Translated Abu Ubaydah
Translated, Checked & Additional Notes
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari
Secrets (Mystery) of “Allahuma” and “Rab”
There are many duas that start with Rab in the Majestic Quran. For e.g.
“Our Rab, so forgive us our sins” [Surah al-Imran Ayah 3]
“My Rab, indeed I have wronged myself” [Surah al-Qasas Ayah 16]
The mystery in this is that at the time of asking, the rububiyah (Allah being the cherisher, nourisher, guide and providence of Allah) is made as a means which includes authority, kindness and cultivating of people and reform. At the time of praising His Uluhiyah (divinity) it is declared as a means of collection of all the good attributes and perfect highness.
Reflecting upon the Quran at times of praise, good names will be found especially and specifically the name of Allah, He said:
“[All] praise is [due] to Allah” [Surah al-Fatiha Ayah 1]
“So exalted is Allah when you..” [Surah ar-Rum Ayah 17]
“Exalted is your Rab, the Rab of might,” [Surah as-Safat Ayah 180]
“Whatever is in the heavens exalts Allah” [Surah al-Hadid Ayah 1]
“Blessed is Allah , Rab of the Worlds.” [Surah al-‘Araf Ayah 54]
“So blessed is Allah , the best of creators.” [Surah al-Mu’minun Ayah 14]
“Blessed is He who sent down…” [Surah al-Furqan Ayah 1]
There is only one place where both Allah and Rab are said together in a dua. It is in Surah al-Ma’idah:
“O Allah , our Rab, send down to us a table [spread with food]” [Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 114]
There is specific wisdom behind mentioning both names. This dua was made after a question the people of Masih (Alayhisalam) was given. The people demanded that:
“Can your Rab send down to us a table [spread with food] from the heaven?” [Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 112]
On this demand the Masih (Alayhisalam) told them to fear Allah’s anger, threatened them and told them that it is inappropriate to ask a question like this about Allah in anyway. When they insisted and were stubborn, and the Masih (Alayhisalam) feared that if their demand was not met, the disease of doubt might enter their hearts. The following words were mentioned, “O Allah, our Rab…” making use of the the word Allah is an indication that He is the centre and source of all the highest perfection and good attributes. The only purpose of this dua and demand is so that He is praised. That His perfect power, His rububiyah is highlighted and the truthfulness of His Messenger (Alayhisalam) is shown. On this occasion praising was necessary and because it was a station of dua, that is why the attribute of rububiyah was necessary. On this basis both Allah and Rab are mentioned here.
Taken from Bada’i al-Fawa’id [2:194]