Born on the 15th of August 1769, Napoléon Bonaparte
was able to shape modern European history with his
military innovations and war tactics that enabled him
to lead several successful campaigns against the First
and Second Coalition.
The French leader, who died in May 1821, was a general
during the French Revolution, the ruler of France as
First Consul of the French Republic, Emperor of the
French, King of Italy, Mediator of the Swiss
Confederation and Protector of the Confederation of
the Rhine. His campaigns are studied at military
academies all over the world and he is widely regarded
as one of history's greatest commanders.
Regardless of whether he was a fair leader or not, one
of the most impressive aspects regarding Napoléon
Bonaparte was his admiration of Islam. Bonaparte first
learnt about Islam in 1789, when he proposed a
military expedition to seize Egypt then a province of
the Ottoman Empire in order to protect French trade
interests and undermine Britain's access to India.
It has been reported that while in Egypt, Bonaparte
took part in several religious ceremonies and held
meetings with Muslim clerics. Many quotes suggest
that Bonaparte was a serious admirer of Islam:
"Moses has revealed the existence of God to his
nation. Jesus Christ to the Roman world, Muhammad
(PBUH) to the old continent,”
"I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able
to unite all the wise and educated men of all the
countries and establish a uniform regime based on the
principles of Qur'an which alone are true and which
alone can lead men to happiness,” Napoléon Bonaparte
as quoted in Christian Cherfils, ‘Bonaparte et Islam,’
Pedone Ed., Paris, France, 1914, pp. 105, 125.
Many historians discussed Bonaparte’s admiration of
Islam, while others debated whether he converted to
Islam or not.
‘Satanic Voices - Ancient and Modern’ by David M.
Pidcock stated that the then official French
Newspaper, Le Moniteur, carried the accounts of
Bonaparte’s conversion to Islam in 1798 C.E. The
newspaper even mentioned his new Muslim name, which
was ‘Aly (Ali) Napoléon Bonaparte’.
It has also been reported that Bonaparte commended the
conversion of his General Jacques Menou, whose Muslim
name was ‘Abdullah-Jacques Menou’, who later married
an Egyptian, Sitti Zoubeida - who was descended from
the line of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
Even if such claims are untrue, it’s clear that
Napoleon Bonaparte admired the Islamic (Shari'ah) Law
and attempted to apply it in his Empire.
It’s interesting that a great leader like Bonaparte
admired Islam and its laws, which are much better than
the secular laws applied in many countries today. In
fact, some aspects of the Shariah law still exist in
the French constitution as the basis for some of their
laws taken from the Code Napoléon.
A well-known case like the fatal car accident of
Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi al-Fayed can best
illustrate this. "The photographers were charged with
an old part of the French Jurisprudence, for ‘not
helping at the scene of an accident’- which is taken
from the Shari'ah Law of Imam Malik."
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23 November 2007
BY MUHAMMED A. HAFEEZ
EMAIL ; firstname.lastname@example.org