(782 words)

The name most frequently given by Islamic commentators to the anonymous queen of the land of Sheba (q.v.). Bilqīs is the powerful and intelligent ruler whose celebrated visit to the court of the prophet Solomon (q.v.; see also art and architecture and the qurʾān ) is mentioned in q 27:20-44. The etymology of the name is unknown. The view that “Bilqīs” is derived from the Hebrew pilegesh (concubine) or from Naukalis, the Greek name given her by Flavius Josephus, is not at all convincing (see E. Ullendorff, Bilḳīs). Muslim religious scholars also refer to the queen as Balʿama (cf. Thaʿlabī, Qiṣa…

Cite this page
Lassner, Jacob, “Bilqīs”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 18 November 2018 <>

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