Praise be to Allah, the Sustainer and the Cherisher of the worlds. [1:2]
The meaning of "Rabbul Alamin" is that Allah is the Sustainer and the Cherisher of the worlds. The plural use of the word "world" refers in the sense to the plant world, animal world, human world, human world and material world. In order to comprehend the significance of the use of the plural form "worlds", one has recognized that there are worlds within and beyond our familiar world.
Modern scientific knowledge enables one to classify these worlds in terms of length of scale such as:
1. From the proton to the world of giant molecules
2. From giant molecules to plants and animals
3. Our planet earth
4. From our planet to the known part of the universe
Whether a world is small or big, Allah has made wonderful arrangements for the sustenance of all the inhabitants of that world. Each life form has its own food, its own communication signal, its own housing pattern, and its own reproduction mechanism. But wonderful thing to note is that Allah has left none without food, none without shelter, none without a defense mechanism. Whether they inhabit a small or a large world, they have a means of sustenance and Allah is their Sustainer.
However, if by "Rabbul Alamin", we mean that Allah is the Sustainer of the living worlds, then the story remains incomplete. By the sustenance of the world is actually meant both the living and inanimate worlds.
Interestingly enough, newer and newer worlds of both living and non-living types are being revealed with the progress of modern science. It is significant to find that more than 1400 years ago, Allah had hinted, in the Quranic revelation, at all such worlds through the plural use of the word "worlds".
In conclusion, it can be said that the various types of worlds of inanimate and living matter which we have discussed so far are indeed governed and sustained by Allah through the operation of a magnificent set of rules. Indeed, Allah is the Sustainer and Cherisher of the worlds.