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MEANING OF WORD RAB

Meaning of the word ‘Rab’ from a literal and Islamic perspective.
• ‘Allamah Zubaydi writes, ‘Ar-Rab is used for only Allah Almighty and Allah is the Rab
of everything, i.e. he is the owner of everything. The entire creation is under his
ownership. No one is equal to him and he is the Owner of all owners and King of all
kings.’
• Abu Mansoor says that the word Rab can come in the meaning of owner, master and
organiser. However, if the word Rab is made proper and now read as Ar-Rab (The
owner) then this cannot be used for anyone other than Allah Almighty. When the
word Rab is used for anyone other than Allah Almighty then it an be attached to
anything. For example, someone could say ‘Rab-ud-Daar’ which means owner of the
house.
• However, it is narrated regarding Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased
with him) that he stopped slaves from calling their owners Rab. However, we see in
the Qur’an that Sayyiduna Yusuf said to the prisoner that mention me in front of
your ‘Rab’ (Master). Here the word ‘Rab’ is being used to refer to one of the leaders
of Egypt at that time (‘azeez-e-misr). The answer to this is that the words of
Sayyiduna Yusuf (Peace be upon him) were in accordance to the time that he lived
in.
What does the word ‘Al-‘Aalameen’ mean?
• ‘Allama Ghulam Rasool Sa’eedi (May Allah have mercy on him) says that the meaning
he prefers most is that ‘Al-‘Aalam’ which is the singular of the word ‘Al-‘Aalameen’
means everything in existence other than Allah Almighty and the entire creation of
Allah Almighty comes under that.

Translated from Tafseer Tibyan Al-Qur’an of ‘Allamah Ghulam Rasool Sa’eedi (May Allah have mercy on him)

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