Prince Charles Visits Al Azhar Mosque

Prince Charles of Wales and Duchess Camilla of Cornwall visited Thursday Al Azhar mosque, the 1,000-year-old seat of Sunni Islam learning in Old Cairo, meeting with Grand Imam Ahmed el Tayyeb.

The meeting tapped on harmony among teachings of different religions, and the role of religion in preserving the environment. 

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The heir to the British throne said that during meetings with Al Azhar’s Grand Imam and some of its students and teachers he had been reminded of the many Qur’anic verses that speak of the importance of caring for the planet.

📚 Read Also:  UK Muslims Lead the Way Raising Climate Action Awareness

“We should heed such wisdom and rediscover a sense of the sacred by learning to live within the bounds of nature, rather than thinking we can go on ignoring it,” he said, Reuters reported.

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Britain would be with Egypt, which is due to host next year’s COP27 climate summit, in the “epic struggle to protect and restore our environment,” he said.

Charles said he had also had the “special pleasure” of meeting one of Cairo’s remaining craftsmen with the knowledge to make traditional minbars, or mosque pulpits.

Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla took photos at the mosque’s central courtyard and in front of the mosque’s cistern that was set up by Prince Taj al Din al-Shobaki.

This is the second visit by Prince Charles to the mosque. and the first overseas tour by senior British royals since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Muslims have been leading several initiatives recently to raise awareness about climate change, launching campaigns to preserve environment.

Earlier this year, Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb, Pope Francis, and 40 faith leaders came together to draw attention to the “grave threat” facing the world from climate change.

They made the appeal on Oct. 4 in a joint message signed in the Vatican’s Hall of Benediction, which was decorated with plants to mark the occasion.

Environmental sustainability is very important in Islam. Thus, preserving environment, from an Islamic perspective, is grounded in honoring the relationship between oneself, Allah, and Allah’s creation. 

Allah says in the Qur’an, It is He who has appointed you vicegerent on the Earth … (Qur’an, 6:165)