Is It Permissible to Name My Baby After an Angel?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I was used to call my son Abdul Hadi before his birth. But after his birth I want to name him Abdul Ahad.

Can I call him Abdul Ahad?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Depending on the circumstance, the changing of a name could either be impermissible, reprehensible, permissible, encouraged or compulsory. [Bujayrami]

Impermissible:
It’s haram to change a permissible name to an impermissible one, such as changing the name AbduLlah (slave of Allah) to AbdulMasih (slave of the Messiah)

Reprehensible (makruh)
It’s disliked to change a good name for a disliked one, such as changing the name Sa’id for Rabbah.

Permissible:
Changing one permissible name for another is permitted in Islam, such as in your case. You may change the name AbdulHadi to AbdulAhad.

Desired or encouraged:
When the name consists of self-praise, such as in the hadith transmitted by Abu Hurayrah that the name of Zaynab was barrah (pious) and people began speaking that she’s praising herself. The Messenger sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam then changed her name to Zaynab. [Agreed upon]

Compulsory:
Changing an impermissible name to a permissible one is compulsory, such as changing the name AbdulMasih to AbduLlah.

As stated above, it would thus be permissible for you to change your son’s name.

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

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