Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
There are two names I love (“Ajmal” for a boy and “Alina” for a girl). I checked on the internet for their meanings, and somewhere, I read they both mean “beautiful.” On another site, I read Ajmal means “most beautiful” and Alina means “silk of heaven.” I don’t know which is the correct meaning, especially for the name Alina. Please, I’d like to know their exact meanings and if they’re suitable names for Muslim babies.
Thank you for your question.
The names you mention are good, but Arabs would probably choose variations of them. The name Ajmal does mean “most beautiful” and, as such, can be seen as presumptuous. See the link below for the dislike of naming presumptuous names. Many would prefer Jamal, meaning beauty.
As for Alina, it is not technically an Arabic word but seems to be related to Layyin and Alyinaa’, meaning soft. An Arabic name that is commonly used among Arabs uses the same root letters: Leen, meaning softness and tenderness. Leena is also common, meaning Palm tree, and it’s mentioned in the Quran.
I would recommend Jamal and Leen, instead of using the superlative Ajmal, and instead of using a not-really-Arabic name, Alina. May Allah bless your family and make your children the coolness of your eyes and give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.