Prophet's Tribe, Ahlal Bayt (Family) & Righteous Successors
Can Queen Elizabeth be a descendant of Prophet Mohammed ﷺ?
In April 2018 several news websites and magazines reported Queen Elizabeth II is a descendant of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. These surfaced after Assahifa al-Ousbouia, a Moroccan newspaper published a family tree that traced her lineage back to the Prophet ﷺ through Abu al-Qasim Muhammad ibn Abbad the first independent ruler of Seville in the Al-Andalus region of Spain. The family tree suggests that Abu al-Qasim Muhammad ibn Abbad’s granddaughter, Princess Zaida converted to Christianity taking on the name Isabella and married King Alfonso VI of Castille in the 11th century. It was through their children that the Prophet’s bloodline entered the British royal family.
Before we conclude whether Queen Elizabeth, the current monarch of British royalty is a Prophet's descendant or no, we need to first understand who is considered an actual descendant of his. There is a difference between sharing blood with the Prophet versus being descended from him as per traditional Islamic scholars. The extended family members of the Prophet’s household from his tribe Banu Hashim, like his uncles and cousins including their descendants, are all related to him through their blood. But when it comes to his direct descendants, they are those who specifically have a lineage directly to the Prophet with a tree and it is only the sons who carry the lineage not daughters. For example we heard in the news a few years back that the former US secretary of state John Kerry shared blood with the Prophet. However this sharing is not the same as being a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ because sharing blood and direct descendancy are two different matters. His direct descendants are referred to as syeds or sharifs (or ashraf). Syeds are considered to be sons descended from Imam Hussain (alaihi salaam), the younger son of Fatima and Ali (alaihimus salaam). Sharifs are generally considered those sons descended from Imam Hassan the elder son of Fatima and Ali (alaihimus salaam). However Syed is an applicable title for both, the reason is in a hadith discussed further.
It is reported in Imam Tabarani’s al- Muijam-ul Kabir and numerous other books of hadith reported by Fatimah (a.s) who said The Prophet ﷺ told her: “the lineage of every mother’s children is attributed to their father except for Fatimah’s children. So I am their guardian and I am their lineage.” It is also recorded in authentic ahadith that when this verse was revealed: “Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women”  the Messenger of Allah ﷺ called Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husain and said: "O Allah! This is my family.’” The fact that Allah ﷻ informed the Prophet ﷺ to say "our sons" and he brought Hassan and Hussain (a.s) is a confirmation from Allah ﷻ about the prophetic hadith about his lineage continuing through Fatima and Ali (a.s). There are also traditions where the Prophet ﷺ referred to Hassan and Hussain as his own sons.
Syeds usually share a patrilineal lineage with Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, meaning that the honorific title of Syed can be attached to children’s name only if they are descended from a marriage between Syed father and a Syed mother or a non-Syed mother. If children are descended from a non-Syed father and a Syed mother then those children cannot claim the title of syed or syeda (for females). This understanding of Prophet Muhammad’s descendancy through his daughter Fatimah is to be made clear before understanding other relationships with the Prophet ﷺ. By this understanding only the sons from the line of Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain carry his blood line and not the daughters. Now the daughter (referred to as syedas) born to a Syed father is entitled to be honored by Muslims just as the male syeds or sharifs, however she will not carry the Prophet’s lineage further if she got married to a non-Syed man. The children of that Syeda will be identified through their non-Syed father. The daughter can be pious and can even be greater in righteousness than the male descendants of the Prophet ﷺ but still do not carry the lineage further. This is due to the traditional role of male and female in Islam.
The Prophet ﷺ gave the title of Syed to Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (a.s): “Al-Hasan and al-Husain are the chiefs (syeds) of the youth of Paradise.” “Indeed, this son [Hasan bin `Ali] of mine is a chief (syed), Allah shall bring peace between two [tremendous] parties through his hands.” - He referred to Hassan as ‘my son’. Syed means ‘chief’, it also means ‘master’, it also means a ‘leader’. It is a fact whether according to the Shia or Sunni schools of thought, leadership whether religious (spiritual) or political has always been carried by males and not females. Whether it is a political caliphate in Sunni thought, the caliphs were always males whether it was the Umayyads, Abbasids, Ottomans or Shia Caliphates such as Fatimids or even the concept of spiritual Imamah, the Imams (spiritual leaders) from the household of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ were all males and never females, such as Twelve Imams. Similar was the case of all famous Sufi saints personalities that carried religious leaderships and spread Islam, were either syeds or sharifs, all male descendants of the Prophet ﷺ. For more details please read my post: The descendants of Prophet Muhammad
Keeping this in view it is obvious that since the chiefs or leaders in Islam are always males hence the Prophetic lineage will also be carried to next generations by sons who directly descend from the Prophet ﷺ from their paternal side. The family tree shared by Moroccan newspaper that made headlines throughout the globe suggests Queen’s lineage with the Prophet through Zaida of Seville, a Muslim princess and a his female descendant (a syeda). Since the understanding in Islam about Prophet's descendancy is not just sharing blood, it is easy to determine that if Zaida of Seville was descended from the Prophet ﷺ in any way yet her children will not traditionally carry the Prophet's lineage neither the title of sharif or syed. Having said that, Queen Elizabeth may be sharing blood with the Prophet at some point through Zaida but cannot be considered his direct descendant.
 The Sunday Times published “The Queen may be a child of the Prophet Muhammad” by Kaya Burgess. April 12 2018, 12:01am.
 Abu-Saba, Leila. 2004. John Kerry, Sharif. October 03.
 Tabarani’s Mujam ul kabeer 3:44 # 2623 - (Chishti 2010)
 Al Quran 3:61
 Jami Tirmidhi Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 2999 – Sunnah.com
 Jami Tirmidhi - Vol. 1, Book 46, Hadith 3768
 Jami Tirmidhi - Vol. 1, Book 46, Hadith 3773