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If a Name Is of Hebrew Origin and Its Hebrew Meanings Are Good but in Arabic, It Is Not Good What Should We Do?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Nazrul Islam

Question:

If a name is of Hebrew origin and its Hebrew meanings are good but in Arabic, its meaning is anxious or worried what should we do? 

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

Answer:

We can derive from narrations that names have effects on people, so if a name has a negative meaning it is best that we change it into a name with a good meaning.

Sa`id bin Al-Musaiyab R.A. narrated; when his grandfather, Hazn (Sadness) visited the Prophet (ﷺ), the Prophet (ﷺ) said (to him)”What is your name?” He said, “My name is Hazn (which means sadness).” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, ” But you are Sahl (which means ease).” He said, “I will not change the name with which my father named me.” Ibn Al-Musaiyab added: He was forever in roughness/sadness (in character) ever since. (1)

Sahih al-Bukhari 6193

In another narration it is reported by Sahl R.A.;

When Al-Mundhir bin Abu Usaid was born, he was brought to the Prophet (ﷺ) who placed him on his thigh. While Abu Usaid was sitting there, the Prophet (ﷺ) became busy with something so Abu Usaid told someone to take his son from the thigh of the Prophet (ﷺ). When the Prophet (ﷺ) finished his job (with which he was busy), he said, “Where is the boy?” Abu Usaid replied, “We have sent him home.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “What is his name?” Abu Usaid said, “(His name is) so-and-so. ” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “No, his name is Al-Mundhir.” So he called him Al-Mundhir from that day. (2)

Sahih al-Bukhari 6191

So the Prophet S.A.W. changed the names of companions who had names correlated with negative meanings. In this case, we recommend that you do the same.

Arabic is the language of our Deen (religion), the Quran was revealed in the Arabic language (3) so we give references to it over any other language.

Only Allah knows best.

Written by Maulana Nazrul Islam

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

(1)حَدَّثَنَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ مُوسَى، حَدَّثَنَا هِشَامٌ، أَنَّ ابْنَ جُرَيْجٍ، أَخْبَرَهُمْ قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي عَبْدُ الْحَمِيدِ بْنُ جُبَيْرِ بْنِ شَيْبَةَ، قَالَ جَلَسْتُ إِلَى سَعِيدِ بْنِ الْمُسَيَّبِ فَحَدَّثَنِي أَنَّ جَدَّهُ حَزْنًا قَدِمَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مَا اسْمُكَ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ اسْمِي حَزْنٌ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ بَلْ أَنْتَ سَهْلٌ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ مَا أَنَا بِمُغَيِّرٍ اسْمًا سَمَّانِيهِ أَبِي‏.‏ قَالَ ابْنُ الْمُسَيَّبِ فَمَا زَالَتْ فِينَا الْحُزُونَةُ بَعْدُ‏.‏

Sahih al-Bukhari 6193

(2)حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ أَبِي مَرْيَمَ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو غَسَّانَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو حَازِمٍ، عَنْ سَهْلٍ، قَالَ أُتِيَ بِالْمُنْذِرِ بْنِ أَبِي أُسَيْدٍ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم حِينَ وُلِدَ، فَوَضَعَهُ عَلَى فَخِذِهِ وَأَبُو أُسَيْدٍ جَالِسٌ، فَلَهَا النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِشَىْءٍ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ، فَأَمَرَ أَبُو أُسَيْدٍ بِابْنِهِ فَاحْتُمِلَ مِنْ فَخِذِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَاسْتَفَاقَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ ‏”‏ أَيْنَ الصَّبِيُّ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَقَالَ أَبُو أُسَيْدٍ قَلَبْنَاهُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ مَا اسْمُهُ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ فُلاَنٌ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ وَلَكِنْ أَسْمِهِ الْمُنْذِرَ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَسَمَّاهُ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْمُنْذِرَ‏.‏

Sahih al-Bukhari 6191

(3)بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِيٍّ مُبِينٍ

(Ash-Shu’araa : 195)

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

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