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Can a Wife Change Her Surname to Her Husband’s After Marriage?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Alimah Safiyya-Maryam Ahmed


Asamailakum, if I was to change my surname to my husband’s surname after marriage is that permissible? I have heard that we are meant to keep the surname as our father as on the day of judgement we will be called by our father’s name?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


As having surnames was not practised in the time of the Prophet [sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam] there is no explicit evidence allowing or prohibiting it. If it becomes a norm in a particular culture or place then there is no harm in doing so as it is simply a form of identification that she is married to a certain person or into a certain family.

What is categorically impermissible is to attribute oneself to other than their real father i.e to deceive people into thinking that somebody is your father when he is not, for example, if a Haleema with a husband called Umar changed her name to Haleema bint Umar! It is clear that this is not the case when women adopt their husband’s surnames nowadays. One cannot say there is any recommendation or reward in it but simply that it is from the mubaah (permissible) acts if a person chooses to adopt it. Finally, it does not contradict the hadith telling us we will be addressed by our father’s names as our father’s name is attribution to lineage and taking a husband’s surname is simply a customary identification.

Only Allah knows best

Written by Alimah Safiyya-Maryam Ahmed

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

حدثنا مسدد حدثنا خالد هو ابن عبد الله حدثنا خالد عن أبي عثمان عن سعد رضي الله عنه قال سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول من ادعى إلى غير أبيه وهو يعلم أنه غير أبيه فالجنة عليه حرام فذكرته لأبي بكرة فقال وأنا سمعته أذناي ووعاه قلبي من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم (صحيح البخاري, باب من ادعى الي غير ابيه, حديث ٦٣٨٥)

حَدَّثَنَا عَمْرُو بْنُ عَوْنٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا ح، وَحَدَّثَنَا مُسَدَّدٌ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا هُشَيْمٌ، عَنْ دَاوُدَ بْنِ عَمْرٍو، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ أَبِي زَكَرِيَّاءَ، عَنْ أَبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ إِنَّكُمْ تُدْعَوْنَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِأَسْمَائِكُمْ وَأَسْمَاءِ آبَائِكُمْ فَأَحْسِنُوا أَسْمَاءَكُمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ ابْنُ أَبِي زَكَرِيَّاءَ لَمْ يُدْرِكْ أَبَا الدَّرْدَاءِ ‏.‏ (سنن ابي داود. كتاب الادب, حديث ٤٩٤٨)

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.