In South Asia, names like Johirul Islam or Kabir Ahmed are very common. My name is Mohayeminul Islam (Muhaiminul should be the correct spelling I suppose). All the first names I noted are the names of Almighty Allah. Often I hear that such names are not allowed in Islam because those are qualitative names of Allah and we as human cannot expect those within ourselves.

However, adding an Abd is fine. For example, Abdur Rahman is OK because it means Slave of Rahman.

Is this a fact? What are the references?

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    Though take care on naming a child with "Abd": Someone named "Abdur Rahman" is probably going to be nicknamed "Rahman", which would go against the name-giver's intention.
    – Muz
    Mar 26, 2013 at 7:55

5 Answers 5


The general rules for naming someone with one of Allah's Names are as follows:

  • If the name has a meaning or refers to a function or quality that only Allah is capable of, like creating, resurrecting, lordship, etc. then it is not permissible to call a human being by these names, except by prefixing "'abd" to that name.

  • If however the name refers to a more general quality, like hearing, listening, being generous, wisdom, etc. it is permissible to call a person by that name. Of course the permissibility is for those Names of Allah that satisfy this condition and with the initial "al" removed from the name (because "al" implies uniqueness and exclusivity).

Source: IslamQA answer - quoting Imam an-Nawawi, a Shafi'i reference and a Hanafi reference.

Now as for the name Muhaimin, according to this article by Shaykh Muhammad Ratib al-Nabulsi means, among other things, to have knowledge and be protective and control through that knowledge. The article contains more information about the name, but it appears as if the name Muhaimin can be used in a context other than Allah's Name. Ask a trusted scholar to verify.

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    Then how come Khalid is allowed? It means eternal or immortal, which is clearly an attribute a human cannot posses.
    – Noah
    Apr 3, 2013 at 20:44
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    @Noah that would sound like an interesting question for here, you can link back and mention this answer, then ask your question if you wish.
    – مجاهد
    May 10, 2013 at 2:23

First, finding references on this is hard. Perhaps it's sufficient to say that rasulullah changed the names of certain people when their names were islamically unacceptable. See my answer on naming girls Asiya for some examples.

If you look through the sunnah, you won't find that rasulullah changed the names of anyone who had these names; you will find he changed Abdul 'Uzzah (the slave of Uzzah, one of the mushrikeen gods), or similar names, into Abdullah.

I put this question to my Arabic teacher; this is essentially what he said:

  • Allah's names all have Alif-Laam at the beginning (eg. Ar-Rahman, Al-'Aleem).
  • This prefix (alif-lam) makes a very strong form of the name; this prefix is unique to Allah alone
  • You can name your sons without the prefix (eg. Ar-Raheem => Raheem)
  • You cannot name your son "Rahman," because the meaning is unique and distinct from the other names (roughly translates to "the source of mercy")
  • You can name your sons with "Abd" and the name of Allah (eg. Abd Ar-Rahman, commonly written as Abdur-Rahman)

Wallahu a'lam.

Source: Understanding Islam Arabic Course, circa 2005

  • Ashes999 can you ask your teacher about the name Rafay? Is it okay to name a child Rafay and not Abdul Rafay?
    – user499
    Aug 20, 2012 at 13:54
  • @Mer my Arabic class (as I cited) is circa 2005. I haven't seen my Arabic teacher in several years. I suggest you ask a local shaykh if you don't feel secure. As I mentioned, any name that's not disallowed can be presumed to be allowed.
    – ashes999
    Aug 20, 2012 at 21:01

I think a good example of those allowed names, which ashes999 and Ansari also mentioned is the name Ali.

We know that Al-ʿAlī is one of the Allah's names and we also know about Ali ibn Abu Talib (A.S.).

As Wikipedia says:

Many sources, especially Shia ones, attest that Ali (ibn Abu Talib) was born inside the Kaaba in the city of Mecca, where he stayed with his mother for three days. According to a tradition, Muhammad was the first person whom Ali saw as he took the newborn in his hands. Muhammad named him Ali, meaning "the exalted one".

And God knows best

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    This example is incorrect. Al-'Ali is very different to the name Ali. Al-'Ali (name of Allah) is pronounced Al-'Aalee (Alif after 'Ain) whereas Ali is not the same. The correct answer is from Ashes and Ansari
    – Bill Coop
    Apr 2, 2013 at 20:33
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    @BillCoop , Since I don't know Arabic pronunciation very well, I think I haven't understood what you said. But my reason was these verses (and some others) in which Allah has called him Al-Ali: 2:255, 22:62 and 42:4.
    – Zahra E
    Apr 3, 2013 at 7:50
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    @Ezati Yes you're right. That is 'Ali with the same spelling of Ali Ibn Abi Talib :) Good job. The key here is the Alif-Laam which makes it an attribute of Allah. Ashes999's answer has details on this
    – Bill Coop
    Apr 3, 2013 at 12:41
  • Ali was born INSIDE the kaaba ???? Jul 13, 2020 at 17:35

It is forbidden to name someone with Allah's specific and unique names. Among the evidence for which is:

هل تعلم له سميا

Do you know any one worthy of His name?

Quran 19:65

أغيظ رجل على الله يوم القيامة، وأخبثه وأغيظه عليه، رجل كان يسمى ملك الأملاك، لا ملك إلا الله

The most hated of men before Allah on the Day of Resurrection, and the most wretched and the most hated to Him, will be a man who was called Malik Al-Amlak for there is no King but Allah


Imam Nawawi writes in the sharah of the hadith:

وأعلم أن التسمي بهذا الاسم حرم وكذلك التسمي بأسماء الله تعالى المختصة به كالرحمن والقدوس والمهيمن وخالق الخلق ونحوها

Naming with this name is forbidden as is naming with the specific names of Allah like Rahman, Quddoos, Muhaymin and Khalik al-Khalaq etc.

Sharah Sahih Muslim


Assalamu alaikum brothers & sisters,

Allah is unique. So naming a person using Allah's name is SHIRK. It breaks the catagory of Tawheed.

For more information about Tawheed, please watch Dr. Zakir Naik on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYFSucB_mfc

And, The name "Ali" is not as same as the name/attribute of Allah mentioned in Quran.

The name/attributes of Allah "See below" And "Ali" which is the name of Son & Cousin of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) have different Spelling, different Pronunciation as well as different Meaning.

Reference: http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=Elw#(2:255:49)

(2:255:49) l-ʿaliyu ---- (is) the Most High
(4:34:39) ʿaliyyan ----- Most High
(22:62:16) l-ʿaliyu----- (is) the Most High
(31:30:15) l-ʿaliyu----- (is) the Most High
(34:23:21) l-ʿaliyu----- (is) the Most High
(42:4:9) l-ʿaliyu------- (is) the Most High
(42:51:21) ʿaliyyun----- (is) Most High
(43:4:6) laʿaliyyun----- surely exalted

We are not allowed to give any Name/Attributes of Allah to the creation because Allah is UNIQUE. If we do, we have to add "Abd(slave)" before the name of Allah. Such as: Abd-Ar-Rahman; Abd-Allah; Abd-Aliyyun.

Allah said in Quran:

(17:110): Say, "Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call - to Him belong the most beautiful names."

(20:8): To Him belong the most beautiful names.

(59:24): To him belong the most beautiful names.

So, the attributes / names of Allah is only for Allah. Not for any creation of Allah.

Allah said in Quran:

(16:74): Do not assert similitudes to Allah (112:4): There is none comparable to him (42:11): There is nothing like him

Please feel free to say anything Or, correct me if I am wrong.

Regards Islam

  • 1
    The name على and the adjective على are exactly the same word. This answer is completely wrong.
    – aasheq
    May 4, 2015 at 23:23
  • Much of this answer is wrong. From islamqa: Names which do not apply only to Him, and which may be applied to human beings, so it is permissible to call people by them, such as Samee’ (hearing), Baseer (seeing), ‘Aliy (high, exalted), Hakeem (wise), Rasheed (wise). Some of the most well known Sahaabah were called by these names, such as ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib and Hakeem ibn Hizaam
    – UmH
    Aug 28, 2020 at 13:37

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