Can a Man Change His Last Name?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: Is it bad or sinful to change your last name? I am a male, and I was considering changing my last name, is this permissible? It is not out of hatred towards my father, it just a name I have a fascination with.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

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

Changing one’s last name is not problematic per se, as long as doing so does not entail ascribing one’s lineage to other than one’s biological father, as changing one’s lineage is sinful. In fact, one of the central aims (maqasid) that the Sacred Law came to preserve is lineage or family (nasab).

But even if there is no change of lineage ascription, one must be sure that changing one’s last name is not offensive in any way to one’s family or parents, as offending one’s parents is sinful. [Nahlawi, Durar Mubaha fil Hazr wal Ibaha]

May Allah guide us all to show utmost excellence to our parents, and forgive us for our shortcomings in that regard. Amin.

And Allah knows best.

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani