Queen of Sheba
Queen of Shebā (Arabic: ملکةُ سبأ) is the only woman mentioned in the Qur'an as a ruler, she is also mentioned in the holy books of the Jews and Christians. Queen of Sheba, whose name was mentioned as Bilqis was first a sun worshiper, but when she met prophet Sulayman (a) (Solomon (a)) she converted to Monotheism. A famous Qur'anic story about the Queen of Sheba was narrated as: prophet Sulayman (a) commanded Bilqis to come to his palace, but before the Queen arrived, Prophet Sulayman (a) had moved her throne to his palace in the blink of an eye.
Bilqis was the daughter of Hudhad b. Sharahil a descendant of Sam (Shem) the son of Nuh (a). It is stated in some narrations, that one of her parents was Jinn which was rejected by some researchers as well.
Bilqis was a Queen from Himyarite tribe and she had a powerful rule in Yemen; she ruled over the region for nine years. Bilqis was regarded among the wisest women of her time. According to some sources, she married prophet Sulayman (a) while some other sources stated that she married someone else. Bilqis first was a sun worshiper but when she met prophet Sulayman (a), she converted to Monotheism. The Queen of Sheba is the only woman whose names is stated in holy Qur'an.
Prophet Sulayman (a) and the Queen of Sheba
A story is stated in Qur'an about Sulayman (a) and Bilqis in which prophet Sulayman (a) was informed by a hoopoe of a Kingdom on which a woman was ruling, they had a prosperous life and they were worshiping sun. prophet Sulayman (a) sent a letter to the Queen and invited her to Monotheism. In order to keep her territory away from getting damaged, she sent valuable gift to Sulayman (a), but he returned them.
Then Bilqis set off to Sulayman's (a) palace to talk to him. Prophet Sulayman (a) with the help of a wise man who had the knowledge of the Tablet of Wisdom, brought the throne of Bilqis in the blink of an eye. The Queen arrived in Sulayman's (a) palace and she saw her throne which was a bit changed, she thought the throne was very similar to hers. Then she was taken to a glass palace where eventually she converted to Monotheism.
In Jewish and Christian Sources
The story of the Queen of Sheba and Sulayman (a) is also stated in the holy book of the Jews: The Queen of Sheba was informed of Sulayman (a), then she came to him and asked some questions and she was given proper answers. In addition, she witnessed a beautiful palace, majestic food, the service of the officials, courtiers and servants and the sacrifices they made to God which all mesmerized her. Eventually the Queen admired and praised Sulayman (a) and his God and they both gave each other valuable gifts then she returned to her Kingdom.
The Story stated in Gospel of Luke as: In the Judgment Day the Queen of Sheba would stand and she would condemn the people of her time. As she made huge efforts and paved a long way to meet Sulayman (a) in order to listen to his wise words, but someone wiser that Sulayman (a) was there (only few ones paid attention to him).
Management of Women
The Queen of Sheba is the only woman in Qur'an who was mentioned as a ruler. Her management was not criticized in Qur'an but implicitly her merits are mentioned. Today numerous research papers are written about management of women regarding Qur'an which also discuss the story of the Queen of Sheba. This story has been used to prove the role and active presence of women in society.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from ملکه سبا in Farsi WikiShia.