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Names seem to play an important role in a society. Most Muslims who come from the Middle East tend to use or already have Arabic or Islamic names, which may have roots in the Arabic language.

However, there's a growing number of Muslims in the western world, who either reverted to Islam or were born there to Muslim parents and got English names.

So if the two categories have English or Biblical names (as is the case with my name: Noah), can they keep them or should they change them to some sort of Islamic ones? If the case of changing applies, does it also apply to people who come from other countries such as Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, India, etc? I am pretty sure those people have their own names rooted in their local culture or language.

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    my wife has American name and she is Muslim. I have not seen anyone bothered about it in our family. – Asdfg Apr 3 '13 at 21:20
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    Like you said, names are a cultural thing. As long as it is a good name I don't think it should be a problem. – System Down Apr 3 '13 at 22:44
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Having an Arabic name is not the issue, but having a good name. Islam encourages naming with good optimistic names that, of course, don't conflict with Islam principles such as "Abdul Saleeb" (Cross Servant). And Allah knows best.

Source: http://www.saaid.net/Doat/hamesabadr/106.htm [Arabic]

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This is very difficult for an ordinary Muslim like me to talk about things like this so I am just copying/paste from the following link.

Copied from here, please read this for details.

If something is not classified as haram (prohibited) in the Deen (religion/way of life of a Muslim), then it is halal (permitted). Retaining a name that (1) does not identify itself with/contain anything Islamically forbidden and (2) is not a Name of Allah , has not been declared haram.

It is according to sunnah (the examples of the Prophet's life what he said, did, implemented, how he implemented), to change a bad name (whether it is an arabic name or any other language) immediately, and it is permissible according to sunnah to exchange a name for a better one.

According to Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, "...if one's name is Abdul-Messiah, for example, or similar such names, then he is obligated to change it, as the Prophet had people with the names Abdul-Ka'bah and Abdul-Uzzah change their names upon accepting Islaam. If the original name does not comprise or imply anything forbidden in Islaam, then he or she is permitted to retain it (such as the name George, for example). As noted, though, it is preferable to change it to an Islaamic name, as this also distinguishes him or her from the kuffaar."

While it is not haram to retain the name under the conditions listed above, the muslim has a responsibility to the Sunnah of the Prophet , and is encouraged to choose "the best of names"; and the best of names are the humblest, insha'Allah. In addition, the best of names we have on this side of life, will be what we are called by in Paradise, insha'Allah.

My understanding about your name:

Noah is the name of prophet so there should not be any issue with this name. An English pronounciation is not an issue I believe as most Muslims take the name of our prophet Muhammad pbuh in their names but is usually spelt Mohammed which the English thought their are other variations used.using the English spelling or pronounciation does not invalidate the name.

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    i think the above answer is allright. your name is the name of one the 5 greatest prophetes and there is no problems to have his great name. peace be upon him and mohammad rasool allah – Homam Apr 6 '13 at 8:28
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An English pronounciation is not an issue I believe as most Muslims take the name of our prophet Muhammad pbuh in their names but is usually spelt Mohammed which the English thought their are other variations used.using the English spelling or pronounciation does not invalidate the name.

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Muslim names can be of any country origin as long as it has a good meaning behind it. For example, if you go outside the Middle-East into South East Asia in Indonesia or Malaysia, there are a lot of Muslims who have non-arab / non-persian names such as: Sukarno, Warno, Melati, Bambang, Indah. Names of the prophets such as: Yusuf(Joesph), Musa (Moses), 'Isa (Jesus), these names are not originally Arabic names but it's the way Arabs pronounce it.

So if somebody became a Muslim they don't have to change their names to Middle-Eastern names and they're not supposed to change their father's or family name in Islam:

...Call them by [the names of] their fathers; it is more just in the sight of Allah ... [33:5]

Since Islam is spreading in the West, if a European has a name of John Smith or Justin Green, that wouldn't be a problem because the meaning is good but the language is different. An Arab Christian can have a similar name as a Muslim such as Sumaya Naser or Mubarak Awad.

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Simply, What ever your name is, doesn't conflict with Islam, but a good name is always good.

Islam is not something tough!

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Just to be on the safe side I suggest you on naming kids with names that can be translated to Arabic like Sarah Maria Adam and etc.

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