Feb
28
2011

Bilqîs

She was the queen of Saba. An animal by the name of Hudhud informed Sulaymân ‘alayhis salâm that he came across a queen who worships the sun. Sulaymân ‘alayhis salâm wrote a letter and asked Hudhud to hand it over to her. The following was written in the letter: “Accept Islam and come to me.” She consulted her ministers and governors and eventually made the following decision: “I will send many rare gifts to him. If he accepts them, I will conclude that he is a worldly king. If he does not accept them, I will conclude that he is a prophet.” When these gifts were given to Sulaymân ‘alayhis salâm, he returned them and sent a message that if you do not become Muslims, I will come with my army to fight you. When she received this message, she was convinced that he is a prophet. She left her city with the intention of becoming a Muslim.

After she departed, Sulaymân ‘alayhis salâm had her valuable royal throne brought to him in a miraculous way. He called for it so that Bilqîs will see the miracle. He removed the pearls and other gems that were on it and had them embedded in another way (different from the way they had been originally embedded). When Bilqîs reached his place, he decided to test her intelligence. He therefore asked her: “Isn’t this your throne?” She looked at it carefully and said: “It looks like it. It seems that its appearance has changed slightly.” From her answer he deduced that she is very intelligent.

Thereafter, Sulaymân ‘alayhis salâm wanted to show her that his kingdom that was given by Allah is far better than her worldly kingdom. In order to demonstrate this to her, he ordered a pond to be filled with water and that a crystal clear glass be placed on top of it in such a way that it cannot be seen. He then went and sat at such a place that if anyone wished to go to him, that pond will be in the way and he will therefore have to walk through the pond. Bilqîs was then summoned to him. When Bilqîs reached the pond, she did not notice the glass and felt that she will have to walk through the pond. She began lifting her pants (so that it will not get wet when she walks through the pond). Sulaymân ‘alayhis salâm immediately informed her that it has been laid with glass and that she should merely walk on it.

When Bilqîs saw the miracle of her throne (being brought here) and this great piece of architecture (i.e. the glass on top of the pond), and that he has royal possessions far better than hers, she immediately recited the kalimah and became a Muslim. Some scholars have written that Sulaymân ‘alayhis salâm married her soon thereafter. Others have written that she married the king of Yemen. Allah knows best.

Lesson: Look at how selfless she was that despite being a queen and very rich, the moment she learnt the truth of Dîn, she immediately accepted it. She did not display any pride in accepting it nor did she hold on to the beliefs and customs of her forefathers. O women! You should also adopt this attitude. When you hear anything of the Dîn, do not consider it to be a blemish or something to be ashamed of. Nor should you hold on to the customs of your family. None of this will help you. Only your Dîn will help you.

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