By: Rahila Aziz
In Arabic, the word “Rabb” has numerous linguistic meanings.
Rabb is a مُنعِم
Rabb is someone, who does favours for me that I do not deserve and keeps giving me what I do not deserve. When I call Him Rabb, I declare that that He is the One, Who gives Ina’am or makes things easy and He keeps making things easy for me.
Rabb is a مَلِك
Rabb is the absolute owner. Whoever owns a thing, he is its Rabb. For example, “Rabbud-Dar” means “the Rabb of the house” or “the owner of the house”. It is not permissible to say “Ar-Rabb” with Alif and Laam as definitive noun, except for Allah (swt), because He is the Owner of everything.
Rabb is لسيدا
Rabb is in charge of what I do. He has taken total authority over me. I am not in charge anymore. Imagine, if you cannot swim and you suddenly find yourself in the middle of the ocean splashing and struggling in vain. Water keeps going up your nose and mouth, and nothing seems to be helping… you are getting exhausted, until you realize that there is someone holding you from underneath and you need to relax and just let go. He will keep you floating and will not let you drown.
When I say my Rabb is Allah (swt), I believe that no matter what struggle or storm I am going through, He is not going to let me drown, He is holding me in place.
When we accept that my Rabb is Allah (swt), we let that go, because the One protecting us and the One, Who is going to navigate us through the storm is, the One in control. This declaration is so powerful; it is a kind of freedom.
Some of us spend our days and night thinking about what are others going to say? What are they going to think? We are so preoccupied with such thoughts – so many of our emotions are controlled by other people. How hurt we are; how sad we are; how angry we are. We are actually letting other people control, how we feel. When we truly declare our Rabb is Allah (swt), the power creation has over us disappears and we are set free.
We acknowledge that we are not the ones in control of all the situations.
We acknowledge that we cannot control other people’s opinions.
We acknowledge that we cannot control what any of Allah’s creations does.
Rabb is المربي
Rabb is the One, Who makes sure that I continue to grow physically and spiritually, so that I continue to progress. If I am in a problem, He is going to allow me to grow out of that problem. If I am in a state of weakness, He will give me the strength, like a little seedling that turns into a tree, He will give me the strength to overcome my weakness… this is المربي.
Rabb is المرشد
Rabb is the One, Who guides me and sets me in the right direction.
Rabb is القيم
Rabb is the One, Who is going to make sure that I do not fall apart – He will ensure my existence. Just because you are ensuring that something is growing, it does not mean that you are not taking care of the problem. For example, if you are building more and more floors but the foundation is falling apart, the whole building is going to collapse. Allah (swt) is going to hold me in place, take care of me and not let me collapse. He is my Rabb.
How Can We Live by This Name?
In our five daily prayers, we recite surah Al-Fatiha seventeen times a day:
“Alhamdulillahi Rabb-il-‘Alameen” – All praise and thanks are to the Lord of the Worlds.
Next time you say this, feel the greatness of your Rabb and imagine He is not only the Rabb of the world of humans, but also the Rabb of the angels, Jinns, and the entire universe. He takes care of everything in existence 24/7. Know that Ar-Rabb takes care of you in all situations – trust in all His actions, because they are good for you. Take inspiration from this beautiful Ayah: “[Moses] said, ‘No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.’” (Ash-Shua’raa 26:62)
Did you also notice that in each prayer, in each Rukoo, you say “Subhana Rabbiyal-‘Adheem” and in each Sujood – “Subhana Rabbiyal-‘Alaa”? Each time you say these beautiful phrases of remembrance, think truly of Allah (swt) as your Rabb. Each prayer is filled with this beautiful name!