Can a Woman Take Her Husband’s Surname?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam.

Question: Assalaam alaikum. In the light of following hadeeth please explain the detailed ruling of a woman changing her surname to her husband’s name?
It was narrated from Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “There is no man who knowingly calls himself after someone other than his father but he has committed kufr. Whoever claims to belong to people to whom he has no ties of blood, let him take his place in Hell.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari)

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this finds you in the best of health and spirits, insha’Allah.

It is permitted for the wife to take her husband’s surname. This is simply a customary practice adopted by many.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), “There is no man who claims another man for his father, and that knowingly, but that he has disbelieved. Anyone who lays claim to what is not his is not one of us. He will take his seat in the Fire. Anyone who claims that another man is an unbeliever or says he is the enemy of Allah when that is not the case, that comes back on him.” [Bukhari; Muslim]

Ibn `Allan comments, “…and the person’s intention is to negate their paternal lineage; otherwise if they are commonly known by ascription to their grandfather or to the one who adopted them, and they ascribe themselves to that person due to its being common knowledge, without intending to negate their own lineage thereby, the threat would not apply to them.”

See also: Can a Man Change His Last Name?

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.