We are developing the final production of The Madani Chronicles and this epic series will soon be completed and available on Amazon in 2022.
Our final issue is based on the events surrounding the death of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and we caught up with creator Kelvin Ali to ask about the final issue of this production.
How does it feel to complete this massive project?
“Relieved. This comic as I mentioned in past was never to be a stand-alone product and when the Pandemic began and supply chains all around the world were shut down and disrupted, an enhanced narrative and consistent 2D art production became our focus in order to continue to scale.
Since this IP was meant to be transmedia it isn’t really over, but future efforts will be focusing on polish, scale, and digital as well as technological enhancement of assets to create even cooler visual and emotional experiences for our fans. Our narrative is solid and it’s authentic God willing so we can now build upon this first-of-a-kind 2D visual seerah production.
I wrote these comics over several years. It all began with the explanation of one part of a hadith that chronologically was not fully clear to me at the time. But we were designing for a real-time strategy game and were flushing out a level design that would create a great prototype.
It was daunting, I had created several concepts from the diverse subject matter, but all in line with the core ‘mission’ of developing ‘good intention’ and ‘natured’ products for underserved demographics when I first began to have ideas for game design during my post-graduate education. I knew that when I short-listed the topics, the Islamic theme and narrative were the greatest opportunity to educate gamers with a fresh narrative.
There was also the opportunity to reach a great number of Muslim and western youth as we identified our target demographic which could be interested in a narrative based on Islamic history. This is not something anyone would dare delve into based on the geopolitical situation of the world and it was an incredible experience that I am grateful for. Even with limited knowledge, so many creators came to our team to develop as I had to explain and we had to visualize what the world and environmental assets would look like.
As I learned from Islamic scholars, I was very cautious about developing ‘art and visual depictions’ of Prophet Muhammad (saw) which is prohibited in Islam as per authentic hadith. I tried to learn as much as I could about Islamic etiquettes and jurisprudence before mustering up the courage to approach my teachers and ask for their feedback, which was well received all around and the took some of the ‘fear’ of doing anything that would be displeasing to Allah (swt) and our objective was to not cause and division or controversy from the product and feedback has been very good. Alhamdulillah.
When I had the first comics prototyped and reviewed, we had converted our original first-run issues into Fusha Arabic (classical Arabic) from renowned Islamic/Arabic linguistic experts which I have been blessed to learn from and meet during my personal journey. I knew that we were headed in the right direction upon scholarly review. Many great western Islamic figures that I showed prototypes, shared research and asked for direct feedback encouraged me. The feedback was critical to address any jurisprudence for anything that could be perceived as a haram element.
Even more critical feedback would come over the years as I gained more confidence and showed concepts to diverse Islamic teachers from many different regions as I gained the ability and access to communicate directly with them. I listened intently to their feedback and the visual recommendations as per their diverse wisdom and we tried to create a middle path solution. I journeyed to the Middle East to seek professional opinions from business leaders. I went on groups with Islamic teachers to Umrah and brought the initial comics seeking feedback, which was also encouraging especially being in such a blessed environment with pure and good intentions.
I completed the last writing of the full entire comic narrative in 2019 as I wrote the issue, ‘The death of a Prophet (saw)’, I wasn’t sure of the scope. I never 1 page of a Hadith of Heraclius would lead me to write about the death of Prophet Muhammad (saw). Recounting the lectures, the explanations, reviving the emotional depth that a Muslim experiences when they first hear of those horrific stories of abuse of our Nabi (saw) and His compassion and wisdom in dealing with the most difficult of tests, my heart became very heavy and I sometimes I cried as I reflected on events that dealt with this subject matter.
Many of our episodes have emotionally evoking narrative events from hadith and this final issue was hard for sure. I aspired to write every episode with Ihsan (excellence) and my intentions to seek Allah’s (swt) pleasure while seeking the reward of the afterlife by leaving a good legacy behind Insh’Allah, along with the intense research I had done over decades has made this final issue, like all of them in my humble opinion, a winner.
We can only imagine some of the events now, it was difficult at times to try to capture some of the greatest Sahabah’s emotional experiences. Hadith does some job of presenting some of their actual feelings but in reality, how did Umar (RA), Abu Bakr As-Siddique (RA), Aisha (RA) and the inhabitants of Medina actually feel when they lost their leader and companion? Such an important figure to the entire world and their own world. The loss was so deep man and I didn’t want to leave the reader with a tragic close despite knowing that this was the end of the transmission of direct knowledge to mankind from Allah (swt).
Yeah, it was very overwhelming at times.
Whether I hear or read about the death of Prophet Muhammad (saw) for the first time or 50th time, it touches my heart. It took me 20+ years of study to acquire the wisdom to actually feel the loss of the last Abrahamic Prophet (saw) and to understand one of the greatest losses to humanity that so many people are unaware of despite 1.7 billion proclaimed Muslims on the planet at the moment.
Allah (swt) has preserved the miracle of the Quran for all people and at all times. The books of hadith are also very blessed masterpieces of history that have been preserved and authenticated for us all by scholars of this wonderful science. It takes a lot of time to learn. My objective was to save whoever wishes to have knowledge at that time.
So much of what happened, what occurred during the years of Prophet Muhammad (saw) has been lost as per Allah’s (swt) will as only he can grant or remove knowledge from a person or all people so we have to do what we can with what is left or all knowledge will be eroded and eventually misinterpreted.
I hope that whatever I was able to accomplish in this series will be remembered as part of my personal legacy after I am gone from this world and I truly hope that it serves humanity and our team well. For those who have never studied Islamic history, I encourage you to trust in these humble efforts we have made to bring this product to you. I know this would have really helped me on my journey to Islam and I know in my heart it will help others. Insh’Allah.
The Beyond Badr IP will move on to larger-scale projects post Madani Chronicles. I sincerely hope that our fans, readers, and community were affected in a positive way and they join our clan. Maybe someday I’ll have a chance to interact with some of them and hopefully inspire some positivity in real-time. We’ve done a lot to make the community a real awesome virtual space. By the time we get to our video game release I am sure our fans will be engaging with each other within our community spaces.
The entire narrative from Episode 0 to 12 is incredible in terms of education and content included. It’s basically an intermediate/advanced Seerah class but in such a cool format! I hope that if someone starts on the entire journey with our comics that by the time, they get to Episode 10, they will have a new appreciation for Islam and for Prophet Muhammad (saw). I believe anyone with an open mind can achieve this with our comics. I also believe no matter what your skill or proficiency is in Islamic history, these books will complement, clarify, and maybe even contribute to your own level of knowledge or assist as a teaching guide for those who wish to teach Islamic subject matter in English.
Islam was never a religion meant to be associated with violence, division, and hatred – very evil men have made that happen over time. My sincere hope is that this series opens a door to appreciation, acceptance, and tolerance of Islam from non-Muslims who take a chance on us.
I also hope that Muslims around the world will seek to understand the ‘Why?’ behind every major conflict in Islam, which is what each episode I wrote was focused on. I was a person who came to Islam seeking knowledge, guidance, and wisdom genuinely. I am so honoured to be able to contribute back something good to our Ummah and the world after all of these years. To be able to give back something to the entire world – that’s pretty cool man.
May Allah (swt) grant benefit, wisdom, and blessings to all of our readers, fans, and anyone who joins our clan and community. Ameen. So, what can I say about Episode 12, the death of a Prophet (saw)?
Thank you, it’s not goodbye, it’s we’re just getting started!”
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Beyond Badr Dev Team!