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How to name a Muslim Child – Basic Rules and Things to Know About naming a Muslim Baby in Islam

Updated on April 3, 2015


How to name a Muslim Child – Basic Rules and Things to Know About naming a Muslim Baby

Naming a Muslim child is quite significant rite in Islam after the birth of the newborn. The Holy prophet (Peace be upon him) always gave significance to the names. There are many examples where the holy Prophet (PBEUH) changed the names of people, which were not liked. In old times, usually, it was thought that names have nothing to do with a person’s character and a child was named after the first thing that is seen by the father or mother. However, today’s world generously accepts that names play a vital role in the character building of an individual.

When the Holy Prophet (PBUH) came in this world, he was named Muhammad (PBUH) by his grandfather Hazrat Abdul Mutallib. This was a unique name. No such baby had ever born who was given such a unique name. It was in no one’s mind that a day would come when this name will the most popular name of the world, as we can see today.

Muhammad (PBUH) means “the most praised one” and like his name, Muhammad (PBUH) is the most praised person of the universe. Not only Muslims but non-Muslims also compelled to praise his personal characteristics and his services towards the human. He was praised by the Almighty not only in the Holy Book “Quran” but also in the books revealed before his birth i.e. Tauret, Zaboor and Injeer(Bible). There are hundreds and thousands of books written acknowledging his role in the benefiting the human race altogether. No moment in the world is passed when Muhammad (PBUH) is not praised as Muslims praise their Holy Prophet (PBUH) at least five times in a day.

The opinion of various non-Muslim scholars and philosophers are gathered in the following blog:-

Regarding naming the children, the sayings of the holy Prophet (PBUH) provide us sufficient guidance. In the light of the sayings of the holy Prophet (PBUH) following basic principles are sketched out for the guidance of the Muslims how to name their children:-

1. It is the right of a child that his father should give him or her good name. Saying of Holy Prophet (PBUH) is quoted as: “It is the birth right of every child that his or her father must give him or her a good name”. [Abu Naeem & Kanzul Aamaal.”

2. When a companion of the Holy Prophet brought his new-born to be blessed by the Prophet (PBUH), he named the child Abraham.

3. The holy Prophet persuaded the Muslims to name their children after him:-

“Whoever will be named after me, with the hope to be blessed, is to be blessed every morning and evening till the Doomsday”

My Personal Experience:-

I am blessed by Almighty with four children; one daughter (eldest) and three sons. When my wife became pregnant for the second time, some of my friend advised me to name my prospective child after the name of Holy Prophet. So, his name was suggested by a pious man as “Muhammad Noman” and with the grace of God, I was blessed with a son. So whenever, my wife became pregnant I followed this advise and on all occasions I was blessed with a son. So, I shared my personal experience with my fellow Muslims who, are desirous to have a son.

4. In another saying the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said; “The most cherished names near Allah are: Abdullah and Abdur Rahman.” According to the Islamic teachings, God has ninety nine beautiful names.

5. It is best if we choose a name from among them and add “and” which means slave, to it. Abdullah means slave of Allah (God). Abdul Rahman means the slave of the Beneficent. Likewise, Abdul Hafeez, Abdul Jabbar, Abdul Sattar are good names.

6. Islamic scholars (Muftis) consider it right to name a child as “Muhammad Hafeez”, “Muhammad Razzaq” and so on. However, it is to be noted that if an individual is named as Abdul Hafeez, we should call him with his full name and he could not be called as Hafeez and likewise.

7. However, God love two names in particular, Abdul Rahman and Abdullah.

8. I may quote another hadith with regard to the naming a child after some pious souls. So, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “Name your child after the names of Prophets [Abu Daud and Al-Nassai). Among Muslims, names of Ali, Hussain, Hassan, Usman, Umer and names of other Muslim heroes are also very popular. All this is done to preserve among the faithfull an organic link with their historical and religious past.

9. Names with bad meanings are disliked by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and there can be quoted certain incidences when the Holy Prophet (PBUH) changed such names and gave the name with good meanings. In short, the holy Prophet (PBUH) forbade the keeping of names that were not pleasant.

10. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said that the most undesirable and uncalled for names were Harb (battle) and Murrah (bitter) as Islam is the religion of peace and battle is the most hated thing in Islam.

11. The names should not be distorted. It is strictly forbidden by Almighty in Quran. Hence, the Almighty speaks as under:-

O ye who believe! Let not a folk deride a folk who may be better than they (are), nor let women (deride) women who may be better than they are; neither defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. Bad is the name of lewdness after faith. And whoso truneth not in repentance, such are evil-doers.”(Surah Hujrat, Chapter-26)

In the light of above verse of Quran, we should strict avoiding doing such evil act, which can be prevented very easily.

How to name female Muslim Children

12. For female it is better to add “Amta”, which is equivalent of “And”.Fatima, Khatija, Aysha, Maryam,Asia, Rabia and the names of other pious ladies in the history of Islam are very popular. Among those, the names of wives and daughters of Holy Prophet are very common among Muslims.

13. If a child, when grown up, disapproves the name given by his parents, he may change it if he so desires. However, it is to be noteworthy that in the modern era some individuals do not like their names considering them old fashioned. Though it is permissible to change one’s name given by the parents, but it should be based on sound reasons and option of change of name should only be exercised when it does not have good meanings. In today's world, people dislike the names like Allah Ditta, Allah Rakha etc. and feel ashamed when they are called with such old fashioned names. I think, it is better to change their names rather than suffering from inferiority complex for the whole life.

14. The name should be neither so small nor too large.

15. It is a common practice that people usually ask their elders or religious scholars/Peers to name their children.

Mother has to suffer pains and strains in the birth of a child. In fact, she is the only who has to suffer a lot and in deed, giving birth a child is a matter of life and death for a mother. Hence, according to my person opinion naming a children is the first right of the mother.


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      Asif 2 years ago

      Reference of this hadith please? "Whoever will be named after me, with the hope to be blessed, is to be blessed every morning and evening till the Doomsday"

    • firdousi0 profile image

      Fassee Ullah 2 years ago from Pakistan

      Very information and unique of its kind. It gives a comprehensive information to guide the parents of new comers to name their child according to the teachings of Islam

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      Azam R M 2 years ago

      I am very anxious to know about Islam,about our Prophet SAW and about their grandchildren Hussan and Husein and 5hose who fought for Islam.