Daily Archives: September 22, 2014

Rabb or al-Rabb? (Hadith No. 2226)


Ahadith 2219 – 2225 (below) are repeats. Related posts have been linked.

Volume 3, Book 46, Number 721:
Narrated Al-Ma’rur bin Suwaid:
I saw Abu Dhar Al-Ghifari (radiallaahu `anhu) wearing a cloak, and his slave, too, was wearing a cloak. We asked him about that (i.e. how both were wearing similar cloaks). He replied, “Once I abused a man and he complained of me to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) asked me, ‘Did you abuse him by slighting his mother?’ He added, ‘Your slaves are your brethren upon whom Allah has given you authority. So, if one has one’s brethren under one’s control, one should feed them with the like of what one eats and clothe them with the like of what one wears. You should not overburden them with what they cannot bear, and if you do so, help them (in their hard job).”

Volume 3, Book 46, Number 722:
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu):
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “If a slave is honest and faithful to his master and worships his Lord (Allah) in a perfect manner, he will get a double reward.

Volume 3, Book 46, Number 723:
Narrated Abu Musa Al-Ashari (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “He who has a slave-girl and teaches her good manners and improves her education and then manumits and marries her, will get a double reward; and any slave who observes Allah’s right and his master’s right will get a double reward.”

Volume 3, Book 46, Number 724:
Narrated Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu):
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “A pious slave gets a double reward.” Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu) added: By Him in Whose Hands my soul is but for Jihad (i.e. holy battles), Hajj, and my duty to serve my mother, I would have loved to die as a slave.

Volume 3, Book 46, Number 725:
Narrated Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Goodness and comfort are for him who worships his Lord in a perfect manner and serves his master sincerely.”

Volume 3, Book 46, Number 726:
Narrated ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “If a slave serves his Saiyid (i.e. master) sincerely and worships his Lord (Allah) perfectly, he will get a double reward.”

Volume 3, Book 46, Number 727:
Narrated Abu Musa (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “The Mamluk (slave) who worships his Lord in a perfect manner, and is dutiful, sincere and obedient to his Saiyid (master), will get a double reward.”

Today’s Hadith:

Volume 3, Book 46, Number 728:
Narrated Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “You should not say, ‘Feed your lord (Rabbaka), help your lord in performing ablution, or give water to your lord, but should say, ‘my master (e.g. Feed your master instead of lord etc.) (Saiyidi), or my guardian (Maulai), and one should not say, my slave (Abdi), or my girl-slave (Amati), but should say, my lad (Fatai), my lass (Fatati), and ‘my boy (Ghulami).”

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The scholars said: The word al-Rabb, with the definite article al-, cannot be applied to anyone except Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted. But it may be used in conjunction with something else, in the genitive, e.g., rabb al-maal (the owner of the wealth), rabb al-daar (the owner of the house) and so on. An example of this is what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, in the saheeh hadeeth about the lost camel, “Let it be until its owner (rabbuha) finds it, and in another saheeh hadeeth, “until the one who has wealth (rabb al-maal) will be worried about finding someone to accept his wealth (zakaah).” (It also appears) in the words of ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) in al-Saheeh, “… the owner (rabb) of the herd of camels and flock of sheep…” And there are many other well-known examples in the hadeeth.

The scholars said: It is only makrooh for a slave to say to his master “rabbiy (my lord)” because by saying this he is making someone a partner with Allaah in lordship.

With regard to the ahaadeeth “until its owner (rabbuha) finds it” and “owner (rabb) of the herd of camels” and so on, the word is only used here because it refers to things that are not accountable. They are like houses and wealth. Undoubtedly it is not makrooh to say rabb al-daar (owner of the house) or rabb al-maal (owner of the wealth).

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The reason for the prohibition is that that the right of Lordship belongs to Allaah alone, because the lord is the owner, the one who is maintaining a thing, and that is true only of Allaah, may He be exalted.

Al-Khattaabi said: The reason why it is not allowed to call another person one’s rabb (lord) is that man is under the care of al-Rabb (the Lord, Allaah), and he is required to show sincere belief in the Oneness of Allaah (Tawheed) and avoid associating anything with Him (shirk), so it is makrooh for him to use the same name lest it come under the heading of shirk. There is no differentiation in this case between the free man and the slave. As for other things, animals and inanimate objects, which are not obliged to do acts of worship, it is not makrooh to use this word in the genitive with reference to them, such as saying rabb al-daar (owner of the house) or rabb al-thawr (owner of the bull).

Ibn Battaal said: It is not permissible to call anyone except Allaah rabb (lord), just as it is not permissible to call anyone else ilaah (god). What is to be used exclusively for Allaah is the word al-Rabb (the Lord) with the definite article, without mentioning anything in conjunction with it. But when it is used in conjunction with another word, in the genitive, it is it permissible to use it, such as when Allaah tells us that Yoosuf (peace be upon him) said: “Mention me to your Lord” and he said: “Return to your lord” [Yoosuf 12:50], and when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, describing the portents of the Hour, “When the slave woman gives birth to her lord (i.e., master,rabbaha).” This indicates that the prohibition on using this word applies only to its use with the definite article (al-Rabb), and it is possible that the prohibition is aimed at avoiding usage with reference to human beings of words that are befitting only for Allaah. Reports which indicate otherwise may be taken as meaning that it is permitted. Or it may be that it is not allowed to do that a great deal and take that usage as a habit, and it does not mean that it is forbidden in all cases. End quote.

Fath al-Baari (5/179).

To sum up:

The word al-Rabb (the Lord) which applies only to Allaah is that which appears with the definite article, but when the word is used in conjunction with something else, especially if it is something that has no power of rational thought and is not obliged to worship Allaah, then it is permissible.

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