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Ustadha Zaynab Ansari on Women of the Qur’an: Bilkees, Queen of Sheba

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, in partnership with Muslimah Media, speaks in a 6-part series about women who are documented in the Quran.

Bilkees, Queen of Sheba

The Queen Bilkees is another woman mentioned in the Qur”an with a fascinating story. So fascinating, in fact, that scholars wondered whether she was, in fact, a human, or whether she was something more.

However, Bilkees was a human woman, who ruled over present-day Yemen. She had a vast kingdom, and she lived during the time of the Prophet Sulaiman. She was a female ruler who ruled with no consort, and she was also very wise. She had appointed a group of advisors whom she would consult, although the practice was that the king would rule alone.

The Prophet Sulaiman heard about her when one of his servants, the Hoopoe bird, returned from a prolonged absence. The bird spoke about her great kingdom and wealth, and about her magnificent throne.

The Prophet Sulaiman sent her a message, telling her about Islam. In her wisdom, she did not want to provoke conflict, and took the way of diplomacy. Eventually, she was invited to visit Sulaiman’s palace. There, she found her own throne, which Sulaiman had miraculously been able to summon. He also showed her the miracles in his palace, including a floor of glass which ran over a river.

A Deeply Spiritual Woman

When she realized that the way she had following was wrong, and that Prophet Sulaiman was teaching the true religion, she said, “Verily I have oppressed myself.” Thus, when she realized her previous mistakes, she as astute enough to admit them and change her ways. She knew that it wasn’t because he was a man and she was a woman, but rather it was a case of him being a Prophet of Allah.

She accepted Islam, and some day that she married Prophet Sulaiman as well. Regardless, she is documented in the Qur’an in her own right, as a wise, strong, and pious woman.


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Ustadha Zaynab Ansari on Women of the Quran: Aasiyah

Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, in partnership with Muslimah Media, speaks in a 6-part series about women who are documented in the Quran.

Aasiyah, wife of the Pharaoh

Aasiyah is significant in many ways. Firstly, she is connected to Prophet Musa, one of the five greatest Prophets and the most-mentioned in the Quran. She played a huge role in his life, saving him from certain death and raising him to adulthood. Her care enabled him to grow up to be the man who lead the liberation of the people of Israel. Secondly, she displayed immense courage, standing up for her faith even against her own husband.

A Maternal Figure

Prophet Musa was born at a time when the Pharaoh was killing all the newborn boys of the Banu Israel, to ensure that they did not defeat him. His mother was divinely inspired to put him in a basket and release him into the river. He was found by Aasiyah and her attendants. Aasiyah, who did not have children of her own, convinced the Pharaoh to allow her to adopt him. He agreed, and the young Prophet Musa was raised in the royal palace.

Aasiyah’s Courage

Eventually, Allah revealed the message to Musa. He confronted the Pharoah with it, and asked him to release the Banu Israel. He performed many miracles to prove himself. Aasiyah witnesses all this, and said, “I believe in the Lord of Musa.” In a beautiful prayer preserved in the Quran, she asked Allah to build her a house in Jannah with Him, and free her from the evildoers. Because of her faith, she was tortured to death by her own husband, the Pharoah.

Her story may have ended tragically in a material context. But it is preserved in the Quran to this day, along with the promise of her high rank in Paradise.


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PHOTOS from Grasmere, South Africa with Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

After a brief introduction by Abdul-Rehman Malik, Global Programs Director of SeekersHub, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus delivered this beautiful talk to a lively audience in Grasmere, South Africa, with live translation into Zulu. Shaykh Yahya began first by saying the SeekersHub team are guests in the blessed land of Africa, but at the same time they are not – find out why. Listen in full on the SeekersHub podcast.

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In Grasmere: “Inspirational Stories from the Lives of the Righteous”, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

After a brief introduction by Abdul-Rehman Malik, Global Programs Director of SeekersHub, Shaykh Yahya Rhodus delivered this beautiful talk to a lively audience in Grasmere, South Africa, with live translation into Zulu. Shaykh Yahya began first by saying the SeekersHub team are guests in the blessed land of Africa, but at the same time they are not – find out why.
Follow the Spread Light tour of South Africa on the SeekersHub website. Your financial support is crucial to our #SpreadLight campaign, which seeks to provide truly excellent Islamic learning to at least 1,000,000 seekers of knowledge in the coming year. This will serve as an ongoing charity (sadaqa jariyah) so please donate today.