Is Using a Pseudonym Permitted in Islam? 

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question

Is using a pseudonym Permitted in Islam?

My work requires using an English pseudonym since I work in an English-based call center that works for an internet provider, and we sell internet service to their customers.

For example, my name is Hammad and I use “Adam” to introduce myself in the following manner, “Thank you for calling this is Adam How can I help”. But if during the call they ask my name I let them know that it’s not my name, it’s my pseudonym and I’m not allowed to use my name.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to that which is pleasing to Him. May He reward you for this beautiful desire to turn back to Him. Amin.

The mere use of a pseudonym in a lawful job is not prohibited unless it is accompanied by a prohibition, such as violating working conditions, fraud, or causing harm.

The Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him, give him peace, and be pleased with them all) often used pseudonyms. While there exist some differences in the name of Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him), it was likely ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Sakhr. Abu Hurayra was an endearing nickname that literally means “the father of the kitten.” Records state that he was fond of cats and often walked about with a kitten in his sleeve. [Ibn Hajar, Fath Al-Bari; Dhahabi, Siyar A‘lam al-Nubala]

Refrain from Harm

Remember to refrain from offensive names and names that the person named dislikes. Allah says, “O believers! Do not let some ˹men˺ ridicule others, they may be better than them, nor let ˹some˺ women ridicule other women, they may be better than them. Do not defame one another, nor call each other by offensive nicknames. How evil it is to act rebelliously after having faith! And whoever does not repent, it is they who are the ˹true˺ wrongdoers.” [Quran, 49:11]

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.