Keeping names for children
Which names are preferred? Which are disliked?
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
The Holy Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said that a child is pledged to its aqeeqah, which is sacrificed on behalf of the child on the seventh day, when it is given a name and the hair is shaved off its head. (Sunan Tirmizi p.278 v.1)
From this we could derive that after the child is born, on the 7th day he must be named. Some hadiths say that it should be kept soon as it is born.
When Munzir Bin Abu Usayd was born, his father took him to the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam who took the child in his lap and asked the father its name. On being told he said: “No’ call him Munzir” (Sahih Muslim p.210 v.2)
Names given to the child should be good and meaningful. On the Day of Judgement, people will be called by their names and the name of the fathers. Therefore a good name must be chosen. (Sunan Abi Dawuud p.676 v.2)
Also keeping good names has a good effect on the person as equally as keeping a bad or an unmeaning name will have a bad effect on the person. (Aapke Masaail p.44 v.7)
The most preferable name should be kept are those of the Anibiya’s (Prophet). Also those names which are linked to the names of Allah like Abdul Qadir or to the names of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), or the names of the Sahabas Radiallahu Anhum or the names kept by our pious saints and predecessors. (Tuhfatul Ahwazee p.274 v.10)
Musa Shaheen in his commentary of Sahih Al Muslim ‘Fathul Munim’ (p.434 v.8) had talked about whether a person could keep a kunyah same as Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam or keep his name as same as the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam and those names which are neither of those mentioned above.
The first type is keeping a kunyah similar to Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam. There is a difference of opinions regarding this Masala but the view most established amongst the past and present scholars is that it is permissible to have a kunyah the same as the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam
The prohibition of keeping the same kunyah was only during the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam lifetime. After the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalams’ death, there was no danger of anybody meaning someone else apart from the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam.
The second type is to keep the name Muhammad or Ahmad. The majority of the scholars say it is mustuhub.
The third type is those names, which does not have a good meaning or points to the person’s bad character etc… Similarly, children should not be given names, which people might be made fun of. For example, Saiduna Umar Radiallahu Anhu’s daughters name initially was “Aasiyah” which meant disobedient so the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam changed it to “Jameelah.”
Also the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam changed names such as (hardness), Shaytan, Hakam, Ghuraab (crow). He also changed the name Harb (war) into peace. (See Sunan Abi Dawud p.677 v.2)
We should not give names that points towards bad character, like the grandfather of Saiduna Saaed bin Musaib Radiallahu Anhu presented himself to Nabi (SAW). He asked him his name. He replied “hardness” the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam replied: Your name is “easy” He replied, “How can I change the name given by my father.” Saiduna Saaed bin Musaib Radiallahu Anhu says from that day hardness has been found in our character.” (Sunan Abi Dawud p.677 v.2)
Also those names, which are only specified with Allah for example “Ahad” by itself is not permissible. Similarly names, which are similar to the attributes of Allah (SAW), should be avoided as well.
Similarly, names such as “King of all monarchs” should be avoided. The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said, “the worst of all people in the eyes of Allah and liable to punishment will be the one whom people called “Shahan Shah (King of all monarchs). (Sahih Muslim p.208 v.2)
Some rules regarding names.
a) If a persons’ name is linked with Allah for example, Abdul Qadir, then it is not permissible to call him just “Qadir.”
b) A Muslim child should not be given a non muslim name
c) A person could keep Mohammed as part of his name.
d) If a person has become Hafiz (i.e. Memorized the whole Quran) or has become Aalim and he wants to add Hafiz or Maulana to his name, then if it is done without the intention of pride then this will be permissible.
(Aapke Masaail p.25 –53 v.7)
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birminham