we declare Your Perfection above and beyond all: we have no knowledge whatsoever except what You have taught us. No doubt it is You, and You alone that is all Knowledgeable and all Wise. (al-Baqarah, 32)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Allah, Our Rabb





In this post, I'd like to share a reflection on the following two ayaat from the Quran which sums up the reality of our current ummah very well:

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ 
If indeed thou ask them who has created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law), they will certainly reply, "Allah". (Surah al-Ankaboot, 29: 61)

قُلْ مَن رَّبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ قُلِ اللَّهُ 
Say: "Who is the Rabb of the heavens and the earth?" Say: "(It is) Allah." (Surah ar-Ra'ad, 13: 61)

In the aya from surah al-Ankaboot, the question asked was 'who is the Creator' and the people have no problems in declaring that Allah is the Creator of everything. In the aya from Surah ar-Ra'ad however, the question asked was 'who is the Rabb' and interestingly, to this question we don't find the people declaring an answer. Instead we find Allah s.w.t commanding his Messenger s.a.w to tell the people that Allah is indeed the Rabb of the heavens and the earth.

To fully appreciate this aya, we must first understand what Rabb means. Rabb essentially means 'One who has absolute ownership, right and authority'. Actually, this is the concept that is at heart of our relationship with Allah and we can see this in surah TaHa, when Allah first introduced Himself to Musa a.s and said:

إِنِّي أَنَا رَبُّكَ فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ إِنَّكَ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى
Veryl it is I, I am your Rabb therefore take off your shoes; you are in the sanctified valley of Tuwa (Surah TaHa, 20: 12)

Meanwhile in surah al-Alaq which is the first revelation to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w, he was told: 

اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ
Read! In the name of your Rabb who created. (Surah al-Alaq, 96: 1)

In both instances, Allah is being introduced to a Prophet and the very first thing that these Prophets were told about Allah is that He is the Rabb - He has complete authority. He even goes further to display His authority to the Prophets by giving them each a command in the very same aya in which He is introduced. To Musa a.s He says, "take off your shoes" and Muhammad s.a.w was told, "read!". 

In these ayaat is a summary of our relationship with Allah, our Rabb. He has absolute ownership, right and authority over us. Therefore He has all the rights in the world to tell us what He wants us to do or not do and our responsibility to Him in turn is to obey His commands.

Now that we have established how heavy and important this word is, we should be able to understand the ayaat from surah al-Ankaboot and ar-Ra'ad in a different light. 

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ 
If indeed thou ask them who has created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law), they will certainly reply, "Allah". (Surah al-Ankaboot, 29: 61)

قُلْ مَن رَّبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ قُلِ اللَّهُ 
Say: "Who is the Rabb of the heavens and the earth?" Say: "(It is) Allah." (Surah ar-Ra'ad, 13: 61)

These  ayaat exposes what is going on in the minds of people who readily admits that Allah is their Creator but are unable to accept that Allah is their Rabb. These are people who have problems accepting Allah as having absolute authority over their life. These are people who claim to be Islam but still refuse to obey certain commands of Allah - be it to pray or fast or pay the zakat or concerning their 'aurah.

Unfortunately, this is the state of a large majority of the Muslims among us today are in. People who know very well that Allah is their creator but are utterly heedless in the fact that above and beyond simply being our Creator, He is also our Rabb. And this is a sad reality that we can clearly see going on around us.

And you know what the really scary thing is? It is that the the first question that one is asked in the grave according to the narration of the Prophet s.a.w is "who is you Rabb". Know that simply acknowledging Allah as the God who created us isn't enough to save us on that day. If we do not accept Allah as our Rabb today, how can we expect ourselves to be able to answer that question when on that day?

Wallahua'lam.

2 free comments:

ah^kam_koko' said...

This is often true for second generation believers who followed their parents into a religion not of their own choosing.

They are often able to recite the famous lines & give the right answers but when it comes to walking the talk... fail.
Good reminder! =)

najibu said...

Yes. That's very true. That is why it is essential to discover the religion yourself. Personally, I think most people take their religion for granted. They think they already know enough about their religion but actually they knew very little. I was like that too

 
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