He intrigued in Ethiopian politics a number of times. Early in his reign he detained the Coptic bishop Abba Yeshaq, who was travelling to that kingdom. A later act was his attempt to convert Saga Krestos, the son of Emperor Yaqob of Ethiopia, to Islam, which resulted in Saga Krestos' departure.
In response to a slave raid by Emperor Susenyos of Ethiopia in 1619, Rabat led a great army against the Ethiopians, and slew one of the Imperial officials, a Muslim named Muhammed Sayed. In response, Emperor Susenyos marched to the border and defeated Rabat's army.