Prohibited Names

There are also names which are contrary to the Shariah or which have meanings unacceptable to people of sound intellect and pure souls. These names are to be avoided. Giving these names to the children would be a crime against their Deen (beliefs) and their manners because they would grow up connected to these names and the meanings which they carry.

The prohibited names are of two categories: those which are forbidden in the Shariah and those which are either disapproved of due to the Shariah, or due to manners and good taste.

1. Names indicating servitude to other than Allah (SWT) such as: 'Abdun-Nabee (slave of the Prophet), 'Abdur-Rasool (slave of the Messenger) and 'Abdul - Muttalib - and whatever is like these names. Just the same in meaning are ‘Ghulaamun-Nabee’ and Ghulaamur-Rasool’.

2. Using these names which are particular names of Allah (SWT)- the One far removed from all deficiencies - like: al-Ahad (the One and Only, Unique in his Lordship, names and attributes, and His right to worship. The One having no equal, no assistant, no rival and no one similar to Him), ar-Rahman (the Most Merciful) and al-Khaliq (the Creator).

4. From the names which should also be avoided are the names of tyrants and despots like: Fir'awn (Pharaoh), Qaroon, Abu Jahl and their like, also the names of the leaders of Kufr and the heads of atheism such as Marx, Lenin and so on, since using their names would mean that one was pleased with their actions, and would mean imitation of them, and love of their systems of thought.


NAMES DISAPPROVED OF IN THE SHAREE'AH OR DISLIKED DUE TO GOOD MANNERS OR GOOD TASTE

1. Giving names which are meant to show servitude to Allah (SWT) but using names not known to be from Allah's (SWT) perfect names - like 'Abdul-Mawjood, 'Abdul-Maqsood and 'Abdus-Sattar. This is because nothing can be affirmed as one of Allah's (SWT) names without an authentic text, and these names do not satisfy this as they are rather attributes and information, so it is to be feared that in this way we might fall into giving Allah (SWT) names which neither He nor His Messenger (SAW) used for Him.

2. From these names are those which carry meanings of pessimism, or blameworthy characteristics which will be disliked or cause aversion or cause the possessor of the name to feel degraded, humiliated and such as will kill his personality - like Harb (war), Himar (donkey), and Kalb (dog).

3. From good manners is to avoid naming children with names which are suggestive or offend one's meaning of shame - such as: Huyam (one passionately in love), Nuhad (A young woman with full and raised breasts), Saham (summer heat)!, Wisal (sexual union), Ghadah (delicate young woman), Fatin (temptress), Fitnah (temptation), Shadiyah (female singer) and names with similar meanings.

So fathers and mothers should steer clear of giving these kind of names to their children - they will grow up having an attachment and fondness for them along with the meaning they convey. This may then lead them to imitate those people and follow their way, slowly losing their Islamic personality - and it is to Allah (SWT) that we turn for aid.

4. It is also disliked to give names which amount to a declaration of a person's being pious like: Barrah (pious / piety) and the like - due to this meaning the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) changed the name of one of his wives from Barrah to Zaynab, as he used to hate that it be said: "He left/went out from 'Barrah' (piety)."

5. From these names which it is disliked to use for naming are the names of the Angels. Particularly if they are used for females - such as Malik since it is to be feared that this involves imitation of the pagans who gave feminine names to the angels. But as regards to their use for males - then that is disliked by Malik, but allowed by a group of the scholars since the Hadith prohibiting it is not authentic.

6. Just as it is disliked to name with the names of Surahs of the Quran such as: TaHa, Yaseen and other names of Surahs. This is the saying of Imam Malik (Ra) - Ibnul- Qayyim also said: "The saying of the common people that Yaseen and TaHa are from the names of the Prophet (SAW) is not correct, there is no 'Sahih' Hadith about it or any 'Hasan' Hadith, nor anything 'Mursal' [having a missing link between the Tabiee and the Prophet (SAW)], nor any narration from any Companion, but rather they are letters like 'Alif Lam Meem', 'Ha Meem', 'Alif Lam Raa' and the like."

7. It is disliked to give names 'Yasar' (Ease), 'Rabah' (Profit), 'Najeeh' (Successful), 'Aflah' Prosperous), 'Ya'la' (Elevated)' and Barakah' (Blessing) since the Messenger (SAW) forbade that with his saying:

"Do not call your boy Yasar, nor Rabah, nor Najeeh, nor Aflah, since you will say: Is he there?' So it will be said: 'No'. Indeed they are four, so do not attribute more to me." (Reported by Muslim, Abu Dawud & At-Tirmidhee)

And the forbiddence of Ya'a and Barakah occurs in another Hadith reported by Muslim.

CHANGING PROHIBITED NAMES

PROHIBITED NAMES

‘Abdul-Maqsood ‘Abdul-Mawjood
‘Abdul-Muttalib ‘Abdun-Nabee (slave of the Prophet)
‘Abdur-Rasool (slave of the Messenger) ‘Abdus-Sattar
Aasiyah (disobedient: not same as Pharaoh’s wife) Abu Jahl
Aflah (prosperous) al-Ahad
al-Khaliq (the Creator) ar-Rahman (the Most Merciful)
Asram (cut off) Banuz-Zinyah (sons of fornication)
Barakah (blessing) Barrah (pious / piety)
Fatin (temptress) Firawn (Pharaoh)
Fitnah (temptation) Ghadah (delicate young woman)
Ghulaamun-Nabee Ghulaamur-Rasool
Harb (war) Hazn (roughness)
Himar (donkey) Huyam (one passionately in love)
Jaththamah (signifying inactivity) Kalb (dog)
Malak (name of an angel) Najeeh (successful)
Nuhad (a young woman with full and raised breasts) Qaroon
Rabah (profit) Shadiyah (female singer)
Saham (summer heat) Shihab (flame and fire)
TaHa (Surah in Quran) Yasar (ease)
Yaseen (Surah in Quran) Wisal (sexual union)
Ya’la (elevated)

Information Taken From Manners of Welcoming the New Born Child in Islaam By Yoosuf ibn ‘Abdullaah Al-‘Areefee, Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood ibn Ronald Burbank

[Names for Muslims]