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Offline chadiga

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we can have rabbs beside Allah
« on: February 23, 2013, 10:48:25 PM »
Salam all

before yesterday i was sure, that for a believer in Allah it is not permissible to call anybody beside Allah as Rabb.
After a discussion with my husband who says that this is normal and we can see this fact also in the Arabic language , the sustainer or provider for the household is transcribed with the same word...
I read also trough the Sura Youssuf and there we can see this very good:

translation Muhammad Asad

12:36 NOW two young men happened to go to prison at the same time as Joseph. One of them said: "Behold, I saw myself [in a dream] pressing wine." And the other said: "Behold, I saw myself [in a dream] carrying bread on my head, and birds were eating thereof." [And both entreated Joseph:] "Let us know the real meaning of this! Verily, we see that thou art one of those who know well [how to interpret dreams].
12:37 [Joseph] answered: "Ere there comes unto you the meal which you are [daily] fed, I shall have informed you of the real meaning of your dreams,37 [so that you might know what is to come] before it comes unto you: for this is [part] of the knowledge which my Sustainer has imparted to me. "Behold, I have left behind me the ways of people who do not believe in God,and who persistently refuse to acknowledge the truth of the life to come;

12:38 and I follow the creed of my forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not conceivable that we should [be allowed to] ascribe divinity to aught beside God: this is [an outcome] of God's bounty unto us and unto all mankind39 -but most people are ungrateful.
12:39 "O my companions in imprisonment! Which is more reasonable:40 [belief in the existence of numerous divine] lords, each of them different from the other"41 -or [in] the One God, who holds absolute sway over all that exists?
12:40 "All that you worship instead of God is nothing but [empty] names which you have invented42 - you and your forefathers- [and] for which God has bestowed no warrant from on high. Judgment [as to what is right and what is wrong] rests with God alone-[and] He has ordained that you should worship nought but Him: this is the [one] ever-true faith; but most people know it not43
12:41 "[And now,] O my companions in imprisonment, [I shall tell you the meaning of your dreams:] as for one of you two, he will [again] give his lord [the King] wine to drink; but as for the other, he will be crucified, and birds will eat off his head. [But whatever be your future,] the matter on which you have asked me to enlighten you has been decided [by God]."
12:42 And [thereupon Joseph] said unto the one of the two whom he considered saved: "Mention me unto thy lord [when thou art free]!" But Satan caused him to forget to mention [Joseph] to his lord, and so he remained in prison a few [more] years.
12:43 AND [one day] the King said:44 Behold, I saw [in a dream] seven fat cows being devoured by seven emaciated ones, and seven green ears [of wheat] next to [seven] others that were withered. O you nobles! Enlighten me about [the meaning of] my dream, if you are able to interpret dreams!"
12:44 They answered: " [This is one of] the most involved and confusing of dreams,45 and we have no deep knowledge of the real meaning of dreams."
12:45 At that, the one of the two [erstwhile prisoners] who had been saved, and [who suddenly] remembered [Joseph] after all that time,46 spoke [thus]: "It is I who can inform you of the real meaning of this [dream]; so let me go [in search of it]."

Note: all the bold words are RABB in the Arabic


1. 12:39"O my fellow inmates, are various lords better, or God, the One, the Omniscient?"   here we see
 يصىحبى السجن [b]ءارباب[/b] متفرقون خير ام الله الوحد القهار
is this the plural from Rabb?? i asked my son, he said it is the plural from Rabib????

2. then we can conclude, that the word Rabb can be used for Sustainer / Provider/(teacher) and this is permissible? And that is only not permissible to take an ILAHI other as the One (ALLAH) ?

thank you all for help :) peace

Offline Peaceful

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Re: we can have rabbs beside Allah
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 12:54:19 AM »

Rabb indeed mean Sustainer, Nurturer, Teacher, or as a Mufti recently said "Him who gradually watches you grow."
Rabb is a common word in the ancient middle east that spans the Semitic languages:
It's verb is 'YuRabbu' which means to raise(like a father), or to simply teach.

Hebrew Rabba(Lord-Father) = Arabic translation RabHa = English translation Rabbi
Is used in the Quran once and the Terms usage is never condemned, only their authority, in light of the Torah's.

In one verse, God says "Then let them worship the Rabb of this House." He is obviously also, the Rabb of the Worlds. But it is more personal when used this way.

Arbab is indeed the Plural of Rabb, as Aliha is the plural of Ilah.

I think calling the owner of an estate a 'Rabb' is permissible, as long as the definite article 'Al-' is never used(belongs to God). However, in the modern world it is highly disliked, and should be avoided. For example, Jews in Yemen refer to their Rabbi as Mori of Akhbar after the Islamic conquests because the Muslims disliked the term.

Offline Bassam Zawadi

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Re: we can have rabbs beside Allah
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 08:31:47 PM »
The definite article is of different types in the Arabic language, hence it wouldn't be correct to also make a general statement saying that ال can't be used, except for God.

Rather, the word "Lord", just like "King" and other names of Allah are uttered with the intention that they are infinitely qualitatively superior and positive in meaning when used for Allah, than for creation.

Offline Peaceful

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Re: we can have rabbs beside Allah
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2013, 09:52:25 AM »
Salam Bassam! I enjoyed your debate with Nabeel Qureishi a while back. Very informative.

Thanks for answering and welcome to the forum.  :)