Prince Charles aims to read the Qur’an in Arabic

News that Prince Charles is learning Arabic so he can read the Qur’an in its original language has prompted speculation about the heir to the throne’s fascination with Islam.

The Prince is on record as saying that “Islam can teach us today a way of understanding and living in the world which Christianity itself is poorer for having lost”.

The prospective head of the Church of England was on a visit to the Qatari capital of Doha when a royal aide confirmed he has been taking lessons in Arabic for six months.

This would enable him to read the Qur’an in its original form as well as decipher Arabic script on visits to mosques and museums.

He already speaks good French, some German, and has also had lessons in Welsh.

The news that the Prince is learning Arabic so he can undertake a deeper study of the Qur’an has led Religion News Service contributor Omid Safi to speculate on his fascination with Islam.

Safi is a professor of Islamic studies at the University of North Carolina in the United States.

Examining statements Prince Charles has made about Islam, Safi says he approaches that faith “not primarily through the lens of security threats and international crises, but rather as a body of spiritual teachings”.

Safi says: “Much of his attractions to Islam actually comes from the insights of the Qur’an that come to identify the natural cosmos as a site where God is revealed and experienced.”

Safi goes on to say that the Prince’s deep concern for environmental crises is strongly reminiscent of the writings of contemporary Muslim philosophers, such as the Iranian scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr.

According to Safi, Prince Charles “seems to be reiterating Nasr’s view that the solution to the environmental crisis is in recovering a sense of integration, of wholeness, both inside humanity and with nature”.

Sources:

Daily Mail

Religion News Service

Image: Religion News Service

News category: World.

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