Salaam, could you please suggest some Islamic names for baby boys and girls? Nowadays many people name their children with names that have no meaning or because they sound ‘cool’. How important is a name? Whilst choosing a name, what should our thought process be and what are the things we should consider?
Wa ‘alaykum al-salaam
A name is not simply a label, it becomes the person’s identity. It is vital for parents to thoroughly consider what name they intend for their child as the name will potentially remain with the person through the duration of his/her existence in this world and also in the next.
To haphazardly select a name without due consideration or worse to name a child after misguided individuals is disliked.
The Prophet ﷺ said:
أَحَبُّ الأَسْمَاءِ إِلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ وَعَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ
“The most beloved of names to Allāh are ‘Abdullah and ‘Abdur-Rahman.”
And further it is recommended to keep any name of Allāh Most High possessing the noun ‘abd’ (slave of) prior to it e.g. Abdul Ghafoor, Abdur Razaak etc.
The Prophet ﷺ has also said:
تَسَمَّوْا بِأَسْمَاءِ الأَنْبِيَاءِ
“Name yourselves with the names of the Prophets.”
The Prophets are perfect beings without any defects selected by Allāh, Most High, for the guidance of man. Naming a child after one of the Prophets, all of whom are paragons of perfection, will increase the probability of that individual feeling closer to the religion of Islām as compared to if they had a non-religious name. It is also recommended to name the child after the great personalities, scholars and saints of Islām for the same reason of connection.
Know that names do have a psychological impact upon the individual’s mind-set, this has been highlighted in the hadith mentioned by the famous ta’bi, Sa`id bin Al-Musaiyab radiyaAllāhu anhu:
That when his grandfather, Hazn visited the Prophet ﷺ, the Prophet ﷺ said (to him), “What is your name?” He said, “My name is Hazn (roughness).” The Prophet ﷺ said, ” But you are Sahl (ease).” He said, “I will not change my name with which my father named me.” Ibn Al-Musaiyab radiyaAllāh anhu added: So we have had roughness (in character) ever since.”
As aforementioned, names do have a psychological impact upon the individual’s mind-set, however, culture and one’s environment will ultimately influence this mind-set in various ways, sometimes giving it a completely different direction to what is expected. And it is for this reason, one of the rights of the child, after a good name, is a good education.
And Allāh knows best.
Answered by Ustadh Asid Shafait
Checked by Shaykh Naveed Jameel