City of Brass

City of Brass


Captain Jack Sparrow was (based on a real) muslim pirate

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

Earlier I’d linked to an amusing graphic making the case that Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean fame was possibly a crypto-muslim. As it turns out, though, Suhaib Webb has a much more indepth analysis of the real historical inspiration for Jack Sparrow: Captain Jack Birdy.

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.

Ward grew up on the docks, became a British naval officer, then a privateer, and then after a sordid betrayal, a feared pirate.. and converted to Islam afterwards. As Webb points out, the real life of Captain Birdy/Yusuf Reis had several Hollywood movies’ worth of adventure and intrigue. It would be amazing if someone were to bring his real, non-fiction story to the big screen.



  • Pingback: Johnny Depp Ward became the pirate Captain Jack… « Talk Islam

  • http://www.suhaibwebb.com Managing Editor for SuhaibWebb.com

    Assalamu `alaykum,

    The author for this article is actually Shibli Zaman, not Shaykh Suhaib Webb.

    JazakAllahu khayr

  • http://www.magazinesforkids.info/ Foxd Kerimg

    I am really loving the theme/design of your site. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems? A couple of my blog visitors have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any suggestions to help fix this problem?

Previous Posts

Post-Ramadan reflections
Welcome back, readers :) My apologies for being so AWOL from blogging. This past Ramadan I had genuinely been able to ramp up my iba

posted 9:48:39am Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Tweeting the Qur'an #ttQuran
My friend Hussein Rashid launched the idea of Tweeting the Qur’an a few years ago and the idea has steadily caught on, and even at

posted 1:04:00pm Jul. 10, 2014 | read full post »

The Criterion: reading the Qur'an is the foundation of ibadat in Ramadan
Ramadan is one-third over. Unlike past years, I've not written as much about my observances this year because I've been dedicated to

posted 1:00:20pm Jul. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Nominations now open for the 11th Annual Brass Crescent Awards
The Brass Crescent Awards is an annual awards ceremony that honors the best writers and thinkers of the emerging Muslim blogosphere (aka the Islamsphere). Nominations are taken from blog readers, who then vote for the winners. Founded in 2004 by myself and Shahed Amanullah, the Brass Crescent Awa

posted 5:18:45am Jun. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Ramadan Kareem from the Democratic Party and President Obama
The official twitter handle of the Democratic Party (@TheDemocrats) just posted this Ramadan Kareem message quoting President Obama: https://twitter.com/TheDemocrats/status/482895697222443008 "Ramadan reminds us of our shared responsibility to treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves an

posted 4:00:46pm Jun. 28, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.