We had our second son few days back and wanting to name him. While searching names we found direct and indirect name but I don’t know what it means, someone said don’t name child from which what is indirect.

We wanted to name our son Arham. It should be name with abdur or abdul?

  • I've heard some scholars discourage using the name 'Arham' (as in e.g. 12:92) as it is excessive and only suited to Allah.
    – UmH
    Mar 7, 2020 at 17:12
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    @Medi1Saif I don't know if you'll agree, but I feel your attitude on this site is more discouraging than encouraging. Just because you know doesn't mean everybody will? We, as representatives of Islam, should attract laymen, rather than scare them away by our "superior" knowledge. Lift the laymen high, not drag them lower than they already are. We want a productive forum, devoid of any looking-down-upon. Hope you understand :)
    – El Flea
    Mar 7, 2020 at 17:51
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    @ElFlea first there's a certain convention on this site that "name" and "naming" related question are off-topic. As there's a clear rule of thumb. I want OP to clarify his issue in order to check whether or not this is a special case or not. We require users to do some prior research as else the site will be flooded with copies of similar questions and answers. In fact I was in doubt whether OP meant the Arabic adjective as he seems Urdu speaker.
    – Medi1Saif
    Mar 7, 2020 at 18:11
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    @Medi1Saif I understand. I also feel he/she is an Urdu speaker. The Indian subcontinent has these "naming" issues, so I'm not surprised OP is here. As for the questioners doing their prior research, I absolutely agree. It becomes depressing to see how simple Google searches (even if they're not always accurate) can often answer the questions posted here.
    – El Flea
    Mar 8, 2020 at 14:59
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    @Nofel Kindly read my answer. I believe it can answer your doubts.
    – El Flea
    Mar 8, 2020 at 15:01

2 Answers 2


I am surprised how ambiguous some people become when talking about that of which they know nothing about.

First of all, Allah is The Most Merciful. "Arham" literally means the superlative of "Raheem", which means Merciful. Superlative is basically the most... of an adjective, like "fastest", "strongest", "most intelligent". So naming your child Raheem is fine, as anybody can be "merciful". Similarly, Abdur-Raheem is even better, as now the name says "Servant of The Merciful" (that is, The Merciful Allah).

The problem with Arham is that is already the superlative, and if we call our child Arham, it means we say "The MOST Merciful", which of course, can only be applied to Allah. On the other hand, Abdul-Arham (that is a very weird name indeed) is perfectly fine.

As for indirect and direct, you probably should ask whoever told you/wherever you read about this. Two very ambiguous words, at least elaborate in a comment.

May God guide this Ummah.

  • Arham" literally means the superlative of "Raheem" not necessarily.
    – Medi1Saif
    Mar 9, 2020 at 11:10
  • Not necessarily? Tell me another case where it ISN'T the superlative of Raheem. I'm not challenging you, I just want to learn as I admit I'm still a learner when it comes to Arabic grammar.
    – El Flea
    Mar 9, 2020 at 11:38
  • almost all the times you may encounter it in the qur'an are verbs
    – Medi1Saif
    Mar 9, 2020 at 11:43
  • @Medi1Saif Wait a second. Considering verbs, Arham as in "I have mercy on..."? If yes, then this implication is absurd for names. If we CALL someone Arham, it implies the superlative of Raheem. doesn't it?
    – El Flea
    Mar 9, 2020 at 11:47

First I need to apologize for my former comments based on a misunderstanding and need for clarification at my first reading of your post. The comment of UmH actually brought some light into this darkness.

Secondly in fact أرحم (Arham) in Arabic might be a superlative or simply a verb of comparison between two entities and their mercy towards others. And anything that is comparable can hardly be Devine only so naming a child Arham is certainly permissible. It means merciful (than) or in case there's a clear link to Allah most merciful.

Thirdly - and this is rather off-topic- I'd avoid naming a child this name (because of the above ambiguity and the existence of better choices) and prefer using names our prophet () recommend names that include the meaning of thankfulness (hamd) and worship (names with prefix 'Abdu), the next good choice are names of prophets () and faithful people (for example sahabah etc.).

As for what you referred to as direct and indirect names:

I think what you mean are those combined names based on the prefix 'Abdu + name or attribute of Allah. Let me tell you that عبد أرحم sounds more than weird for an Arabic speaker as Arham is either a verb requiring a noun on which it applies or an adjective so it requires in both cases a noun starting with the necessary letters ( ال) or an explaining sentence that may replace such a noun in the Arabic grammar.

Be aware that among all names and attributes of Allah only two are haram for direct use for humans and they are part of the basmalah:

Bismi-l-Lahi ar-Rahmani ar-Rahim

There's no need to explain that one of this two is the name Allah الله itself. You may call a child worshiper of Allah ('Abdullah عبد الله) which certainly is an adequate name. It falls under the above category of names including the meaning of worship. As for ar-Rahman (الرحمان، الرحمن) it refers to "the all and extensively and most Merciful (without limitation or exclusions) ". While ar-Rahim ( الرحيم) refers to "the most (but exclusively) Merciful with believers". I think it is now clear that calling a person ar-Rahman is haram.

On the other hand any body could be ar-Rahim under certain conditions and if we lift the letters (ال) from an Arabic name we take of th

To Be Contonued

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    "Let me tell you that عبد أرحم sounds more than weird for an Arabic speaker". I said something similar in the comments to OP. Can't stress enough on this :'D
    – El Flea
    Mar 9, 2020 at 11:45
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    Indirect and direct quranicnames.com/quranic-roots
    – localhost
    Mar 10, 2020 at 21:37

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