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In Islamic belief, Maalik (Arabic: مَٰلِكُ, romanizedmālik)[1][2] denotes an angel in Hell/Purgatory (Arabic: جهنم, romanizedjahannam) who administrates the Hellfire, assisted by 19 mysterious guards (Q74:30) known as Zabaniyya (Arabic: الزبانية, romanizedaz-zabānīya). In the Qur'an, Maalik is mentioned in Surah Az-Zukhruf 43:77 as the chief of angels of hell. The earliest codices offer various alternative spellings of this word including malak, meaning "angel", instead of a proper name.[3]

In Qur'an[edit]

In 43:77 and the following, the Qur'an describes Maalik telling the people in hell that they must remain there:

"Indeed, the wicked will be in the torment of Hell forever. It will never be lightened for them, and there they will be overwhelmed with despair. We did not wrong them, but it was they who were the wrongdoers. They will cry, “O Mâlik! Let your Lord finish us off.” He will answer, “You are definitely here to stay.” We certainly brought the truth to you, but most of you were resentful of the truth."

Muhammad requests Maalik to show him Hell during his heavenly journey. Miniature from "The David Collection Copenhagen"

Surah At-Tahrim 66:6 points out, that the punishments are carried out by God's command: "O believers! Protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, overseen by formidable and severe angels, who never disobey whatever Allah orders—always doing as commanded.".

In Hadith[edit]

According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad met the angel Maalik during his heavenly journey. Therefore, Muhammad arrived in heaven and all the angels greeted him with a smile except Maalik. When Muhammad asked Jibra'il, why he remains taciturn therefore, he reveals Maalik as the guardian of Hell who never smiles. After that, Muhammad asked him to show Hell and Maalik opened its gates, showing him a glimpse of suffering for the inmates.[4][5]

According to Abbasid jurist Ibn Qutaybah, who's also known as Al-Qutb, the number of fingers Maalik had were equal to the sinners who would be thrown into hell.[6] Ibn Qutaybah also narrated that each of Maalik's fingers were so hot, that if one of them touched the sky; that finger will cause the sky to melt.[6] al-Suyuti also quoted that since his creation which spans a thousand years before hell's formation, Maalik's strength always grew infinitely over time as each day passed.[6] Ibn Hisham narrated that in several Hadiths, Muhammad has met Maalik on one occasion and described that the angel possessed a very disgustingly ugly face.[6] In one narration of Hadith, Maalik's true face is so ugly beyond comprehension, that if any human in their lifetime saw him, they would be killed in suffering and anguish just by merely bearing witness of Maalik's ugliness.[6]

Medieval Hagiographer Ibn Ishaq has narrated hadith about Isra Mi'raj, where during his journey to the sky, Muhammad noticed that among the angels who greeted him, Maalik was one of them, who, unlike the other angels, never showed a smile or any sign of joy.[7] According to various Hadiths quoted by Ibn Hisham in his book, Muhammad asked Jibril to see hell, which Jibril responded by asking Maalik to 'be his guest' and present to him the horrors of the hell.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Surat Az-Zukhruf Ayat 77". Tafsirweb (in Indonesian). Retrieved 6 November 2023.
  2. ^ "AL-MALIK MEANING - 99 NAMES OF ALLAH:". Retrieved 6 November 2023.
  3. ^ Christian Lange Paradise and Hell in Islamic Traditions Cambridge University Press 2015 ISBN 978-1-316-41205-3 page 53
  4. ^ Alan E. Bernstein Hell and Its Rivals: Death and Retribution among Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Early Middle Ages Cornell University Press 2017 ISBN 978-1-501-71248-7
  5. ^ Brooke Olson Vuckovic Heavenly Journeys, Earthly Concerns: The Legacy of the Mi'raj in the Formation of Islam Routledge 2004 ISBN 978-1-135-88524-3 page 37
  6. ^ a b c d e Imam Jalaluddin Abdurrahman As-Suyuthi (2021). Misteri Alam Malaikat (ebook) (in Indonesian). Al-Kautsar. p. 72. ISBN 9789795929512. Retrieved 1 August 2023. 53 dalam kitab 'Uyun Al-Akhbar melansir dari Thawus bahwa Allahkmenciptakan Malik, dan menciptakan untuknya jari-jari sejumlah penghuni neraka.
  7. ^ a b Mansur Abdul Hakim (2015). MALAIKAT MALIK A.S : PENJAGA NERAKA (in Malay). 9789678605250. pp. 9–10, 15–16. Retrieved 5 November 2023. ... malaikat yang lain." Lalu aku bertanya kepada Jibril, "Wahai Jibril, siapakah malaikat ini yang berkata kepadaku seperti perkataan para malaikat, namun dia tidak ketawa kepadaku dan aku tidak melihat kegembiraan darinya seperti yang aku ...