Naming Children In Islam
On the Day of Resurrection, a person will be called by their name and the names of their parents. Therefore, a good name must be selected. [Abu Dawood]
Asalamu’Alaikum. There are many things in your life you must do that are important. One of the most difficult aspects is naming the child. It can be extremely tricky to find a good-fitting name for one. Here we will see some of the major things that you have to do when naming your child.
The most important basis for naming a child is that the name has a good meaning. Though, there are some prohibited names for ones child which include:
1: The name cannot show enslavement towards anyone or anything except Allah SWT
A child cannot be named as a slave to anyone. For example Abd-Al Rasool (slave of the messenger), Abd-Al-Ameer (slave of the prince), Ghulam-An Nabi (slave of the Prophet) and so on. ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:
My name was ‘Abd ‘Amr – or according to one report, ‘Abd al-Ka’bah – and when I became Muslim, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) called me ‘Abd al-Rahmaan.’
2: It cannot be the Name of Allah
Any name of Allah without “Abdul” is haram to name your child. You can’t name your child Al Rahman, Al Rahim, Al Quddus, and so on.
3: It cannot be a name that is exclusive for the non-believers/ Kufar
The name should not be a name that is exclusively for the non-believers. These are names that are directly linked to that of the Kufar. For example, Babul (hindu boy), Abd al-Maseeh (“slave of the Messiah”) and so on.
4: Naming ones child after an idol, or something or someone worshipped other the Allah.
This includes after an idol or devil. You cannot name the child after one of these things. If one has a name that is after an idol or devil, they must change it.
5: The meaning HAS to be good!
It is a must for the name of a child to be of good meaning. This is because we want don’t want the name to have a disgraceful meaning and we also don’t want that the child grows up and is ridiculed for it. For example, Hiyaam (the name of a disease suffered by camels). We also don’t want to the child to be put in a situation where they may need to change their name when they are older.
6: Naming a child with a name with provocative meanings
This is common in naming girls. Often the name can have an alluring meaning. People should watch out for this and help guard their child’s hayah (modesty).
7: It is Haram to name a child deliberately/ intentionally after immoral people- (singers, actors/actresses, sports players or any famous person.)
This is one of the most common ways of naming a child these days. Parents may name their child after their favourite sports player, their favourite actor from a movie and so on. This is extremely wrong. If you are deliberately naming your child after a famous or popular person who is of a shady character that is extremely wrong. If you are naming your child after them, so that they can grow up and be just like them, this is also very wrong. It is as if you are taking that person as an idol. If the name is of good meaning then it is ok to name your child that, but if you are going to connect your child to the name of that person that is not acceptable.
8: It is Haram to name a child after something referring to sin.
Anything that is referring to sin is not acceptable. For example, Saariq (thief), Zaalimun (wrongdoer), Firawn (pharaoh), Qarun and so on so forth.
9: It is not okay to use names of animals with undesirable characteristics
The names of Animals such as Kalb (dog), Himaar (donkey), etc
10: It is Makrooh (disliked) for someone to name or call their child by a name of Allah without saying Abdul
If someone names or calls their child by Allah SWT ‘s name without saying Abdul before, that means they are putting their child to Allah SWT ‘s level. Abdul means ‘Slave of’.
11: It is disliked for one to be called something more than they are
This means that taking someone and raising them to a high level and giving them more than they deserve. To add any words to “al-Deen” or “al-Islam” such as Noor al-Deen (“light of the religion”), Noor Al-Islam (light of Islam). Even the well-known scholars disliked being given these titles.
12: It is not allowed to name a child after an Angel or after names of Surah in the Quran
It is very common for people to be named after Angels and Surah names such as Ta-Ha and Ya-Seen. This is also because they are Al-Huroof al-Muqatta’ah (letters which appear at the beginning of some surahs) meaning that only Allah knows the meaning of these letters. The Angels’ names have become extremely propular in recent times as likeable names, but the problem lies in the fact that these names are not male or female names. They are the names of Angels who do not have a sex, so why should we appoint one to their names and name our children after them? We do not find that the Sahabah (RA) named their children after the Angels, so we should follow their example, Insha’Allah.
Lastly, let’s take a look at this Hadith:
“The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Give your children the names of Prophets, and the most beloved of names to Allaah are ‘Abd-Allaah and ‘Abd al-Rahmaan…..”
It is very important to pick a good meaning for your child. Remember, choosing a name for your child, sets their title for their future. They will be known for it, so we have to be aware and choose a nice name with a beautiful meaning, Insha’Allah.
Dictionary Of Islamic Names (Muslim Baby Boys & Girls Names) (PDF / eBook)
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