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Quran says:

“Call them by their fathers’ (names), it is more just with Allaah” [33:5]

Muhammad (pbuh) said:

“Whoever ascribes himself to someone other than his (real) father, knowing that he is not his (real) father, Paradise is forbidden for him!” [al-Bukhaaree and Muslim]

From these, it's pretty clear that not keeping the family name is a major sin in Islam. However, what if someone changed his family name to his first name or middle name? Is that haram as well?

For example: Abdullah Sulayman changes his name to Abdullah Sulayman Latif. Technically, he hasn't removed his father's name (Sulayman) from his name but he has changed his surname to Latif. Is this haram? He's not breaking any rules from the Quran or the hadith. His father's name is still there.

Another example: Fatima Ali marries a Abdullah Latif and she changes her name to Fatima Ali Latif. Is this permissible? Because technically, her father's name is still there.

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All perfect praise be to Allah

This is a matter which is greatly confused.

What it means by "ascribes himself to someone other than his (real) father" is to say HE IS MY FATHER, while he is not. And you know it he is not your father and you are still letting people to believe he is your father. It's not that we need that father's name in our name...

As long as people know (its not confusing) and we make it clear that this name in my name is not my father's name, this is totally fine.

I know popular fatwa sites like islamqa has fatwa's against this, and they consider wife putting name of husband also in this category of ascribing to someone else than the father. But, i will humbly disagree with them. And i have seen many fatawa on this topic, and i am convinced there is absolutely no issue in doing so if this is a cultural norm and people know who is this person in your name and who is your real father, and there is no confusion.

Now, if we try to take some examples

Allah has ascribed some women to people other than their fathers in Quran:

The wife of Noah and the wife of Lut. (At-Tahrim, 10)

The wife of Pharaoh. (At-Tahrim, 11)

In hadees it states:

And when he reached his house, Zainab, the wife of Ibn Mas`ud, came and asked permission to enter It was said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! It is Zainab." He asked, 'Which Zainab?" The reply was that she was the wife of Ibn Mas'ub. He said, "Yes, allow her to enter." And she was admitted Sahih al-Bukhari 1462



Now, one reason being given by some fatawas is that it is imitation of kuffaar. While if this is cultural norm somewhere, like in our area of india and pakistan etc, then it's not imitation, it's just cultural thing. And a thing which does not contradict with islamic teachings so it cannot be HARAAM!!

If someone do replace his last name with someone else's name, while it is not the cultural thing but pure imitation or something, then there is problem, otherwise there is no issue.

Now making all this clear, one can say that this was not culture of prophet's time, so it's not islamic culture to take husband name(people knowing its husband not father). Yes, that's right, no one is calling it ISLAMIC culture, but forbidding(saying its haraam) is way too much. If someone rules that it is better not to take husband name, than it can make sense. But not totally forbidding this, when there is nothing like attributing someone else as father being done.

Now coming to your question, about taking name at different positions etc, if this is cultural thing and there is a reason of doing this and people will not confuse it with your father name, than there is no issue, but if this is not cultural thing and can be confused as your father name, than don't do it. Its as simple as that.

PS: I know there can be great difference of opinion on this topic, we can discuss it in a good manner. Leave a positive comment and we will discuss about it.

EDIT1:

If someone is still confusing the verse mentioned above about calling with father's name, than you should know it was about the fact that, in that time, people used to call taken/adopted children with the person who raised them, calling him his father. It was about that. like if Ali raised ahmed, ahmed was called ahmed bin ali, and used to get all rights of son, including his part in wirasat etc... That was the case. It was about that thing. And calling like this is forbidden. You can read tafseers about it.

Let me quote from hadees:

Narrated Ibn 'Umar: "We called Zaid bin Harithah nothing but 'Zaid bin Muhammad' until the Qur'an was revealed (ordering): Call them by their fathers, that is more just according to Allah. (33:5)" Ibn majah Vol. 1, Book 46, Hadith 3814 and Sahi-Bukhari Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 305

Allah knows best

  • Thank you. You have cleared the confusion about wife taking husband's surname. Now if you think about it, during the time of Muhammad (pbuh), people didn't really adopt their fathers' surnames. They kept their fathers' first names. For example: Muhammad's full name was Muhammad bin Abdullah (Abdullah was father's first name). Aisha's full name was Aisha bint Abi Bakr (her father's name was Abu Bakr). – user16329 Jun 27 '16 at 18:59
  • Now consider a man named Ahmad Yusuf. His father's name is Nasir Yusuf. So Ahmad Yusuf changes his name to Faisal Nasir Ahmad. He made up his own first name. His father's name is now his middle name and his original first name is now his last name. Is this allowed? – user16329 Jun 27 '16 at 18:59
  • @curiosity Alright, as i have explained in my question, if some one is ahmed bin ali, and he changes hsi name to ahmed bin abdullah, that is forbidden! Because we are specifying someone else as our father. – Zia Ul Rehman Mughal Jun 27 '16 at 19:07
  • @curiosity i don't think doing something like this would be cultural thing anywhere, and i can't see any reason of doing so. And i don;t know if in that culture changing to this name will make his father name get confused or not. So, i cannot say for sure. But i can say if its not cultural and not understood who is father and who is what in this made up combination, than avoid it. – Zia Ul Rehman Mughal Jun 27 '16 at 19:10
  • Okay now consider this situation: A muslim writes a book. On the cover of the book, he doesn't use his actual name. Instead, he uses a pen name (pseudonym). And in that pen name, his father's name is not mentioned. So that muslim writer becomes famous, everybody knows him by his pen name. Nobody knows his real name. In reality, he never changed his name. His real name includes his father's name. He is just authoring a book under a different name. Is this allowed? – user16329 Jun 27 '16 at 19:14

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