Some scholars think that the word Malaika is from the root a-l-k which means:
-to act as a messenger
There is no doubt that ‘to act as a messenger’ is one of the functions performed by Malaika [22:75]. But this is not their only function as given in the Quran.
Some scholars think that the word Malaika is from the root m-l-k, which has the following meanings:
-to have power (to exercise command or authority)
-to have dominion, sovereignty, ruling power
-to have power, command, authority
A possible definition of Malaika based upon the above meanings is as follows:
Malaika are entities whom Allah has empowered to exercise His authority, commands, rules and laws in the universe OR entities who possess power, given to them by Allah, to execute or put into effect His Laws, Plans, programmes and schemes in the universe.
Some consider the ‘entities’ and ‘the force’ or ‘the power’ that these entities possess as inseparable and they call Malaika as ‘the forces in the universe’ or ‘the universal forces’. However, the Universal forces has distinct interpretation in science. Science classifies universal forces as:
-Strong nuclear forces
-Weak nuclear forces
Some also consider the ‘entities’ or ‘laws’ that these entities put into effect inseparable. However, in the Quran Allah has related Ar-Rooh with His Amr (17:85) but has nowhere related malaika with His Amr (at least according to my knowledge)
A possible definition of Malaika based upon what the Quran says about them is as follows:
Malaika are the servants of (Almighty,) the Beneficent who obey Him with humility and submissiveness (43:19) and never disobey Him in what He commands them, and do as they are commanded (66:6).
Various verses of the Quran indicate multifarious role of Malaika in this universe.
Malaika are servants of Allah
43/19 And they make the Malaika– them who are the servants of the Beneficent Allah– female (divinities). What! did they witness their creation? Their evidence shall be written down and they shall be questioned.
Malaika do what they are commanded
66/6 O you who believe! save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel are the commoners and the crafty ones alike; over it are Malaika stern and strong, they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them, and do as they are commanded.
Malaika’s obeisance to Allah
16/49 And whatever creature that is in the heavens and that is in the earth makes obeisance to Allah (only), and Malaika (too) and they do not show pride.
Malaika as Messengers of Allah
22/75 Allah chooses messengers from among the Malaika and from among the men; surely Allah is Hearing, Seeing.
35/1 All Praise is due to Allah, the Originator of all Highs and their Lows, Who appoints His Malaika as message-bearers having wings two, three and four.
3/42 And when the Malaika said: O Marium! surely Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of of the world.
3/39 Then the Malaika called to him as he stood praying in the sanctuary: That Allah gives you the good news of Yahya verifying a Word from Allah, and honourable and chaste and a prophet from among the good ones.
3/45 When the Malaika said: O Marium, surely Allah gives you good news with a Word from Him (of one) whose name is the ‘.Messiah, Isa son of Marium, worthy of regard in this world and the hereafter and of those who are made near (to Allah).
16/2 He sends down Malaika with the inspiration by His commandment on whom He pleases of His servants, saying: Give the warning that there is no god but Me, therefore be careful (of your duty) to Me.
17/95 Say: Had there been in the earth Malaika walking about as settlers, We would certainly have sent down to them from the heaven an angel as a messenger.
Malaika strive to establish the glory of Allah and seek protection for those on earth
13/13 And the thunder strives to establish His glory , and Malaika too, for awe of Him;
42/5 The heavens may almost rend asunder from above them and Malaika strive to establish the glory of their Lord and seek protection for those on earth; now surely Allah is the Forgiving, the Merciful.
Malaika cause to die
16/28 Those whom Malaika cause to die while they are unjust to themselves. Then would they offer submission: We used not to do any evil. Aye! surely Allah knows what you did.
47/27 But how will it be when Malaika cause them to die smiting their backs.
4/97 Surely (as for) those whom Malaika cause to die while they are unjust to their souls, they shall say: In what state were you? They shall say: We were weak in the earth. They shall say: Was not Allah’s earth spacious, so that you should have migrated therein? So these it is whose abode is hell, and it is an evil resort
8/50 And had you seen when Malaika will cause to die those who disbelieve, smiting their faces and their backs, and (saying): Taste the punishment of burning.
16/32 Those whom Malaika cause to die in a good state, saying: Peace be on you: enter the garden for what you did.
Malaika in the Hereafter
21/103 The great fearful event shall not grieve them, and Malaika shall meet them: This is your day which you were promised.
25/22 On the day when they shall see Malaika, there shall be no joy on that day for the guilty, and they shall say: Itis a forbidden thing totally prohibited.
39/75 And Malaika will be surrounding Allah’s seat of authority and will be active in making His system of Rabubiyyat worthy of all Hamd and appreciation. At that time all human affairs will be decided with (perfect) justice and Allah’s universal order of Rabubiyyat will come into force in such an outstanding manner that everyone will spontaneously cry out, “Most certainly all ‘Hamd’ is for Allah the Almighty, Who is the sustainer and Rabb of all the worlds!”
Descending of Malaika upon the believers
41/30 (As for) those who say: Our Lord is Allah, then continue in the right way, Malaika descend upon them, saying: Fear not, nor be grieved, and receive good news of the garden which you were promised.
Malaika’s help to the believers in this world
3/124 When you said to the believers: Does it not suffice you that your Lord should assist you with three thousand of Malaika sent down?
3/125 Yea! if you remain patient and are on your guard, and they come upon you in a headlong manner, your Lord will assist you with five thousand of the havoc-making Malaika.
8/9 When you sought aid from your Lord, so He answered you: I will assist you with a thousand of Malaika following one another.
8/12 When your Lord revealed to Malaika: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.
Deprivation of (the help) of Malaika
2/161 Surely those who disbelieve and die while they are disbelievers, these it is who will be deprived of the beneficence of Allah and the support of Malaika and men all;
3/87 (As for) these, their recompense is that they will be deprived of the grace of Allah and the support of Malaika and of men, all together.
Malaika as keepers of the fire
74/31 And We have not made the keepers of the fire others than Malaika,
If we take A-L-K (alif-laam-kaaf) as the root of the word Malaika, then Malaika may mean “means of communication”.
[Ever wondered! what takes your text-message from your mobile phone to someone else’s or email from your computer to someone else’s computer? Isn’t it Malaika?]
If we take M-L-K (meem-laam-kaaf) as the root of the word Malaika, then Malaika may also mean, what science calls, “forces of nature”.
[Hasn’t man made Malaika (i.e. means of communication and many forces of nature) subservient to him? Wasn’t the prostration of Malaika before Adam symbolic of such subservience of Malaika to man? (2:34, 7:11, 17:61, 18:50, 20:116]