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Controversy Persists Over Whether the British Royal Family Is Descendant to Prophet Muhammad

Rend Beiruti Rend Beiruti
13th September 2022
Controversy Persists Over Whether the British Royal Family Is Descendant to Prophet Muhammad
The circulating claim lacks evidence and facts (The Daily Mail).

Note: The views and opinions expressed in blog/editorial posts are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the views or opinions of Misbar.

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022, social media accounts have circulated a nearly four-decade-old belief that she is a descendant of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed.

This allegation resurfaces online whenever Queen Elizabeth II is the subject of mainstream media coverage. It was first claimed in 1986 by journalist Harold B. Brooks-Baker, publisher of Burke's Peerage, a genealogical guide to the royal family. It was later popularized in 2018 when historian Abdelhamid Al-Aouni reported in the Moroccan newspaper Al Ousboue. Following that, the story was re-shared by numerous global news outlets, including The Economist and The Australian. This assertion, however, has not been backed up by credible authorities or experts, and it is still questionable.

Brooks-Baker Linked Queen Elizabeth II to Prophet Muhammad

In 1986, Brooks-Baker claimed that through the Prophet's daughter Fatima, Queen Elizabeth II was the Prophet's 43rd descendant. He believed the Queen was related to Muslim rulers of Spain from 711 to 1492 via Zaida of Seville.

Zaida was a Muslim princess who lived in the 11th century in Seville. She is thought to have converted to Christianity and later married Alfonso VI of León-Castile. Isabel Pérez of Castile, who later married the Earl of Cambridge in England, was one of their descendants. Some claim that Queen Elizabeth II is related to the Prophet due to intermarriage. It has been speculated that the Queen is a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, which would place her in the same family tree as the Hashemite dynasty of Jordan, the ruler of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Aga Khan IV, and King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

However, Zaida’s ancestry is not confirmed which casts doubt on the theory. Some claim that she was the daughter of al-Mu'tamid, ruler of Seville, and descendant of the Prophet. Others suggested that she was al-Mu’tamid’s daughter-in-law. Yet, the available literature is not sufficient to confirm Zaida’s origins.

A supporting image within the article body

Photo Description: Infographic showing Queen Elizabeth II’s link to the Prophet Mohammed.

A supporting image within the article body

Photo Description: Infographic showing Queen Elizabeth II’s link to the Prophet Mohammed. 

Scholars Endorsed Link Between Queen Elizabeth II to Prophet Muhammad

Several experts have weighed in on this debate. Former Grand Mufti of Egypt Ali Gomaa has endorsed the connection and stated that Zaida is in fact related to the Prophet. Abdelhamid Al-Aouni, the historian who authored the 2018 article in Al-Ousboue, supported the idea.

David Starkey, a British historian, and TV host asserted that the existence of marriages between the English and Spanish monarchies does not verify the claim. Journalist Lesley Hazleton expressed skepticism about assumptions linking the British Royal Family to the Islamic Prophet. According to a quote attributed to her on History.com, "If you go back far enough, you can find some kind of the third cousin 99 times removed for anybody in the world." Hazleton described it as "well-intentioned clickbait." 

Reports have also doubted the credentials of the original mastermind of the allegation, Brooks-Baker. In his obituary, The Telegraph highlighted, “His great advantage for journalists was that he was always available to make an arresting comment; his disadvantage was that he was often wrong.” 

Due to the lack of evidence and definite relevant facts, it is not plausible to unequivocally substantiate the circulating claim.

The Late Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II has been the longest-reigning British monarch, reigning for nearly 71 years. King George VI of Great Britain died at the royal estate of Sandringham on February 6, 1952, following a protracted illness. Princess Elizabeth, who later became Queen Elizabeth II, was the next in line to succeed her father. She has officially crowned Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953, when she was 27 years old.

The Queen's health had been a source of concern since February 2022, when she tested positive for COVID-19. 

After the Queen passed away, Misbar debunked a series of online rumors and falsehoods attributed to her.

Misbar Sources

The Times
The United Press International
The Culture Trip
Woolf Institute
Daily Mail
The Telegraph