Episode 4 – Swimming Upstream

 Synopsis: Rayyan and her mother Sarah have a disagreement over co-ed swimming at the local pool. 

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Video courtesty of mydien

What did you think of this episode? How does it compare to the previous episodes?

Are there any other topics from the episode that you want to discuss? Ask a Question.



Filed under Episode 4

38 responses to “Episode 4 – Swimming Upstream

  1. Sara

    Does anyone else think that Fatimah’s swimsuit was hideous? They have got to have better swimsuits than that.

  2. Re Fatima’s swimsuit: I thought the colour was kinda yucky, and it looked like a track suit from the 80s, but she looked cute nonetheless. 🙂 There’s much better designs available, I’ve seen some that look like very stylish scuba suits.

  3. CanadianMuslim

    I found this episode… a mix of good and bad.

    Bad: the Halloween. Making it ‘Halaloween’ does *not* make it halaal. And Baber going all ‘Usama’ – tacky. Albeit sorta funny. And does anyone else think that Ammar and Rayyan were walking a fine line between ‘consultation’ and ‘flirting’?

    Good: Fatima! Except for her stance on Halloween, she’s my favourite character on the whole show… and I loved her suit! Heehee… Also, the petition. Very smart. In my city, we didn’t need to have a petition… we just booked the pool and the people were kind enough to provide a female lifeguard without (much) extra cost.

  4. Sara

    Where can I find full-body swimming suits? I guess I can use a wetsuit but that would be so hilarious. Me, in my wetsuit at the local pool .. hehe.

  5. Tom

    What does an olive have to do with Islam? Is it just something commonly eaten in the Middle East and it is thus linked to Islam?

  6. Houdayfah

    about the olive, it is mentioned in the Quran. Halaloween, kind of strange humorous twist that didn’t work that well. And for an imam why the heck is he flirting with Rayyan, I bet you they’re going to get married. Fatima was hilarious in that outfit, but hey it worked for her lol.

  7. Tom


    How is it mentioned in the Quran? What’s the significance?

  8. Qamar

    The Olive is mentioned several times in the Quran – This is one of the times it is mentioned and the explanation afterwards:

    An Olive, neither of the East nor of the West, [3001]
    Whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it; [3002]

    surah 24:35 Al Nur (The Light)

    3001. “The mystic Olive is not localised. It is neither of the East nor the West. It is universal, for such is Allah’s Light. As applied to the olive, there is also a more literal meaning, which can be allegorised in a different way. An olive tree with an eastern aspect gets only the rays of the morning sun; one with a western aspect, only the rays of the western sun. In the northern hemisphere the south aspect will give the sun’s rays a greater part of the day, while a northern aspect will shut them out altogether, and vice versa in the southern hemisphere. But a tree in the open plain or on a hill will get perpetual sunshine by day: it will be more mature, and the fruit and oil will be of superior quality. So Allah’s Light is not localised or immature: it is perfect and universal.”

    Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’an

  9. Qamar

    I personally like the old man, Berber, he is the funniest. I also like Fatima.

  10. Krista

    I thought this was the best episode yet. The Halaloween bit…yes, it was inappropriate, but it still made me laugh out loud. I like that the humour is getting to be a bit sharper-edged. Those poor kids, having to dress up as an olive and a fig — too funny! The characters who were formerly a bit one-dimensional (Fatima, Baber, Fred) are starting to become a lot more interesting and human. Keep it up, and keep it funny!

  11. Rad

    The Burqini swimsuit exists and is being marketed in Australia. It is also sold online:


  12. Tajuddin

    Yeah, that swim suit was horrible and there are other designs out there much better…the show’s consultants and/or wardrobe team really, really dropped the ball on that one…

  13. Nutty

    I think the swimsuit is exactly what Fatima would have picked out. Just from her regular wardrobe you can tell she likes bright colors. And if you have to be covered from head to toe, why not make it pop? She looked darn cute, and I loved how one of the other ladies commented she wanted one to cover her cellulite!

    I thought it was a bit much having Barbar be more then fine with people thinking he dressed as a terrorist, but I do think he would have learned to enjoy the silly halloween traditions. I mean come on, it is fun. As for a pagan custom? No pagans went door to door asking for a mars bar LOL, remember, only north americans do it like this.

    Is it bad that I think in the end we are all going to like Fred?

  14. Djinny

    The acting (or maybe the writing) is starting to get way too perky and cute. Nevertheless . . . I look forward to my Friday afternoons when I watch this series.
    My fave episode was when Baber’s daughter got her period. You would never see anything like that on American TV (except for reruns of Roseanne).

  15. This was the first episode that I somewhat enjoyed. Nothing that made me laugh out loud, but it was amusing.

    The only line to make me laugh out loud so far remains in the first episode, “we can use the laundry room to wash and shroud the dead bodies!”

    Overall, it’s okay for a Canadian sitcom, but I think the bar is set fairly low in that regard.

  16. Sadly I wasn’t able to see the episode, Google Video was saying unavailable.

  17. Rayan

    Good episode, first actually funny one.

    People need to relax their pre-conceived notions about Halloween, and also accept that most Muslims in Canada DO celebrate Halloween while trying to do so keeping Islam in mind. This show is NOT a religious show but a depiction of Muslims in Canada, and in that regards it is honest.

  18. Crystal

    I’m really enjoying this series, and at the same time, learning a lot about the new culture. My favourite still is the opening of the first episode!

  19. I think the way barbor behaved enjoying the idea of being a terrorist was a tad too much. I do like the fact that he blames the white man for everything, lol

    The imam and doctor need to get that marriage contract in order.

  20. >>This show is NOT a religious show but a depiction of Muslims in Canada, and in that regards it is honest.>>

    I agree with the above quote completely. I already knew this Rayyan and Amaar thing was too much, walking alone at night together? Come on, quite unislamic. But yes, they need to get married, otherwise they’re crossing some of God’s very reasonable limitations about interaction between males and females.

    Thanks for the link to the swimsuit site, I didn’t realize they could actually make swimsuits like that, but hey, if it works to cover me up, I’m all for the beach!

    Aslaam o laikum,

  21. IOL

    Zarqa Nawaz will be talking to IOL on Valentine’s Day morning. Come ask questions!


  22. Alidost

    It is believed that “olive” in the Qur’an refers to Jerusalem. Another suggestion is that it refers to a mountain in Syria.
    God swore by those locations to say that humans were created in best shape and form, but then they drag themselves down with their sins, except for those who worship God sincerely.

    About this episode:
    I think Halaloween was seriously funny, and everyone thinks that Babar is dressed like Taliban??? LOL!
    This was a great episode.

  23. Sean

    It really bothered me how much Babar enjoyed people thinking that he dressed up like the Taiban.

    It really seems to be if terrorists did want to blow up something in Canada, Babar would help them to at least hide.

    How far would he go to help his Muslim Brothers in Jihad? Would he stop at harbouring them or would he help them in other ways as well?

  24. Raheel

    Halloween to Halalween what kind of imam is that? Why not make a Halal version of Christmas or Hanukkah. Muhammad(pbuh) has already instructed us that we are not to celebrate the eids of the Kufar. Halloween is an Eid. Eid means something that is celebrated regularly. The Prophet(pbuh) also said that we should not make graves places of Eids. So you can see the sense of the word.

  25. Me


    First off Halloween is not an “Eid” of the “Kufar”!
    I wont get into a discussion about the definition and correct use of the word kafir, so lets talk about Halloween.
    Halloween WAS a pagan festival at one point in time. Appart from the date, the current Halloween festivities have little to do with paganism. Halloween, as it is celebrated today, is a secular cultural tradition, a day of silly festivity.
    We are told not to take up “religious” practices of others or behaviours that are clearly unislamic. Islam does not forbid kids to go door to door to collect candy does it? Some Muslims may have an issue with carving faces on pumpkins, but if they carve designs or not carve at all, then there is nothing inherenty wrong with that. If we participate in a cultural tradition within the limits set by Islam, there is nothing wrong with that.

  26. Me

    ….And Sean, its a TV show! Babar is a character on TV! Get over it already! The Big Bad Babar Boogie man isn’t comming to get u!

  27. Ali

    Remember, Baber’s excitement in trick-or-treating may have also resulted from all that sugar he was eating. He was acting more wired than he usually does. I think that this plotline was successful in portraying Baber in a more human way. Remember, no one is perfect. So, even though his beliefs are very traditional, he is still as capable of breaking his own rules just as any one else. And, believe it or not, he enjoyed trick-or-treating. Who are you to tell someone what they would and would not enjoy? I also think that this scene was successful in explaining to the viewer that Baber’s prejudices are from his fear of the unknown. He tried something as harmless as collecting candy door to door and ended up enjoying it.

    Whether you approve of it or not, some muslims collect candy door-to-door on October 31st. This is not a religious practice by any means. You expected Baber to be completely against it, but he surprised us all by proving that he IS in fact one of those muslims that DO collect candy door-to-door on October 31st. As for Ammar, like my own imam, doesn’t believe that collecting candy is bad either, though he strongly advises against lighting bonfires and trying to communicate with dead spirits. “Wake up! People.” This isn’t a show about how to be the perfect muslim, nor is it a “fatwa”. It is a show about the lives of some of the muslims that live in Canada, and it is fair to say that the scenarios we see are very true of at least SOME muslims that live in this country. And, as we have proven in this forum, even muslims have their differences, and that seems to be one of the recurring themes in the series – kudos to the writers for addressing it.

  28. I think this was my favorite episode. I liked that it showed that other (non-Muslim) ladies were also in favor of a female lifeguard, and i loved when the older lady said that the “burkini” would cover her cellulite!

    And I loved when Baber was running around scaring the kids!

    I’m waiting for the episode when Amar proposes to Rayyan…

  29. Habibah

    Halaloween was in no way Halal. Just because they dressed in things mentioned in the Qur’an doesn’t make it Islamic, they’re still practicing the essence of Halloween.

    Despite the ‘halal’ swimsuit, it was tighter than her usual clothes and revealed the shape of her body which is unislamic. She began shaking and gyrating in front of a man, which she really shouldn’t have been doing. To swim in front of a man doesn’t seem very modest either, even if he is a ‘friend of dorothy’.

    The Imam is walking with a young, unmarried woman, alone at night? lol, not right at all!! They are flirting way too much and he needs to speak to Yasir and marry her or something.

  30. Tamara

    I don’t think the point of the show is to teach proper Islam to everyone…. I like the show because it is basically realistic; in the west we have so many different kinds Muslims (from all walks of life) making it a lovely and often challenging community. We are all at different points in our path. I think it is time for everyone to stop correcting the writer on what is Islamic, because I don’t think this is the intention of the series.

    One very good example that comes to my mind is the no hijab / hijab / niqab problem that I have seen in most communities here in the west and abroad. Many women wearing niqab tend to look down on those not wearing niqab and often don’t associate with them; in turn those wearing hijab tend to look down on those not wearing hijab and at those with niqab as “extreme”…. and so on. It is as if everyone forgets the point that God is the judge! That we are all brothers and sisters and that we all are on a different point in our path. No one was born wearing a niqab or a hijab, in fact we were all born quite naked!

    This is the reality in every Muslim community, we are all on different points in our paths yet too many feel they have the right to judge others….

  31. Pingback: Season 2 - Repeat - Swimming Upstream « Little Experiences …

  32. I love the range of muslim swim suites from ZEHBA.COM. I have chosen one of their floral designs, which i believe to be a better choice for a moderate women. I have bought it from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

  33. Amy

    The video for “Episode 4 – Swimming Upstream” is no longer available above. Where can I watch this episode?


  34. Amy

    I used Google’s “video” search button and found it: yay!

  35. Steve

    That’s the episode with the gay guy, right?

    This season has been much better without the gay guy being in it.

  36. ab

    what did you search under, as i tried finding this episode on youtube and google video and no luck

  37. Salaam Aleykum

    Modest Swimwear / Full coverage swimsuits are available from

    International Shipping a speciality.


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