Sura Al-Fatiha (Tafseer-ul-Maariful Quran), Part-11

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Rabb is the exclusive attribute of Allah The Arabic word 'Rabb' (Lord) is applied to a person who not only possesses a certain thing, but is also fully capable of and responsible for nurturing it properly. Obviously, no one can act as 'Rabb' with regard to the whole universe except Allah. So, the word, used in an absolute sense, is exclusive to Allah, and it is not permissible to address or describe anyone other than Allah as 'Rabb. ' A hadith in the Shain of Muslim explicitly forbids a slave or servant to call his master a 'Rabb'. The word may, however, be employed in the case of a man too in a relative sense -- that is, in relation to a particular thing, for example, 'rabb al-dar' (master of the house) etc. (Qurtubi)

Seeking help from Allah
According to the great commentator and Companion 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas, the verse إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ  'You alone we worship, and from You alone we seek help' means thit one worships Allah alone and no one else, and that one turns for help to Allah alone and to no one else. (Ibn abi Hatim Ibn Jarir)

It has been reported from certain great scholars and saints of the earliest centuries of Islam that the Siirah al-Fitihah is the secret (i.e., the gist) of the entire Holy Qur'an, and this verse is the secret of the whole Sirah, for the first sentence of the verse is a declaration of one's being free from Shirk, or from all desire to associate anyone with Allah, and the second sentence is an expression of one's being exempt from all wish to trust in one's own power and will. Such an affirmation would naturally lead to putting oneself in the hands of Allah in all concerns. The Holy Qur'iin again and again commands us to do so: فَاعْبُدْهُ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَيْهِ 'Worship Him, and put your trust in Him'. (11: 123); قُلْ هُوَ الرَّحْمَـٰنُ آمَنَّا بِهِ وَعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا 'Say He is the All-Merciful. We believe in Him, and we put all our trust in Him' (67:29); رَّبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَاتَّخِذْهُ وَكِيلًا  'He is the Lord of the East and the West; there is no god but He; so take Him for a guardian' (73:9). All these verses come to mean simply this -- a true Muslim should, in anything that he undertakes, rely neither on his own faculties nor on the help of a fellow creature, but should entrust himself completely to Allah, for He alone is All-Powerful, and He alone is the absolute helper.

Two doctrinal points emerge from this discussion. Firstly, it is totally forbidden to worship anyone except Allah, and associating anyone else with Him in worship is a deadly and unforgiveable sin. As we have already explained, 'Ibadah (worship) signifies an utmost humility and willing self-abasement before someone out of the deepest love and veneration. If one behaves in this manner in relation to any created being, it is called shirk (association) in Islamic terminology. It basically follows from this definition of "worship" that "association" does not merely consist in attributing divine power to figures made out of stone or metal as idolators usually do; but obeying or loving or venerating someone to the degree which is reserved for Allah is also an "obvious association" (al-shirk al-Jalii). In recounting how the Jews and the Christians indulge in shirk (association), the Holy Qur'an says: اتَّخَذُوا أَحْبَارَهُمْ وَرُهْبَانَهُمْ أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ : 'They have taken their religious scholars and their monks as lords apart from Allah'. (9:31)

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