Last updated on November 28, 2020

This article is about an Arabic TV series (Musalsal) called Black Crows. We will show where you can watch it and what the Arabic meaning of the TV series’ name is.

Black Crows on Netflix

UPDATE (spring 2019):

The entire Musalsal (Gharabeeb Soud) is now online on Netflix!

If you don’t have Netflix

The good news is: MBC has started to upload them with English subtitles. Unfortunately the whole series is not available so far but at least the first episode is online.

Here we go: Watch Black Crows on Youtube!

screenshot black crows 2

(it is the official MBC-channel, so I guess it is not illegal)

But don’t be disappointed! The dialogues are pretty short and not really abundant…

I had mixed feeling when I watched it. There are many stereotypes and the acting is, in my opinion, pretty poor. But nevertheless you could give it a try.

About the MBC drama Black Crows

The channel MBC described Al Gharabeeb Al Soud (Black Crows) as “the first Arabic drama series to delve into the rise of extremism in the region from a female perspective.”

The musalsal Black Crows was created and produced by MBC. It took only 18 months to develop and required a large team of writers and researchers, who spent months interviewing real-life ISIL (Daesh) survivors and gathering first-hand accounts from women living within the organization.

The official spokesman of the channel told several newspapers: “Never before on TV has there been a show that is fully dedicated to highlighting the inner workings of a terrorist network – in this instance, Daesh in particular – and also highlighting the women within the organization. Of course, it’s going to be hard to watch – terrorism is full of atrocities, and the show isn’t going to lessen the ugliness of the reality because the reality is exactly that: it’s very, very ugly.”

MBC says that if Black Crows can help to educate, raise awareness and prevent the further spread of ISIL, then it will have done what it set out to do: affect change.

The Arabic newspaper “The National” wrote that this was not the first time MBC had addressed the rise of extremism in the region from a sociopolitical, dramatized perspective.

“The popular Saudi satirical show, Selfie, which has been a popular part of the Ramadan TV line-up for several years, has used dark humor to mock the militant group in skits featuring a host of characters played by Saudi comedian Nasser Al Qasabi. Both he and MBC have received death threats from ISIL over the skits.”

Black Crows and its meaning in Islam

Let’s analyze the terms – and start with the Qur’an, Sura 25:27.

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ ثَمَرَاتٍ مُّخْتَلِفًا أَلْوَانُهَا ۚ وَمِنَ الْجِبَالِ جُدَدٌ بِيضٌ وَحُمْرٌمُّخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهَا وَغَرَابِيبُ سُودٌ

Have you [Prophet] not considered how God sends water down from the sky and that We produce with it fruits of varied colors; that there are in the mountains layers of white and red of various hues, and jet black;

Let’s dig deeper.

A certain black bird

غِرْبَانٌ or غُرْبٌ or أَغْرِبَةٌ or أَغْرُبٌ; or غَرَابِينُغُراب

Meaning: a certain black bird – the crow of which there are several species, i.e., the raven, carrion, crow, rook, jackdaw, etc. Note: This name (singular) was used as a proper name before Islam, which – as related in a Hadith – was changed by the Prophet Muhammad because the word implies the meaning of distance, and because it is the name of a foul bird.

Note: The name غُراب was used as a proper name before Islam, which – as related in a Hadith – was changed by the Prophet Muhammad because the word implies the meaning of distance, and because it is the name of a foul bird.

Black grapes

a special (good) kind of black grapes (الْعِنَب). One of the best kinds of grapes growing in al-Ta’if (الطَائِف) in present-day Saudi-Arabia.غِرْبِيبٌ

Very black

very black (أَسْود شَدِيد السَّواد)الغِرْبِيبُ
غَرابِيب – black, jet black; used as an adjective (صِفة)غِرْبِيب
أَسودُ غِرْبِيبٌ – Used for emphasis in the meaning of black of the blackest; pitch-black; murky (حالِك شَدِيد)غِرْبِيب


سَوْداوات or سُود – black; feminineسَوْداءُ


Some people claim that the word crow is linked also to women who are fully veiled in black. They use a Hadith narrated by ‘Umm Salamah (أُمّ سَلمَة):

“When the verse ‘That they should cast their outer garments over their persons’ was revealed, the women of Ansar came out as if they had crows over their heads by wearing outer garments.” – Sunan Abi Dawud 4101 (سُنَن أَبِي داوُد); Sahih (Al-Albani)

لَمَّا نَزَلَتْ ‏{‏ يُدْنِينَ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ جَلاَبِيبِهِنَّ ‏}‏ خَرَجَ نِسَاءُ الأَنْصَارِ كَأَنَّ عَلَى رُءُوسِهِنَّ الْغِرْبَانُ مِنَ الأَكْسِيَةِ

Some commentators say that their veils were similar to crows regarding their black color. However, even traditional scholars do not take from this Hadith (nor from any reliable source) that the color of the veil must be black.


  • أَسْوَدُ غِرْبِيبٌ means intensely black.
  • But if you say غَرَابِيبُ سُودٌ, you make the latter word a substitute for the former because a word corroborative of one signifying a color cannot precede as Edward Lane states. Actually this is usually the case as you put the word first which you want to emphasize on, and then you place the word for the emphasis.
  • In the Qur’an, as shown above, this expression relates to mountains (streaks having black rocks).

Streaming on Netflix and other services – useful articles:

Picture credit: Image by kalhh from Pixabay

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