Moorish Princess Zaida of Seville, an Ancestor of the current Queen Elizabeth

Zaida of Seville (c. 1070 – 1100) Mistress of: King Alfonso VI of Castile. Tenure: c. 1091 – 1100. Royal Bastards: One – Three. Fall From Power: None; she married him.

“In her letters to Al-Mansur, Elizabeth I, over a period of 25 years, continually described the relationship between the two countries as “La buena amistad y confederación que hay entre nuestras coronas” (“The great friendship and cooperation that exists between our Crowns”), and presented herself as “Vuestra hermana y pariente según ley de corona y ceptro” (“Your sister and relative according to the law of the Crown and the Scepter”)” 

Source: Shakespeare Studies, Volume 31  edited by Leeds Barroll, Susan Zimm…

Alphonso VI, white Christian king, who was so often beaten by Yusuf, took a Moorish wife, the lovely Zayda, who was the mother of his favorite son, Sancho.”

Source: Nature Knows No Color-Line: Research into the Negro Ancestry in the White Race By J. A. Rogers, Pg. 60 Chapter Spain & Portugal

“Genealogist Harold B. Brooks-Baker, publisher of Burke’s Peerage, Britain’s guide to the nobility. It is little known by the British people that the blood of Mohammed flows in the veins of the queen,” Brooks-Baker wrote to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the time. Brooks-Baker connected Queen Elizabeth to Muhammad via Zaida of Seville, a Muslim princess from the 11th century who converted to Christianity and became King Alfonso VI of Castile’s concubine. However, it’s not clear if Zaida was actually related to Muhammad or not. Abdelhamid Al-Aouni, the historian who penned the article for Al-Ousboue, believes there is a connection, too. Using Zaida as his lynchpin, he traced Elizabeth’s genealogy back 43 generations all the way to Muhammad. The purported connection “builds a bridge between our two religions and kingdoms,” he tells The Economist.”

Source: Is Queen Elizabeth Related to the Prophet Muhammad?

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth meets with Jordan’s King Abdullah, in Buckingham Palace London Tuesday November 15, 2011.(AP Photo/ Lewis Whyld/Pool)

“Zaida, a Muslim princess living in 11th-century Seville, is one of the most extraordinary ancestors of the British royal family. Zaida’s bloodline reached the English shores through her engagement to Alfonso VI, king of León-Castile. From their offspring descended Isabel Pérez of Castile, who in the 14th century was sent to England to marry Edmund Duke of York, son of King Edward III of England. Their grandson, Richard, Duke of York, led a rebellion against King Henry VI which developed into the Wars of the Roses. Richard’s second son Edward took the throne in 1461. Thus the legacy of Islamic Spain – better known as al-Andalus – found its way into the Plantagenet royal court.”

“This lineage has been of recent interest both in the UK and in the Middle East, as it purportedly proves a family relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and the Prophet Muhammad himself. Respected experts and commentators such as Burke’s Peerage and Ali Gomaa, the former Grand Mufti of Egypt, have suggested that Zaida was the offspring of al-Muʿtamid, ruler of Seville and a descendant of the daughter of the Prophet, Fāṭima and her husband ʿĀlī. As a member of the Hashemite family, the descendants of Fāṭima and ʿĀlī, the Queen would count as relatives, among others, the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, or the Aga Khan IV, Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini, a close friend of the current Royal family.”

Source: Meet the Muslim princess Zaida, Spanish ancestor of the British royal family

“The claim gained little attention in the West over the subsequent decades. But Assahifa Al-Ousbouia, a weekly Arabic-language newspaper in Morocco, called attention to the theory again this week by publishing a family tree that claimed to trace the Queen’s lineage from Abu al-Qasim Muhammad ibn Abbad, the first independent ruler of Seville in what was then the territory of Al-Andalus in Spain. According to the chart published in Morocco and translated by the British press, Muhammad ibn Abbad is a great-grandchild of the Prophet Muhammad, who died in 632 in what is now Saudi Arabia. The line between the Prophet Mohammad, ibn Abbad and Elizabeth II thus links the current monarch with the founder of one of the three monotheistic religions, according to the newspaper. Historians have suggested that the connection is possible but not entirely irrefutable. Marriages between Spanish and British royals have been common throughout the centuries, and both the British and Spanish royal families descend from Queen Victoria. Brooks-Baker appears to have connected the Queen to the prophet through a princess named Zaida, a grandchild of ibn Abbad who converted to Christianity and became the concubine of King Alfonso VI of Castile.”


According to reports from Casablanca to Karachi, the British monarch is descended from the Prophet Muhammad, making her a cousin of the kings of Morocco and Jordan, not to mention of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader. Her bloodline runs through the Earl of Cambridge, in the 14th century, across medieval Muslim Spain, to Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter. Her link to Muhammad has previously been verified by Ali Gomaa, the former grand mufti of Egypt, and Burke’s Peerage, a British authority on royal pedigrees.”

Source: Is the caliph a queen? Muslims consider Queen Elizabeth’s ties to the Prophet Muhammad

According to the family tree, she is descendant from the Prophet’s daughter, Fatima. According to the Economist, much of the purported link revolves around a Muslim princess called Zaida, who fled an attack on Seville in Muslim Spain in the 11th century and found refuge in the court of Alfonso VI of Castille. There, “she changed her name to Isabella, converted to Christianity and bore Alfonso a son, Sancho, one of whose descendants later married the Earl of Cambridge,” the Economist said. However, the report notes that Zaida’s own origins are not without debate. “Some make her the daughter of Muatamid bin Abbad, a wine-drinking caliph descended from the Prophet. Others say she married into his family,” the report said.”

Source: Is Queen Elizabeth descended from the Prophet Muhammad? New study revives old claims tracing the British monarch’s lineage back 43 generations to the founder of Islam


In December 2017, Princess Michael came under fire for what critics regard as either extreme bigotry or a sign that she’s woefully out of touch: she wore a racist, blackamoor brooch to a luncheon attended by Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s American fiancé, who is of biracial descent.”

Source: This Royal Cousin Is So Embarrassing Even Queen Elizabeth Is Fed Up With Her

QUEEN ELIZABETH’S COUSIN blackamoor brooch

“Princess Michael of Kent, a first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II, caused quite a social media stir last Wednesday (December 20) when she was photographed wearing what many called a “racist brooch” on her coat. The Princess was on her way to a Buckingham Palace lunch attended by Prince Harry’s fiancée, Meghan Markle – a child of a white father and African-American mother. The brooch in question was a blackamoor-style brooch that depicted an African figure. Blackamoor-style brooches are widely considered offensive, and the Princess was accused of being racist and out of touch by many on Twitter and Facebook.”


Britain and Morocco During the Embassy of John Drummond Hay

“The first contacts between Morocco and England date back to the first decade of the thirteenth century when King John (1167-1216) sent a secret mission to the Almohad Sultan Muhammad al-Nasir (1199-1213) to obtain Moroccan support to counter French threats against England. The mission, however, was a failure. Nothing worthy of note occurred in the relations between the two countries from them until the beginning of the sixteenth century. Commercial exchanges, though limited in scale, became the most effective means of strengthening links between Morocco and England.”



“It became usual for English merchants to obtain Moroccan products such as sugar, ostrich feathers, and saltpeter, despite the protests of Spain and Portugal. In exchange, they would supply Morocco with fabrics and firearms. There was a great deal of correspondence between the Sa’adi Sultan ‘Abd al-Malik (1575-1578) and Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) on the subject of trade. The Sultan issued decrees in favor of English merchants to facilitate their commercial activities and to reduce competition in the sugar trade from Moroccan Jews. With the defeat of Portugal at the Battle of the Three Kings in 1578, the way was clear for Elizabeth and the Sa’adi Sultan Ahmed al-Mansur (1578-1603) to strengthen the economic and political links between their two countries. Political relations were strengthened as a result of reciprocal diplomatic missions and were crowned with an Anglo-Moroccan alliance against Spain in the reign of Phillip II (1527-1598).”


“Economically, commercial relations were strengthened through the creation of the Barbary Company in 1588, al Mansur issued a dah (decree of Sultan) granting special privileges and protection to English merchants in Morocco. Following the deaths of al-Mansur and Elizabeth I in 1603, and in the absence of a strong and stable central authority in Morocco, in 1610 James I (1603-1625) sent a diplomatic mission of Zaydan (1608-1627) headed by J. Harrison. The aim of the mission was to hold talks on the release of English captives incarcerated in Morocco. It seems that the negotiations were difficult as Harrison returned to Morocco three more times between 1613 and 1615 without making any headway in solving the problem of the captives.”


“With the European powers preoccupied by the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), the Moriscos strengthened their contacts with the Dutch, who were at war with Spain, and attacked the English vessels that were in competition with their Dutch counterparts for control over long-distance trade. When, in the reign of Charles I (1625-1649), England went to war against Spain. Harrison visited Morocco again in the hope, on the one had of obtaining help from mujahidin (holy warriors) in Tetuan and Sale in order to confront Spain under the most favorable conditions, and on the other hand of releasing the English captives. Harrison’s labors were crowned with an agreement with the mujahidin leader al-Ayyashi (1573-1641) on 10 May 1627 under England undertook to supply him with provisions and arms in exchange for his help in releasing the English captives.”


“Once Mawlay Isma’il had extended his control over the whole of Morocco, the English were convinced that the Alawites were in a strong position and began to think seriously about strengthening ties with the Sultan. The latter had sent a diplomatic mission headed by Muhammad ben Haddu al-‘Attar to England who returned with a draft Peace and Trade Treaty on 23 March 1682. The Sultan, however, refused to ratify the treaty because of the continuing English presence in Tangier and the increasing complexity of the captive problem.”


“Following Mawlay Isma’il consent to the release of sixty-nine English captives after the withdrawal from Tangier, the path was cleared for both sides to improve relations. In this new context, on 7 July 1714, the qa’ad Ahmed ben ‘Ali ben ‘Abdallah concluded a Peace and Trade Treaty in Tetuan on behalf of Mawlay Isma’il. The crisis over the captives, however, flared up again between 1716 and 1721. A British envoy, Charles Stewart, was sent to Fes and after slow and difficult negotiations managed on 23 January 1721 to convince Mawlay Isma’il to renew the Treaty.”


“It appears that the Khalifa’s protest convinced George II of the necessity of trying to ease tensions in their relations for he sent his envoy, Captain Hyde Parker, to Marrakesh on 1 July 1756. The previous agreements were renewed and signed by Hyde Parker and, on behalf of the Sultan, ‘Umar ben Zayyan al-Dukkali. Khalifa Sidi Muhammad, however, refused to release his British captives following Hyde Parker’s rejection of Morocco’s request for materials which were essential for the building and equipping of ships. The Sultan’s khalifa Sidi Muhammad was very angry at the time, calling the British all sorts of names, and wished that the French or even the Spanish were in Gilbraltar rather than them. He also threatened that he might form an alliance with the French to break the power of the British.”


“Following the death of Sultan Mawlay ‘Abdallah, and the suicide of the British Consul, James Reade, while on a mission to the court in 1758 to sign the Peace towards the British so he extended the treaty for an additional year until February 1759 and agreed to provision Gibraltar. A British mission then came to Marrakesh led by Mark Milbanke who won the admiration of the Sultan because of his conduct and astuteness. They signed an Agreement in July 1760.”


“By contrast, al-Khatib, although the Makhzan considered him to be the only man qualified to enter into the negotiations, was almost totally ignorant of the text of the previous treaties, and he did not possess a copy of any of them. In addition, the Sultan’s letter of the delegation did not grant him wide powers of discretion enabling him to take any decision without obtaining direct instructions. The method that the two men followed in discussing the General Treaty was as follows. They studied each clause by itself, until they agreed to accept it, reject it or subject it to a few modifications. I shall, therefore, first of all, discuss the General Treaty, which was described as a Treaty of Peace and Friendship’, stopping at the discussions that took place concerning each of its clauses. At this first level of analysis, I shall content myself with giving a picture of the proceedings and the circumstances surrounding the negotiations, before each clause reached its final advantages and disadvantages of the treaty for Morocco and Britain. The draft of the General Treaty proposed by Britain consisted of thirty-eight articles. Negotiations centered around fifteen of these clauses. What were the objections that Mahzan raised, and the efforts that al Khatib expended to counter his clever opponent Drummond Hay?”

Source: Britain and Morocco During the Embassy of John Drummond Hay By Khalid Ben-Srhir

A branch of the Zagawa Berbers called Beni Sefi created Kanem-Bornu

“Kanem-Borno, a former Muslim kingdom located northeast of Lake Chad, was created by a branch of the Zagawa people called Beni Sefi, with the likely collaboration of the Tubu, around the year 800. While Kanem is part of Chad today, Bornu located in Kanem’s southernmost part and west of Lake Chad, is part of Nigeria, a result of the imperial territorial divisions that occurred between the French and the British during the 1880s and 1890s.”

“The first Beni Sefi dynasty seems to have taken power around 1075, under the Sefuaw dynasty, which was headed by Mai (King) Hummay (1075-1180). A mythical man named Idris Sayf Ibn Dhi Yezan is said to have converted to Islam during the second half of the eleventh century and exerted pressure on the rest of the kingdom to embrace Islam as the state’s religion. During the thirteenth century, the Sefuwa were able to designate a specific capital for the Kingdom, Njimi.”


“As the mais solidified their power, Kanem expanded considerably during the thirteenth century, controlling the Bornu principality and virtually all that constitutes northwest Chad today, particularly during the reign of Mai Dunama Dabbalemi (1221-1259). Under this rule, the sultanate encompassed Wadai and the Adamawa Plateau in northern Cameroon. Parts of Nigeria, Niger, and Sudan were also incorporated into the sultanate.”

“The greatness of Kanem was predicated upon two major factors. First was Kanem’s ability to control the trans-Saharan trade route, resulting from its location at an important trade crossroads. During the first zenith of its power during the thirteenth century, Kanem’s market exchanged, sold, and bought such items as salt, horses, ostrich, feathers, camels, hides, cotton, cloth, perfumes, copper objects, kola nuts, ivory, jewelry, and, evidently, slaves.” 

“The year 1804 presaged the decline and eventual demise of Kanem-Bornu as a Kingdom. Islamic warrior and leader ‘Uthman dan Fodio sacked the captial with his Hausa-Fulani crusaders, and in 1814, Shehu Mohammed el-Amin el Kanermi, a scholar warrior, virtually replaced until 1853, but could not maintain the kingdom as a choesice whole.”

“Meanwhile, the displaced mai was forced to move the captial to Kukwa, in Bornu. To the Sefuwa dynasty’s chagrin, Rabih ibn Fadl Allah, a former slave from Sudan, turned into a formidable potential conqueror of all of Central Africa, and dislodged the mais from Kukawa, a city he sacked in 1893. Kanem-Bornu was finally conquered by the French and the British who had appeared in the area during the 1880s and 1890s and divided the imperial spoils one Rabih had been killed at Kuseri (present Cameroon) in 1900.”

“The Tubu assited by the Turkish or Ottoman Empire and the Senoussyia Muslim order, resited the French for a time but, by 1920, the latter had prevailed and Kanem became part of the military colony of Chad. Today, it is one of Chad’s 14 prefectures, and with support from Niger, Kanem has at times been a source of several rebel movements against the central government. Bornu is an emirate in northeastern Nigeria.”

Source: Encyclopedia of African History 3-Volume Set edited by Kevin Shillington

Abdel Kader Kane: Moorish Abolitionist (1770s-1800s)

“Abdel Kader Kane was a Moorish leader of the Futa Toro region in Northern Senegal is renowned for having resisted the slave trade.”

Source: The Untold Story of African Resistance Against the Slave Trade

“In the 18th century, Senegambia was bitterly contested for slave-trading purposes by France and Great Britain. But a third power, the Islamic theocracy of Futa Toro on the Senegal River, rose to prominence and opposed both foreign powers while seeking to put an end to the transatlantic slave trade and slavery.Among other compelling topics, Ware discussed the fierce resistance to the enslavement and deportation to the Americas of the so-called “Walking Qur’an”, the memorizers of the Holy Book; and how the Almamy –the Muslim ruler– Abdul Kader Kane of Futa Toro preceded Western abolitionists in his efforts to end the slave trade and slavery, and was acknowledged as a pioneer in that regard by British abolitionist Thomas Clarkson.”

Source: European Powers, Islamic Movements, and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

The army of Futa Tooro, 1820, by Ambroise Tardieu (1788-1841), engraving, France, 19th century.

“In 1776 they established the independent theocracy of Futa Toro. Kane was elected as almami, and in July the vibrant movement in the islamic states of Bundu and Futa Toro were determine to put an end to the selling of their coreligionists  and subjugated the French slave convoys.  in 1788, Abdel Kader Kane in particular was determined to make sure he was determined to force the law. A French slave convoy was stopped by his men and ultimately freed 90 men. Furthermore  the persistence of the French in the region he wrote a letter that would strike terror in the hearts of the people. The letter was directed to the governor in Saint-Louis, dated March 1789.”

“We are warning you that all those who will come to our land to trade in slaves will be killed or massacred if you do not send our children back. Would not somebody who was very hungry abstain from eating if he had to eat something cooked with his blood?  We absolutely do not want you to buy Muslims under any circumstances. I repeat that if your intention is to always buy Muslims you should stay home and not come to our country anymore. Because all those who will come can be assured that they will lose their life”

Source: Islam, Arabs and Slavery part 2

“Khaly Amar Fall, founded the Islamic school of higher learning, Pir, in 1611. It trained many of the elite Islamic scholars in the sub-region, including the Almamy of Futa Toro Abdel Kader Kane, who mounted a vigorous opposition to the slave trade in the late-eighteenth century.”

Source: An Interview with Sylviane A. Diouf


“In 1831, Omar ibn Said, a Senegalese trader and Qur’anic teacher enslaved in North Carolina,  wrote his autobiography in Arabic. It is the only known surviving slave narrative written in that language in the Americas. Like another 92,000 Senegambian victims of the transatlantic slave trade, Omar ibn Said—born in 1770 in a wealthy and erudite family—was transported to the United States. He landed in Charleston in the last months of 1807, just before the official (if not effective) end of the trade. He ran away and was captured in North Carolina where he spent the rest of his life.”Omar was made a prisoner during a war to depose Abdul Kader Kane, the Almamy (Muslim leader) of the northern region of Futa Toro. Like other rulers, scholars—a number of whom were later enslaved in the Americas—and 19th century combatants against French colonization, Kane had studied at Pir.  

Source: The Autobiography in Arabic of a Senegalese Enslaved in North Carolina


Moors In Colonial Louisiana

“When the African slave trade to Lousiana began, the Company of the Indies’ control over its Senegal concession was weak and was challenged by African nations as well as by its European rivals. During the early and mid-1720s, the French and the Dutch fought over Arguin Islan, the center of the trade of Arabic gum collected in the forests of Morocco. The gum trade was considered far more profitable than the trade in slaves. The Moors sided with the Dutch. The English had a trading post at Fort James in the Gambia River and were quite active there. The Portuguese had a long tradition of control at Bissau, and the Company of the Indies’ trading post there was under great pressure.” 

“The Bambara brought to Lousiana during the 1720s had been captured during warfare among Bambara kingdoms at the early stage of the formation of the Segu empire under Mamari Kulubali, who ruled from 1712 to 1755. The export of Bambara slaves peaked during warfare in Bambara. In contrast, when peace reigned, the slave trade from Galam to St. Louis was badly disrupted. In 1721, Galam sent few slaves, and those have been of poor quality, even though the trading post had received good and adequate trade merchandise. St. Robert explained that “no slave caravans arrived… the Bambara who are almost always at war among themselves…were all obliged to unite to protect their country against the Moors of Morocco whom they chased out of their country after having defeated them twice. The said Moors, upon withdrawing, boasted that they would soon come back with an army big enough to destroy the Bambara entirely. This obliges the countries of Bambara to live in harmony and join forces to oppose the Moroccans whom they expect.”

“If the slave trade from Senegal to Lousiana got a late start, it was not for lack of trying. As soon as the Company of the Indies took control of Lousiana, it devoted serious attention to supplying the colony with slaves from the Senegal concession. In October 1720, its directors informed Senegal that it had sent le Comte de Toulouse with well-assorted trade goods, principally to strengthen Galam and stimulate trade there. Le Comte de Toulouse was to be sent quickly to Lousiana with a “cargo” of slaves. Le Marechal d Estrees had picked up its cargo of wine, liquor, and foods at Bordeaux, and this vessel was also to be sent to Lousiana with slaves. Any ship seized from interlopers was to be likewise sent to Lousiana with slaves and its papers sent to France for confiscation proceedings. After retaking Fortd‘ Arguin, the French were to enslave any Moors taken prisoner, send them to Senegal, keep them in shackles, and transport them to Lousiana on the first available ship. Aside from the four ships sent to Juda during 1720, three ships were reportedly sent to Madagascar in June of the same year to load slaves for Louisiana.”

“Few of these projects materialized. There is no record of any interloper seized and sent to Louisiana with slaves. There is no evidence that any ships from Madagascar arrived in Louisiana. The Moors taken at For d’Arguin were not deported and enslaved: They were needed there to cut wood and to make salt. The French were afraid of antagonizing all the Moors if they enslaved those who had turned Arguin Island over to the Dutch. The Moors (called “cette Morvaille“) still had not forgotten the affair of M. Ducas, who had taken Moorish captives to French islands. Instead of enslaving Moorish captives, the French decided to try to win over that nation with kindness. In order to attract and control the Moors, it was proposed to hire Boaly, a great Marabout (Muslim holy man) and an interpreter at Portendic. Le Ruby was the first slave trade ship that arrived in Lousiana from the Senegal concession. It left Le Havre in December 1719, and Goree in May 1720, with 130 slaves, arriving in Louisiana in July 1720, with 127 slaves.”

“The French had great difficulties with the Moors along the coast. The pilot of le St. Louis wrote, “The Moors there behave very badly, and we can never land without risking several attacks by this bunch of Moors who are without pity when they can take advantage of us, whom they hate more than the other nations.” Before leg St. Louis left Senegal, a war had broken out in Galam with King Braque and had extended all along the Senegal River.”

See Africans In Colonial Louisiana: The Development of Afro-Creole Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Revised Edition