also enjoyable and beneficial. For this reason, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite YouTube recommendations.
Omar (The Miniseries)
A 30-part TV serial centering on the life of the Caliph Omar ibn al-Khattab (may God be pleased with him), this was one of the largest and most expensive productions ever made in the Middle East (which can clearly be seen in the detailed costumes, imagery, etc.) While the acting can be a tad stiff at times, it’s a great series that helps us visualize some of the most important events from the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and companions. An added bonus: The series has clear English subtitles!
Some similar series for history buffs, or anyone looking for inspiration from great Muslim personalities from the past:
Rihla with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
This is an amazing series in Arabic hosted by Sh. Hamza Yusuf with guests such as Imam Siraj Wahhaj, Imam Suhaib Webb, Comedian Azhar Usman, nasheed group Native Deen, Dr. Abdul Hakim Murad, Dr. Umar Faruq Abdullah and even some of Shaykh Hamza’s own family. This series, and a previous one hosted by Sh. Hamza called “Yallah Ya Shabab” (which can be found in parts on Youtube) are an incredible combination of some of our favorite things: Arabic, Sh. Hamza, and knowledgeable and inspiring guests.
Lectures by Sh. Habib Ali al-Jifri
While one has to note his Yemeni usage of the “ga” sound instead of “qa” (which makes the word “qalb” [heart] sound like “galb” for example). I have found Sh. Habib’s language to be one of the clearest and easiest for me to understand ever since I began studying Arabic (and his teachings largely beautiful and inspiring.) One can find tons of his lectures with a YouTube search, but here is a very nice one with English subtitles:
Lectures by Dr. Tarek Suwaidan
Dr. Tarek Suwaidan is another da’iy (preacher) and teacher whose language is quite clear and easy to understand. He has hosted a number of television programs on Islamic themes, including a popular one called al-Wasatiyya (The Middle Path). Here is a link to a series of his on the wonders and beautiful qualities of the Quran:
Feel free to add your own suggestions and feedback! Happy listening and watching :)