Is it Permitted to Use Terms Like Maharaja—King of Kings?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


Is there anything wrong in calling prominent saints and rulers “Maharaja” or king of kings? The title Maharaja was used by Muslims and Non-Muslims for rulers and saints for centuries.


I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah.

While extravagant titles are in of themselves superior to avoid, they are not impermissible. This is because their affirmation to creation is considered to be in a (1) relative—not absolute and (2) hyperbolic—not literal—sense.

The term “Maharaja”—which means “great king,” according to the sources I’ve checked, is such a term. [“Maharaja” in Encyclopedia Britannica:]

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center


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