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Giving Improper Names To Muslims


Giving improper names to a Muslim or calling a Muslim an improper name given by others is not permissible. Rasulullah 'sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sal-lam' states in a hadith-i-sharif [1]: "A person who has an improper name should change it to a good name." For example, the name 'Asiya' ought to be replaced with 'Jamila'. It is permissible to give nice names to Muslims. Children should not be given eulogistic names such as Rashid and Amin. Names like Muhyiddin or Nuruddin would be fictitious and neulogistic (bid'at [2]). It is an act of makruh [3] to call sinners, ignoramuses and apostates with names of this sort, which are eulogistic and laudatory. Nor can they be used in their figurative subsenses. Some (Islamic scholars) expressed their deductions as to the vindicability of giving such names to your children for being blessed with the auspicious connotations inherent in their meanings. It is permissible and useful to use these names for those scholars who are renowned for their piety.

[Famous scholar Ibn al-Abidin 'rahimahullahu ta'ala' states in the fifth fascicle of his book Radd-ul-Muhtar that the best and most proper names for Muslim children are Abdullah, then Abdurrahman, then Muhammad, then Ahmad and then Ibrahim in the order of priority. It is also permissible to give names of Allahu ta'ala such as Ali, Rashid, 'Aziz. However, names of this level will have be uttered with due reverence. A person who knowingly shows disrespect while mentioning these names becomes a disbeliever. For example, saying "Abdulkoydur" instead of Abdulqadir, or "Hasso" instead of Hasan, or "Ibo" instead of Ibrahim would be degrading these names. Even though saying these words would not cause disbelief when one does not intend to degrade them, it is better to avoid using such words which would verge on disbelief. If a child dies immediately after birth, it should not be buried without giving a name. Even though the name 'Abdunnabi is permissible, it is better not to use it. Hadrat [4] Sayyid Abdulhakim Arwasi 'rahimahullahu ta'ala' preached for twenty-five years after late afternoon prayer every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at the Bayazid mosque in Istanbul until he passed away in the year 1362 hijri qamari, [1943 A.D.] During one of his preaches he stated: "A child has three rights on his parents: giving a Muslim name at birth; teaching him reading/writing, knowledge ('ilm), and crafts upon reaching the age of discretion; and marrying him when he reaches the age of puberty." Some degenerate people in Europe and America are raised in an irreligious and non-ethical manner and are given fake diplomas and scholarly titles and then sent to Islamic countries. These ignorant disbelivers are appointed to high schools and universities as teachers or professors. They trap Muslim children with their position and make them irreligious and non-madhhabite. These children influenced by them easily become murderers and traitors. Those parents who send their sons and daughters to these schools are throwing their children to the Hell with their own hands.]

[1] hadith (sharif): i) a saying of the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam).; al-Hadith ash-sharif: all the hadiths as a whole; ii) 'ilm al-hadith; iii) Books of the hadith ash-sharif. iv) Al-hadith al-qudsi, as-sahih, al-hasan: kinds of hadiths (for which, see Endless Bliss, II).
[2] bid'at: (pl. bida') heresy; false, disliked belief or practice that did not exist in the four sources of Islam but which has been introduced later as an Islamic belief or 'ibada in expectation of thawab (blessings) ; heresy.
[3] makruh: (act, thing) improper, disliked and abstained by the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam); makruh tahrima: prohibited with much stress.
[4] Hadrat: title of respect used before the names of great people like and Islamic scholars.