Friday, June 27, 2008

Prophet Muhammad (SAAW) on the Family Tree of Every Person in the Western World?



I came upon this article on one of my favorite websites LiveScience.com. Imagine being able to trace your lineage far back enough to before medieval times. It’s a project that not everyone is able to do let alone even be motivated enough to do it. The article from 2006 states that nearly 100% of all living individuals can trace their roots back to some type of royalty or another. It even goes on to mention Prophet Muhammad (SAAW). Here is a part of the article that I found very interesting:

The longer ago somebody lived, the more descendants a person is likely to have today. Humphrys estimates that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, appears on the family tree of every person in the Western world.

Some people have actually tried to establish a documented line between Muhammad, who was born in the 6th century, and the medieval English monarchs, and thus to most if not all people of European descent. Nobody has succeeded yet, but one proposed lineage comes close. Though it runs through several strongly suspicious individuals, the line illustrates how lines of descent can wander down through the centuries, connecting famous figures of the past to most of the people living today.

The proposed genealogy runs through Muhammad's daughter Fatima. Her husband Ali, also a cousin of Muhammad, is considered by Shiite Muslims the legitimate heir to leadership of Islam.

Ali and Fatima had a son, al-Hasan, who died in 670. About three centuries later, his ninth great-grandson, Ismail, carried the line to Europe when he became Imam of Seville.

Many genealogists dispute the connection between al-Hasan and Ismail, claiming that it includes fictional characters specifically invented by medieval genealogists trying to link the Abbadid dynasty, founded by Ismail's son, to Muhammad.

The Abbadid dynasty was celebrated for making Seville a great cultural center at a time when most of Europe was mired in the Dark Ages. The last emir in that dynasty was supposed to have had a daughter named Zaida, who is said to have changed her name to Isabel upon converting to Christianity and marrying Alfonso VI, king of Castile and Leon.

Yet there is no good evidence demonstrating that Isabel, who bore one son by Alfonso VI, is the same person as Zaida. So the line between Muhammad and the English monarchs probably breaks again at this point.

But if you give the Zaida/Isabel story the benefit of the doubt too, the line eventually leads to Isabel's fifth great-granddaughter Maria de Padilla (though it does encounter yet another potentially fictional character in the process).

Maria married another king of Castile and Leon, Peter the Cruel. Their great-great-granddaughter was Queen Isabel, who funded the voyages of Christopher Columbus. Her daughter Juana married a Hapsburg, and eventually gave rise to a Medici, a Bourbon and long line of Italian princes and dukes, spreading the Mohammedan line of descent all over Europe.

Finally, 43 generations from Mohammed, you reach an Italian princess named Marina Torlonia. Her granddaughter is Brooke Shields.

Here are a couple other articles on the topic if you’re interested in reading more about it: 1, 2

3 comments:

N.S. said...

It is interesting that lineage is possible but its relevance or significance should not be something to get excited about. So many people walk around saying they have lineage to the Prophet, but he was human and that must be emphasized. Blood lines are weak--to be close to the Prophet is through the heart. People have manipulated so called lineages to achieve higher social status or leverage over other people..hence the Jordan monarchy, ha!

Studies show everyone is related to everyone if you go far back enough. Our return to dust regenerates in new life, the molecules we breathed in were there when Moses to Columbus to Einstein lived.

Yesi King said...

oh ya definitely agree with you...however i find it interesting that people in the world especially the western world appear to have such a disconnection to each other and also in viewing Islam as the antithesis to anything good, have forgotten their roots...as you mentioned, we all return to dust and we all return to our Creator.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree, that faith, and spirituality are the keys to happiness. However as a mere mortal, I would really really like to know if anyone has any information on how Eleanor of Castile and Leon (d1290) is connected to The Prophet Muhammad. Please provide websites. I have no ego in relation to this, I just want to know who my ancestors were. It gives me a feeling of comfort and stability and higher understanding of the struggles that all my previous "grandparents" went through. mjm