Fatihah | 3

ملك يوم الدين

Sovereign of the Day of Recompense (Saheeh International)

I will render this verse as:

Maalik of the day of Justice


The word Malik has been translated as Sovereign by Saheeh international.

It comes from the root م ل ك  and contains the following meanings :

  1. Ownership and possession with complete, strong and absolute power, control and authority. The word Mulk (from the same root) means Authority, kingdom, control and hegemony. A king was called 'Malik.' (T, MS, QM, MI, MM)
  2. Providing support and firm basis to something. Water was called Milk (from the same root) because every living creature is dependant on it for survival. Similiarly it was used for water and grazing land in a valley as they are the only source of survival in it. (T , MI , MM)
  3. Bringing something to its utmost potential by amending it. For example, it was used for kneading the flour until it holds together on its own. (T, MI)
The root means to have complete and absolute control, power and authority over someone, meaning a king or a master on whom his subjects rely completely for their survival and for the betterment of their lives. This king is special since he is their support, without whom they cannot survive just like a person cannot survive without water. Solving their problems, making their lives better and being of benefit to them.

Youm / Day:

Youm simply means day. But it is important to mention that Youm can mean any period of time as well. (Raghib, MI)


Deen has been translated as Recompense by Saheeh international and as Justice by me.

This word comes from the root د ي ن  which means a loan that has a deadline to return it back. (T , MI)

From  this root comes the word Deen used in the ayah. This word was used in the following meanings:

  1. Authority and obedience. When someone has taken a loan from someone which he has to return, it is as if he has come under the authority  of the creditor, for they have a right on the debtor to obey the conditions on which they agreed on to return the money. (MI,LA,MM)
  2. Firm belief in the heart. A belief that binds on the heart,  just like a loan is binding on a person. (MI)
  3. Accountability and Repayment. The actions of a person are tied around his neck for which we will be held accountable just as a debtor is held accountable for returning the loan. (MI,LA,MM)
  4. Continous rain. Therefore, it was used to refer to religion as  religion is the name continuous and longstanding obedience and way of life tied with that individual.(MM)
Day of Deen means a day on which complete authority and obedience will be for Allah alone as he is the Maalik of it. That is the day of accountability as people will be repaid and recompensed for what they did. I translated this as justice as everyone will be given in due amount what they deserve accordingly.

Concise Commentary on the Ayah:

Allah is the Maalik of the day in which Justice will be served. Highlighting the attribute of Allah of being  just. But what does it mean to be Maalik of that day?

The only being with authority and power on that day will be Allah. It shows his oneness as on that day everyone shall be gathered, all the people who claimed to be God as well as those that they worshipped as God. But none of them will have authority or any power on that day, only Allah will. As evidence that there is no true God but Allah.

One of the meanings of the root of the word Maalik was to amend and set right. Justice is the absolute means by which things are amended and set right. Therefore, Allah being the Maalik, will set everything right, carrying out and delivering perfect justice. Punishing the criminals for their crimes as they deserve and healing those who were oppressed and giving them what they deserve. He will fulfill the requirements of justice to their utmost and perfect potential as is included in the meaning of the word Maalik.

MI - Mu'jam Al Ishtiqaaqi

MS - Muhkam Ibn Sidah

LA - Lisan al Arab

MU - Muhit al Muhit

T - Taj al Uroos

QM - Qamoos Al Muhit

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