The Exalted Governance
The word Malakoot مَلَكُوتُ is derived from “ malaka مَلَكَ” in the past tense, which literally means “he possessed” or “he owned” Other derivatives of “Malakoot مَلَكُوتُ” is “mulk مُلك” which means ownership or having an authority over something. In addition, other derivative of “malakoot” is Malik مَلِك and Maalik مالِكِ where both are represented in Surat al Fatiha- Quran Chapter 1″ which means “King” and or “Owner” respectively.
The Holy Quran employs the word “Malakoot” several times and it is used exclusively to God’s ownership of all that is in His Kingdom (1).
After examining the various places where the word “malakoot” is employed in the Holy Quran one can establish a definition of the notion of “malakoot” and that is the Malakoot-governance is a divine exalted Reality of the cosmos which is a representation of Allah’s Supreme Authority.
al-malakoot and the Creational system of existents
Al-nizam al-wujudi lilashya’ –
النظام الوجودي لللاشياء
From a higher understanding, the notion of Malakoot has an ontological relationship to the notion of “al-amr ” or “God’s Creative Command” through which the Malakoot of things are firmly held by the Might, or Hands, or Authority of God. Malakoot has many designations and definitions in respect to the various stations of existence “maraatib al-wujud(3)” of every created thing. In other words; every existent is bound by its own “Malakoot” in respect to its own “station of existence” or “martabat al-wujud(3)”, as it is referred to in the various verses of the Quran. According to these verses, there are many Malakoots or as many as there exist creations, in respect to the lower realm of existence;
” So glory to Him in Whose hands is the governance-Malakoot of everything-36:83”
فَسُبْحَانَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ مَلَكُوتُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ 36:83
Furthermore, the Holy Quran alludes that the Heavens and earth have a “Divine Governance-Malakoot”; as in 7:185:
7:185 Do they not look into the governance-malakoot, of the heavens and the earth, and all the things that God has created,
Awalam yanthuroo fee Malakooti alssamawati waalardi wama khalaqa Allahu min shayin…
أَوَلَمْ يَنظُرُواْ فِي مَلَكُوتِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَا خَلَقَ اللّهُ مِن شَيْءٍ …7:185
In simple words, the notion of “Malakoot” means a divine creational system of created things. This follows that each one of them, the heavens and earth, and everything that exist, have a divine creational system, “nizam wujudi” which is designed by the Supreme Architect to sustain and adminstrate every entity in the cosmos. Such divine creational system of an entity may have different facets or aspects which determine the final creation of an entity, according to the Quran, some of these facets are as follows:
1-its decreed form; its design, inner realities, potentials;
20:50..He who gave everything its form….
الَّذِي أَعْطَى كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلْقَهُ
2-Its decreed guidance; purpose, destiny, hopes, dreams, aspirations, as it is stated in 20:50
20:50 …Our Sustainer is He who gives unto every thing [that exists] its true nature and form. And thereupon guides it [towards its fulfilment].
Qala rabbuna allathee aAAta kulla shayin khalqahu thumma hada
قَالَ رَبُّنَا الَّذِي أَعْطَى كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلْقَهُ ثُمَّ هَدَى 20:50
3- The third divine facet is its divine decreed honour; or appropriate station and position in existence, “mertabah wujudiyya” as it is stated in:
65:3 ..verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due honor…
qad jaAAala Allahu likulli shayin qadran
قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدْرًا 65:3
Here I have taken the word “’qadr” with “sukoon-constant” on the Arabic letter “daal” , as honor, rightful station in existence, which may not necessarily mean to determine a destiny as it is commonly believed. Rather such latter meaning is to be found instead in verse 87:3 (see point 4, below).
4- The forth facet of the divine creational system is a divine decreed destiny and proportion in existence to all things:
87:3 and who determines the destiny [of all that exists], and thereupon guides it [towards its fulfillment],
Waallathee qaddara fahada
وَالَّذِي قَدَّرَ فَهَدَى 87:3
Here the word “q’ddara” with “shaddaa” or emphasis on the “daal” may be taken as to determine a destiny of a thing.
5- The fifth facet is to have a decreed proportion of existence in terms of size and dimensions in space, as in:
54:49 BEHOLD, everything have We created in due measure and proportion;
Inna kulla shayin khalaqnahu biqadarin
إِنَّا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَاهُ بِقَدَرٍ 54:49
All of these aspects of an entity are embodied in its “Malakoot” This follows that everything is given a perfect system which determines its coexistence and proper existential station in the cosmos. The authority of such system is held and perfectly sustained by the Absolute Being, Allah (SW). Such Exalted authority is called in the Quran as “Malakoot”
This follows that every entity in the cosmos is given an essential cosmological divine system to sustain itself and to occupy a perfect designated station in the appropriate sphere within the cosmos, which is under the absolute authority of God. The essential divine energy which dominates and operates such system draws its divine force from the sublime superabundance of the Absolute Being “al faidh al ilahi” which is ever flowing to sustain all creational systems of existence. This divine force is manifested in the substantial movement of the entire existence or what is called “al’haraka aljawhariya”(2) Hence all entities are controlled by the Mighty authority of God and firmly held by the hand of God; as it stated in
36:83 So glory to Him in Whose hands is the governance (Malakoot) of everything: and to Him you shall be all brought back.
Fasubhana allathee biyadihi Malakootu kulli shayin wailayhi turjaAAoona
فَسُبْحَانَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ مَلَكُوتُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ36:83
So in this verse we see the mention of the notion “Malakoot” of everything which is being held by the hand or Might of God then immediately the mention of the return of everything to Him. This follows that there is an ontological relationship between the principle of “Malakoot” and the nature of returning to Him; in other words we can say that the return of all things to Him are by means of their Malakoots.
(1) majm’a labayan alhadeeth
(2) “al’haraka aljawhariya-the substantial movement” this definition is adopted by the great Sufi master mulla Sadra-Persian philosopher, also known as Sadr al-Din al-Shirazi (c. 1571–1640)…
(3 ) “maratib al-wujud” or “martabat alwujud”; martaba or martabat is the same word and literally means “station” Its plural is “maratib” As for “wujud” literally means “existent” or “existence”