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Is the Name Gabrielle Permitted for a Muslim Girl?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalam alaykum

My pregnant sister is looking for a name to her child. Is the name Gabrielle permitted for a Muslim girl?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah. May Allah grant a smooth pregnancy and bless with a blessed child that is a source of lasting joy for you and your families.

There is nothing wrong with the name “Gabrielle.”

The basis of names in Islam is that they are permissible. It is recommended, by the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), to choose names with wholesome, good meanings.

It is discouraged to choose names with clearly negative meanings (Arabs liked naming their sons with the names of wild animals, to intimidate enemy tribes).

It is prohibited to use names directly expressive of sin, corruption, or disbelief (e.g. calling oneself the name of a Hindi deity).

Thus, the name mentioned wouldn’t fall under any of these prohibitions. It is said that the root sense of the name “Gabrielle” is from the Hebrew meaning of being a person of God. While the feminine of “Gabriel,” this alone wouldn’t make the name disliked or avoidable.

Please see: Is it Permissible to Name Children with Names of Angels?

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and translator of several Arabic works to the English language. After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersGuidance to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner.

Is It Mandantory to Write “Abdul” in Front of the Name “Muiz”?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question:As salaamu alaykum,

Is it mandantory to write “Abdul” in front of the name “Muiz” if I want to name my son “Muiz”?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Masha’Allah, may Allah Most High make him of His Elect.

No, it is not necessary to name him ‘Abd al-Mu‘iz. The general principle with respect to naming your child using the Names of Allah Most High is that it is permissible to name him without the precursor ‘Abd, except with those Names which are exclusive to Allah Most High, such as al-Rahman.

Please also see: Is it Necessary to Change One’s Name after Becoming Muslim? and: Naming Children with the Names of Allah

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.

Can I Change My Last Name Because It Reminds Me of Severe Childhood Abuse?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I have undergone extensive trauma therapy to recover from a childhood that has scarred me for life. I have confronted my father about my painful experiences and it was a disaster. Since this confrontation,  my last name has triggered anger and resentment because it is associated with my father.

Can I change my last name given the above situation?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Dear sister, I am so sorry to hear about your severe childhood abuse. Wounds like yours run deep, and I applaud you for choosing the path of healing. I pray that when you marry and have children, you will be a wonderful mother and loving wife. May Allah grant you complete healing, and help you stop the cycle of abuse.

Last name

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani has concluded that in exceptional circumstances such as yours, it is permissible for you to change your last name.

May Allah continue to bless your journey of healing. Please keep in touch.

Please refer to the following link:

Can a Woman Take Her Husband’s Surname?
Is it Necessary to Change One’s Name after Becoming Muslim?

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Randy

Can We Give to Our Baby His Grandfather’s Name as a Surname?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

My husband and his family including his mom all have his father’s name as a surname.

But there is this hadith: “He who knowingly attributed his fatherhood to someone other than his real father will be excluded from paradise.”
That seems like Ali would not be appropriate surname for our baby girl because it is his father’s name not my husband’s. Please could you make this clear for us?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

The interdiction is with respect to changing or denying one’s lineage. As for merely choosing a name, without such denial, this is permitted and the matter is expansive.

Please see: Can a Man Change His Last Name? and: Is it Necessary to Change One’s Name after Becoming Muslim?

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Acceptable to Choose a Name That Is Not Arabic and Is Not From the Quran?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Is it acceptable to choose a name that is not Arabic and is not from the Qur’an as long as it has a good meaning? We have been told that for example “Audrey” or “Isaiah” are impermissible or disliked. Is this true?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

This is permitted and those who have told you otherwise are incorrect. The most important consideration when it comes to a name is its meaning.

Islam does not prohibit people from embracing and continuing to abide by their own cultural norms so long as these norms are not interdicted. Rather, as the Qur’an states, God created people and gave them diverse backgrounds and cultures as a means: “We have made you nations and tribes so that you may know one another.” (49:13) This verse continues by stating, “Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of God is the one most righteous.” In other words, it is not the Arabization of one’s culture that counts; what counts is piety and righteousness. From this perspective, an Isaiah can be far greater in the sight of God than an Amr or Zayd.

Those who state that keeping non-Arabic names is impermissible ignore a number of crucial points. The most glaring is the fact that many of the prophets were not Arabs, did not speak Arabic, and nor did they have Arabic names. They were people who spoke in their own non-Arabic tongues. As the Qur’an states, “We have not sent a messenger except with the tongue of his people.” Thus, Moses (God bless him) was said to have spoken Hebrew and Jesus (God bless him) Aramaic, while Abraham (God bless him) spoke a Kushitic language.

Another point worth noting is that fact that there were a number of Companions who also had non-Arab names, such as Fayruz al-Daylami who was Persian. [Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba] Throughout the history of the Islamic world, Muslims have always used non-Arabic names.

Finally, none of the above is to suggest that Arabic does not hold significance. It clearly does. It is the language in which the Qur’an was revealed and the tongue spoken by our Prophet (God bless him and grant him peace) and many early Muslims. However, just as we are not prohibited from speaking in our own non-Arabic tongues, we are not prohibited from keeping non-Arabic names.

Salman

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can a Woman Take Her Husband’s Non Islamic Surname?

Answered by SeekersGuidance Answers Service

Question: Assalamu alaikum,

1) Is there any ruling on changing or not changing one’s surname to one’s husband’s after marriage?

2) My husband is a revert and has a Scottish surname and my dad says that it’s wrong to change my Islamic surname which to a non Islamic name. Is this view correct?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

(1) It is permitted for the wife to take her husband’s surname. This is simply a customary practice adopted by many.

Please see: Can a Woman Take Her Husband’s Surname?

(2) No, it is not necessary for someone to change his name after becoming Muslim.

However, it is a recommended sunna to do so if one’s name has an undignified or unbefitting meaning. [Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih, quoting Nawawi; al-Mawsu`ah al-Fiqhiyya al-Kuwaitiyya]

`Aisha reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to change bad names. [Tirmidhi]

Brief Guidelines on Names

[1] In general, it is permitted to take any name which doesn’t have a negative or problematic meaning or connotation.

[2] There is no obligation to change your name, particularly if the name doesn’t have a bad primary meaning.

[3] There is benefit in choosing a “Muslim” name, and this is generally a highly recommended sunna. For example, taking the names of Prophets, the great righteous men and women of Islamic history, and names indicating one’s belief in God such as `Abdullah and `Abd al-Rahman.

[4] It is permitted without dislike to take the names of angels.

[5] It is permitted to take the names of Allah, such as Karim or Hasib, except for those which exclusively belong to Allah, like Rahman, for example.

[6] Taking ugly names, like Shaitan and Zalim, or names with bad meanings or connotations is highly disliked.

[7] You can use both names [birth name & ‘new’ name], whether in different contexts (such as keeping your birth name in dealings with parents, family, and perhaps even professional situations), or interchangeably–as there is nothing wrong with having multiple names you are referred to by.

Please see: Is it Necessary to Change One’s Name after Becoming Muslim?

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

SeekersHub Answers Service

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is Jeremiah a Prophet? Can I Name my Son After Him?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalamualaikum Warahamtullahi Wabarakatu,
I just wanted to ask whether firstly Jeremiah, Peace be upon him, is a recognised prophet in Islam and under which school of thought.
Secondly is there anything unislamic in naming a son after him? (specifically this Hebrew version of the name as in Jeremiah)
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
There is nothing wrong with naming your son Jeremiah [=Armiya’, in Arabic].
Though he isn’t one of the twenty five named Prophets in the Qur’an, there is mention of him in numerous commentaries such as Baydawi, Nasafi, Abu al-Su`ud, and also in other sources.
Please see: Is it Necessary to Change One’s Name after Becoming Muslim?
And Allah alone gives success.
Wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Is it Necessary to Change One’s Name after Becoming Muslim?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: Assalam Alaikum,
An aquaintance of mine has recenlty accepted Islam. He was a Hindu before he came to Islam and wants to know if it is neccessary for him to change his name.
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
No, it is not necessary to change your name after becoming Muslim.
However, it is a recommended sunna to do so if your name has an undignified or unbefitting meaning. [Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih, quoting Nawawi; al-Mawsu`ah al-Fiqhiyya al-Kuwaitiyya]
`Aisha reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to change bad names. [Tirmidhi]
Brief Guidelines on Names
[1] In general, it is permitted to take any name which doesn’t have a negative or problematic meaning or connotation.
[2] There is no obligation to change your name, particularly if the name doesn’t have a bad primary meaning.
[3] There is benefit in choosing a “Muslim” name, and this is generally a highly recommended sunna. For example, taking the names of Prophets, the great righteous men and women of Islamic history, and names indicating one’s belief in God such as `Abdullah and `Abd al-Rahman.
[4] It is permitted without dislike to take the names of angels.
[5] It is permitted to take the names of Allah, such as Karim or Hasib, except for those which exclusively belong to Allah, like Rahman, for example.
[6] Taking ugly names, like Shaitan and Zalim, or names with bad meanings or connotations is highly disliked.
[7] You can use both names [birth name & ‘new’ name], whether in different contexts (such as keeping your birth name in dealings with parents, family, and perhaps even professional situations), or interchangeably–as there is nothing wrong with having multiple names you are referred to by.
A useful book is: Islamic Names by Muhammad Imran Ashraf Usmani
Please also see the following resources:
(a) Is it Permissible to Name Children with Names of Angels?
(b) Naming Children with the Names of Allah
(c) Giving an Adopted Child Your Family Name
(d) Can a Man Change His Last Name?
(e) Naming Children with the Names of Allah
(f) Can a Woman Take Her Husband’s Surname?
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam & Faraz Rabbani