الرَّبّ Ar-Rabb (the Lord and Nurturer) the Lord and Master who has none like Him in His Lordship, the One Who nurtures and rectifies the affairs of the creation by the favours which He showers upon them, the Sovereign Owner Who alone creates and commands, the One Who controls the affairs and grants blessings, the One Who nurtures, the Creator, the Provider, the One Who aids and the One Who guides.
[Source: The Ninety-Nine Names of Allaah – Dawud Burbank [Audio|En] & Transcribed PDF]
Ar-Rabb (Lord and Nurturer) and His tarbiyyah (nurturing) of His creation
The scholar Abdur Rahmaan ibn Nasir as Sa’dee (died 1376 AH (1955 CE)) rahimahullaah said about the saying of Allaah, the Most High:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
<<All praise is for Allaah, the Rabb of all the Worlds.>>
(Soorah al Faatihah (1) aayah 1)
“the Rabb (Lord and Nurturer) of all the Worlds” – and His tarbiyyah (nurturing) of His creation, He the Most High, is of two types: general and specific.
So the general type is His creating the creation and giving them provision and guiding them to that which contains benefits for them, that which allows them to survive in this worldly life.
And the specific type is His tarbiyyah of His beloved and dutiful servants; so He nurtures them with true faith and He grants them the success to attain it, and He completes it for them. And He repels away from them those things which act as diversions and impediments and obstructions between them and it.
And its reality is that it is tarbiyyah of being granted success in attaining every good and protection from every evil.
(Tayseer ul Kareem ir Rahmaan of as Sa’dee rahimahullaah p39, translated by Nasser ibn Najam)
The Meaning of Ar-Rabb, the Lord
Ar-Rabb is the owner who has full authority over his property. Ar-Rabb, linguistically means, the master or the one who has the authority to lead. All of these meanings are correct for Allah. When it is alone, the word Rabb is used only for Allah. As for other than Allah, it can be used to say Rabb Ad-Dar, the master of such and such object. Further, it was reported that Ar-Rabb is Allah’s Greatest Name.
Source : Tafseer Ibn Kathir, Surah Fathiha, Dar-us-salam English publication
The meaning of ar-Rabb
With regards to the meaning of ar-Rabb, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah states:
Rabb – meaning khaaliq (Creator) and Sovereign Owner and the One who controls; so He is the One who created the heavens and the Earth; and He is the One who owns the heavens and the Earth; and He is the One who controls the heavens and the Earth.
He, the Most High, said:
أَلاَ لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالأَمْرُ
Certainly creation and command are His alone.
[Soorah al A’raaf (7) aayah 54]
And this is His being unique with regards to His creating and His controlling.
And He, the Most High, said:
وَلِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرضِ
And to Allaah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the Earth.
[Soorah al Jaathiyah (45) aayah 27]
And this is His being unique in terms of sovereignty.
(And His saying) :
Rabb il ‘aalameen (Lord of all creation)
[Soorah as Saaffaat (37) aayah 182]
Meaning: their Creator and their Sovereign Owner and the One who controls their affairs.
And an ‘aalam is: everything other than Allaah. And they are called ‘aalam because they are a sign for their Creator. So in everything from the created things of Allaah, there is a sign proving His Oneness and His Perfection.
(And His saying)
Rabb il ‘izzah (power and might)
[Soorah as Saaffaat (37) aayah 180]
Meaning: ghalabah (supremacy).
And rabb here has the meaning of ‘one who possesses’ (something) and its meaning is not ‘creator’.
And it occurs in the Qur’aan with the meaning of Creator and Sovereign Owner and One who controls – except in this place; so the intent here is ‘one who possesses’ only. And it is not possible that it be with the meaning of ‘creator’ (here) since al ‘izzah (power and might) is one of the Attributes of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic; and the Attributes of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic are not created.
So it is a must that the intent behind ‘rabb’ in His saying “rabb il ‘izzah” is the One who possesses power and strength, and not Creator (of ‘izzah) since the Attributes of the Rabb are not created.
(Tafseer Soorah as Saaffaat of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah , quoted in Mu’jam at Ta’reefaat p200. Translated by Nasser ibn Najam)
Shaikh Saalih ibn Saalih al-Fawzaan haafidhahullaah said in Sharh Usool-ith-Thalaathah:
And Ar-Rabb (the Lord) is the One Who is worshipped,
and the proof is His saying, He the Most High:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فِرَاشًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَّكُمْ ۖ فَلَا تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّهِ أَندَادًا وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
O mankind, single out your Lord with all worship, He Who created you and those who came before you so that you may be dutiful to Him, seeking to avoid His anger and His punishment. He Who made the earth a resting place for you and the sky a canopy, and He sent down from the clouds rain, and He brought out with it crops and fruits from the earth as provision for you, so do not set up rivals for Allaah whilst you know that you have no Lord besides Him. [2:21-22] (#9)
[#9]: His saying, “And Ar-Rabb (the Lord) is the One Who is worshipped”: meaning, He is the One Who deserves to be worshipped, as for other than Him, then it does not deserve worship, because it is not a Lord. This is the intent of the speech of the Shaikh rahimahullaah in his saying, “Ar-Rabb (the Lord) is the One Who is worshipped”, meaning He is the One Who deserves worship. Then also it is not sufficient that a person just affirms Ar-Ruboobiyyah (Lordship), rather he must affirm Al-‘Uboodiyyah (Allaah’s deserving all worship), He the Perfect and Most High, and he must carry it out making it purely and sincerely for Him, the Perfect and Most High. So since he has affirmed that He is Ar-Rabb (the Lord) then it is binding upon him to affirm that he is Al-Ma‘bood (the One Who therefore deserves to be worshipped), and that others besides Him do not deserve anything from worship.
Source : Sharh Usool-ith-Thalaathah – Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles – of Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab [1115-1206 H], Explained by Shaikh Saalih ibn Saalih al-Fawzaan haafidhahullaah, Lesson 20: The Lord is the One Who is Worshipped; The Meaning and Types of Worship (And Ar-Rabb (the Lord) is the One Who is worshipped…)
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
<<All the praises and thanks be to Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists)>>. (Surah Faathiha v.2)
(V.1:2) Lord: The actual word used in the Qur’ân is Rabb. There is no proper equivalent for Rabb in the English language. It means the One and the Only Lord for all the universe, its Creator, Owner, Organizer, Provider, Master, Planner, Sustainer, Cherisher, and Giver of security. Rabb is also one of the Names of Allâh.
Source : Surah Fatiha – Translation of the meanings of The Noble Qur’an , in the English Language , By Dr. Muhammad Taqiuddeen al-Hilaalee and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan