The more I study Allah’s names the more it makes me realize that the reason for all our worries and dissatisfaction in this world is that we have never known or pondered upon the names and attributes of Allah. And therefore we don’t recognize His true worth. This lack of recognition creates such a void in our lives that we remain insecure, restless and dissatisfied no matter where we are or whatever we have. Therefore if we want to attain peace and security then learning about Allah’s names and attributes should be among our top most concerns…
One of the most beautiful names of Allah is Al-Malik… which means “The King”.
Also sharing the same root words are two other names of Allah…
Al-Maalik which means “The Owner”… and
Al-Maleek which it is the superlative form of “The King”.
So the first question which arises in our minds is that what is the difference between the owner and the king? Don’t they both mean the same thing?
Well the difference is that when someone is a king it doesn’t necessarily mean that he owns the entire scope of his kingdom. He might have authority and control but he doesn’t own everything. On the other hand some people have ownership of some property or title but other dominating people have acquired all the control and so the owner cannot exercise his authority. But these are the weaknesses of human beings… while Allah, (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) has not only complete ownership of this unimaginably vast universe but also has the absolute authority and control of each and every thing that it contains… thus He is the Al-Malik and He is the Al-Maalik…
Allah is “The King”… He alone is the Master of all that we can see and all that we know and also of those beings and those things which we do not know. The Ruler of this world as well as the hereafter…
He is Al-Maalik who owns everything and everyone… we are all His possessions… He is the king of all kings and the owner of all the owners of the world and all that they own… And He has the utmost power and control over all His possessions.
Sometimes people own things but they cannot use them the way they would like to… but Allah can do whatever He wants… He is the complete owner of his will and completely independent in exercising His power.
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Blessed is He in Whose hand is the kingdom, and He has power over all things (67:1)
On the contrary the ownership and control of people is just temporary and therefore not real…
The reality is that we are all totally empty handed except that which Allah gives to us as a test… All that we have is actually the possession of Allah and He has given it to us for a very short time… not for making us the masters of those things but merely to test us as to how we use them… how we speak and think… how we act…
But our tragedy is that we fail this test badly… because we think that we are the owners of whatever we have… we forget that these things belong only to Allah. This misconception leads to arrogance and carelessness about the real Owner… and so we fail to give Him that status which he deserves…
Just imagine how foolish would be a servant who is given the permission to move around the palace of a king so as to work in it and is allowed to hold various objects to clean them, repair them… etc and he starts imagining himself to be the owner of the palace… starts acting like the king and assumes that he doesn’t need to obey the orders of his master…!!! Imagine what will be his end? What can he achieve by this self deception?
Therefore if we don’t give the due importance to Al-Maalik… the Master… the Owner… then it is our own loss. Our dignity is in being humble to Al-Malik… and our success is in His obedience.
But we can never come out of our self deception if we never ponder upon the Majesty of Allah… Did you know that the size of this entire universe, with all its galaxies and stars and planets… when compared to Allah’s footstool is like a small ring in a desert!! And then this footstool is like a small ring as compared to the Throne of Allah. So how great is Allah? His magnificence is beyond our imagination…
فَتَعَالَى اللَّهُ الْمَلِكُ الْحَقُّ ۖ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْكَرِيم
So exalted be Allah, the True King; no god is there but He, the Lord of the honorable Throne. (23:116)
Allah the most supreme King and Master… Al-Maleek… can enforce His laws on the whole universe without any hindrance whatsoever. Billions of galaxies and trillions of stars are all moving according to Allah’s orders and they cannot dare to disobey their Master; who is the King of the heavens and the earth, the angels and the Jinn, human beings and the birds and the beasts, Owner of the sun and the moon, Ruler of the night and the day, the air and the oceans, the clouds and the lightening… everything big or small is subservient to the will of Allah because He is Al-Malik, and also Al-Maalik.
Then there are those who are known as Kings because of having certain control or authority in this world. But the ONLY one who truly deserves this title is no one else except Allah because all other kings are nothing but slaves of Allah.
The kings of this world have only a limited authority and also for a limited time… They just have limited resources while Allah’s treasures are unlimited…
These kings need the help of so many people to run their governments… but Allah has no need of any partner or helper.
These temporary kings have a limited knowledge and they don’t even know if their orders are being implemented or not. But Allah is The Real King… who knows each and every little thing… not a leaf falls without his knowledge… nor a seed grows without his orders…
So how sad it is that we are so impressed with these apparent kings and remain in fear and awe of them… and expect favours from them thinking that they will fulfil our needs… And remain oblivious to the Real King… Al-Malik… who OWNS all these kings… we neither fear Him nor do we obey Him… and what does it bring us but humiliation? Because when we don’t accept Allah as our Master then we become slaves to people… And when we become slaves to people then it is like begging from a beggar… what could be more degrading than that?
قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَنْ تَشَاءُ وَتَنْزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّنْ تَشَاءُ وَتُعِزُّ مَنْ تَشَاءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَنْ تَشَاءُ ۖ بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ ۖ إِنَّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Say: O Allah, Master of the Kingdom! You give the kingdom to whomsoever You please and take away the kingdom from whomsoever You please, and You exalt whom You please and abase whom You please… in Your hand is all goodness; surely, You have power over all things. (3:26)
Thus Allah’s name Al-Malik gives us freedom from all anxieties. How can a person be anxious about the fulfilment of his needs when he knows that his provision is guaranteed by The King whose treasures have no end… how can we fear people when we know that they are also slaves of Al-Maalik… and they can neither harm us nor give us any benefit without the orders and permission of Allah. So those who live with this consciousness will be the successful ones on the day of the final judgement and will attain the real closeness of the Supreme King… Al-Maleek :
إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَنَهَرٍ
فِي مَقْعَدِ صِدْقٍ عِنْدَ مَلِيكٍ مُقْتَدِر
Surely those who are conscious of Allah (and guard against evil) shall be in gardens and rivers… In the seat of honor with a most Powerful King. (54: 54,55)
Therefore Allah’s blessed people are those who remain conscious of the absolute power and authority of Allah… those who understand that they are only slaves of Allah… they are neither deluded by any pride in their temporary status or possessions… nor are they deceived by the control and possessions of other people. Thus they put all of their trust in Allah, they surrender themselves completely to His command… For Allah is their worship and To Him Alone they look for help and provision.
Truly this recognition is the essence of our worship and therefore the very purpose of our lives… May Allah, Al-Malik, help us to realize His Perfect Ownership and Kingdom… may He relieve us from our ignorance and heedlessness… ameen