Salaam Alaykum wa ramatulaah wa barakatuhu
Ya shaykh , upon marriage I took my husbands last name , dropping my fathers family name. I had not yet converted at the time nor did I have knowledge of the ruling. Now is it compulsory that I change it back to my fathers? and drop my husbands last name?
Also if i do change my name I’m thinking to change to my chosen Muslim name bint- fathers first name. Indicating daughter of. A shaykh told me this is the best format bc it’s simple and adding a family name that has been passed down several generations is imitating the kafirs. However my question about this is my fathers first name legally is James but he only goes by Jim. No one ever calls him James. And he signs everything Jim. And to confuse things more my brothers name is James and that’s what everyone calls him. So considering that should I be then bint Jim or bint James?
Jazakum Allahu Khairan
Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
There is no harm in keeping your husbands last name. You are at liberty to keep whichever surname you prefer.
It is not compulsory upon you to change your surname. A surname is merely kept for identification purposes, and the purpose is never to disassociate one from their father.
If you do prefer to change your surname, perhaps use the word Zawjatu, which means ‘wife of’. So you can identify yourself to your husband by saying ‘Zawyatu ___________ (your husbands name). This will avoid the confusion which you mentioned.
And Allaah Ta’aala knows best
Ismail Moosa (Mufti)
قال الخطابي أراد بهذا الكلام تألف الأنصار واستطابة نفوسهم والثناء عليهم في دينهم حتى رضي أن يكون واحدا منهم لولا ما يمنعه من الهجرة التي لا يجوز تبديلها ونسبة الإنسان تقع على وجوه منها الولادة والبلادية والاعتقادية والصناعية ولا شك أنه لم يرد الانتقال عن نسب آبائه (فتح الباري لابن حجر – 8/ 51)
This answer was collected from Fatwaa.com which is an excellent Q&A site managed by Mufti Ismail Moosa from South Africa. .