By Shaykh Imran Ashraf Usmani
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by Justice Mulana Muhammad Ta^i Usmani
To choose a suitablc namc Ibr a child has always been a matter of interest for Muslim lamily. Whenevcr a child is born„parents search Ibr a good namc for him or hcr. Islamic teachings have also encouraged the Muslims to select a meaningRil aud good namc for their childrcn. Thc Holy prophet * ĕM has changed the names of several persons, bccausc thcy carricd a bad scnse.
lt is reportcd by Abdullah ibn Umar – -&*, thc well- known Sahabi. that onc of his sisters was named *~^
(Asiyah) which means ‘disobedient’. The Holy Prophet < »V changed her name to ‘Jamilah’ (bcautilul).
Many scientists today havc admittcd that thc name
of a person may intluence his lile. but tlic i loly Prophet »i£* has revcaicd this fact to his ibllowcrs 1400 years aso when he advised thc Muslims lo selccl good namcs or their children.
The names are also a source of identity of one’s religion. Therefore, the Muslims have been naming their children after the prophets, the Sahabah (Companions of the Holy Prophet S ) and the pious persons of the Islamic history. Their names have thus been reflecting their Islamic identity. Unfortunate!y, this aspect of our lives is being neglected by many Muslims who do not bother to pay any attention to the meaning or any other association attached to their names. In their eagerness to follow the modern trends, they some times select a name for their children which is totally meaningless or carries a bad meaning or has an un-Is!amic background.
For example, the female names iike ‘Tahmina’, ‘Rubina’, ‘Nazli’ have no meaning at all. The word ‘Naaheed’ means a woman whose breasts are fully developed, and it is a shame tocall a woman with this name. Similarly, some Muslims girls are named as ‘Naailah’ which means calamity. Many boys are named as ‘Parvaiz’ while ‘Parvaiz’ was the name ofakingof Persia who had torn the letter of the Holy Prophet into pieces. It is shameful for Muslim to name his child after such an enemy of Islam. It is also seen in some Arab countries that a person is named j_>p> Tiraun’
which is the Arabic title of Pharaoh, the tyrant of Egypt who persecuted the followers of Sayyidna ‘Moosa’ (Moses) ~£B, and was drowned in the sea as divine punishmcnt.
Some names tbund in our community are not correct, because they are based on superstitions or on a talse belief. The names Iike ‘Gnaws Bakhsh’ or ‘Rasool Bakhsh 1 are some times adopted to indicate that this child is a gift given by a prophet or sufi. This belief may be tantamount to ‘Shirk’, because it is only Allah Almighty who can bless someone with a child. Nobody else has any such power.
Some times the names are abbreviated in a manner that their accurate sense is totally changed and they fall in the ambit of Shirk. For example, the compound names like ‘Abdurrahman’, Abdurrazaq’, Abdurrabb’, are often abbreviated as ‘Rahman’ ‘Razzaq’ and ‘Rabb’ while ‘Rahman’ ‘Razzaq’ and ‘Rabb’ are the holy names of Allah which are exclusive for Him alone and cannot be used for any other person. It is not permissible to call a human being with these names without a prefix of ‘Abd’ etc. But few people attend to this prohibition.
In short, the selection of names for the children should not be taken lightly. It may bring serious results both in this world and in the Hereafter.
However, the Muslims who are conscious of this fact need guide-book which can help them in selecting a suitable name for their children. Some brief booklets are found to serve this purpose, but a more comprehensive book was still needed, specially forthe Muslims living in the Western countries.
On my request, my son Mr. Muhammad Imran Ashraf Usmani who is a graduate of Darul-‘Uloom Karachi undertook this task and compiled the present guide-book to fulfill this need.
He has collected the suitable names for the Muslim boys and girls from original Arabic resources, and has explained their meanings andtheir associations. All the names are arranged in an alphabetica! order and if soine names are non-Arabic, their origin has been indicated before eacli. Where no such indication is found, it means that they are of Arabic origin.
This is also a good coilection of thc suitable names which is easy to consult. It is hoped thal it will assisl tlie Bnglish knowing Muslims in acquainlirig themselvcs witli good Muslim names and their meanings. May Allali bless this effort with His approval and may make it useful for the Mustims and a source of His Pleasure in the Hereafter.
This is also tlie first book of my son Mr. Muhammad lmran Ashraf Usmani wliich reHccts his literary interest. May Allah graut him a long pcaccTul life and make this book his first step towards a briilianl academic future and prologuc to liuiiieroiis greater serviccs to Islam and Muslims.
Muhammacl Taqi L smani
Karachi, 27 Muharram 14 16 A.II.