In the name of Allah, may His peace, blessings and salutations be upon Muhammad, his family and his companions.
With the coronation of King Charles this weekend, many Muslims have been asking and debating about the permissibility of partaking in ceremonies and oaths of allegiance to the king and head of the Church of England.
It is true that demonstration of one’s allegiance in the ultimate sense is an essential part of one’s tawhīd (monotheism). We find statements of Allah and His Messenger that highlight this:
وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ
“The believing men and believing women are awliyā’ (allies) of one another.” 
أوثق عرى الإيمان الحب في الله والبغض في الله
“The most trustworthy handle of faith is to love and hate for the sake of Allah.” 
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ أَوْلِيَاءَ
“O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies.” 
However, we must be very careful in not misunderstanding or misapplying these texts wherever someone personally interprets as “showing allegiance”, especially when complex social and political contexts are involved.
Whilst most Muslims will be going about their lives as normal this weekend, there are two problematic paradigms that I wish to address, because we want to build confident Muslims proud of their Islam and comfortable in their Britishness, with a vision of a larger Ummah and humanity at large.
Firstly, don’t feel you have to prove your Britishness
The first extreme is those who go beyond what is required of them by law to demonstrate their citizenship or allegiance. This may come in the form of taking part in the rituals or oaths of allegiance to the new king.
We want our brothers and sisters to feel confident in their Islam and comfortable in their Britishness. If we go out of our way to prove our Britishness with actions beyond the required norms then that actually exudes the opposite impression – that we doubt ourselves, our belonging here and our confidence. Act normally.
Affinity or allegiance to monarchs is not synonymous with being British – in fact there is a long and proud tradition in Britain of opposition to monarchical power going back centuries. In our time, support for the monarchy has been decreasing year over year and is reportedly at an historic low according to the latest British Social Attitudes survey. 
Whilst in Islam there might be a permissible form of showing allegiance or loyalty to a community based on geography, this is very different to the notion of allegiance in the ideology of the modern nation state and Christianity (from which it came). In many cases, it may contradict an important essence of Islamic teaching.
Ultimate allegiance is for Truth, not people
Islam was not named after an individual or a place, but a verb: to submit to Allah alone without partners. In Islamic teachings, ultimate allegiance is to Allah and His messengers as conveyors of the Truth.
When Muslims show allegiance or obedience to human beings, it is not because of their essence or lineage but because of what they represent. When Muslims give an oath of allegiance to a Khalīfah, for example, they do so because he is the leader chosen by the Muslims who implements justice and represents the wider interests of the Ummah at large—in fact the interests of all creatures. They swear allegiance to the function, which is worthy of allegiance, and not the nature of his being—which is the same as any other human.
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ
“O mankind, indeed We have created you from a male and a female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” 
This highlights a distinct contrast between Islam’s concept of rulership and obedience and that of Christianity or Western modernity. The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was the final messenger and thus Islam rejects any claim after the prophets that anyone is “God’s representative on Earth” because we are all commanded to be connected to Him directly:
وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ وَيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ دِينُ الْقَيِّمَةِ
“And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion.” 
This is a manifestation of our tawhīd of Allah, but it also leads to tawhid—unification—of all people, as well. Going against this guidance thus inevitably leads to tyranny, bloodshed and chaos—as we have seen with our very eyes in recent history.
When people are not connected to the divine, they are divided over allegiances to states, organisations, groups, corporations, kings, and so on.
كُلُّ حِزْبٍ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ فَرِحُونَ
“…every faction rejoicing in what it has.” 
Each state believes they and their interests are effectively the god, hence the invention of the nation state and decline of Islamic civilisation coincided with the bloodiest and most destructive chapter in human history without a doubt. Human beings are industrially socialised now into putting their nation or king or corporation or group first, disregarding morality and justice in favour of these new gods, in contrast to what Allah has commanded:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاءَ لِلَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ ۚ إِن يَكُنْ غَنِيًّا أَوْ فَقِيرًا فَاللَّهُ أَوْلَىٰ بِهِمَا ۖ فَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا الْهَوَىٰ أَن تَعْدِلُوا ۚ وَإِن تَلْوُوا أَوْ تُعْرِضُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا
“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.” 
The world is now in dire need of this alternative civilisational paradigm, and Allah has commanded us to share it with people. 1387 years ago, when the silk-clad ruler of one of the superpowers of the world asked the humbly-dressed Rabʿī ibn ʿĀmir from atop his gold and jewel-encrusted throne what made these Arab shepherds and camel-herders wander out of the deserts, his reply was etched into history:
“Allah sent us to liberate His slaves from the servitude of other slaves into the servitude of the Lord of all slaves; from the oppression of manmade religions to the justice of Islam…”
We were not sent to follow, but to lead.
Avoid the opposite extreme
Having said that, if some people might be falling into one problematic paradigm we must also avoid falling into the opposite extreme, of jumping to accusations, mockery, and insult.
Just as we want to follow Allah’s guidance on the above, we must also follow the methodology that Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) taught us regarding how to disagree with others, instead of the methodology of Western popular culture wars, social media polarisation, and so on.
Firstly, we must not mock the occasion. This is a religious occasion in the Church of England (as well as the religion of the modern nation state) and as such, people’s sacred symbols and rituals must not be mocked or insulted, even if we disagree with them.
وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِم مَّرْجِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
“And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do.” 
Allah the Most High said this about shirk, which is the greatest transgression we can think of in Islam, therefore those sacred symbols lesser than that must also apply. Even though we categorically disagree with beliefs and practices of other people we have to show how Muslims disagree with things and again show leadership—not descend into the mockery, cartoons and wanton insults that those who childishly attack Islam and Muslims are accustomed to. They are not our teachers.
Secondly, it is true that our brothers and sisters who go beyond what is necessary to show their allegiance may make some grave mistakes, but they do so out of goodwill and not malice, therefore it is not Islamically permissible to mock them and rebuke them publicly.
Do not assume that just because they may have celebrated the coronation or “declared their allegiance” to the new king that they have subscribed to all of the underlying beliefs and religious connotations to the ceremony. Again, that logic of jumping to such conclusions is alien to Islam, its worldview and the civilisation and societies it wishes to produce.
Do not accuse fellow Muslims of kufr (disbelief) or bidʿah (heresy), since it is very difficult to confirm that taking part in this or that action is a clear demonstration of the type of “allegiance” that constitutes īmān and kufr, especially in today’s social and political contexts.
Not only is mocking or attacking those Muslims whose honour and reputation Allah has legally sanctified problematic enough, but even practically it is contrary to rational behaviour. As has happened many times in distant and recent history, harshness or rudeness in disagreement leads to the person you disagree with becoming more entrenched in his/her position, and you could be held responsible for that person going further astray if your inkār (condemnation) did not follow Islamic guidelines in enjoining good and forbidding wrong.
What are the Islamic guidelines? In summary, if you are very upset with something then advise your brothers and sisters with gentleness and wisdom—in private. Do no assume the worst if there are multiple interpretations of something. Do not condemn something if there is a risk of causing a bigger wrong, for example fracturing the unity between the hearts of the Muslims, or causing problems for the wider Muslim community due to the heightened emotions and nationalist fervour at this time.
ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ
“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best.” 
Of course, sometimes there can be exceptions like with many other rulings, however these rules cannot be overturned by just anyone based on their individual desire but it requires a methodology of its own to be carried out by people with knowledge and authority who can exercise discretion. When in doubt be on the safe side when it comes to transgressing the sanctities of your Muslim brothers and sisters; it is far safer for when you stand before Allah.
We wish for all religions to be respected by the law, as well as Islam, which is now the second largest in the UK. However, people must not feel pressured into crossing the line and taking part in rituals and religious activities of others. We advise Muslims to avoid actively participating in official ceremonies especially since they are not required to by law.
This is the true plurality that Islam taught the world and implementing a small fraction of such Islamic values will have monumental improvements to the social fabric of wider society and indeed the whole world. But we have to champion these values with wisdom, as the world is need of contextualised divine guidance now more than ever.
And Allah knows best.
 al-Qur’ān, 9:71
 al-Qur’ān, 5:51
 al-Qur’ān, 49:13
 al-Qur’ān, 98:5
 al-Qur’ān, 30:32
 al-Qur’ān, 4:135
 al-Qur’ān, 6:108
 al-Qur’ān, 16:125