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My husband recently went to court and legally changed his name. He did not inform me of this until after it was done…

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My husband recently went to court and legally changed his name. He did not inform me of this until after it was done. He changed both his first name (which he disliked) and his last name (family surname) which he said was of French origin and not Islamic. We consulted our imam who said my husband did nothing wrong by changing his whole name…his only mis-deed was not informing me. I tried to present fatwa that for someone to change his lineage was haram, and the imam said what I presented was 110% wrong. I would like my husband to correct this, but because the imam has agreed that he did no wrong I am at a loss. Can you help me? (The imam also said that there was no harm in a woman changing her name to that of her husband’s.)

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

1.         Although your husband changed his first name and surname, he is not guilty of changing his lineage. He can only be guilty of this when he attributes himself to anyone other than his legal father. What your husband did was correct although it was unethical of him to leave you in the dark.
2.         In Islam, a woman retains her individual identity even if she gets married. However, if she wishes to assume the surname of her husband, she is at liberty to do so.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam

Mufti M. Kadwa
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah

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