The foregoing detailed exposition of the misguided conceptions of various pre-Islamic people make it patently clear that from earliest times to the revelation of the Qur'an, none of those whom it mentions as the transgressors, the misguided, and the astray, actually denied the existence of God, or His being the Rabb and the ilah. All, however, went wrong in much the same ways in dividing the attributes of rububiyyah, in its five different senses, into two separate compartments.
Insofar as such attributes of Allah as His being the Cherisher, the Provider, and the Protector and Helper of the creatures in the transcendental sense were concerned, the people regarded them as something apart from the rest. And, although in this sphere they did regard Allah as the Supreme Rabb, they also believed that the angels and various gods, the genii, and invisible forces, the stars, and other heavenly bodies, the Prophets and saints and other holy men, also had different shares in this rububiyyah.
As for the remaining attributes, namely, Allah's being the Supreme Sovereign, the Fountainhead of authority, the Supreme Law-giver, and the Supreme Lord of all creation etc., the people either assigned these roles wholly to particular human beings or, while assigning them to God in theory, in practice treated the entire rububiyyah in moral, cultural, and political spheres as vesting in these beings.
It was for the task of removal of both these types of misconceptions that there were ordained all the different Prophets from time to time (may peace be upon them) and, finally, Allah sent Muhammad (peace be upon him), as His last Prophet. All of the Prophets called to man to believe that there was but one Rabb, that is, Allah, in all of the various senses of the word, and that rububiyyah was not divisible nor was any portion of it available to any creature. The management and control of the universe, they emphasized, was centered is One Authority only, the Authority Who alone had created it, entirely to His own Grand Design and purpose, and Who exercised both de jure and de facto rule over all its affairs, and no-one had any share either in the creation or the running of the universe. As the Center of all authority, God alone was and is the Rabb, in all the senses of the word, both in transcendental matters and the temporal affairs of men. He alone was and is worthy of all worship, of being made the focus of all adoration and prayer. He alone listens to all prayers and He alone is worthy of our reliance and capable of providing for the needs of all too. He alone is at the same time the King, the Lord of the Universe and the source of all law and authority, and He alone has therefore the right to lay down what is right and what is wrong and what ought or ought not to be done. It is in the very nature of things a misconceived notion to think of rububiyyah as something which could be split up into compartments. It is an essential, and exclusive attribute of Allah and; hence, obviously and necessarily indivisible.
This call of the various Prophets (on whom be peace), is brought out in the Qur'an in many a place, e.g.:
Verily, your Rabb is Allah (alone)-He Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and then established Himself on the Mighty Throne; He it is Who draws the night as a veil over the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession; the sun and the moon, and the stars are all subservient to His Law and Commands; Verily, it is patent that all creation is His, and authority too vests in Him, and Most Blessed is he, the Lord of all the Worlds. (Quran 7:54)
Ask them (O Prophet), "Who is it who provides sustenance for you from the heavens and the earth? Is it He in Whose power are hearing and sight, and Who brings forth the living from the dead and the dead from the living, and Who rules and regulates all affairs?" (If you ask) they will say, "It is Allah (Who does all this)." Ask them, then, "Wherefore, then, do you not fear Him (and change your ways)?" (Say): "Such is Allah, your real Rabb and true, and, apart from Truth, what remains but error, and so wherefore do you get turned astray?’ (Quran 10:31,32)
He (it is Who) created the heavens and the earth in Truth; He it is Who makes the night overlap the day and the day overlap the night, and made, the son and the moon subservient (to His Law), each one following a course till an appointed time … such is God, your Rabb; His is the Kingdom and there is no ilah but He; and why, then, do you keep getting turned away? (Quran 39:5-6)
Allah it is Who made the night for you that you may find rest and peace in it, and the day in which you are enabled to see ... Such is Allah, your Rabb Creator of every thing. There is no ilah but He; so why are you deluded into straying? ... Allah it is Who made the earth a place for you to live and rest upon, and the sky a roof over you, and gave you shapes; and good shapes at that, and provided for your provision good and wholesome food; such is Allah, your Rabb, and, so, blessed be He, the Lord of all the Worlds. He alone is the Living (One); there is no ilah, but He and to Him alone then address all your prayers. (Quran 40:61-65)
And Allah (it was Who) created you from clay…He merges night into day and day into night, and made the sun and the moon obey His Law, each following its course until an appointed timer Such is Allah, your Rabb; in Him vests all Sovereignty, while those; on call to besides him possess no such authority; and if you call upon them, they hear not your call and if they did they would not make any reply and, on the Day of Judgement, they will (to you discomfiture), (but) repudiate (and disown) your association of them with God. (Quran 35:11,13-14)
And to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth, and all are abjectly obedient and subservient to Him..., He propounds to you a similitude from your own (experience): Has any of your slaves a share in owning any of the things which We have bestowed upon you? Do they equal right, with you in the ownership and use of these things? Do you fear them as you fear your equals? Thus do we expound arguments to point the way to reality to those with wisdom and understanding, but wrong-doers merely follow their own baseless notions… Therefore (O' Prophet, and those of you who believe in him), set your face steadily and truly to the Faith; establish God's handiwork according to the pattern on which He has read, mankind; no change let there be in the work wrought by Him. This is the straight and correct road, but many among mankind know this not. (Quran 30:26,28,20,30)
And, (the wrongdoers) did not appreciate God (and His attributes) in proper measure, and (they will see that) on the Day of judgment He will hold the earth in his fist, and the heavens will be rolled-up in His right hand; blessed is He and far above the (supposed) partners they associate with Him. (Quran 39:67).
And praise all is due to Allah alone, the Rabb of the heavens and the Rabb of the earth, and Rabb of all the Worlds; and to Him belongs all Greatness and Glory throughout the heavens and the earth; and He is exalted in Power, and the All-Wise. (Quran 45:36,37)
He is the Rabb of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them; so give your 'ibadah to Him (O' Prophet) and remain steadfast in your worship of Him; (and) do yen know of aught like Him? (Quran 19:65)
And Allah (alone) knows the hidden realities of the heavens and the earth, and to Him are referred all matters, so give your 'ibadah to Him (alone), and rely not upon any but Him. (Quran 11:123)
He is the Rabb of the East and of the West; No ilah there is but He, and so entrust all your affairs unto Him (alone). (Quran 73:9)
Verily this brotherhood of yours (that is, of all the prophets) is a single brotherhood, and I am your Rabb, wherefore give your 'ibadah to Me. Men have apportioned rububiyyah and the duty of 'ibadah on their own (without any sanction from Us), and all of them will, ultimately, return to Us. (Quran 21:92-93)
Obey that which has been sent down to you from your Rabb, and do not obey others besides Him (as supposed protectors or guardians). (Quran 7:3)
Say (O Prophet): "O people of the Book: Pledge your creed to that which is common between us and you, that we do not give our 'ibadah to any but Allah and that we associate none with Him, and that we do not asks any human being a rabb besides Him. (Quran 3:64)
Say (O Prophet): I seek refuge with the (Sole) Rabb of all mankind, the (Sole) Monarch over all mankind, and the (Sole) Ilah of all." (Quran 114:1-3)
So whosoever looks forth to meeting his Rabb let him do pious deeds, and associate not any with his worship of Him. (Quran 18:110)
The foregoing verses bring out as clearly as possible that the Holy Qur'an uses rububiyyah as exactly synonymous with sovereignty, and the concept of Rabb it presents is that Allah is the Absolute Monarch of all creation, and its sole Lord and Master, and, as such:
He is our Cherisher and Provider and Sustainer, and of all that constitutes creation; It is He Who looks after all our needs, governs all our affairs, and is alone worthy of our entrusting all our affairs to His discretion; It is by virtue of this very attribute that faith. in Him is the only right basis on which to build up the structure of human life in proper manner, and attachment only to His central Personage is capable of bringing together different individuals and groups and forming them into an Ummah.
He alone is worthy of the 'ibadah, and submission, and worship, of all humanity and other creatures; and He alone is the Lord, Master, and Ruler, of ourselves, and all else besides.
The pagans, whether Arabs or others, have always committed the error, which continues even today, of splitting up the comprehensive concept of rububiyyah into its five facets as if they could exist separately or be vested in different beings. The Qur'an lives most cogent and irrefutable arguments that the Universe is one, and that there is no room in it at all for Supreme Authority and rububiyyah vesting in any but the same Being. The very fact that the universe is subject to one supreme law shows that rububiyyah is reserved solely for Allah, Who alone brought the universe into existence. Therefore, whoever attributes any portion of rububiyyah to any but Him seeks but to depart from or ignore the ultimate fundamental Reality, to turn away from the Reality of the universe, to rebel against Truth, and, by thus going against what exists, only brings loss to himself and ultimate disaster.
Reference: The articles on Conept of Lord God are taken from "Quran's Four Basic Terms" by Abul 'Ala Maududi. The entire book is available online for registered members section at www.muhammad.net