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Malik ( ) is an Arabic word meaning "king." It has been adopted in various other, mainly Islamized or Arabized, Asian languages for their ruling princes and to render kings elsewhere; furthermore it is sometimes used in derived meanings. Malik is one of the names of Allah, "King" in the absolute sense. Alternative forms are Malek and Maalik. The female version of Malik is Malikah ( ) (or its Persian language equivalent Malekeh), meaning "queen."

Afghanistan & Pakistan

The term malik is used in Afghanistanmarker and the tribal areas of Pakistanmarker, especially among Pashtuns, for a tribal leader or a chieftain. 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.

Khatris of the South Asia

It is also used by Kukhran Khatris of Indiamarker and Pakistanmarker

The related word mülük ("maluk") has in Turkish the meaning of "ruler" (padişahlar "padishah", krallar "caesar"). The cognate Hebrew word melekh (מֶלֶךְ‏) has the same meaning, and the name of the pagan god Moloch is derived from the same Proto-Semitic root *malk-.

North Indian Jat Malik

Malik Umar Hayat Khan

The Mahabharata Tribe - Malika (मलिक) They are mentioned in the Geography of Mahabharata (VI.10.65)

तदैव मरधाश चीनास तदैव दश मालिकाः कषत्रियॊपनिवेशाश च वैश्यशूद्र कुलानि च (VI.10.65) The Mahabharata Tribe - Malika (मलिक) may be identified with Jat Gotra - Malik (मलिक) They are mentioned in the Markandeya Purana as people of the Central region of India. [1] The Gathwala are now designating themselves as Maliks, which is a title. [1] mahabharat ka vansis malik jaat hai.

Malik is the largest clan of jat (Hindu) in North India(Haryana,Uttar Pardesh,Madhya Pardesh,Punjab,Rajasthan,Delhi).This area is well known as GATHWALA-KHAP. There are more than 760 villages of the Malik clan in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

There are also several villages of the Gathwala Malik in Okara District of Pakistan. Almost all them orignate from Sonepat.'Gathwala' means 'people of organisation'

Sikh Malik

Maliks of Indian Punjab are all Malik Sikhs. During the partition of India there was a large population of Maliks in Amritsarmarker, Gurdaspurmarker, and Faridkot. Most of the Maliks went off to Pakistan, but some stayed back and adopted Sikhism. There are large Malik villages in the Gurdaspur district mostly in the Batalamarker area. Malik is also considered a Jatt clan in the Indian part of the Punjab.


Primarily a malik is the ruling monarch of a kingdom, called mamlaka, title used by the former slaves aka Mamluks (مملوك) royal dynasty of Egyptmarker; 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.

Although monarchy is sometimes viewed as a non-Islamic form of government, some Arab kingdoms are presently ruled by a Malik:

Other historic realms under a Malik include:
  • Egyptmarker — the former Ottoman khediviate and subsequently independent sultanate was ruled by Malik Misr ("King of Egypt") between 1922 and 1951; from 19 October 1951 Malik Misr wa's Sudan {"King of Egypt and the [Anglo-Egyptian] Sudan") till the republic (18 June 1953)
  • Iraqmarker — between 23 August 1921 and 2 May 1958, Iraq was ruled by a Hashemite Malik al-`Iraq ("King of Iraq")
  • LibyamarkerIdris I (b. 1890 - d. 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
  • Maldivesmarker — 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
  • Omanmarker — the Nabhani dynasty ruled Oman between 1154 and 1470, later it was an imamate/ sultanate
  • Yemenmarker — 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, Emir of the Faithful, King of the Mutawakkilite Yemeni Kingdom")

In Mughal and colonial Indiamarker, the princely state of Zainabad was ruled by a Malek Shri (Shri is an emphatical honorific without intrinsic meaning).

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 miaphysite Armeniamarker, the title of Melik was bestowed upon princes who ruled various principalities, often referred to as Melikdoms.
  • In Orthodox Georgiamarker, among the numerous Grandees:
    • In the fourth class, (Sul-didibuli-tavadi) of the Kingdom of Kartli, commanders of banners (drosha), sixth and last in that class, the Malik of Somkheti (Somkheti-meliki).
    • In the sixth class, Grandees of the second class (mtavari) of the Kingdom of Kartli, ranking first of the second subclass, Grandees under the Prince of Sabaratiano: the Malik of Lori, head of the house of Melikishvili.

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 Tanoli head of Village Is called Malik in Villages


Like many princely titles, Malik has also been used as a military rank, notably in certain decimally organized Muslim armies in India, a high rank commanding 10,000 horseman (each 1000 commanded by an Amir), ten Maliks serving under a Khan


  • It is also one of the Names of God in the Qur'an, 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 ("server 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

  • Malika is the female derivation, a term of Arabic origin used in Persia as the title for a Queen consort (i.e. not ruling, which no Islamic state's tradition does allow to women). 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 Gujaratmarker as Governor of Lahoremarker, 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 Diwan (only since 1910 promoted to Nawab) of Palanpurmarker.
  • - 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.

Other uses

By analogy, the word malik is also used in the weaker meaning of 'chief' in various modest titles, such as, in Persian:
  • Malik ul-Shu'ara: 'King of the Poets',, i.e. poet laureate.
  • Malik ul-Tujjar: 'King of the Merchants', an office held by the head of the merchant community in each town or city.

In the Punjab, "Malik" was one of the titles used by local aristocrats, more formally known as Zamindars, under both the Mughals and the British, and to some degree still in present-day Pakistanmarker.

Like many prestigious titles, Malik or Malek is a common element in first and family names, usually without any aristocratic meaning. For example, Awan Malik is a large community in Pakistanmarker with Arab heritage. Malik is used both as title and surname in Pakistan.

In Yu-Gi-Oh! Malik is also another name for Yami Marik.

It is also used as a surname.

Sources and external links

See also

  • The name of the Maluku islandsmarker (Indonesia) is thought to have been derived from the Arab trader's term for the region, Jazirat al-Muluk ('the land of many kings').
  • The local name of the Minicoymarker (India), Maliku is also thought to have been derived from the Arab trader's term for the island, Jazirat al-Maliku ('the island of the king'). Since it was the ancient capital of Lakshadweepa.


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