Is it Permissible to Name Children with Names of Angels?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question

We named our son Jibril because it is a beautiful name but recently were told that it is in fact haram to name a child by the name of an angel.

What should we do?

Answer

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

1. It is permitted without disliked to name one’s children with the names of angels. Imam Nawawi mentions that this is the position of the vast majority (jumhur) of Islamic scholarship. [Nawawi, al-Majmu‘ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab] In fact, he states that there is almost no position of dislike authentically transmitted from recognized scholarship on this.

2. The reason for this is that there are no authentic hadiths prohibiting this, nor any clear prohibited meanings in naming one’s children with the names of angels.

3. The only texts indicating the contrary would appear to apply when there are clear negative connotations in such namings–such as when it resembles the pre-Islamic habit of considering the angels the ‘daughters of God.’

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.