Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
Can the name Eiliyah can be an acceptable variant of the name Aaleyah? Are the names Alaya, Elaiyah, Zahaira Arabic and Islamic? I named my daughter Zayrah but would like to change the name to Zahyrah. Can I still pronounce her name Zayrah with this new spelling? Does the pronunciation of names in Islam matter?
Is the name Zahira and Zaheera the same? I know it means helper, but some sites say it also means radiant and Bright. Is that true? What are the rulings in naming Allah’s names i.e. Raqeeb? Can you tell me all of Prophet Muhammad’s other names (Allah bless him and give him peace)
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate
No, Eiliyah cannot be used as a variant for Aaleeyah. They are different names with different pronunciations.
I have not heard the names Alaya, Elaiyah, or Zahaira as Arabic names, and I suggest you avoid them. I have heard Zuhaira and Zahira / Zaheera, and these are acceptable. The former means little flower (Feminine Diminution of Zahr), and the latter means female helper. I have not heard of them as meaning bright. Zuhra means brightness and brilliance.
If you are changing her name to Zaheera, you should pronounce it as such and change the spelling too. The pronunciation is of utmost importance because it indicates what you have named your child.
Although some divine names may be shared with humans because of their generic meaning, others should not. This name is one of Allah’s names and the angel who records one’s deeds. I have not heard of this name used among Muslims and cannot confirm whether it is good to use it. I would discourage it.
The Prophetic Names
You will find all of the names of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) at this link:
Names of Prophet Muhammad
Please see this link as well:
May Allah 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 aqida, 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.