King Charles III has recently garnered a lot of attention since he ascended the throne after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
The new British monarch has been in the public eye for decades and has expressed his thoughts openly on a number of cultural and social issues including climate change, politics, and Islam.
According to writer Robert Jobson in his book Charles At Seventy: Thoughts, Hopes and Dreams, the monarch studies the Holy Quran and signs letters to Muslim leaders in Arabic.
Here are some of British monarch’s thoughts on Islam and Muslims as they relate to world issues:
The environment, nature, and Islam
Charles has been an outspoken advocate on environmental issues for decades, urging world leaders to seek immediate and long-term solutions to climate change.
In a speech at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies in 2010, Charles spoke about how the west can learn from Islamic principles to save the environment. He said that based on his knowledge of Islam and the Quran, “there are limits to the abundance of Nature”.
“These are not arbitrary limits, they are the limits imposed by God and, as such, if my understanding of the Quran is correct, Muslims are commanded not to transgress them,” Charles, a member of the Church of England, said.
Moreover, in the same speech, he added: “We share this planet with the rest of creation for a very good reason – and that is, we cannot exist on our own without the intricately balanced web of life around us. Islam has always taught this and to ignore that lesson is to default on our contract with Creation.”
Muslim influence on the world
During his 2006 Unity in Faith speech at Al-Azhar University, the world’s second oldest university, he told the audience: “We need to remember that we in the West are in debt to the scholars of Islam, for it was thanks to them that during the Dark Ages in Europe the treasures of classical learning were kept alive.”
At the Markfield Institute of Higher Education in Leicester, he said: “Anyone who doubts the contribution of Islam and Muslims to the European Renaissance should, as an exercise, try to do some simple arithmetic using Roman numerals. Thank goodness for Arabic numerals and the concept of Zero introduced into European thought by Muslim mathematicians!”
At the start of Ramadan this year, Charles said that everyone could learn “from the spirit of Ramadan”.
“Not only the generosity but also abstention, gratefulness and togetherness in prayer which will give great comfort to many across the world,” he said in a statement.
“The generosity of spirit and kind-hearted hospitality of Muslims does not cease to astound me and I am sure that as we enter more uncertain times … the Muslim community will again be a source of immense charitable giving this Ramadan.”
Islam and the West
Charles has long advocated for bringing the Muslim world and the West closer, adding there was a lot of “misunderstanding” about Islam in the West.
“If there is much misunderstanding in the West about the nature of Islam, there is also much ignorance about the debt our own culture and civilization owe to the Islamic world. It is a failure which stems, I think, from the straightjacket of history which we have inherited. The medieval Islamic world, from Central Asia to the shores of the Atlantic, was a world where scholars and men of learning flourished. But because we have tended to see Islam as the enemy of the West, as an alien culture, society and system of belief, we have tended to ignore or erase its great relevance to our own history.” he said in 1993 during a much-cited speech at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.
Charles warned that extremism must not be seen as a “hallmark” of Islam, and said it was “no more the monopoly of Islam than it is the monopoly of other religions, including Christianity”.