Abd عبد

(Pl. `ibad, `abid), slave, servant, a creature dependent on his creator; the worshipper of Allah; fem. amah, as in Amatullah, Allah’s slave-girl, pl. ima’).

`Abd is an important concept in Islam. By the use of the word, the Qur’an defines and designates the nature and status of man. He is a slave of Allah and not a divine being, nor has any share in His Powers, Attributes or Divinity. The most noble of humans: Prophets and Messengers were, from Adam to Muhammad, His slaves.

Man’s salvation lies in achieving ‘Ubudiyyah through the acts of `Ibadah, i.e., slavery or servant-hood of Allah through submission, obedience and devotion combined with love of his Lord. The highest status that a man can rise to is that of becoming a perfect servant of Allah (`abd of Allah’). Hence, in all-important places in the Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad has been designated as an `abd. In the Qur’an, Prophet Isa (Jesus, peace on him), has been referred to as `abd to emphasize his servant-hood against the Christian concept of his divinity. The Muhammad (peace on him) said, “Of the names, that Allah likes most are `Abd-Allah and `Abd al-Rahman.”