Especially the name Rabb (Lord) is cited a lot in prayers (Dua). Could you explain that name?
Rabb means who disciplines, who improves something from the beginning degree to the last degree by disciplining it gradually. Just as the name al-Khaliq is derived from the verb to create (khalaqa) and the name ar-Razzaq is derived from the verb to bestow blessings (razaqa), so too is the name Rabb derived from the verb to discipline, to educate. In chapter al-Fatiha, which is the first surah of the Quran, it is stated that Allah is the Rabb of the all worlds - Rabb-al Alemeen. And in the last chapter, the name Rabb-an Nas (Rabb of people) is cited and thus peoples attention is attracted to the disciplining of people. Various other manifestations of disciplining are often mentioned in other chapters as well. For this reason, Muslims commemorate this name often and usually start their prayers with this name.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Rabb literally means someone who disciplines, who brings one up to maturity gradually by disciplining them. The creation of the universe started from a starting point and took its last shape in six stages, which are referred as six days in the Quran. This Divine will asserted itself in creatures that are sent to this world as guests and their bodies were created not all of a sudden, but by progressive stages. Man, who is the most honorable of all these creatures, has gone through a gradual disciplining process which can be said to consist of six stages, in general, in wombs. These stages are nutfah (pure water which consists of cells of two different genders), alaqa (dense blood), mudgha (a small bit of flesh), azm (bone), lahm (flesh) and khalq-al jadid (new creation, last shape).
Whatever there is on this sphere of earth, where we inhabit, air and water, copper and gold, sugar and salt, plains and lakes, and lastly plants, animals and human beings, each has gone through a different sort of Rabbs discipline. Soil has merged with bacteria; fishes in seas and erythrocytes and leucocytes have displayed different manifestations of the name Rabb.
It is said that today the number of animal species has approached to a million. Each animal species from birds to bees that produce honey, from silkworm to sheep that produce milk, from ants which live in societies to lions and leopards reflect Allahs name of Rabb in a different mirror.
When we think of the species of living beings with respect to their organs, we encounter a scene of discipline which is so broad and which dazzles ones mind and we see a different manifestation of the name Rabb in each of them.
Eyes which are disciplined to sea, ears to hear, feet to walk and hands to hold are all products of different disciplines. It is possible to read this discipline from our inner organs, our heart, our stomach, livers, kidneys and many more divine works.
Both the sky and earth have been disciplined for the good of the humankind, for those blissful human beings who recognize their Rabb. While the Sun caresses those guests gently, the sphere of earth rotates them gently like a cradle.
Some outstanding members of the humankind are honored with a different and special disciplining. Our Prophet informs us of that discipline of prophets is a privileged level of discipline, saying Ya Rabban-Nabiyyina wal akhyar. (O the One who disciplines the prophets and all good people. The manifestations of this name display differences regarding prophets.
When we look at the hadith Scholars of my followers are like the prophets of Israelites in this sense, we see that the name Rabb appears in a different degree and a different beauty with each of these prominent and privileged people who shaped centuries.
Furthermore, let us look at the world of angels: They have been through a different disciplining process as well. The manifestations of the name Rabb which appear with Gabriel and the ones with Azrael (the angel of death) are not the same. When a person looks at this universe, which has been through a divine disciplining process together with its sky, earth, plants, animals, human beings, angels, the jinn and spiritual beings, with wisdom, the first thing he will detect is the act of discipline. For this reason, people cite this name a lot.