These notes were for the most part taken from a lecture given by Ustadh Suhaib Webb with the same title.  It is something I have been interested in for a while now but haven’t really come across in my readings and is also something I would like to learn more about.  It is an important part of our deen and something very honorable that has been bestowed upon us if we wish to seek it.

Rabbaniya-Attaining the Hereafter through knowing the Divine

Sheikh Yusuf al’Qaradawi mentions that there are four qualities by which the Ummah of Muhammad (pbuh) is distinguished from all the nations that preceded it:

  1. The Umma of Da’wa (universal propagation)
  2. The Umma of Unity (unfortunately this is more theoretical than real today)
  3. The Umma of Rabbaniya
  4. The Umma of Wasatiya (balance)

We find the concept Rabbaniya, and those individuals who are Rabbaniyun mentioned throughout the Quran. In Surah Al-e-Imran we see it mentioned that the message of the Prophets is: ‘Kunu Rabbaniyun,‘ or ‘Be Rabbaniyun.’

The Definition of a Rabbani:

  • a.) The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Worship Allah as though you see Him, and if you don’t see Him then He sees you.”
  • b.) Rabbani is someone who came from Allah. Understands that not only are we created by Allah, not only are we from Allah, but he/she is returning to Allah. They internalized, “Inna lillah wa inna ilayhe raji3oon,” and also “wataqu yawman turja3oona fihi ila Allah,” (Fear/be conscious of the day that you will all return to Allah).
  • c.) Rabbani is one who lives a life connected to Allah. Men of God.
  • d.) Have Knowledge and actualize that knowledge into Action.

1.) Knowledge

Imam Shafie’ said: “A Faqih and a Sufi don’t be either (be both), for the the Faqih who just has fiqh without purification, his heart will never taste taqwa and this one with only tasawuf is Ignorant, and how can anyone who is ignorant fix anything.”

Knowledge must always be sought by the Rabbani. Anyone can be a Rabbani and so we seek knowledge according to our circumstances. If we are a bus driver, cab driver, doctor, etc., we put out time for seeking knowledge.

  1. Build a relationship with the Quran
  2. Do Dhikr of Allah
  3. Be aware of what’s going on with other Muslims.

2.) Action

Action encapsulates working for and praying to Allah.

  • a.) Establish the obligations with Khushu.’
  • b.) The saying of the Prophet (pbuh): “Nothing endears My servant to Me than doing of what I have made obligatory upon him to do. And My servant continues to draw nearer to Me with supererogatory (nawafil) prayers so that I shall love him. When I love him, I shall be his hearing with which he shall hear, his sight with which he shall see, his hands with which he shall hold, and his feet with which he shall walk. And if he asks (something) of Me, I shall surely give it to him, and if he takes refuge in Me, I shall certainly grant him it.'” (Bukhari)

The Goal of the Rabbani: Ishlah-Al-Quloob or The Rectification of the Hearts

The purpose of the Rabbani is to rectify the hearts and bring them closer to Allah. To be a positive force for change in society. Rabbani does not need as many reminders and signs as other believers.

  • i.) Surah Al-e-Imran: “How many prophets fought and with them were Rabbaniyun” (3:146) Many times when the Rabbaniyun are mentioned they are mentioned as fighting.
  • ii.) Surah Maidah: The story of the Bani Israel who were scared to go into the towns that Allah had told them to take over and was theirs. They were scared of what they termed “big people,” they thought that those in the towns were great but they failed to realize that Allah is greater.

End note:

I have realized that the concept of Rabbaniya is one which has been much discussed since the earliest times of Islam.  It is also a topic that the Sufi’s talk about a lot and one which the Islamic movement also talks of and teaches. There is a book that I would like to get my hands on entitled, “Rabbaniya Laa Ruhbaniya,” or “Rabbaniya Not Asceticism” by the eminent scholar Allama Abul-Hasan Nadwi. If anyone knows about it holler at me.