Is a name giving ceremony permissible? Can I name my daughter the same name as my wife?

Question:

My wife will soon be giving birth inshallah to our first child.  This is obviously a very happy and joyous occasion for our family.  It has always been a tradition in my family to have a specific day set aside to invite the close relatives to attend a “name giving” ceremony for the newborn child.  Is a ‘name giving’ ceremony allowed or encouraged in Islam? Assuming it is not allowed, what will be the kindest and most polite way for me to explain to my beloved parents & close family members that I cannot keep a ‘name giving’ ceremony.  

2) My wife’s name is Mariam.  If we are blessed with a daughter is it allowed or recommended to name the child the same name as her mother and call her Mariam also?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Shari’ah does not prohibit us from expressing happiness during joyous occasions.  If one expresses happiness or takes part in a custom which is within the parameters of Shari’ah, then it is perfectly permissible.

A ‘name giving’ ceremony will be permissible if the following principles are adhered to[1]: 

1)     There must not be any intermingling of the non-mahram (those whom one can marry) opposite genders.

2)     The get-together should be free of all sins like music, movie-making and other impermissible acts.

3)     One should not believe this practice to be a sunnah or a necessary act in Dīn.[2]

4)     One should not insist for it to transpire.  Likewise, one should not be so passionate about such a ceremony that he who cannot attend is scolded or rebuked.  If people are scolded for not attending such a gathering, then such gatherings should not take place.[3]      

5)     The name-giving ceremony is not regarded to be a part of aqīqah.[4]

If any one of the above principles is present or there is a likely chance of any of the above materialising, then one should abandon such an event all together.

Gathering people on a specific date is for convenience.  Specifying dates will be problematic when it is done for acts of worship which are free of such specification.[5]    

The practice of the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) on such occasions was to bring the new born child in the presence of the Prophet (Salutations and peace be upon him).  Imam Bukhari reports that Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (May Allah be pleased with him) was blessed with a boy.  He brought the child to the Prophet (Salutations and peace be upon him).  The Prophet named the boy Ibrahim and carried out tahnīk (placing of a sweet substance on the palate).  Thereafter, the Prophet (Salutations and peace be upon him) made duā’ for the child.[6]

Imam Nawawi (may Allah be pleased with him) states that it is mustahab (preferable) to take a new born child to the pious and gain their blessings and prayers for the baby.[7]  Instead of having a name giving ceremony, you should consider taking your new born child to the pious and gain their prayers and blessings for your child. 

With respect to the second query, the objective of names is to help differentiate and distinguish between people.  By having two people with identical names under one roof will cause confusion in the smallest of errands.  There will be confusion in the letters received as to who exactly is the addressee.  Phone calls for one of the two will always puzzle the one receiving the call.  Dental appointments, optician’s appointments and the like can be easily misunderstood.  Although it will be permissible to keep the name of the child and mother the same, it is not advisable. [8] 

We make dua Almighty Allah grants you a pious, healthy, obedient and beautiful child.  Ameen.    

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Faraz ibn Adam al-Mahmudi

www.darulfiqh.com

 


[1]  فتاوى رحيمية ج 10 ص 226 دار الإشاعت

[2]  وكل مباح يؤدي إليه أي الى اعتقاد السنية أوالوجوب فمكروه. (الدر المختار ص 105 دار الكتب العلمية)

[3]  فتاوى عثماني 1/106 مكتبة معارف القرآن

[4]  مسائل رفعت قاسمي ج 5 ص 208 حامد كتب خانه

[5]  ومنها التزام العبادات المعينة في أوقات معينة لم يوجد لها ذلك التعيين في الشريعة كالتزام صيام يوم النصف من شعبان وقيام ليلته (الاعتصام ج 1 ص 46 مكتبة التوحيد)

[6]  عَنْ أَبِي مُوسَى رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ وُلِدَ لِي غُلَامٌ فَأَتَيْتُ بِهِ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَسَمَّاهُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ فَحَنَّكَهُ بِتَمْرَةٍ وَدَعَا لَهُ بِالْبَرَكَةِ وَدَفَعَهُ إِلَيَّ وَكَانَ أَكْبَرَ وَلَدِ أَبِي مُوسَى (صحيح البخاري رقم الحديث 5040)

[7]  أَمَّا أَحْكَام الْبَاب : فَفِيهِ : اِسْتِحْبَاب تَحْنِيك الْمَوْلُود . وَفِيهِ : التَّبَرُّك بِأَهْلِ الصَّلَاح وَالْفَضْل . وَفِيهِ : اِسْتِحْبَاب حَمْل الْأَطْفَال إِلَى أَهْل الْفَضْل لِلتَّبَرُّكِ بِهِمْ ، وَسَوَاء فِي هَذَا الِاسْتِحْبَاب الْمَوْلُود فِي حَال وِلَادَته وَبَعْدهَا .(شرح النووي  ج 2 ص 196 دار الفوائد)

[8]  كتاب الفتاوى ج 6 ص 130 زمزم ببلشر