Is it An Islamic Requirement to Change a Name to Fulfil a Nikah?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


The father of the girl I want to marry, will not allow me to marry her unless I change my name to Mohammed Omar, as he does not believe I am Sunni, even though I am. He thinks I am a Shia. My name is Nikrouz. The father doesn’t approve until I change my name. Is this an Islamic requirement to fulfill a valid nikah, and can her brother be her guardian (wali) instead of the father, with the father’s permission, as he will not give her away until I change my name? I refuse to because I don’t believe my name dictates my beliefs and religion. If I was a Shia, I could easily just change my name and still be a Shia if that were the case. I am a person of the din and of good character. We all live in Canada. She is from Afghanistan, and I’m from Iran.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question and for seeking an Islamic answer.

It is not an Islamic requirement to change a name to fulfill a nikah. Your name means “one whose day is blessed,” figuratively meaning “blessed” and “fortunate.”

I recommend the following:

  • Try to convince him by assuring him that Sunnis live in Iran and explain your lineage and geographical area;
  • Try to get his local Imam involved, whom he would respect and listen to;
  • You can tell him to call you Omar, and there is nothing wrong with this- a way of reconciling and giving respect to him


Everything in this world which has value is safeguarded. Similarly, the status of women in Islam is also honored and safeguarded. This responsibility of guardianship (wilaya) is given to the woman’s family in the following order:

The guardian (wali) is understood to be the father of the woman; if the father is not alive, then the grandfather; then the mature son; then the blood brother; then the uncle (father’s brother); then the cousin (father’s brother’s son); then the mother, etc.

If the father gives permission to her brother to be the guardian, then it is permissible for him to be the guardian. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

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I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.