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Malik, Mallik, Melik, Malka, Malek, Maleek, Malick, Mallick, or Melekh (Phoenician: 𐤌𐤋𐤊; Arabic: ملك; Hebrew: מֶלֶךְ) 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 Semitic speakers 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: ملكة; 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 speakers 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" 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 "ocean wave".[1]


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.[2][full citation needed] 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 traditionally been interpreted as 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 Moleḵ instead of Meleḵ using the vowels of Hebrew bosheth "shame".[3]


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:

Other historic realms under a Malik include:

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.


  • The sacrament of Holy Leaven in the Assyrian Church of the East[4]
  • It is also one of the Names of God in Islam, and is then al-Malik (الملك) 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 malkāyâ, ܡܠܟܝܐ, "imperial") are the members of several Christian churches of the Middle East, originally those who sided with the Byzantine emperor.

Compound and derived titles[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Pashtun usage[edit]

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.

Punjabi usage[edit]

In the Punjab, "Malik", literally meaning "King" or "tribal chieftain" 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 "Awan" Tribe, a Martial Warrior Tribe 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 Awans in Punjabi Ethnology are considered to be Honourable Warriors.

The Muslim Malik community is settled all over Pakistan and the Sikh Malik in India. The Malik are also known as the Gathwala. The Gathwala are now designating themselves as Maliks. Due to popularity of the Malik title many Punjabi sub-castes such as Gujarati Punjabis and many others have adapted the title to gain acceptance in the Punjabi caste system.

General usage[edit]

Malik or Malek is a common element in first and family names, usually without any aristocratic meaning.

List of notable name-bearers[edit]

First name[edit]


See also[edit]

  • Malak (disambiguation), a Semitic word meaning "angel"
  • 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').[6]
  • 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').[7]
  • Maalik – In Islam, an angel of hell (Jahannam)


  1. ^ Knippel, L.O. (12 March 1999). "Grønlandsk kunst udsprunget af et savn". JyllandsPosten. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  2. ^ F.Leo Oppenheim – Ancient Mesopotamia
  3. ^ "Molech". Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2008.
  4. ^ Bowker, John (2003). "Malka or Malca". The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780191727221. Retrieved 30 July 2016 – via Oxford Reference.
  5. ^ "Leaders & Heroes". My Site.
  6. ^ Ricklefs, M.C. (1991). A History of Modern Indonesia Since c.1300, 2nd Edition. London: MacMillan. p. 24. ISBN 0-333-57689-6.
  7. ^ Lutfy, Mohamed Ibrahim. Thaareekhuge therein Lakshadheebu

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