London: The claim that the Queen of England Elizabeth II is a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad resurfaced after a Moroccan newspaper recently published a piece saying that it had traced the queen's lineage back to the Prophet (peace be upon him).
According to UK tabloid Daily Mail, the findings were first published in 1986 by Burke's Peerage, a British authority on royal pedigrees. Elizabeth II's bloodline runs through the Earl of Cambridge in the 14th century, across medieval Muslim Spain, to Fatima, the Prophet's daughter, the findings claimed.
Although disputed by some historians, genealogical records of early-medieval Spain also support the claim and it has also been verified by Ali Gomaa, the former grand mufti of Egypt.
Burke's Peerage claimed that the Queen descends from a Muslim princess called Zaida, who fled her home town of Seville in the 11th century before converting to Christianity. Zaida was the fourth wife of King Al-Mu'tamid ibn Abbad of Seville. She bore him a son Sancho, whose descendant later married the Earl of Cambridge in the 11th century.
But British magazine the Spectator points out Zaida's origins are 'debatable'. Some historians believe she was the daughter of a caliph descended from the Prophet (peace be upon him). Others say she married into his family.
"It is little known by the British people that the blood of Mohammed flows in the veins of the queen. However, all Moslem religious leaders are proud of this fact," wrote Burke's publishing director, in a letter to the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1986.
The reaction to the Queen's reported links to the Prophet have been mixed. Abdelhamid Al-Auouni welcomed the news in his piece in Moroccan newspaper Al-Ousboue, writing, "It builds a bridge between our two religions and kingdoms."
Meanwhile, a headline on the Arab Atheist Network's web forum read: 'Queen Elizabeth must claim her right to rule Muslims.'
One person on internet forum Reddit rubbished the claims however, writing, "This is just propaganda used by the British monarchy to appease the growing number of Muslim subjects."
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