Saturday 7 April 2018

Queen Elizabeth II’s Descent from the Prophet

NJ Bridgewater
7 April 2018

According to an article in The Economist entitled “Muslims consider Queen Elizabeth’s ties to the Prophet Muhammad” (April 5th 2018), Queen Elizabeth II’s descent from the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has been confirmed by “Ali Gomaa, the former grand mufti of Egypt, and Burke’s Peerage, a British authority on royal pedigree.” Her descent, according to the article, “runs through the Earl of Cambridge, in the 14th century, across medieval Muslim Spain, to Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter.” For more information on the descent and how it traces through the ages, you can read my previous blog post entitled “You are (most likely) a descendant of the Prophet Muḥammad” (4 January 2016). 

Richard Plantagenet, Earl of Cambridge
Maria de Padilla

What is the significance, if anything, of all of this? Reactions to finding out about the Queen’s descent, according to The Economist, have been varied in the Arab world, with some warning of “a perfidious plot to revive the British empire” while others, such as Abdelhamid Al-Aouni, who writes for Moroccan newspaper, Al-Ousboue, have commented positively. He writes: “It builds a bridge between our two religions and kingdoms.” Yet others have responded by calling the queen “sayyida or sherifa, titles reserved for the Prophet’s descendants.” Whatever the response may be, and however accurate the trees shown above may be, they demonstrate one thing: that humanity is really one great family, and that we are all the leaves of one branch, and the branches of one tree. As the Qur’ān (49:13) tells us:

Qur'ān 49:13 (16th/17th century manuscript)

“O men! verily, we have created you of a male and a female; and we have divided you into peoples and tribes that ye might have knowledge one of another. Truly, the most worthy of honour in the sight of God is he who feareth Him most. Verily, God is Knowing, Cognisant.”[1]

Qur'ān 4:1 (interlinear manuscript, circa 1250–1350 CE)

Also (4:1): “O MEN! fear your Lord, who hath created you of one man (nafs, soul), and of him created his wife, and from these twain hath spread abroad so many men and WOMEN. And fear ye God, in whose name ye ask mutual favours, - and reverence the wombs that bare you. Verily is God watching over you!”[2]

Also, as I concluded in my blog post from 2015, “I hope you have gleaned how descent from famous figures and Prophets in antiquity is not only plausible but inevitable, that descent from the Prophet Muḥammad (pbuh) is extremely common and very likely for those of European extraction.” This is due to the fact that, over time, each individual who has descendants reaching throughout the ages, eventually becomes a common ancestor for millions of people. Simple mathematics alone will show us that, forty-five generations ago, when the Prophet Muhammad lived, we would have had some 140 trillion possible ancestors. This was when the population of the earth totalled roughly 277 million, 700 thousand (in about 670 CE). Due to the Arab expansion which followed the rise of Islam and the spread of the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, descendants of the Prophet Muhammad settled across North Africa, Arabia, Persia and southern Spain. Furthermore, it is through Islamic Spain that His descendants entered the European gene pool. This reminds us of one of the Prophet Muhammad’s final statements, where He informed His followers that He was leaving two legacies, the Qur’ān and His family. He is reported to have said:

“I am about to answer the call (of death). Verily, I leave behind two precious things (thaqalayn) amongst you: the Book of God and my Ahl al-Bayt. Verily, the two will never separate until they come back to me by the side of the Pond.”[3][4]

Both of these legacies continue to spread and impact our lives in the modern era, and it is important to be thoroughly familiar with both of them. The recent article in The Economist has given us a potent reminder of this fact, while highlighting the interconnectedness that binds us all within one common family and brotherhood of man, situated upon one common homeland—earth.

- NJ Bridgewater


Muslim, al-Sahih, (English translation), book 031, numbers 5920-3. See: (accessed 04/01/2016).

NJ Bridgewater (2016) You are (most likely) a descendant of the Prophet Muḥammad, Crossing the Bridge, 4 January 2016. URL: (accessed 07/04/2018)

The Economist (2018) Muslims consider Queen Elizabeth’s ties to the Prophet Muhammad, The Economist, Apr 5th 2018. URL: (accessed 07/04/2018)

J.M. Rodwell (1861) The Koran (London: Williams & Norgate). URL: (accessed 07/04/2018)


[1] See: (accessed 07/04/2018).
[2] See: (accessed 07/04/2018).
[3] Muslim, al-Sahih, (English translation), book 031, numbers 5920-3. See: (accessed 04/01/2016).
[4] NOTE: The term Ahl al-Bayt literally means ‘People of the House’ and refers to His direct descendants.


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