Allah calls Himself Maalik ul-Mulk— Master of the Kingdom, the Dominion’s Owner— on one occasion in the Quran. He is the only possessor and ruler of the creation. Maalik ul-Mulk has the supreme authority and ruling power to act, command, and decide in whatever manner He likes!
The King, the Ruler, the Owner of Dominion
Maalik, Malik and Maleek all come from the root maa-laa-kaa, which points to three main meanings. The first main meaning is to have possession and ownership. The second is to have power and ability, and the third main meaning is to control and have authority.
This root appears 206 times in the Quran in ten derived forms. Examples of these forms are malakat (“possess”), mulku (“dominion”), and al-malaa’ikatu (“the angels)”.
Linguistically, maalik is an intensified form and refers to not only having kingship, but being master and lord. The word malik (king) is used for people however the name Maalik ul-Mulk is used for Allah ‘azza wa jall only. He is the King of all Kings, the owner of all owners and the ruler of all rulers, and His Kingdom consists of all that was, is, and will be created!
Maalik ul-Mulk Himself says: Say, “O Allah , Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honor whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent [Quran, 3:26]
The Maalik of the Day of Judgement
In Surah Al-Fatiha Allah ‘azza wa jall calls Himself Maaliki yawmid-Deen: He is the Master of the Day of Recompense and on that day all commands will be Allah’s only. No king or ruler will be able to command anyone to anything nor will any person have the power to do anything for someone else. Maalik ul-Mulk says, demonstrating His complete ownership and mastery over us: Surely the virtuous shall be in Bliss, and the wicked shall be in the Blazing Fire. They shall enter it on the Day of Recompense and then shall never come out of it. What do you know what the Day of Recompense is? Again, what do you know what the Day of Recompense is? It is the Day when no one will have the power to do anything for another, and all command will be Allah’s. [Quran, 82:13-19]
How Can You Live by This Name?
1. Remember the Day of Recompense.
Remind yourself of the day that Maalik ul-Mulk will confront you: The Day when they will (all) come out and nothing of them will be hidden from Allah. (On that Day they will be asked): “Whose is the kingdom today?” (The whole world will cry out): “It is Allah’s, the One, the Overpowering.” (It will then be said): “Today shall everyone be fully recompensed for his deeds . . .[Quran, 40:16-17] Every time you say Maaliki Yawmid-Deen in your prayer, imagine standing in front of Him and think of the deeds you have put forward for that day!
2. Reflect on the Kingdom.
Because nowadays most of us live in cities, surrounded by concrete and machines, we forget that in nature more than anything you see the sublime manifestation of the mulk of Allah ‘azza wa jall. When you are caught up in your daily life issues, blowing small problems out of proportion, or when your connection to Allah ‘azza wa jall feels weak, step out of the streets and into nature and let it humble you. Pick up a leaf and feel the texture. Reflecting on the creation is in itself ‘ibaadah.
3. Ask Maalik ul-Mulk.
Use this beautiful Quranic dua to supplicate to Maalik ul-Mulk: Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: Rabbanaa maa khalaqta haadha baaTilan subhaanaka fa qinaa ‘adhaaban-naar – Our Lord! Thou hast not created this in vain! Glory be to Thee; save us then from the chastisement of the fire [Quran, 3:191]
4. Motivate yourself.
Imagine the moment you will enter Paradise; the angels at the gates will welcome you with salaamun ‘alaykum– they greet you with peace, peace that you have longed for all your life. Then you will rush off to your house, the prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: By the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, any one of them (believers) will be more familiar with his dwelling in Paradise than he was with his house in this world [Al-Bukhaaree] Make Paradise a reality in your life and make it a clear goal at each start of your day. Allah ‘azza wa jall says: And when you look there [in Paradise], you will see pleasure and great dominion. [Quran, 76:20] Motivate yourself by imagining that first look into the great Kingdom of Paradise!
5. Be responsible in the dominion of Maalik ul-Mulk.
And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, ‘Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.’ [Quran, 2:30] Allah ‘azza wa jall placed you in His dominion with a mission: to worship Him alone and be reformers on earth. How do you know what Maalik ul-Mulk expects from you in His kingdom? By studying the Quran and the sunnah, so you can first read about His commandments and limits with which He guides you. The second step is asking Him for understanding of your Deen, and the third to do your best to act upon your knowledge!
6. Be a good leader.
The Messenger of Allah salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. Surely, every one of you is a shepherd and responsible for his flock. [Al-Bukharee, Muslim] Never misuse your authority over someone else, be just to your spouse and children and even to the animals, and remind yourself you will be asked about your leadership by Maalik ul-Mulk!
O Allah, Maalik ul-Mulk, we know that You are our only Master and Ruler. Make us remember the Day of Recompense in our words and deeds, aid us to truly reflect on Your Kingdom and be humbled by it. Guide us in being responsible on this earth, just to those under our authority and make us enter Paradise, Your Eternal dominion of pleasure, ameen!