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Islamic Names: Their Meanings and Significance


Islamic names; their meanings and significance-RhaliA baby’s name is his or her first gift in life. Great care must therefore be taken in choosing baby names that have pleasant and beautiful meanings just like our Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed us to do.It is reported in a Hadith that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

“You will be called on the Day of Resurrection by your names and the names of your fathers, so have good names.” (Reported by Abu Dawud)

It is the infant’s vested right to be honored with a beautiful name. When choosing a Muslim baby name for a child, it should be done with the intention that the baby will be blessed with the barakah or blessing of that name. The prophet (peace be upon him) was very particular about it. The Prophet has suggested names of the Prophets or Abdullah and Abdur Rahman. He said:

“Keep the names of the noble Prophets, Allah loves most the names Abdullah and Abdur Rahman. The most truthful names are Harith and Humam, while the most disliked are Harb and Murrah (war and bitter).”

Additionally, it is interesting that psychologists have recently discovered the wisdom in having a good name. In an article written by Bonnie Rochman titled “Baby Name Game: How a Name Can Affect Your Child’s Future,” she wrote:

“If the scientific research on the topic is any indication, parents may be doing the right thing by stressing over name selection. Names can have profound and lasting implications over the course of a person’s life. “Name your kids what you love, but be aware there are consequences,” says David Figlio, an economics and education professor at Northwestern University who has researched the effect of names on children.”

Muhammad (peace be upon him) revealed this fact to his followers 1400 years ago before any such research was carried out. Furthermore, there is no absolute requirement that a Muslim must have an Arabic name. When asked about this, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, listed three important things to consider when choosing a name:

  1. Avoid shirk (associating partners with Allah)
  2. Avoid names that have unpleasant/offensive connotations
  3. Give names with good, or noble meanings or associations

Having said this, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty added that “there is nothing in the Islamic sources to indicate that we are allowed only to give our children Arabic names. Since Islam is a universal religion, there is no such requirement. Any name is okay so long as we keep in mind the above points. But, at the same time, while choosing names, we must strive our best not to compromise our Islamic identity.” Therefore, it is essential to have a good, noble name, and parents should keep this in mind when naming their babies.

Authored by RHALi ♦ To Read more about the Author CLICK HERE
Edited by Nasmira Firdous ♦ To Read more about the Editor CLICK HERE

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  1. Asalamu-Alaikum,

    Lovely written & wonderful knowledge 🙂

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