أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

Hereunder is a few pertinent advises regarding the naming of a child

Did you ever ponder why Shariah places so much importance on keeping good names, names of the prophet’sعلى نبينا و عليهم الصلوة و السلام  and the pious?

It is the nature of man to be affected by what he sees, hear and speak. It is for this very reason that many companies place so much importance on advertisements. When the consumer sees the advert over and over again, he ultimately accepts what is been offered to him and buys the product.

It is also for this reason (man being affected by what he hears) that Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم prohibited from referring to the Maghrib salah with the word Easha. Imam Bukhari رحمه الله narrates on the authority of Abdullah Al-Muzani رضى الله عنه that Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم said:

عبد الله المزنى أن النبى – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قال « لا تغلبنكم الأعراب على اسم صلاتكم المغرب »

قال الأعراب وتقول هى العشاء . 563 تحفة 9661

The word Easha denotes darkness whereas the Maghrib salah should be performed soon after sunset. By naming Maghrib salah Easha, that would sub-consciously cause people to delay with the Maghrib salah.

It is clear from the above that a name has a bearing on an individual. Similarly, it is mentioned in another narration:

 

مالك بن أبي مريم قال دخل علينا عبد الرحمن بن غنم فتذاكرنا الطلاء فقال حدثني أبو مالك الأشعري:  

أنه سمع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يقول “ليشربن ناس من أمتي الخمر يسمونها بغير اسمها“.

سنن أبي داود3690

“Most certainly a time will dawn upon my ummah when they the will begin to consume liquor giving it a different name” (Abu Dawood 163 H.M. Saeed)

Imagine if an intoxicant is named as a pure drink or healthy drink. That will appeal even to those who abhor intoxicants.

The following may also be significant in understanding the impact of a name. It is common in politics that when there is a change in the regime or political party, the new regime changes names of cities, towns and streets to names of people that represent their philosophy and ideology.  For example, in , the airports, Louis Botha and Jan Smuts have been change to International Airport and O.R. Thambo respectively, Pretoria is changed to Tshwane, Stanger is changed to Kwa-Duguza etc.

In the background of what has been stated above, the name of a person also has an impact on the life and personality of a person.

Imam Bukhari رحمه الله mentions that once a person came to Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم. Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم asked him his name. He replied Hazn (meaning hard natured). Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم advised him to change his name to Sahl (meaning soft natured). The person replied that he does not want to change the name his parent’s had given him. The narrator of this hadeeth Sa’eed, who happens to be the grandson of Hazn says our family was always hard natured.

 

  عن ابن المسيب عن أبيه أن أباه جاء إلى النبى – صلى الله عليه وسلم – فقال « ما اسمك » . قال حزن .

 قال « أنت سهل » . قال لا أغير اسما سمانيه أبى . قال ابن المسيب فما زالت الحزونة فينا بعد

 صحيح البخارى6190

Names also indicate the identity of a person. At times it also denotes the religion of the person. Muslims in communist (formerly U.S.S.R.) could not openly accept Islam. That led to a generation being deprived of Islamic education. However, Muslims kept up to basic Islamic beliefs. They ensured that they gave their children Muslim names. Thus 50 years later, that generation was ignorant of many aspects of Deen and Islam. However, they identified with practising Muslims by virtue of their names and remembering the practise of Deen and Islam from their elders.

Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم   advised that we keep good names.

Imam Abu Dawood رحمه الله تعالى narrates a on the authority of Abu-Darda رضى الله عنه

عن أبى الدرداء قال قال رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- « إنكم تدعون يوم القيامة بأسمائكم وأسماء آبائكم فأحسنوا أسماءكم ».  سنن أبى داود 4950

“On the day of judgement you will be called by your name and your father’s name, therefore keep good names.” (Abu Dawood Pg. 320 H.M. Saeed)

Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم said:

قال رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- « تسموا بأسماء الأنبياء وأحب الأسماء إلى الله

عبد الله وعبد الرحمن وأصدقها حارث وهمام وأقبحها حرب ومرة ». سنن أبى داود 4952

 

“Keep the names of the anbiyaa. The most beloved of names unto Allah are Abdullah and Abdur Rahman. The most truthful names are Harith and Hammam.

The most detestable names are Harb and Murra”.

(Abu Dawood Pg. 320 H.M. Saeed)

 

Allama Qurtubi explains that any other names which are similar to the names Abdullah and Abdur Rahman, example Abdur Raheem, Abdul Malik, Abdus Samad et, are also as beloved to Allah.

قال القرطبي : يلتحق بهذين الاسمين ما كان مثلهما كعبد الرحيم وعبد الملك وعبد الصمد

فتح البارى 10/585 سلفية

Names with bad meanings are disliked. For example, the name Harb (war) and Murrah (bitter). It was the noble practice of Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم to change names containing a bad meaning.

Imam Tirmizi رحمه الله تعالى narrates:

عن عائشة أن النبى -صلى الله عليه وسلم- كان يغير الاسم القبيح سنن الترمذى 3073

“Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم used to change bad names”

Nabi صلى الله عليه وسلم prohibited from using such names which are only for Allah Ta’ala. Imam Muslim narrates on the authority of Abu Huraira رضى الله عنه Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم said:

عن أبي هريرة  : عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال ( إن أخنع اسم عند الله رجل تسمى ملك الأملاك )

مسلم 5734

“The most despicable name in the sight of Allah is the king of kings”

Explaining this narration Mufti Taqi Uthmani دامت بركاته mentions:

و به ظهر ان ما تعورف فى عصرنا من تلخيص اسم عبد الرحمن الى رحمن و تلخيص عبد القدوس الى قدوس لا يجوز شرعا و لا يجوز النداء او الخطاب به والله سبحانه اعلم (تكملة فتح الملهم 4/217 مكتبة دار العلوم كراتشى)

And Allah knows best

Wassalam

Ml. Ishaq E. Moosa,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah

http://www.askimam.org/fatwa/fatwa.php?askid=cfb94ae65452fed5d5f3bb2f51bdbcc9

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