Formerly SuhaibWebb.com

About the author

Shibli Zaman

Shibli Zaman was born in Summit, New Jersey and raised in Houston, Texas. Since his childhood, he has frequently traveled throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. He has a deep appreciation for different cultures and is literate in several languages. Surprising for a Muslim, he is adept in Hebrew and Aramaic. Having a proclivity for Semitic linguistics enabled him to study the Biblical texts from a unique perspective. He holds a gold medal in Bible Memory from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has contributed to one of the most significant websites defending Islam’s textual sources and traditions from an academic perspective, Islamic-Awareness.org. He was an employee of Shaykh Salman al-`Awdah from whose inspiration he benefited tremendously and assisted in the early phases of his English website, Islamtoday.com. Currently, he works as an SAP Netweaver specialist and consultant.

126 Comments

  • What an article! Ja zak Allahu khairan! I studied Vlad the Impaler in college and their was no mention of the Ottomans, Muslims, or Turks. “Interesting” how some people choose to write history. Your article was really great.

  • There is actually a book called ‘The Historian’ which works around some Muslim involvement concerning Vlad…but being fictional, it takes heinous liberties of course.

  • Thanks for the article, but it is interesting to note how Islam and the Muslims are never mentioned in his story in other sources ( we covered him in school). It’s almost like historians are trying to belittle islam’s contributions to the story we call world history.

  • Interesting….

    I actually met two of Dracula’s grandsons (father and a son) in the Bay Area. One had a shirt with the above picture and I commented that I knew a little history about Vlad the Impaler and the older gentleman said “he was our great-great grandfather and he was not what you think for he said Romania”

    • Gomez, that is very interesting. Vlad Drăculea has always been a hero to the Eastern Orthodox Christians of the Balkans and Eastern Europe. When one is desperate for heroes, they tend to overlook the crimes of the one they are lionizing. The Serbs, however, rather than ignoring those crimes, sought to emulate them. Slobodan Milosevic and the Serbian Arkan’s Tigers frequently invoked Vlad Ţepeş (Dracula) as inspiration in exterminating the Muslims. After all, he also invaded Bosnia and exterminated 8,000 Muslims at one fell swoop. As for Dracula’s descendants, they would be Hungarian, not Romanian, as his children married into Hungarian nobility.

      • What an amazing post! I learned a great deal of my own history here. Being from the Balkans myself, I usually heared the sanitized story of Dracula – that is the Serb/Yugoslav version – and it is so intersting to see it from this perspective of history.

        The Balkans have such a bloody history, and it seemed only natural that Dracula would have originated there!

        Love it!

        • Are you sure? I’m from ex-yu too and we learned the Vlad Tepes killed and impaled his own people, he was mentioned as a bloodthirsty genocidal warlord who fought against ottoman empire.

          I have to admit it’s exceptional to hear the take from the other side, much more detailed.

    • I want more information about the dracola grandsons could you plz tell me that you meet them ever again after that……….PLZ answer me

    • I just request u that if you know anything else about that so tell me plz I want to see and meet those two gentlemen because I want to know the truth about vampires or Dracula ……….. Does the really exist?

  • That was action-packed INCREDIBLE!

    Mash’Allah awesome article, I would have never known that Muslims have had so much influence on so many things we know of today.
    Makes one want to further indulge in Islamic history that unfortunately many have shown a blind eye to.

  • Wow! I will echo others’ comments – totally awesome! I love history and I had never studied this or even come across it before, so really enjoyed reading and learning from this article! Would love to read more like this in the future. :-)

  • Interesting article,

    I am puzzled on the slaughtering 15,000 Muslims in one night account. Clearly in that day and age of physcological warfare (as now) this amount could easily have been used to frighten. To kill 15,000 men in one night you would need to know how many forces Vlad had. The time of the battle then divide the number of troops under vlad by 15,000. Divide this by the time (say 5 hours) then you get the killed per minute account.

    Bearing in mind their were no machine guns et al. It seems they would have had to have gone down like chickens in an abbatoir conveyor belt at that rate.

    Still an otherwise informative article and Allah knows best. May Allah bless Radu (ra) and Sultan Mehmet(ra) and all the righteous lions of the Rasululah salalahu alayhi wasalaam. Ameen.

  • Aha.

    Found some more info. Indeed it seems this battle of 15,000 Muslims killed was reffered to as the night battle. I beleive it can be seen briefly in the opening seen for Francis General Motors Coppolas famous Dracula with Gary Oldman (where their is a night battle). Interestingly it seems the sultan in the morning found 20,000 men impaled including his envoy Hamza Pasha who had been sent before. That night Vlad entered and slaughtered the Turkish camp dressed a Turk.

    However the previous impalement were done previously, coupled with his new night attack it certainly seems credible the amount of soldiers killed, but spanned over a period. I still doubt the one night account as european propaganda. Indeed the king of rhodes held a big feast as did other Christian nobles upon hearing of this night battle so it would have served well to bump up Vlads superman status.

    Either way he was a shaytan and Allah bless the final soldier who did slay him in battle years later – Amin!

  • Dude, this article rocked. I had some inkling that Dracula had a brush with the Turks at some point but never knew the extent of it, nor that it was Mehmet the Conqueror that was his enemy. Excellent research and excellent writing. And as so many above have already said, us Muslims and Turks (I’m Turkish) have had our history stolen from us. Now it falls on non-fanatical, intellectual Muslim men and women to dig it up and do some correcting.

  • Thanks to all of you for your encouraging words. I’m glad you all enjoyed reading this piece. You definitely have something to discuss at the dinner table (sans drinking blood and impaling, of course). There is definitely more to come on the topic of well known historical narratives that have had their Muslim protagonists erased. Stay tuned, brother, sisters and friends!

  • JazakAllahu Khairan for this great article brother. We need more articles dealing with Muslim history outside of just the Khilafah Al-Rashida.

    But SubhanAllah, read this quote from Wikipedia:

    “He was taken back to Wallachia and buried. In the early 1900s Vlad was exhumed for research. The researchers found nothing. Remains were found around his grave, and were thought to be the prince’s. He was buried again and left there until another dig took place years later. His grave was found destroyed and no remains were found.”

    Just imagine what must be happening to him in the grave for his crimes. May Allah save us.

    I know the above quote seems to contradict the part about his head being put on display in Constantinople, but maybe his body was buried in Wallachia without the head. Allah knows best.

    • Antonio Bonfini, an Italian chronicler in Matthias Corvinus’ court writes in his chronicle of Hungarian history entlted Rerum Hungaricum Decades: “…but he was killed in the fight with the Turks and his head was sent to Mohammed (Sultan Mehmet II) as a present.”

      Legends aside, the place of Vlad’s burial is unknown. Those believing the vampire legends use this as evidence to suggest he was truly of the undead. Others would simply say his body was discarded in ignominy and likely consumed by vermin. I vote for the latter.

  • Many thanks for this, its always good to get a view from the ‘other side’ and we Muslims need to study and be knowledgeable about the human history to debate/dialogue Islam and defend our points of view with these references

    • Muhammad, believe me when I say that this was a “nutshell” of the story. It could make a couple of movies or even a miniseries! Now, its up to the Muslims to start investing in and engaging in projects to bring our rich history to the big screen.

  • Many other sources claim that Dracula’s army defected and killed him themselves, presenting the head to the sultan. I am trying to do a research paper on Ottoman Janissaries and my sources have to come from an Historian with a doctorate degree. I am very interested in the war between Vlad III and Sultan Mehemed and would like to write about the janissaries of that time. Any references?

    • Brent, as is the case with historical record there are always many sides to every story. I am aware of the records that say that Dracula faced a mutiny of his own soldiers but any historian who looks at those sources critically will understand that this was a way for the Romanians to escape the dishonor of being routed by the Turks. Its much more romantic to say that they held out until the very end and then -themselves- decided to ally with the Turks. The sources I have used are found in the endnote of this article. Thanks.

  • And there making movies of Lincoln as a vampire hunter. I’m sharing this with my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters elsewhere. We are in need of the truth. Salaam and may Allah bless you. Ameen

  • That’s one way to tell the story. The true story is that Radu and Vlad were sent as tribute to be held hostage of the Turks to ensure that Vlad II would be pro-Turk in his politics going against the King of Hungary and his own oath as member of the Order of the Dragon. The boys were brainwashed by their captors who managed to convert Radu. That is just one reason Vlad III hated the Sultan. The Sultan and Vlad II were not allies. And Radu and Mehmet II were not friends. One was a hostage. The other was a Sultan’s son. The Order of the Dragon was not meant to wipe out Islam, but to protect Christianity from the ever encroaching “head-cutters” who were killing Christians as they advanced throughout that region.

    • “pt”, thank you for your comments. There’s no reason to be upset or threatened by the fact that Radu, Vlad Tepes own brother, was a devout Muslim. If he was brainwashed as a kid, he had his whole life to convert out of Islam…just as Vlad Tepes did. Right? As for the reasons for Vlad Tepes’ grudges against the Sultan, as well as his own brothers and father, these are all found in historical reference. Its not speculation.

      Perhaps, you can write an article on the subject and document some references since you, for whatever reason, decided not to cite them in your comment. As for the facts stated in this article, they are all easily corroborated in the sources cited in the endnote of the article. Thanks.

      • Salam Alaykum,

        With all respect to the history, humanity, islam and christian religion.

        We all have to recognize the real fact that history had been distorted all the time during humanity in favor of a certain reason or the winner.

        But, we all have the duty to read between the lines and choose wisely the real facts from different independent sources not only from one distorted source.

        We are all responsible for what we are choosing to believe in. This great story has all the teachings what we will need to learn as kids of Allah or God.

        It is true that Radu Cel Frumos was converted to islam. That at the end, it was his own decision as we all have had made our decisions in life for different reasons.

        He was taken in 1442 as a child along Vlad Dracul to be kept as hostages by Murrad the II-nd as insurance against his dad. Radu lived in the Ottoman Empire until 1462. His brother Vlad Dracul lived in the Otoman empire until 1448.

        Apparently, Vlad Dracul had been sent with Ottoman troops to take over the Vallahia’s throne after his dad Vlad the II-nd had been killed along with his brother. Also, he was de-throned by Vladislav the II-nd after two months.

        This historical facts could be found along other interesting ones in different sources.

        It is true that Vlad Dracul had been fighting the Ottoman Empire and he was a very cruel man.
        His reasons were perhaps to fight for his throne, people, land as all other great people around the world and history did.

        It is true that the turks had been managing to kill Vlad Dracul. His head had been in display in the center of Constantinopole after he killed so many great warriors.

        But, the main question for all of us is only one! When, we as humans we will learn from all the mistakes that had been made along the History!? Are we going to learn or we will repeat it over and over again until we will destroy the civilization as we know it with killings and Nuclear Weapons!?

        Allah may bless you all!

  • Wow fantastic article. If one looks at the path ceremonies of many militaristic orders of the day, it’s clear wiping out a rival faith was fair game as they were at war both physically, psychologically and spiritually PT, so there shouldn’t be any tender notes there ie ‘to preserve Christianity’ point that you raised. Proof? I didn’t see the impaled and massacred populations being killed according to any Biblical custom or justification. Genocidal murders have no faith except ‘winning at whatever cost’. Understand that. Had the ‘head cutters’ as you put it, killed every Christian they met through Europe, they wouldn’t have any Christianity left in any area of Eastern Europe lol!

  • Wallachia was NEVER an ottoman principality. Wallachia was never a “muslim land”, we were NEVER part of “House of Islam”, we were from the “house of treaty”.

  • Basic clarifications from Ottoman history: Vlad and Radu were “HOSTAGES” according to a common custom of at the time among countries of sending one’s family members to go and live with “the other side” as a guarantee that one would keep a promise. In this case, Vlad II promised to resume paying his tribute to the Ottomans as a vassal state [true, a vassal state is NOT a province of the empire].

    SCHOOLING: They were NOT educated “by Janissaries” but by the teachers in the “Enderum” the elite school within the Palace that prepared the students…mostly enslaved and converted Christian youth…. for the highest posts in the empire, military and civilian. They learned religious schiences, but also the most advanced knowledge on secular studies and foreign languages as existed in the Empire at the time…superior than that in europe.

    VLAD hated the whole thing and couldn’t get home soon enough, which occurred when his father died and he could return.

    RADU, however, love school, loved the palace and court life. He converted and like so many other “renegades” as they were called in Christian Europe, rose in the ranks of the Ottoman government. In contrast to his brother, Radu was close to the sultan’s son, the future Mehmet II. It is believed that Mehmet and the younger, handsome Wallachian became lovers at that time, another source of Vlad’s hatred of the Turks and of Mehmed.

    In a current Turkish TV drama, Radu is portrayed by a transgender Serbian actor/ess and the nature of the character’s own sexuality is only hinted at, though it is obvious that Mehmet cares deeply for him. The serial twists history, though, with Vlad killing Radu and putting HIS head in honey and sending it to Mehmed.

    Mehmed’s own bisexuality is agreed upon by most scholars. One of the Byzantine notables at the time of conquest was given the choice of freedom for his family, if his youngest son would be given over to the sultan for this purpose. The man refused, preferring to be executed along with ALL his sons.

    • mehmet and radu were friends not that sick thing, this is fabricated information by kafirs

      mehmed was prasied by muhammad saw in hadith so he was definitely normal

    • “Mehmed’s own bisexuality is agreed upon by most scholars.”

      Not at all, actually. These tales come entirely from European, most Greek, sources which at the time constantly embellished the facts in order to make the Ottomans look morally inferior. This isn’t my opinion on Greek sources at the time, it’s the commonly held view on them amongst historians. What is agreed upon by most scholars is that these sources are dubious at best.

      The story of Mehmed & Radu possibly being “lovers” stems from extremely sensationalist works published by the academic Radu Florescu, and as sources of info are even less reliable than the Greek sources I mentioned earlier.

      • From the article above it is very clear the Ottomans were colonialists who arrived in the Balkans uninvited and therefore were unwanted. Vlad Tepes was just one of the rulers, vassals, or what not who rebelled against the Turks.

  • awsome article.i use to know some facts but got lot of new stuff over here.sometimes history takes wrong turns by some historians who change the true history for their own point of view.it was first noticed by me when i read about Tipu Sultan.while he was reffered as “Sher-e-mahishore”(Lion of Mahishore) by Indian historians on other hand British historian named him as “the mad king”.we need to spread the right history which was modified in the past.

  • Hi,
    Always interesting to read an article about Vlad III from a Muslim perspective!
    One question:
    Could you please provide a source for Vlad learning impalement from his brother Mircea? The following paragraph seems rather vague with facts and dates, and does not resonate with any of the sources I have come across myself:


    Vlad II silently allowed his older sons, Mircea and Vlad IV, to launch an insurrection after which Mircea impaled all his prisoners upon stakes. The young Dracula loved the sight of this and later joined Mircea in further insurrections against the Ottomans as well as the rival Dăneşti clan supported by the Hungarian warlord, John Hunyadi.

    According to the articles/books I’ve read so far (admittedly, written by Romanians & other Christians, though they do list a variety of Ottoman sources as well in their bibliography)… Vlad III did not see his brother Mircea or his father again after becoming a hostage at the Ottoman court at ~age 11, in 1442.

    At that time, Mircea himself was only 14, so it’s odd that he would have already launched insurrections and had anyone impaled… adding to that, the mention that Vlad *later* joined Mircea therein would push the chronology of young Mircea’s first impalements even earlier… yep, small children leading an army and impaling grown men.

    In history class in Romania, as well as in all the sources I’ve come across, it is undisputed that Vlad learned the gruesome torture of impalement during his time of captivity at the Ottoman court; he used it both against the invading Turks and his own people. They called him Tepes, aka, the Impaler, precisely because this method was peculiar. There are no other Romanian rulers called the Beheader or the Hanger…

    Also, besides Vlad III and his cousin Stephen the Great, in whose company he spent a few years *after* his (Vlad’s) captivity at the Ottoman court – so, it could be argued that Stephen learned it from Vlad – as well as one or two of Vlad’s own descendants (Alexander the Mean), no ruler of a Romanian province is known to have used impalement prior or again, which further gives credence to the belief that it was an imported and short-lived custom.

    On the other hand, Ottomans still used impalement in Bulgaria and Greece up to the 19th century, while Wikipedia (ok, not the most complete secondary source one can come up with, but here I am, googling the history of impalement at 5am, of all things… ) provides sources for impalement attested in the Middle East dating as far back as Antiquity. Please correct me, if you find contradicting/better evidence. Other Europeans seem to have used it occasionally starting around the 16th century, so they might conceivably have gotten inspired by all those pamphlets that got spread around about Vlad (how much fact and how much sensationalism those put forth is another source of contention amongst historians).

    Of course, that Vlad adopted this horrible practice, and to such infamous extent, remains his own shameful choice and his crime. Willfully ignorant Romanians who still praise this guy should be glad they don’t live in his time…

    I am researching these historical characters for a novel and am very curious as to your sources, especially the learning impalement from his brother Mircea and campaigning at his side part, which I haven’t encountered before. Thanks!

    P.S. A note to all the nay-sayers about Mehmed II’s bisexuality: if in understandable doubt about the intention of Greek chroniclers like Doukas, here’s part of a poem written by Mehmed II himself, under his poet pen-name Avni, referring to the son of Loukas Notaras:


    If your heart is not bound / in the knot of his heathen belt
    You’re no true believer / but a lost soul among lovers
    His lips give life anew / to those whom his glances kill
    Just so, for that giver of life / follows the ways of Jesus
    Avni, have no doubt / that beauty will one day be tame
    For you are ruler of Istanbul / and he lord of Galata

    Walter Andrews, Age of Beloveds, page 3;
    In the Bibliography, Andrews lists as his source a version of the original Ottoman text found in “Sultan sairler”, Isen & Bilkan, eds., pages 75-76.
    (Sorry for the lack of proper Turkish punctuation on my keyboard)

    Isn’t it sad and ironic though, that so many ppl still get inflamed when some overpraised historical character gets suspected of homosexual tendencies (no suffering caused if it’s consensual… ok, maybe not the case with poor Notaras Jr., who allegedly got put to death after refusing Mehmed’s advances), but these same ppl don’t bat an eye, in fact esteem these thugs precisely for their well-documented mass-murder acts for personally and/or through orders killing/torturing ppl, without care for their suffering, or even while righteously delighting in it? What rings more evil?

    • When studying any great empire in history, one can rely on sources written by the embittered whom they conquered, or they can rely upon the record of the conquerors themselves, or they can rely upon independent witness. A true historian takes all of the above and assesses their veracity objectively in order to glean an accurate picture of what events and scenarios occurred. I find it unfortunate that you have relied entirely upon the witness of those who made no attempt to hide their hatred for the Turks and Muslims as a whole, but that is your choice and I won’t criticize you for it. I will just opine that it is a flawed perspective. Thanks.

      • Hi Shilbi,

        Thanks for your reply!

        I agree with you that one must seek out as wide a range of evidence as possible, if one hopes to gain objective insights into the why’s and how’s of any sort of event, whether past or present, and all the more so when dealing with contentious political matters.

        In the case of Vlad, most if not all accounts left to us are written by parties that had legitimate grudges against him, strong motives to seek revenge or besmirch his reputation for their political gain, or even, in the case of the emerging printing press, simply sell more copies by stretching the truth for shock appeal. This does not mean that they did all or any of that, but one must remain aware of potential for distortion.

        Ottoman muslim chroniclers are therefore in good company here, and would be expected to come with their own biases; after all, one could hardly expect the sultans to pay someone to write flattering accounts of their enemies.

        Indeed, in the few muslim sources I encountered myself until now as pertaining to the subject, namely the translations included in Colin Imber’s collection The Crusade of Varna, 1443-45, epithets such as “accursed infidels”, “pig”, “vile” and “ill-omened” abound when Muslims write about Europeans; while they give valuable insight into their then points of view, these points of view can hardly be deemed sober or objective.

        The European chroniclers encountered were biased as well, as expected, but it may be a cultural trait in that, personally anyway, I found the Muslims more colourful in their descriptions… Then again, when you’re going to someone’s land to “conquer,” ie, break down strangers’ doors to murder, rape, enslave, loot and claim their ancestral habitat for yourself, whether in the name of religion or anything else, there’s greater need to justify yourself and even appease your own conscience by dehumanizing the chosen “enemy”.

        The same patterns of behaviour have been adopted, time and again, by all imperialists, so I am not trying to single out the ottoman Muslims, except for their being the particular subject of this conversation. There are quite a few examples where european colonialists have gone to much lower depths of degradation – for instance, when carving up Africa – but, at least, on can dissect their misdeeds with some objective distance today, since they are not absolved as motivated by the eternal commands of an unquestionable and unverifiable supernatural entity.

        It is up to anyone interested in history to read as widely as possible and form their own opinions about what might be the common kernel of truth at the bottom of it all, and yes, interpretation bias in the reader matters as much as in the writers themselves.

        The reason I wrote here, in fact, was precisely to widen my own perspective. I am curious to learn more about the sources that have informed your own account, especially considering that some of the events you relate (specifically, the part about Vlad learning impalement from his brother) don’t match up to any of the accounts I’ve read myself and even contradict what I thought was pretty uncontroversial chronology.

        I’ve read all I could find, and yes, it is unfortunate that little to no material from muslim sources seems to be available to the public in English (or French, or German, or Romanian, I can read those too, if you’ve got references!) I did not deliberately ignore muslim chroniclers out of prejudice, if that is what you fear. On the contrary, I would be grateful if you have some hints.

        I case you wonder about my own interpretation biases, I am aware that I must have plenty that I’m as yet unaware of myself, and if you can point some out, I’d be happy to consider them. After all, it is the person that learns something that has the most to gain.

        Only by striking up conversations and comparing arguments and asking questions, and making a constant effort to remain open-minded, even when that means that one’s core foundational paradigms are vulnerable to get shaken from time to time – though only to rebuild them stronger! – can one hope to progressively improve one’s understanding and fairness of perception and judgment. In case you were curious, since it seems pertinent to the subject at hand: no, I don’t personally make exceptions for any particular religion, though, as with all fair arguments, I would be open to engage you or any other reader that would like to share their reasons for proceeding otherwise.

    • Silf, help me up here with links/references.
      This is not true:
      – Vlad II didn’t give sons freely, he give them in slavery in Ottoman Empire as political hostages as a security that he will be loyal to Ottomans against Hunyadi.
      (sorce: Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times – Florescu, Radu R.)
      – Vlad III wasn’t convert to Islam, just Radu.
      – impaling, in those days and before, was practised in Byzantine (and Ottoman Empire) before Vlad III started it
      – Vlad III did rise against Ottomans because he hated them, not because money. As you wrote: “The young Dracula continually abused and rebelled against his hosts earning himself imprisonment and castigation. Due to the heavy handedness of the Turks in response to his insolence, he developed a compounded and complex series of grudges.” Many of landowners (boyars) and merchants had money but they couldn’t buy they lives from Dracula (because they sinned)
      – Vlad III never did see his brothers and father after he was send to Ottomans, he return to Wallachia after theirs deaths.
      – there’s other records how he died; that he was killed by his men mistaken him for a Ottoman and, other, that boyars paid to kill him. So maybe Muslims didn’t kill Dracula.
      – Radu The Hansome died of a syphilis, was bisexual, most likely as Sultan Mehmet II

      Silf can you give more links about Dracula, I’m also doing research. Thank you

      P.S. I’m not defending Dracula, he was firs class sadist.

      P.P.S. Mr. Zaman, can I ask you about your faith? In Quran (written in 7 century AD) is written that Dawud and Sulayman were Muslims (practising Islam). Right? In Tora (last book written in, about, 3rd century BC) is written that David and Solomon were Jews (religion). One book is wrong. Right? Thank you

  • How the Muslim killed Dracula?

    “As it was then, so it is now. In spite of the obvious Signs of Allah, people who are blind in their obstinate resistance to Truth accomplish their own destruction, while humble, persecuted men of Faith are transformed by the Light of Allah, and obtain salvation.
    Nothing that the powers of Evil can do, will ever defeat the merciful Purpose of Allah. Evil, in resisting good, will effect its own destruction.”
    — Basic principle in Physical Law of Universe? Well if you don’t agree, we simply ceased to exist. ‘Connecting the dot.’

  • Subhanallah, reveal the true story to believe. May Allah protect us always and muslim will reunited for all of kind threat inside and outside.. ameen

  • From a Romanian point of view he was a hero who defended his homeland. The Turks weren’t some friendly people that happened to come to Europe, they were invaders that besides taking the land they wanted to take the people’s religion as well. Radu was the traitor who gave up his religion, since the article seemed to blame the impalor for not sticking to Islam, which wasn’t his religion to begin with. He set up a system much like your sharia where stealing, adultery and other such actions were severely sanctioned, often by death. Now that I think of it it might have been his Islamic upbringing which gave him those crazy ideas, but I digress. When you have an invader 10 times your size knocking at the door you won’t ask him politely to leave or face him head on… You use every method you have including guerrilla warfare, poisoning wells, burning everything în sight so the horses have no food and also psychological warfare which was the whole forest of impaled bodies business. Also to note that almost no leader back în those days stood up against the Ottoman Empire, so he was a pretty amazing character în many ways and thorn în the turks’s side which makes him a hero în my book.

    • That’s certainly the Hollywood version of the story but it’s not reality. I highly recommend you read this article. In it, you’ll read that Vlad Ţepeş’ father and house had an alliance with the Turks and while Radu honored that, Vlad betrayed it. So the rebel and traitor was Vlad, not just against the Turks, but of his own family and their alliances.

      • Precisely. He was a rebel and traitor to the Turks and his father. But not to the Romanian People. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter and all. Even today he is celebrated as a hero in Romania …

  • Masha’Allah what a great story. I wonder how many untold great stories are there in the glorious past of our ummah. If this happened in the span of just under 100 years, there must be so many other stories and gems to be discovered in the long history or our ummah.

  • Waiting for film publisher(Muslim or not) to combat false history and uplifting true one. Hopefully, the brave, the talented one takes this challenge to uplift dignity of self, others and film industry.

  • You’re statements that Dracula abandoned the Muslim faith for Christianity only because of opportunity is not based in any historical fact. In fact the most reputable historical information all lends to the credence that Dracula chose Christianity because he himself was repulsed by Muslims. And it is well documented that he and his brothers were forced and essentially sold to the Ottoman Empire as young boys and were prisoners forced against their wishes. Later Dracula abandoned and fought them for his own belief system and religious faith.

    • Vladimir,

      You say that what the author says is not based on historical fact when his article is meticulously referenced using historical sources. You have yet to provide evidence on the historical information you have. If we are going to have this discussion we should at least try to be academic and not polemical.

    • Mr. Pushkin,

      As Jinan has mentioned, everything in the article is very thoroughly referenced and all the books in the English language which I have cited are readily available through various academic libraries and even on Amazon.com.

      I find it strange that you said: “it is well documented that he and his brothers were forced and essentially sold to the Ottoman Empire as young boys and were prisoners forced against their wishes.”

      If it is so “well documented” then would you care to share any of that information? It would be truly ironic for you to question what I have copiously provided references for only to yourself make a completely unfounded claim in the complete absence of any evidence. But I am afraid that is exactly what has transpired here. Thank you.

    • As we know Vldimir Pushkin , as most russians consider hima as the gratest founder of russian literature was the grandson of Ephioan muslim,bought be Russian csar Petr 1 (was the granson of Georgian King )andn the greates gran son Ivan Grozniy,who was as the son of person from Golden Horde,converted to Christianity.Russians always hate muslims and especially Turks.I would as the question to you.Puskin priased himself as the great lover of Islam,Lev Tolstoy, annafemed- removed from Christianity due to love to Islam, and Tugeniyev,whose origin derives from Turkish-Golden Horde, hate Islam and Turkish people .Why? if You have close very close blood ties coming from centuries.Why You hate Islam, when All greatest writers of Russia always admire and love Islam.

  • As salam and humble greetings,

    Just watched ‘D Untold’ with my wife a few hours back. I was explaining to her that events and characters in the film were conflated, exaggerated and simply made up. And, I’m not even a full-fledged historian!

    This is a breath of fresh air. Your analysis and interpretation of albeit limited knowledge of the subject matter is a testament to the Muslim tradition of seeking the ultimate truth.

    Ultimately, the story of ‘Dracula’ will be told and retold until God knows when…

    Thank you for trying to approach this subject from a more academic and measured viewpoint.

    Let the discussion continue sans the Hollywood big-budget small-story popcorn-movie treatment!

  • As Salaam,
    Jazakallah hu khayran kathira for all the time and effort spent for such interestingly written, researched backed history of Drackula and the significant role Muslims played in battling against this form of darkness to mankind. My hope for your article to be widely spread throughout available media. The least we can do to minimise the act of romanticizing Dracula and his species alike.

  • Truth will always prevail and falsehood is destined to perish!
    Thank you for the well researched and written article. Blessings on all conveyors and sustainers of humanities truths. Amein.

  • The assumption is that Vlad rose up against the ottomans for gold. I took the time to read the whole text. You forgot to mention the part where the ottomans were invading a foreign land across the Danube not to build houses, to help building hospitals and schools, to water the cattle and to tend the crops… the plain truth is that they were in fact invading for gold – jizya.

    It is not your fault as a descendant of the turks and not my fault either as a romanian, but try to abstain from portraying the ottoman empire as a civilizing force and Vlad as a blood thirsty tyrant. The truth is that Vlad was a small ruler trying to resist the ottoman’s horde expansion (expansion= need for more gold to pay expenses) by any means. He did that quite successful for some time.
    The historical fact is not about a bloody tyrant, it is about a small ruler with a small army of peasants resisting the mighty horde of invaders or die trying. He did just that… died trying.

    • Adrian, you say you “took the time to read” but then immediately say “the ottomans were…in fact invading for gold – jizya.” This means you probably didn’t even read up to even the third paragraph. Had you actually bothered to read that far you would have read that the Ottomans didn’t conquer Romania and annex it. The House of Drăculești was allied with the Ottomans and the Ottomans actually fought John Hunyadi to put Vlad Dracul, Vlad Ţepeş’s father, upon the throne. If it weren’t for the Ottoman’s Vlad Ţepeş would have never been a prince in the first place and he would have been a groveling subject of John Hunyadi and both the Houses of Hunyadi and Basarab.

      The only time the Ottoman’s invaded was when Vlad Ţepeş rebelled. And then what did they do? Annex Romania? They could have easily, but they didn’t. They placed Vlad Ţepeş’s brother, Radu, upon the throne to rule as Voivod of Wallachia.

      I really shouldn’t have to give you “Cliffnotes”. The article isn’t really that long. Please give it a read because I know you haven’t read it yet.

      • @Shibli Zaman
        As I already said in the original comment (the one you censored)the ottoman empire was expanding and needed A LOT of gold for that. They hit the natural barrier formed by the Danube and further expansion was not practical for any number of reasons. Because of that the sultans were trying to control the border formed by Wallachia and Moldavia by keeping hostage of the rulers sons (that is a fact)… that effectively kept them in check, making an impossible choice for them to ally with the hungarian or the pols for fear of loosing their bloodlines. But you forgot to mention that and went with the “he even offered his own two sons, Dracula and Radu, to serve in their army and to be raised as Muslims”. It was never an offering, it was a request made by the sultans to put them at ease with the disobedient rulers north of the Danube. He was not made prince by the ottomans, it was his birthright and that made him such a valuable hostage.
        Of course there was an occasional traitor betraying their own people and converting to islam just to get supported to the throne – Radu III.
        At the confluence of three empires: the ottomans, the hungarians and the polish, Wallachia and Moldavia did all sort of alliances and bertrays just to stay independent and unoccupied by foreigners.
        The stories about Vlad III were some sort of slander supported by the hungarians.
        Vlad III did some horrific stuff by modern standards but in the day that was common practice. Beheading is just as bad, but impaling makes for a more lasting emotional impact. The turks invented that as a special treat and Vlad made it his choice to repay them for the years spent as hostage in Istanbul.
        “The only time the Ottoman’s invaded…” – they invaded a lot and were in fact trying to convert to islam anyone they could (see Bosnia). It didn’t work in Wallachia and Moldavia.
        One more hole in your text: “an invading Muslim army demanding the children of the poor conquered Christians from whom Vlad Ţepeş…supposedly rises as a rebel leader. This is pure nonsense.” ever heard of the janissary corps?

        • Based on everything you wrote above, I’m sure you read the historical books. AND Im sure you DIDNT read many of Islamic book which refers to the meaning and purpose of JIZYA and WHY Islam continuously INVADE(as what you called it) other country or empire at that time. You should refer to all sources from all religion in order to have enough academic knowledge to make an opinion. WAllahuA’lam. Thanks.

        • To me an invasion is an invasion, there is no why. No justification for those who did abhorrent acts. Jizya! Wasn’t it the same as protection money in modern context imposed among gangsters? Why would someone need to pay for not believing and practicing their faith and so these rightist muslims thought their islam is the best in the world and everyone should follow and the film is bad just becos it has potrayed something bad about muslims? Oh come on!!!

  • Ok only a quick glance at the primary sources provided, Sfranzis and his Major Chronicle tears appart this argument. The Major Chronicle is a fake, or more specifically and apocryphe. I would also note the lack of “western” sources and generally the militant tone regarding Vlad Tepes and his “ways”, that coincide with the “western” portraying of his “torments”. This is the crux of East/West schism when it comes to proto-nationalism. The other such example would be Gjorgj Kastrioti aka Skanderbeg (in western patois) which has been described by German authors in very schizophrenic ways. When in line with the papal authority, Christian Champion and when trying to get an alliance with Naples and Aragon as a murderous thug. So again, this islamic view on who was who in regards to our Balkanic “heroes” is frankly non-sense. These men were medieval characters, ruthless people with far less ethial and moral fiber than what they’re sold but also no worse and that’s an euphemism than the people they were fighting. Starting by how A “historian” was writing in jail his “history of dracula”…Second, while you seem interested in Treptow’s historiography, one pretty amazing fact is that you should read his work on Ion Antonescu. It is satirically bad, but worse, it is a copy paste structure from his Dracula format…Third, McNally and Florescu’s book were more fiction than actually research, as both men were NOT allowed in ROmanie in th 70’s. Last but not least Only one reference cand be salvaged and some, that being Stoicescu, there again his work is a problematic one, given the nature of Romanian regime, most evident in his Courtisans and Servants in Romanian army.

    • Besnik, mirë se vjen. Thank you for sharing your negative opinions about each of those sources. However, what is puzzling is that you offer no sources that you would actually consider reliable. I sense there are none because, frankly, history may not have happened the way you’d have wanted it to.

      Rather than going down the list and saying, “He’s no good. Nope. I don’t like that one either, etc” How about you address whatever parts of the article you find to be inaccurate and I can respond? But please do so with some verifiable sources. With all due respect, your opinion –though appreciated– isn’t enough. Faleminderit.

  • I will be watching it. Its a science fiction. More akin to 300 or the immortals then braveheart. enjoy a sci fi action film for what it is. Just that.

  • I am utterly impressed the way you have explained the twisted historical events. In the current era of media being the power house; Muslims are lagging behind from the west by decades. Until this gap is filled, we will have to listen to our realities from the polarised media of west.

  • I am now very sorry that I have replied on this forum where moderators can crop your message to the point that the meating of the text changes…

    • Dear Adrian,

      This is the comment moderation policy:

      “At SuhaibWebb.com, we encourage and value the comments of our readers. Comments will be moderated for relevance, obscenity, libel or hateful and defamatory language. Do not submit commercial, off-topic or other copyrighted material.
      All comments are published at the discretion of SuhaibWebb.com. Comments are the opinions of the individuals leaving them and do not necessarily reflect the views of SuhaibWebb.com or its content providers.”

      While your comment had relevant points, some statements were not conducive to a respectful discussion. We wanted to ensure that you have your say and thus kept the main points. However, we reserve the right to edit any disrespectful comments towards the author to allow for a fruitful conversation.

    • It always helps to avoid insults and, in place of that, quote some sources that substantiate your point. It’s a whole lot more effective. I look forward to what interesting references you can share.

  • WOW! Really interesting well written article – thank you.

    I just wish people would see everything documented in the article for what is truly is but alas its not like that.

    Ill be watching the movie soon but from a different perspective and can’t agree more with what Dr. Airil Haimi Adnan said “Let the discussion continue sans the Hollywood big-budget small-story popcorn-movie treatment!”

  • This seem to be biased because is a well known fact that Ottomans did impale people. Knowing this why not consider that is possible Vlad Tepes actually learned it while living among them. He was definitely a monster but in some ways so was Mehmed II, although his philosophy of religious tolerance was good. You will find many sources mentioning the torture methods of the Ottomans which included impaling.

  • Since when has Hollywood bothered to let the truth get in the way of their films. Dracula Untold is just the latest in a huge line of films where the truth has been substituted for what serves the American agenda.
    Just look at films like Brave Heart, The Patriot, U571, even the Disney cartoons pay little heed to the stories they plagerise.
    It is hard to believe that Hollywood doesn’t have an agenda that changes with the political climate. The Russians were demonised and could do no good deed, then you had the Brit bashing phase with Brave Heart etc. There then followed a brief lull where no country was the enemy but all the bad guys had British accents or S African or some dubious none descript accent that could be a mix of several or all of the former countries. Now it is the Muslims, in particular either Arabic or Pakistani/Afghan.In the case os Dracula Untold they have the chance to paint Muslims as the evil bad guys in a continuation of the Crusades.
    Whenever Hollywood releases a film that they claim is historical,based on fact or even based on a novel the first thing we should do is research reliable sources as you can guarantee it will differ greatly from Hollywood’s version of fact or truth

  • Praise and Glory to Allah and his Rasul for now I have the real understanding of this Dracula individual. Numerous times I come across biased historians trying to ‘cleanse’ his name by giving justifications for his gruesome actions. To make it worse, over countless of years Hollywood try to glorify or mystify his name by introducing tragic romance story and etc. Congratulations to the author, Shibli Zaman and anyone who has helped in making this possible. May Allah reward you and your collaborators with Jannah for your efforts have helped another Muslim to come to know the truth.

  • Jazak-khalla khair brother for a very very interesting article. May Allah swt reward Radu (Dracula’s Muslim brother) and Sultan Mehmet II (Sultan Muhammad al-Fatih) and his army ameen.

    I would like to add the actual Islamic name of the ‘Ottoman Empire’ is the Uthmani Khilafah. It is better to refer it to that rather than how the West portrays our proud history.

    The Prophet (saw) said: “The Prophethood will last among you for as long as Allah swt wills, then Allah swt would take it away. Then it will be (followed by) a Khilafah [caliphate] Rashida (rightly guided) according to the ways of the Prophethood. It will remain for as long as Allah swt wills, then Allah swt would take it away.
    Afterwards there will be a hereditary leadership (still Khilafah but not Rashida) which will remain for as long as Allah swt wills, then He will lift it if He wishes.
    Afterwards, there will be biting oppression (Jahilliyah – our current situation, just like the Prophet saw was in before Hijrah), and it will last for as long as Allah swt wishes, then He swt will lift it if He wishes.
    Then there will be a Khilafah Rashida [Guided Caliphs] according to the ways of the Prophethood,” then he kept silent..
    Musnad Ahmad [17680]

    May Allah swt make us (the Ummah) change our current situation so that He swt can change our situation and reunite all the Muslim lands into one Khilafah Rashida State very soon beat the current darkness ameen.

    Then the inhabitants of the planet both Muslims and non-Muslims will rejoice.

  • Well, there are Muslims working on correcting the record but it’s going to take time. Inshallah, we’ll use this as an example of how we have to write our own stories and not allow ourselves to be foils of the media machine.

  • “Who would have thought that 117 years after Dracula was introduced to the western world by Bram Stoker he would ever be seen as a hero.”

    I think it’s a misinterpretation, pretty much like those who were also upset by the fact that the evil literature monster was portrayed as a hero instead of a villain but in the context of the movie trying to focus more on Vlad III and a reinvention of the vampire myth than being a true prequel to Bram Stocker’s book, he is only a hero in that he is a ruling lord doing what any feudal lord would do in his time that is protecting his people (part of the tacit contract between the peasants working for him while knights and lords would assure their protection against any invader). Had Hungarians attacked instead historically it would have been the exact same thing, but it just happened to be the Ottoman empire being linked to Vlad Tepes.

    Moreoever, the movie does actually a good job in avoiding putting religions and beliefs as part of the conflict in this tale, even the Christian faith only briefly appears under the guise of the typical vampire repellent at rare points of the movie but is never heavily put forward or favored.

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