By Romina Afghan
Have you noticed how so many of the Duaas we have from the Qur’aan and from the sayings of our Prophet Muhammad sallAlaahu alayhi wa sallam, begin with Allaah’s Name, ” Ar- Rabb” or “Rabbanaa” ( our Rabb ) or “Rabbee” ( ‘my Rabb’ )?
Why does Allaah choose so often to tell us this particular name of His, when He teaches us how to call upon Him ( which is essentially what He is doing every time He mentions what the Prophets of the past said, alayhimussalaam)? What is it that we need to remember about Him, time and time again as we call upon Him, as we talk to Him, as we even think about Him? Why does Allaah mention that He is our Rabb more than 900 times in the Qur’aan?
Let’s think about what Rabb means. The word Rabb comes from the verb ‘to nurture’, which means that Ar -Rabb is the One who Nurtures, cares for, step-by-step, all of those under His Care, until they reach completion. Ar-Rabb is the Nurturer of all of His Slaves, who plans and takes care of their affairs by providing them exactly what they need at the right time for them; the One who can reform the hearts, the souls and the minds of His Servants.
Rabb also means the Master, the One who is Obeyed, the One who nourishes and sustains, and a derivative of the word is also used in the language to mean the nurturing and bringing up of children( “tarbeeyah”) . So it is almost as if we, like children, are being taken care of, nurtured and looked after in the most complete loving way, by Our Rabb.
Suppose we were to internalise this understanding of Who our Creator is. Suppose we were to think, ponder and reflect on it until it became the lens through which we view every single circumstance in our life…
Suppose we were to understand that every single situation in our lives has been designed, meticulously planned and specifically matched to us, to our temperaments, to our needs by a Rabb, a Loving Master, Lord and Creator who knows us better than we know ourselves..
Suppose we were to know with full certainty that this was planned and done for us, and not to us, in order to let us reach our perfection and our completion…
Suppose we were to imbue every single cell in our body with the utmost ‘yaqeen’ ( certainty ) that the tests we face, that the current situations we are in is the way that my Rabb, who knows me personally, intimately, is reforming my heart and elevating my soul to it’s highest potential…
Suppose we were to accept with full submission that our Rabb is causing our life to unfold perfectly, each stage leading to greater perfection and beauty, just as He Nurtures each rose bud to unfold, petal by petal, until it blooms as a flower in full perfection and beauty…
Suppose we were to do all of this. Wouldn’t your heart melt out of love for this Rabb? Wouldn’t your resistance give way to contentment, acceptance and true submission? Wouldn’t your anger at your situation dissipate and your ability to see the wisdom in it flourish? Wouldn’t your despair and inability to see a way out, seep away to let hope and the knowledge of His Love envelop and guide you? Wouldn’t you stop feeling like you were falling and instead trust that you were flying?
Wouldn’t you stop asking “why me?” and instead start asking “show me…
Rabbi, show me the way to unfold
Rabbi, show me the way to reach completion
Rabbi, show me the way to Your Perfection
Rabbi, show me how to be in your Perfect Company in the only perfect place – Jannah
Rabbi, nurture me so I am pleased and content with your nurturing
Rabbi do not leave me to nurture myself, even for the blink of an eye
Rabbi you are my only Rabb and I place myself fully under Your Nurturing Care, so show me how to live under the shade of it so that you will love me”.
For surely, the Rabb who does all of this, with Love, Mercy and Compassion, even whilst His Slaves are unaware of Him and His Care, or worse -even while they are ungrateful to Him, or ascribe things to Him which He is far Above, this Rabb is the One who inspires us to say in our time of need as Moses ( Musa , alayhissalam )said at: “No! Indeed, with me is my Rabb; He will guide me.” [Quran, 26:62]. He is the Rabb Who says: “And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me…” [ Qur’an 2:186]. He is the Rabb who is also known as al- Mujeeb, the One who answers . So when we feel the resistance to His tarbeeyah inside of us, a dislike of His bringing up of us; when we feel any dissatisfaction with it; any disappointment that we don’t seem to be getting what we want, or what we think we need, then let us remember Who our Rabb is, and remember that He is Nurturing us to growth and perfection, and that we can turn to Him at any time to make that path easier.
I ask Allaah, Ar-Rabb, to grant me and you all of this, and more…I ask Him to grant us all the ability to truly live by this name, to internalise it and actualise it, wherever we are in our journey back to Him, ameen.