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The Legend of Captain Jack: From Birdy to Sparrow

In the late 16th century a young boy collecting scraps of wreckage from the docks wondered if he’d ever leave Faversham in the borough of Kent, the hottest place in the entire United Kingdom. It was a marshy place of little importance to anyone but the brigand. Its docks were a haven for smugglers and pirates and other such unsavory folk. That boy was John Ward, whose dreams would one day come true, though perhaps not in the way he had wanted; he would become Jack Birdy, the most fearsome pirate in the world, and towards the end of his life, Yusuf Reis, penitent Muslim, wealthy beyond any man’s dreams, spending the remainder of his life in his Tunisian palace.

The legendary Captain Jack Birdy, once sung about by every balladeer in England, might have all but been forgotten, yet his memory remains as the spirit behind the fictional character Captain Jack Sparrow played by Johnny Depp in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise. Who was Johnny Ward, the child rummaging through the fishing docks of Faversham? Who was John Ward, the British Naval officer? Who was Captain John Ward, the privateer endorsed by the Crown of England? Who was Captain Jack Birdy, the privateer turned pirate betrayed by that same Crown? And finally, who was Yusuf Reis, formerly Captan Jack Birdy, formerly Captain John Ward, who would rescue thousands upon thousands of Spanish Jews and Muslims fleeing the Moriscos and Conversos expulsion of the 16th and 17th centuries?These were all one man. With so many characters wrapped in one, the stories of his adventures are exponentially more exciting than anything a Hollywood film could capture.

What follows is a historical dramatization of William Lithgow’s second visit to Tunis as a guest of Captain Jack Ward, five years before his death. Some of the dialogue is interpolated but strongly based on historical fact. Some of the dialogue is verbatim from historical account. Every detail has been painstakingly researched for an accurate portrayal. It is a dramatization, but a historically founded one, no less. Though this begins towards the end of Captain Jack’s life, it is hopefully the beginning of your interest in this legendary man, fictionalized in Hollywood, demonized in Christendom, largely forgotten in the Muslim world. This is but one of many stories about him calling out from history yearning to be told…

“You see, mate. I’ve grown fond of a tiny little birdy, savvy?”
“Oh dear me. What’s her name and should I warn her?”
“No, you dinghy rat! A wee little birdy.”
Little birdy? Captain Jack, do you mean a SPARROW?”

The old man chuckled, not having heard himself addressed as Captain Jack in what seemed to be many a lifetime spent. For now, he was simply Yusuf Reis1, a nobleman of Tunis wealthy beyond any Englishman’s dreams, and husband to Jessimina the Sicilian who was, like him, a renegade from Christendom.2

“Yes. Chicks!

The zany old man, once a great pirate and commander at seas3—albeit, no less the zany one back then —was now just a tired silhouette of what he once was. He seemed happy though, as he lavishly entertained his guest, none other than myself, William Lithgow son of James4, not a pirate, nor a privateer, most definitely not a Turk5, but a Scotsman and a vagabond yearning to sojourn an endless trajectory. I have rummaged my way, by land and sea, from Scotland to the Levant, and now to Africa. Here in Tunis I would enter yet another chapter into my soon legendary journal, The Totall Discourse of the Rare Adventures and Painefull Peregrinations of long Nineteene Years Travayles from Scotland.6 This chapter would be about the eccentric old man before me, once the most feared Barbary Corsair in the world, John Ward – also known as Captain Jack Birdy.7 I had no idea what in Hades all this gobbledygook about “little birdies” was about, but I was eager to learn of his obsession with, for God’s sake of all things, chicks.

“Where are you leading me, Captain Jack? Am I following your drunken stupor?”
“Have you seen me sip gin or rum in the twice you’ve come? Since I traded captain’s hat for turban, I ne’er drank a drop ‘o bourbon.”
“Captain Jack is sober, and a poet no less. Has Christ returned?”

The old man smiled, and in an abstemious, yet telling, mockery of himself he coined something I shall merrily jot in my journal.

I drink water like an ass,
I am shoed like a horse,
I have a coat like a fool,
And a head like an owl!

Captain Jack was a notorious drunkard, cunning and cruel, and taken to tomfoolery. Yet now, water and unfermented nectar were all Captain Jack would drink. The faithful Turk drinks neither ale, nor porter, nor wine, nor ardent spirits of any kind. Yet, he did not need strong drink to be just as mad. “Shoed like a horse” was in reference to the Turk’s shoes which are studded with iron. It is a fearful sight, I must say, lest you find yourself under one. His coat, and Captain Jack always wore an Englishman’s coat, was now the coat of a Turk. This silly, opulent and vain coat made him appear to me a fool, but he seemed to revel and bemuse himself in my outrage. I will not shy from saying that his turbaned head did look like an owl’s.

We first received news of Captain Jack’s and Sir Francis Verney’s apostasies in 1610 when the Venetian Ambassador to England, Marcantonio Correr, wrote the following invective to the Doge and Senate on December 23:

“There is confirmation of the news that the pirate Ward and Sir Francis Verney, also an Englishman [but] of the noblest blood, have become Turks, to the great indignation of the whole nation.”9

Nevertheless, I always thought Captain Jack turned Turk to jeer King James I, who would not pardon him10 and to gain quarter with the King of Tunis, Uthman Dey. Yet, now I see a man adherent to these ways and finding comfort in them. He is refined and lazy in his old age and married to a noblewoman of Palermo to the shock of every sea dog who ever heard his name. Captain Jack married? The Kraken be tamed! Yet, it was true. Captain Jack was a Lord of Tunis living in a palace of the finest varieties of marble and alabaster, and no longer a scourge of the sea. He was what the most madcap of jesters could not concoct: a freebooter and a saint.

We entered a dank barn-like structure that was quite sweltering for this pleasant September day in the year 1615. Ten of Captain Jack’s servants rushed in to help us view what had to have been the most uncanny sight I ever witnessed.  Before us were nearly 500 eggs hatching before my eyes within dozens upon dozens of incubators crafted with the unhallowed science of the Turk. The heat from each oven was answerable to the natural warmness of the hen’s belly; upon which moderation, within twenty days they come to natural perfection.11 Captain Jack, the greatest scoundrel to ever dominate the seas, was now raising chicks. For all the Turks’ barbarism, of which I have heard plenty, I have seen nothing in Barbary but mercantilism, incessant praying–it seems they never stop–and, quite frankly, ordinariness. The stories we hear in England of the Turks’ devilry and excesses are nowhere to be found and my eyes grow tired searching for them. I had hoped to write a tantalizing chapter or two about these provocative oddities but, alas, my inkwell is still full.

It is no mystery to me now why so many from Christendom found succor in the realm of the Turk. Captain Jack, his mate Sir Francis Verney, not to mention Captain Jack’s entire crew, the Dutchmen Meinart Dircxssen now Hasan Reis, and Jan Marinus of Sommelsdijk now known as Assam Reis, the Belgian Murad Flamenco of Antwerp12, as well as the scores of other Christians, all turned renegade from the faith and boasting the Kilij13 of the Corsair and following the religion of Mahomet. The tumult we have seen between Catholic and Protestant, and the flipping between the two as our Kings and Queens pass, are things they will not miss. Though I esteem the Turk to be a marauder who will slay for pittance, they all clamor to pray in their domed Djemats, the courtyards of which, dare I say, are places wherein I could get lost in reflection. They molest neither Protestant nor Catholic here, and Tunis has, this year, become a haven for Conversos, Jews forced to become Catholic or leave Spain under pain of death. Whether it be tolerance or indifference, man is not branded by his God here. Tunis is a bizarre place, yet it is nothing I was told of by my countrymen and brethren in faith. Today, this has further been confirmed to me by the legendary Barbary Corsair who is my host, Captain Jack Birdy, also known as John Ward, privateer then pirate, now Christian turn’d Turk.

As we left that strange aviary and walked through the floral pathway with fountains and rivulets on either side, I looked in the distance and saw Captain Jack’s palace that would turn the Kings and Queens of Christendom green with envy. I had so much to ask Captain Jack, yet such little time it seemed. The sun was now setting. As we approached the grandiose Casbah, Captain Jack stepped off the path towards a fountain, slipped off his iron studded Turkish boots, and handed me his coat. The blasted thing was heavier than it looked.

“I beg your pardon, but we have to make a stop.”
“I follow your lead, Captain Jack.”
“I must pray.”

I marveled at what little was left of the great Captain Jack Birdy in this penitent man. He began washing himself in the way Turks do before prayer. As we entered the citadel Captain Jack looked up to its spiraling minarets and squinted.

“You know, Will. Five years ago to this day I became Muslim in this very citadel, in the Djemat El-Kabir you see over there.”
“That was your choice, Captain Jack, and I will not say it does not vex me. For Christ be the Savior of the world and I feel your heart knows this, as does every gentleman in his core.”
“Mate, the innards of a man are known only to God and the fish who eat them. What I have seen on the high seas, the wars between Pope and Crown, and how they could give each other quarter but could afford me no pardon. I want none from them.”

It is the greatest irony that Captain Jack was seen as the most notorious renegade and traitor of England, yet he believed himself grassed by his country. His scowl of disgust quickly turned to a devilish smirk.

“William, will you join me? Here is where all journeymen such as yourself and I find themselves peace.”
“Pray to Whom you pray, Captain Jack. I will pray to Whom I pray for your salvation.”
“And I for yours. Very well.”

I waited for Captain Jack as he repeatedly bowed and prostrated like a Turk. Looking around at the splendor of the Sultans I marveled at how they had not yet taken the world from end to end. The thought of supping with the nobles and elite of Tunis made me pang with hunger. They were to have yet another lavish party for me as they did thrice before. I could not tire from their scrumptious wheat middling, succulent roasts and glistening fruits, the likes of which I have never seen. As my mind immersed in a leg of lamb, Captain Jack emerged with a grin and a strange glow.

“Come, Will. Supper will be served shortly.”
“This isn’t going to be like the party Yusuf Dey had for Simon the Dancer last year is it?”14
“That is not something to be a rib-ticklin’ about, mate. What happened to Simon Danseker is of no coziness to me or my men, but it was a debt paid. Simon would have had us all hangin’ from the yardarm and feedin’ the fish. He chose his way, savvy?”
“Aye, Captain. Pardon the jest.”

I had to quickly change the subject for it appeared that I had incensed the Captain. There was something about which I dearly wanted to hear: The little known and undocumented journeys of Captain Jack in the unchartered waters of the Western seas.

“Tell me of this proclamation for your capture that mentions ‘piratical activity in the West Indies.’15 I have a copy of it with me.”
“I have no need to see it. I lived it. The Caribbean. Knowing of Sir Francis Drake’s fortunes therewithal, the young scallywag that I was, I wanted to plunder those seas…and I did…quite well.”

As intriguing as this was, and as I was possibly the first person to get true details regarding his journeys in the Caribbean, for some reason I couldn’t get over his obsession with the little birds I had witnessed in the aviary only a few hours before.

“At least now I know why they call you ‘Birdy’.”
“William, do you know what they translate ‘Birdy’ to here? `Asfur. Some locals jokingly call me Jack `Asfur. Jack Sparrow. What an utterly stupid name. I guess that’s what I’ll be remembered as, eh?”
“I think not, Captain Jack. If they tell stories about you, they will most definitely not call you Captain Jack Sparrow.”

We approached the gate and as Captain Jack’s companions, all once Christian, all renegades turned Turk, drew the bridge for us to enter and greeted us with much merriment, the Captain turned to me with the smirk of that fiend whom I thought was all but forgotten.

“Shall I tell you about the Pirates of the Caribbean?”

  1. Pirates of Barbary, Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the Seventeenth-Century Mediterranean, Adrian Tinniswood, p 48 []
  2. Ibid, pp. 51-52. []
  3. Ibid, p. 52. []
  4. Born 1582, Lanark, South Lanarkshire, Scotland; Died 1645, Location disputed. []
  5. “The vast majority of English men and women had no knowledge of Islam. There were no mosques in England. There was no English-language version of the Qur’an­—nor would there be until the 1649 publication of Alexander Ross’s poor English translation of a poor French translation from Arabic, The Alcoran of Mahomet. The word ‘Muslim’ was virtually unknown, English speakers preferring the generic ‘Turk’…To seventeenth-century England, every follower of Islam was a Turk, every Turk a follower of Islam. [Ibid, p. 50] []
  6. Frontispiece from William Lithgow, ‘The Totall Discourse of the Rare Adventures and Painefull Peregrinations of long Nineteene Years Travayles from Scotland’, London, 1632, National Library of Scotland. []
  7. 7. Born 1553, Faversham, Kent; Died 1622, Tunis, Ottoman Empire. []
  8. 8. Barbary Pirate: The Life and Crimes of John Ward, p. 199 []
  9. 9. Ibid. p. 175. []
  10. James I, A Proclomation against Pirats [sic], January 8, 1609. []
  11. The Totall Discourse of the Rare Adventures and painefull Peregrinations of long Nineteene Years Travayles from Scotland, p. 359. []
  12. Pirates of Barbary, Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the Seventeenth-Century Mediterranean,  Adrian Tinniswood, p. 59. []
  13. Kilij – Ottoman sword. []
  14. Simon the Dancer, also known as Simon Danseker, was a companion of Captain Jack Birdy, and equally infamous. He would later turn on the Barbary Corsairs in favor of the royal families of Europe. His betrayal ended up in his doom at the hand of Uthman Dey’s son and heir, Yusuf Dey, who scolded him before a Janissary executed him. Pirates of Barbary, Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the Seventeenth-Century Mediterranean,  Adrian Tinniswood, pp.64-65. []
  15. Bibliotheca nautica: Books, prints and manuscripts relating to naval battles and the science of naval warfare, shipbuilding and the art of navigation, pirates, buccaneers, and privateers, shipwrecks and disasters at sea, p. 54. []

About the author

Shibli Zaman

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. Later in life, much of this time was spent studying Islamic jurisprudence in the Shafi`i and Hanbali schools of law. He has a deep appreciation for different cultures and is literate in several languages such as Arabic, Persian, Pashto and Urdu. Surprising for a Muslim, he is also 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.


  • That time muslims had great action against world terrorism. When the Europe and america is full of out law people and they were failed to control terrorism in water, then Muslims captains had lot contribution to removed terrorist from sea. We should find out whats our past and then need to encourage our younger s to follow those people way

  • I really enjoyed the real story of Dracula, and now the real story of Captain Jack Sparrow! Thanks Br. Shibli for this one.

  • JazakAllahu khairan. This was an amazing read. If you have not already done so, please consider putting a book together. These stories could be formatted for the youth and adults, mashAllah.

  • Salam but I don’t understand this article at all. There’s no intro and you don’t tell what book this is from. I wanted to google the title to find out more but now I’m kind of confused.

    • wa `alaykum as-salam,

      Thank you so much for your comment and I’m glad you voiced your concern. This article is original material, authored by me, and is not an excerpt from any book, though it contains some actual quotes of William Lithgow and Captain Jack as well as other real citations from historical works. It is a dramatization based upon real facts and historical events. It is all backed by references in the footnotes which the reader is free to peruse.

      The point of the piece is to present small taste of buried and little known historical information about the real Captain Jack in the hopes that it will inspire the reader to want to read and research more on the subject.

      I may write more, as this takes place 30 years after Captain Jack’s piracy in the Caribbean and 5 years before he died in Tunis. There are many of stories to tell inbetween. If the readers want more, I’ll write more, God willing 🙂

        • هل يتعب القلم من عدد كبير من القصص التي رويت عن الكابتن جاك-يعني يوسف رئيس؟ أقول لكم أيها القراء الأعزاء: نعم


      • el-salaam 3alayko

        YESHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH we want more
        ^^ thank you for giving such great infos. this is the 1st time i know these with full proves and details. heard it b4 abt this, but wasnt rly sure. and insha Allah, i am sure now~ 🙂

        may Allah bless you and everyone involved in this work always.. ameen

    • Jack Sparrow is the Hollywood character. Jack Birdy is the historical figure who inspired the Hollywood character played by Johnny Depp. “Birdy” became “Sparrow”. You can read a brief synopsis of Jack Ward a.k.a. Jack “Birdy” on Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Ward

  • SubhanAllah! Mast time it was Dracula, and now the one we now call Jack Sparrow! This is amazing, they should make a movie about this story! Once again, it’s crazy how we’ve been deprived of our own hisstory! Please write more insh’Allah, I love these types of posts=)

    • Nayma, there’s a book that might be a bit hard to find but it is a fantastic book documented much of Captain Jack’s life since childhood. Its called “Barbary Pirate: The Life and Crimes of John Ward, the Most Infamous Privateer of His Time” by Greg Bak. I also highly recommend “Pirates of Barbary, Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the Seventeenth-Century Mediterranean” by Adrian Tinniswood which gives a very detailed account of Captain Jack’s conversion to Islam at the hands of Uthman Dey in Tunis. When God commanded us “Read!”, little did mankind know how thrilling it would be 🙂

        • Good find! The picture you see of William Lithgow on the cover was drawn by his own hand. It seems he eventually warmed up to the idea of having “the head of an owl” and “a coat like a fool” 😉

      • Brother Shibli, jazakaLlahu khayr for this wonderful article. I enjoyed it very much. You may have come across the following written by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad of Cambridge. I read it years ago, but didn’t connect it to Capt. Jack Sparrow until I read your article!
        For all the history buffs out there, here’s another aspect of this story from the larger milieu of its socio-religious-political context:

      • My suename is ward and while searching my family tree i found my G G G G grandfather was born in faversham kent in 1771 his name was also John ward son of a fisherman could i be related as Captain jack was also son of a fisherman

        • That’s uncanny! But, according to historical dates, John Ward a.k.a. “Jack Birdy” was born around 200 years prior in the mid-1500’s. But as unreliable as historical dating can be and as hard Jack Birdy –as well as his English royal adversaries– would have tried to obfuscate his origins and legacy…anything is possible! Thanks for sharing that amazing information. Please do more research and let us know what you find!

  • SubhanAllah!
    JazakAllah Khayr for sharing your insight into the real story and I know we are surely intrigued. Your article has made me research further and JazakAllah Khairan to all the Brs/Srs for their comments and recommendations with regards to further readings.

    May Allah bless you all and bring good tidings your way, ameen.

  • How come no muslim is volunteering to make a film like in hollywood based on true facts which is more exciting than fiction. Islamic history is so rich and interesting you can make 10 films when Hollywood comes up with one.

  • “I think not, Captain Jack. If they tell stories about you, they will most definitely not call you Captain Jack Sparrow.”

    LMAO, that’s a classic line!

  • Brother Shibli, I can’t thank you enough for this magnificent piece of literature. It’s truly excellent on so many levels! The language is beautiful, the dialogue, the historical facts & setting. I recently read an article about Thomas Jefferson and how he had one of the first English translated Qurans in his library. It was one of his first purchases in the early years of his study of law. He was hungry to read about all the laws of man and nature – including Greek mythology and philosophy. It is worth mentioning that he exerted himself to learn Arabic to study the Quran in its original script. I’ve seen that this fact did not sit well with many who are ignorant about Islam and they tried to ‘excuse’ TJ’s Quran ownership to that he needed to study it in order to deal with the Barbary Pirates who called themselves Muslims and ‘used’ the Quran to try to justify their actions/attacks. Anyway, these dealings happened decades later after Jefferson’s purchase of the Quran. In your study of the Barbary pirates of the late 17th century – what was the connection to Islam? Had these thugs just hijacked the faith and used it to their advantage? Also, do you know if the then Yusuf Reis was speaking out against piracy? He may have been long gone by this incident.
    Thank you once again for this high-brow read! I have read it several times and enjoy it more each subsequent time! 🙂

    • Lori, it brings me great joy that you’ve found some value in what I have written. Regarding Thomas Jefferson’s studies into the Qur’an, he purchased and studied George Sale’s translation 40 years before becoming president. It is recorded that following the Stamp Act of 1765 left him dissilusioned With English law and prompted him to seek justice in other traditions.

      “Jefferson acquired his Qur’an not long after the injustice of the Stamp Act had forced him to question seriously the heritage of English constitutional law and to seek ultimate answers in the ideas of natural law and natural rights. Given the fact that he was devoting most of his time to the study of law, Jefferson could justify studying the Qur’an simultaneously because it, too, was a lawbook. Being, as Muslims believe, the revealed word of God, the Qur’an not only constitutes the sacred scripture of the Islamic faith, it also forms the supreme source of Islamic law. Wanting to broaden his legal studies as much as possible, Jefferson found the Qur’an well worth his attention.

      Reading the Qur’an also let him continue studying the history of religion. Entries he made in his literary commonplace book about the same time he purchased Sale’s Koran show that he was seeking to reconcile contradictions between history and scripture thatwere becoming increasingly apparent to him. His curiosity about Islam is consistent with the interest the commonplace book reflects regarding how traditional religious customs and beliefs are transmitted from one culture to another.”
      [Kevin J. Hayes, “How Thomas Jefferson Read the Qur’an,” Early American Literature vol. 39 (2004); 248]

      He became President of the United States 40 years later in 1801. I am sure his studies into the Qur’an 40 years prior had helped him understand the Barbary Pirates during his presidency, but the piracy of the Mediterranean did not lead him to study the Qur’an. This is a polemic that does not stand up to historical scrutiny.

      Regarding the Barbary Corsairs, any serious study reveals that they were the “Robin Hoods” of their day, stealing from the rich and powerful and giving to the indigent and weak. Adrian Tinniswood says in his fabulous work “Pirates of Barbary, Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the Seventeenth-Century Mediterranean”:

      “The white West regards them as the irreconcilable Other–not rebels against authority but plain criminals, not brave Robin Hoods (that would make us the Sheriff of Nottingham), but cowardly thieves. When the old pirates of the Barbary described themselves as mujahideen on the sea-jihad against encroaching Christendom, Christendom portrayed them as demons bent on world domination; when modern-day Somali pirate chiefs say that the real sea-bandits are those who steal their fish stocks and pollute their coastal waters, we patronize them and then send a gunboat. An underlying racism and a more overt anti-Islamism make it hard to imagine captain Blood or Jack Sparrow as North African Muslims, spolling over into contemporary popular culture.”

      We also must look at how Thomas Jefferson handled the situation of the Barbary Corsairs attacking American ships. Did he completely ignore the urgent needs of a newly founded America and send in the U.S. naval fleet to make war with the Corsairs? Au contraire, rather than making war, he made friends. He and John Adams drafted a treaty with the Sultan of Morocco which is still in effect to this day as the longest standing treaty in U.S. history. Sorry for the lengthy reply, but your question required it. This subject could be an article in itself.

      • Masha allah. your lenghty replies are equally so informative and interesting I must thank Lori for letting out more jewels from our brother Shibli. May Allah swt reward you immensely in both worlds for your efforts.

  • Thank you so much for responding at length! I appreciate you taking the time to do so. I would love to see if I could figure out what Thomas Jefferson may have derived from the Quran and applied. I looked at the Library of Congress website to see if I could “look inside” his Quran and see what he may have noted on the sides, but the site didn’t let me page through. Thank you for exploring this tangent with me!

  • Masha’ Allah this was a brilliant piece brother. It paints such a lively picture in my mind. And the comments and responses, including the ones regarding Jefferson, are gems in themselves. Amazing really. I would also like to do some further research into this subject, insha’Allah. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story! Jazak Allahu Khairan!

  • Yet another classic after the timeless Dracula story. Well done Shibli Zaman! It occurred to me that the Gen Y Muslims would be more drawn to seek out Islam through writings such as these, since many parts of it were demonised or even erased from mainstream history books.

    It is therefore incumbent upon you and those in the know to bring it out again and show it to all for what it really was. All I pray is to be involved in some way or another, however minuscule, if you are indeed taking on that journey.

    May the barakah of Allah SWT be with you and your family always.

  • Oh my God! You’re such of freaking nerd! 😛

    But, glad to know more about this capt! It’s amazing! MasyaAllah! I would like to spread this article more! And now I’m trying to translate it to Indonesian, since not many of us have been really good in English! Need your permission first.. So, may I???


  • Hey guys, awesome work, Thanks for bringing to light so much of important history, May Allah reward you for your efforts

  • […] Atas alasan sejarah itulah, pembuat film “Pirates of the Carribean: Stranger Tides” menyisakan sedikit ikon muslim pada diri Jack Sparrow alias Yusuf Rais. Jack memakai aksesoris dengan simbol bulan-bintang, sorban merah (tren pakaian muslim masa lalu), dan janggut. Tingkah slenge’an Yusuf Rais juga ditiru habis-habisan oleh Johny Depp saat berperan sebagai Jack Sparrow.(Sumber 1) […]

  • Subhanallah… “And that was without even a single drop of rum”…

    Yes, I’ve watched the movie many times, and the greatest of pirate traditions, it was a pirated copy. Savvy!

  • Assalamu alaykum,
    Jazakumullahu khairan for the excellent article. If it’s not too much trouble, could you also please cite which dialog was verbatim and which dialog was interpolated? I’m really curious and interested.

  • Dear Al-Fadhil Ustadz,

    This was an amazing discovery about Captain Jack .. but how come now only we hear good historical write-up about our previous manipulated Muslim warrior/savior ? Anybody else that you can add-on to your research that has been manipulated by film makers ? But anyway, good works and well done. Syukran and jazakamullah khairan

  • Good research. If yr resources permit, may I suggest more research be done on identifying Zulqarnain, Noah’s Ark etc. i.e. historical characters from the Quran. I noticed that praises were made on the pre-muslim Yusof, not on his muslim person. I do not see the value of highlighting the muslim person but in the end leading the readers to his deeds before being a muslim. Perhaps if you can research more on his conversion to Islam.

  • I hope that the author of dracula and this one should keep an original copy or digital copy of references. Hope you can and others collect all of references and even if we could buy all of the reference book especially the digitalized one then we can share it to others.

    and I hope we can even reveal more of the history of our brothers.

    And im hoping to have a jeferson history here in suhaibwebb.

  • Jack Sparrow was an American fisherman who became a privateer during the war with the english. He raided areas in the Caribean and as far North as Nova Scotia. He is buried in Masschusetts. Jack Ward, the Englishman was often referred to as King of the Barbary Corsairs. He was notorius for his piracy in the Mediteranean. There is no record of his ever having been in the Caribean.

  • So many ppl talking about islam or muslims stuff.The turth is all was ottoman and the Turks.You have to study and understand Ottoman(Turks) Government..How we made a Ppls muslim and make em become a Turk..You know on past Christans were Calling GENERally muslims as TURK..so we not rly fully same as Arabs or other muslims which you must understand..And we never forgat how you Betrayed ottoman(turks) with England*Lowrance and with other Europens..if you miss the past and history firstly you try to understand what you did for Turks and islam and why we Lost our power..

  • Salaam Alaik Shibli!
    May almighty increase ur knowledge n wisdom.

    i must say dat am very happy to have read this article abt Sparrow… Would you pls confirm d originality of Zul kornayn as described in suratul Kahf.
    The tefsir i read about him traced him to be ALEXANDRA THE GREAT. What do u think

    • Zulkarneyn wasn’t Alexander..he is OguzKhan..The ancient ancient of Turkish leader..Zulkarneyn means 2 Horn like Oghuz khan sybol 2 horn..The Turan ( New Moon symbol on Turks ) Coming From Horns..Zulkarneyn and his life same a Oghuzkhan on Runic tablets..

  • so many captian Jacks….. but no Captain Jack Harkness……

    Anyway , this is sooo school , how Islam combined with Pirates Of The Carrabin. 😛 totally awesome .

  • Assalamualaikum Shibli Zaman. Ive heard that the symbol “P” at Jack’s hand (based on the movie ) brings certain meaning and hidden knowledge about who actually the real Jack Sparrow is. Seems that he maybe have some occasion with the East India Company, and what are the significant involvement with the Malay Archipelago in South East Asian kingdom and empire? Based on Malaysian hidden historical records, the Johorean Empire and the Malaccan Empire has something to do with these involvement. If you find any source about this kindly informed me.

    One more thing, about the fountain of youth in the movie Pirates of Carribean, its actually based on Islamic fiction as the fountain referred by unknown sufis the one that Al-Khidr drink and become youth until the day of judgement.

    Why is that is been told in the movie? Based on fictional records that both Al-Khidr r.a and Zulkarnain r.a racing thru the world to seek this miracle fountain and by Allah will, Al-Khidr found it and drink. Thus he became young.

    Kindly advise. Wallahualam.

    • For the story behind movie-Jack and some of the mysterious elements of his former life referenced in the films, try reading the book, “The Price of Freedom” by A. C. Crispin. While the book is not officially the prequel to the movies, it is highly researched in what happens in them, along with many accurate historical elements. It tells the story of how Jack gets to the place he is in during the first movie, starting when he was in his early 20’s. I am in the middle of reading it, and it has answered many of my questions. Although it is a little long, it is very intriguing and I highly recommend it.

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