I have a very common Muslim name like Muhammad Öztürk. I live in Western Europe.
I think about adding a secular (non-Christian) second given name like Louis/Loic (French version) or Ludwig (German version). My new name would be like "Muhammad Louis Öztürk" or maybe "Louis Muhammad Öztürk".
Is there any religious reason not to do this? I know it's unusual and doesn't fit the local traditions. But is there actually anything about this in The Quran, Hadiths, or the rest of Fiqh? If so, where exactly?
Some clarifications and explanations:
- I do practice my religion overtly and I will continue to do it. I do not want to deny who I am. I talk and will talk about my religion. I also do want to keep my first given name.
- I don't want to hide my given name (Muhammad) by abbreviating it. So I would never call myself "Louis M. Öztürk".
- I want to do this to mitigate some discrimination. I just want to counter the power of stereotypes and the first impression. Upon just reading or hearing my name some non-Muslim people who haven't met me yet have weird ideas of what I think or how I will behave or just have a strange feeling about me. I guess this is a disadvantage for me in applications, customer acquisitions, etc. I'm sure every muslin has experienced this. There's also a ton of scientific sociological and psychological literature about this topic, see e.g. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2010/11/22/fake-cvs-reveal-discrimination-against-muslims-in-french-job-market/ . With such an unusual name I guess I wouldn't fall in the usual categories which might help sometimes. Some people might want to talk about my name etc. Then I'm in personal contact. If people then dislike me I'm okay with it. Let's take the case of an application: Perhaps 50 people apply for the same position. Let's say I am among the top group of 10 equally well suited individuals. But the manager responsible for the recruiting is supposed to do just five job interviews. So she'll throw out some names. She'll probably think she does it randomly. But probably she is influenced by subtle clues from the peoples' photos looks, her surrounding, her mood etc. I'm afraid my minority name might be factor in this process.
- My idea is based on a simple cost-benefit analysis. The process of thinking about changing my name and doing it just costs me a couple of hours and euros. My friends and family wouldn't suffer from it. So the cost is very low. The upside might be an additional job interview. The chance to get this soley through an additional first name is quite low. But the payout might be huge. So there is a notable expected value. And maybe I'll get a couple of additional customers during my lifetime. So it seems to me that the benefits outweigh the cost. The picture would change if my plan violated my faith. Then I surely wouldn't do it. As my knowledge in Islamic law is very limited I'm reaching out to you.
- I'm talking about forms of discrimination which partly take place unconsciously. So antidiscrimination law does not help. So don't tell me to talk to lawyers, human right organizations etc.
- Certainly it would be better if there were no wrong stereotypes among non-Muslims. But until we get there I will probably be dead. So don't tell me to go into politics... I just want to see some improvements for me now.