Malik, Melik, Malka, Malek, Malick, or Melekh (Phoenician: ; Arabic: ; Hebrew: ) is the Semitic term translating to "king", recorded in East Semitic and Arabic, and as mlk in Northwest Semitic during the Late Bronze Age (e.g. Aramaic, Canaanite, Hebrew).
Although the early forms of the name were to be found among the Pre-Arab and Pre-Islamic Semites of The Levant, Canaan, and Mesopotamia, it has since been adopted in various other, mainly but not exclusively Islamized or Arabized non-Semitic Asian languages for their ruling princes and to render kings elsewhere. It is also sometimes used in derived meanings.
The female version of Malik is Malikah (Arabic: ?) (or its various spellings such as Malekeh or Melike), meaning "queen".
The name Malik was originally found among various pre-Arab and non-Muslim Semitic peoples such as the indigenous ethnic Assyrians of Iraq, Amorites, Jews, Arameans, Mandeans, Syriacs, and pre-Islamic Arabs. It has since been spread among various predominantly Muslim and non-Semitic peoples in Central Asia, the Middle East, and South Asia. Malik is also an angel in the Quran, who never smiled since the day the hellfire was created.
The last name "Malik" or the accented version "Malík" may also be of West Slavic origin, most predominantly Polish, Czech, and Slovakian, as it comes from a Polish word "ma?y" meaning "small". It's comparable with surnames such as "Malicki", "Maliczek", or "Malikowski".
The last name "Malik" also refers to people belonging to the Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana region in India and Pakistan.
Malik is also a common name for boys in Greenlandic, meaning "wave".
The earliest form of the name Maloka was used to denote a prince or chieftain in the East Semitic Akkadian language of the Mesopotamian states of Akkad, Assyria, Babylonia and Chaldea. The Northwest Semitic mlk was the title of the rulers of the primarily Amorite, Sutean, Canaanite, Phoenician and Aramean city-states of the Levant and Canaan from the Late Bronze Age.
Eventual derivatives include the Aramaic, Neo-Assyrian, Mandic and Arabic forms: Malik, Malek, Mallick, Malkha, Malka, Malkai and the Hebrew form Melek.
Moloch has been traditionally interpreted the epithet of a god, known as "the king" like Baal was an epithet "the master" and Adon an epithet "the lord", but in the case of Moloch purposely mispronounced as Molek instead of Melek using the vowels of Hebrew bosheth "shame".
Malik is also an unrelated Greenlandic Inuit name meaning "wave."
Primarily a malik is the ruling monarch of a kingdom, called mamlaka; that term is however also used in a broader sense, like realm, for rulers with another, generally lower titles, as in Sahib al-Mamlaka. Malik is also used for tribal leaders, e.g. among the Pashtuns.
Some Arab kingdoms are currently ruled by a Malik:
- Bahrain, formerly under a hakim, or "ruler", until 16 August 1971, then under an emir, or "prince", and since 14 February 2002 under a malik.
- Jordan, formerly the Emirate of Transjordan;
- Morocco, formerly a Sultanate;
- Saudi Arabia. On 10 June 1916 the Grand Sharif of Mecca assumed the title of King of the Hejaz; from 29 October 1916 "King of the Arabs and Commander of the Faithful"; from 6 November 1916 recognized by the allied powers only as King of the Hejaz, Commander of the Faithful, Grand Sharif and emir of Mecca; also assumed the title of Caliph on 11 March 1924; from 3 October 1924: King of the Hejaz and Grand Sharif of Mecca. In 1925 Nejd conquered Hijaz, so the Sultan of Nejd added the title "King of Hijaz". On 22 September 1932 Nejd and Hejaz were renamed as Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, full style: Malik al-Mamlaka al-'Arabiyya as-Sa'udiyya ("King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia"); from 1986 prefixed to the name: Khadim al-Haramayn ash-Sharifayn ("Servant (i.e. Protector) of the Two Exalted Holy Places [Mecca and Medina]").
Other historic realms under a Malik include:
- Egypt -- the former khedivate and subsequently independent sultanate was ruled by Malik Misr ("King of Egypt") from 1922 to 1951; and Malik Misr wa's Sudan ("King of Egypt and the Sudan") from 16 October 1951 until the proclamation of the republic on 18 June 1953
- Iraq -- between 23 August 1921 and 2 May 1958, Iraq was ruled by a Hashemite Malik al-'Iraq ("King of Iraq"). Among the indigenous Assyrians and Kurdish Jews, the term has been (and still is) used since pre-Arab and pre-Islamic for the title of tribal chief, for example Malik Khoshaba of the Bit-Tyareh tribe.
- Libya -- Idris I (1890-1983) (Sayyid Muhammad Idris as-Sanusi, heir of a Muslim sect's dynasty) reigned as Malik al-Mamlaka al-Libiyya al-Muttahida ("King of the United Libyan Kingdom") from 24 December 1951 through 25 April 1963 and Malik al-Mamlaka al-Libiyya ("King of the Libyan Kingdom") until 1 September 1969
- Maldives -- between 1965 and 1968, Muhammad Fareed Didi ruled Maldives as Jala'ala ul-Malik ("King" and the style of "His Majesty"); previous rulers were styled: Sultan of Land and Sea and Lord of the twelve-thousand islands, holding both the Arabic title of Sultan and the more ancient Divehi title of Maha Radun or Ras Kilege
- Oman -- the Nabhani dynasty ruled Oman between 1154 and 1470, later it was an imamate/ Sultanate
- Tunisia, formerly ruled by maliks (1 year);
- Yemen -- between *1918 and 27 September 1962, and in dissidence to March 1970, the imamate of Yemen was ruled by Imam al-Muslimin, Amir al-Mu'minin, Malik al-Mamlaka al-Mutawakkiliyya al-Yamaniyya ("Imam of the Muslims, Commander of the Faithful, King of the Mutawakkilite Yemeni Kingdom")
- Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India - The Muslim rulers bestowed the title of Malik on loyal tribal leaders and chieftains in South Asia. The Mughal and colonial India, the princely state of Zainabad, Vanod was ruled by a Malek Shri (Shri is an emphatical honorific).
The title Malik has also been used in languages which adopted Arabic loanwords (mainly, not exclusively, in Muslim cultures), for various princely or lower ranks and functions.
- In Armenia, the title of Melik was bestowed upon princes who ruled various principalities, often referred to as Melikdoms.
- In Georgia, among the numerous Grandees, often related to Armenia:
The word Malik is sometimes used in Arabic to render roughly equivalent titles of foreign rulers, for instance the chronicler Baha al-Din Ibn Shaddad refers to King Richard I of England as Malik al-Inkitar.
- In Pakistan, Awan heads of villages are called Malik
- The sacrament of Holy Leaven in the Assyrian Church of the East
- It is also one of the Names of God in the Qur'an, and is then al-Malik () or The King, Lord of the Worlds in the absolute sense (denoted by the definite article), meaning the King of Kings, above all earthly rulers.
- Hence, Abdelmelik ("servant of [Allah] the King ") is an Arabic male name.
- In Biblical Hebrew, Moloch is either the name of a god or the name of a particular kind of sacrifice associated historically with Phoenician and related cultures in North Africa and the Levant.
- Melqart ("king of the city") was a Phoenician and Punic god.
- The Melkites (from Syriac malk?yâ, , "imperial") are the members of several Christian churches of the Middle East, originally those who sided with the Byzantine emperor.
Compound and derived titles
- Malika is the female derivation, a term of Arabic origin used in Persia as the title for a Queen consort. Frequently also used as part of a lady's name, e.g. Malika-i-Jahan 'Queen of the World'.
- Sahib us-Sumuw al-Malik (female Sahibat us-Sumuw al-Malik) is an Arabic title for His/Her Royal Highness, notably for Princes in the dynasty of the Malik of Egypt.
The following components are frequently part of titles, notably in Persian (also used elsewhere, e.g. in India's Moghol tradition):
- - ul-Mulk (or ul-Molk): - of the kingdom; e.g. Malik Usman Khan, who served the Sultan of Gujarat as Governor of Lahore, received the title of Zubdat ul-Mulk 'best of the kingdom' as a hereditary distinction, which was retained as part of the style of his heirs, the ruling Diwans (only since 1910 promoted to Nawab) of Palanpur.
- - ul-Mamaluk (plural of ul-mulk): - of the kingdoms.
In the great Indian Muslim salute state of Hyderabad, a first rank- vassal of the Mughal padshah (emperor) imitating his lofty Persian court protocol, the word Molk became on itself one of the titles used for ennobled Muslim retainers of the ruling Nizam's court, in fact the third in rank, only below Jah (the highest) and Umara, but above Daula, Jang, Nawab, Khan Bahadur and Khan; for the Nizam's Hindu retainers different titles were used, the equivalent of Molk being Vant.
Usage in South Asia
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. (November 2017)
The Arabic term came to be adopted as a term for "tribal chieftain" in the tribal areas of northwestern Pakistan.In tribal Pashtun society in Pakistan the Maliks serve as de facto arbiters in local conflicts, interlocutors in state policy-making, tax-collectors, heads of village and town councils and delegates to provincial and national jirgas as well as to Parliament.
In the Punjab, "Malik", literally meaning "King" is a title used by some well-reputed specific Punjabi aristocrat bloodlines with special lineage, more formally known as Zamindars. The Actual clan to hold and originate this esteemed title is the Malik which is also associated with different aspects throughout different generations and periods of history, It is believed that they originated as a clan of warriors who later on settled as wealthy landlords. Malik title is used various castes and tribes.
Malik or Malek is a common element in first and family names, usually without any aristocratic meaning, However Malik is a large community and a well known clan of the Awan tribe in Pakistan with Arab heritage.
Some Maliks (Urdu: ) are also a clan of Hindu Jat, Muslim and a few Sikh Jatt, found primarily in India. (There also exist Hindu Punjabi Maliks that are part of the Khukhrain or Arora communities. The Muslim Malik community is settled all over Pakistan and the Sikh Malik in India. The Malik are also known as the Ghatwala. The Gathwala are now designating themselves as Maliks. Due to popularity of the Malik title many punjabi sub-casts such as Gujarati Punjabis, Teli Punjabis and many others have adapted the title to gain acceptance in the Punjabi caste system.
However, the above is just apocryphal and indigenous derivations can't be ruled out e.g. from the Mallas, the Malla Kingdom or the Sanskrit word malla (meaning, wrestling) or its derivative malakhra (?-?, malla-kreeda).
List of notable name-bearers
- Malik Ata Muhammad Khan, Current Cheiftan of Malik-Awan Clan, A Renowned feudal lords and states man
- Nawab Malik Amir Mohammad Khan, Nawab of Kalabagh, Patriarch of Malik-Awan Tribe
- Malik Basit or Malik B (1972-2020), American rapper
- Malik Bendjelloul, Swedish Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, journalist, and child actor
- Malik ibn Anas, known as Imam Malik, one of the greatest Sunni Muslim scholars after whom the Maliki school of fiqh was named
- Malik Izaak Taylor (aka Phife Dawg), American rapper and a member of the group A Tribe Called Quest
- Malik Feroz Khan Noon, former Prime Minister of Pakistan
- Malik Khizar Hayat Tiwana, Punjab Unionist party Premier of the Punjab
- Malik Khoshaba, an Assyrian tribal leader of the Tyareh tribe.
- Malik Peiris, Sri Lankan scientist
- Malik Riaz, Pakistani businessman and a real estate investor who owns Bahria Town.
- Malik Shabazz, also known as Malcolm X, an American Muslim leader and human rights activist
- Malik Yoba, American actor and occasional singer.
- Abdul Malik, Brigadier (rtd.), first Pakistani cardiologist, founder of National Heart Foundation
- Anas ibn Malik, a companion of Muhammad.
- Anu Malik, Indian singer and music director
- Armaan Malik, Indian singer
- Art Malik, a Pakistani-born British actor
- Nikunj Malik, Indian actress
- Rami Malek, American actor
- Shoaib Malik, Pakistani cricket player
- Steve Malik (born c. 1965), American businessman and sports team owner
- Tashfeen Malik, Arab American terrorist; she was shot dead by police after the San Bernardino massacre
- Terrence Malick (born 1943), American film director, screenwriter, producer
- Veena Malik, Pakistani actress, TV host and model
- Wendie Malick, American actress, former model
- Yasin Malik, Kashmiri political leader and chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation front
- Zayn Malik, English former member of One Direction, now soloist
- Melech (name), a given name of Hebrew origin that means 'king'.
- Maluku islands, an archipelago in Indonesia whose name is thought to have been derived from the Arab traders' term for the region, Jazirat al-Muluk ('the island of many kings').
- Minicoy, an island in India that was the ancient capital of Lakshadweepa, whose local name (Maliku) is thought to have been derived from the Arab traders' term for it, Jazirat al-Maliku ('the island of the king').