Naming the Young Ones
Islamic Customs and Etiquette
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

Has the Prophet (sws) given us any guidance in naming our children?


The guidelines given by the Prophet (sws) in naming our offspring can be summarized thus:

1. Names which have good meanings should be kept. The Prophet (sws) used to change names having bad meanings. It is reported in certain Ahādith that the name of one of the daughters of Umar (rta) was `Aāsiyah which in Arabic means "a sinning lady". The Prophet (sws) changed her name to Jamīlah (a beautiful lady).

2. Names which have a ring of superiority should be avoided. The Prophet (sws) changed the name of one of his wives from Barrah (which means pious) to Jawayriyyah.

3. Names which are only appropriate for the Almighty should be avoided. The Prophet (sws) showed his dislike for names such as Māliku’l amlāk (king of kings).

4. The Prophet (sws) has urged Muslims to keep the names of the various Prophets of Allah and is reported to have said that the two names which Allah likes very much are `Abdullāh (Servant of Allah) and `Abdul Rahmān (Servant of the most Gracious).

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