I am not one to speak out against Islam, I am not islamic and I do not know the Quran, as such I tend to avoid Islamic issues. I also never read Salman Rushdie’s Satanic verses for the same reason. If it was an attack on the Bible, I might have picked it up, but it was an attack on Islam and without knowledge of the Quran and Islam it is a waste of my time. So I never read the book, even though many (with the same lack of knowledge) picked up the book and use it as gospel. Well the devil can recite the bible too, so I will not play that game. Today I am not attacking Islam, I am not speaking out against Islam. The Guardian and a few other papers made me aware of an issue. The Guardian gave me ‘Saudi Arabia: man arrested after Mecca pilgrimage for Queen’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/13/saudia-arabia-yemeni-man-arrested-mecca-pilgrimage-the-queen). There we see “Saudi authorities have arrested a man who claimed to have travelled to the Muslim holy city of Mecca to perform an umrah pilgrimage on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II” here I was initially wondering what this was about, but then we learn “Saudi Arabia forbids pilgrims to Mecca from carrying banners or chanting slogans. While it is acceptable to perform umrah on behalf on deceased Muslims, this does not apply to non-Muslims like the Queen, who was supreme governor of the Church of England, the mother church of the worldwide Anglican communion.”
OK, I get that, and I will not oppose that rule of law, which is islamic in nature (all Saudi law is Islamic in nature as far as I can tell). But then I thought it through. You see, we all abide by law, whatever law it is and Islamic law is no less than any other law, but in this (towards any law) I believe that there will alway be an exception. In my lifetime I have known two exceptions. The first was Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965), the man was one truly amazing exception and probably the primary reason why the Germans never got to England. He was given a 19-gun salute, by The Honourable Artillery Company, a unique event to say the lease, he was voted the greatest Briton of all time in 2002. The man was that unique.
Now there is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary (21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022) who was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms, the second exception and in my lifetime I was aware of both. In every generation a truly exceptional person is born. OK, there was also the Mahatma Gandhi, so now we have three. But I challenge anyone who proclaims that these three were not unique and exceptional in almost every way.
Now we get back to the article. There we see that a Yemeni national transgressed those laws. I cannot vouch for the actions of this Yemeni national who is stated to have held a banner saying: “Umrah for the soul of Queen Elizabeth II, we ask God to accept her in heaven and among the righteous.” And now we have the issue, or perhaps the situation. What little I know I would state that God should accept her in heaven. I merely hope that the prosecution and the Islamic scholars see the event as a truly exceptional one. Queen Elisabeth II reigned for 70 years and 214 days. the longest of any British monarch, the longest recorded of any female head of state in history. And her reign was even as head of the church of England to be a reign of inclusion of any religion. Whomever this Yemeni national is, I hope that Islamic law recognises the exceptional person for whom the transgression was done and that leniency will be found.
I also recognise that there is a need to avoid this situation and that in any generation an exception can be found, In my generation this is the one exception. Perhaps in the dusk of my life I see it differently and I might have reacted differently when I was young, but I lived through the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and the twenty two years after those and Queen Elisabeth II was a true exception and revered by a lot more than the British. So I personally hope that this Yemeni citizen, hopefully knowing Islamic law would have seen this as this one exception as well. There is a point when any law can be intentionally broken, not for ones self, but to remind us all that there is a greater good, a greater need to recognise that there is an exception to a law, any law and for many that will be the recognition of Queen Elisabeth II and the exceptional life driven to follow the duties that were bestowed on her, she kept that oath and followed her path of duties for over 70 years, a task that well over 99.999% of all people would be unable to keep, that is true exceptional and that makes her the one exception and I reckon that millions will hope that she will be welcomed into heaven, any heaven. Whether it is Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Judaism or any other religion. Less then 5 in anyones lifetime ever make it to such a list, I truly believe that Queen Elisabeth II is one of those people. I truly believe that if she enters Islamic heaven, she will be enjoying tea with Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi – Ras Al Khaimah, Hussein bin Talal, Fahd bin Abdelaziz Al Saud, and Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud discussing whatever rulers talk about. I have no way of knowing that. I feel certain that they will welcome her in their midst as an equal in many ways.
The one exception is not merely recognising that person, it will be the feeling of loss when that person is gone and it will be a rare moment when that feeling hits us when it is another nations ruler. It is a different person for most people, In case of Sir Winston Churchill, in 2002 456,498 voted him as the greatest Briton who ever lived, he won by getting 28.1% of the votes. If that same vote happens in 2030, there is no doubt that it will be Queen Elisabeth II who graces the number one spot and I predict that the vote count for her to win will be a lot higher, she might just get nearly all the votes there are and as the UK now has 67,508,936 people, I reckon she might end will well over 50 million votes.
That is merely my point of view, and again I state that this is an Islamic stage on Islamic law and I accept that, but I also see that there will be that one exception and that is my point of view. So I can only hope that there will be leniency for this Yemeni man who intentional or not broke the law.