(The King)

al-Malik Meaning:

The Sovereign Lord, The One with the complete Dominion, the One Whose Dominion is clear from imperfection

Allah is Al-Malik (in arabic: ٱلْمَلِكُ), the literal meaning in Arabic is "The King." He is the one who reigns dominion over the heavens and the earth and everything that resides within them. There is nothing above Him, and He is alone.

Mentions of Al-Malik:
From Quran & Hadith

Arabic Root:
From the root mim-lam-kaf (م ل ك), which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to possess, to own exclusively to exercise authority to command to have power over, command, reign to have dominion over, to have ruling power to have kingship.

This name of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ tells us He is the absolute ruler, without any objection or partnership. Ibn Arabi says Al-Malik is the one "for whom nothing He wants to do in His Sovereign kingdom is difficult." All things in existence come from Him, and He presides as a sovereign ruler over them.

The Ruler or The King:
There is a difference in ٱلْمَـٰلِكُ (Al-Malik) and ٱلْمَـالِكُ (Al-Mālik), phonetically the difference is the second is said with a stress on the letter "a". Al-Malik is a king, a ruler over his subject whereas Al-Mālik is the master and owner. Al-Malik is the king, whose limits are not confined to a boundary, He is ever-lasting in time and space. He can never be abdicated from His throne and doesn't need the support of His subjects. Our perception of a king is that he leads the people, but he requires buy-in from his subjects. Without the support of the people, he has no power, no dominion. Abu Dharr reported Allah's messenger ﷺ as stating that God most high says, "if the first and last of you, the living and the dead among you, those of you who are fresh and those of you who are withered, had all hearts as wretched as the heart of the most wretched of my servants, that would not diminish as much as a gnat’s wing from my dominion." [1]

This emphasizes how He has no need of any existing thing, He is independent. If all people were wretched in their hearts, i.e., they did not believe, He would still be the king. His dominion would not diminish even by a "gnat's wing." In his book, The Name & the Named Shayk Tosun Bayrak writes, "He does not need His kingdom, His kingdom needs Him. He rules by Himself; He does not need any help to rule. He has created the universe as a workplace for His creation, and He has created the day of judgment as a great court of justice."

فَتَعَٰلَى ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡمَلِكُ ٱلۡحَقُّۗ وَلَا تَعۡجَلۡ بِٱلۡقُرۡءَانِ مِن قَبۡلِ أَن يُقۡضَىٰٓ إِلَيۡكَ وَحۡيُهُۥۖ وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدۡنِي عِلۡمٗا

Fata’aalal laahul Malikul Haqq; wa laa ta’jal bil Quraani min qabli ai yuqdaaa ilaika wahyuhoo wa qur Rabbi zidnee ilmaa

English Translation:
"So high [above all] is Allah, the Sovereign, the Truth. And, [O Muhammad], do not hasten with [recitation of] the Qur’an before its revelation is completed to you, and say, "My Lord, increase me in knowledge." — (Qur'an 20:114)

قُلِ ٱللَّهُمَّ مَٰلِكَ ٱلۡمُلۡكِ تُؤۡتِي ٱلۡمُلۡكَ مَن تَشَآءُ وَتَنزِعُ ٱلۡمُلۡكَ مِمَّن تَشَآءُ وَتُعِزُّ مَن تَشَآءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشَآءُۖ بِيَدِكَ ٱلۡخَيۡرُۖ إِنَّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيۡءٖ قَدِيرٞ

Qulil laahumma Maalikal Mulki tu’til mulka man tashaaa’u wa tanzi’ul mulka mimman tashhaaa’u wa tu’izzu man tashaaa’u wa tuzillu man tashaaa’u biyadikal khairu innaka ‘alaa kulli shai’in Qadeer

English Translation:
"Say (O Muhammad SAW): “O Allah! Possessor of the kingdom, You give the kingdom to whom You will, and You take the kingdom from whom You will, and You endue with honour whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the good. Verily, You are Able to do all things." — (Qur'an 3:26)

فَتَعَٰلَى ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡمَلِكُ ٱلۡحَقُّۖ لَآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ رَبُّ ٱلۡعَرۡشِ ٱلۡكَرِيمِ

Fata’aalal laahul Malikul Haqq; laaa ilaaha illaa Huwa Rabbul Arshil Kareem

English Translation:
"So exalted is Allah, the Sovereign, the Truth; there is no deity except Him, Lord of the Noble Throne." — (Qur'an 23:116)

هُوَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِي لَآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلۡمَلِكُ ٱلۡقُدُّوسُ ٱلسَّلَٰمُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُ ٱلۡمُهَيۡمِنُ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡجَبَّارُ ٱلۡمُتَكَبِّرُۚ سُبۡحَٰنَ ٱللَّهِ عَمَّا يُشۡرِكُونَ

Huwal-laahul-lazee laaa Ilaaha illaa Huwal-Malikul Quddoosus-Salaamul Muminul Muhaiminul-aAzeezul Jabbaarul-Mutakabbir; Subhaanal laahi Ammaa yushrikoon

English Translation:
"He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Perfection, the Bestower of Faith, the Overseer, the Exalted in Might, the Compeller, the Superior. Exalted is Allah above whatever they associate with Him." — (Qur'an 59:23)

From the hadith, it mentions Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying, "The most awful name in Allah's sight on the Day of Resurrection, will be (that of) a man calling himself Malik Al-Amlak (the King of kings). [2] There can be no King of kings, as Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is the King of kings. To say otherwise would be blasphemous.

Our belief and understanding that Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Al-Malik (The King) enables us to realize all matters we seek belong with Him. We see how this name encompasses an aura of grandness and majesty. He has complete knowledge, power, and rule over all His creation. So if we seek refuge, we should confide in Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ because only He can help provide relief. If we seek the bounty, we should ask from the King of kings because He is the only true provider with no limits.

This belief also frees us from the shackles of dependence on wealthy leaders that may cause us to compromise our morals and integrity so that we may be in their favor. People will continually try to use fame, money, and power to control and influence our behavior for their benefit. But for the person who knows Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ as Al-Malik, they can break hold from the power others may hold over us. They see the illusion and don't fall for their tricks.

A person who has Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ only needs Allah; they are free from worldly desires and can find happiness within. They can then focus on how to fulfill their duties and obligations as Muslims so that they may live like a King in the akhirah.

There are other verses in the Qur'an that make mention of this name with it's variations. If you'd like further reading you can see Surah Fatiha ayah 4, Surah Burooj ayah 9, Surah al-A'raf ayah 158.

Hadith References:
[1] Mishkat al-Masabih 2350
[2] Sahih al-Bukhari 6205

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