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Posted By Topic: The ruling on changing oneıs name after accepting Islam

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Amin_Abu_Nouhad
02-05-2011 @ 3:55 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Abu Nouhad Amin bin Arnold (Birmingham)
Member
Posts: 45
Joined: Jan 2009
          

Question:

"Is it obligatory upon new Muslims to change their previous names such as George, Joseph, and others?"

Answer:

"It is not obligatory to change the name unless it means worshipping other than Allah. However, changing oneıs name to something better is permissible. Accordingly, changing oneıs name from a foreign name to an Islamic name is proper and good, but as to whether it is obligatory, no it is not.

But if a personıs name is Abd Al-Masih (slave of the Messiah) or similar names that indicate servitude to other than Allah, it becomes obligatory to change it. It falls under the ruling of worshipping other than Allah by the Ijmaı (consensus) of scholars as reported by Abu Muhammad ibn Hazm (may Allah be merciful to him). Allah is the Grantor of success.

Answered by Shaykh 'Abdul-'Azeez bin Baaz
Reference: Volume 4, question 3.
Direct link to fatwa: www.alifta.com

Question:

"Is it permissible for a person who has embraced Islaam to change his name?"

Answer:


"If a disbeliever embraced Islaam, then he is not required to change his name unless it is an unpleasant or offensive name; Such as Hazn (which means "sad") or if it is indicative of worshipping other than Allaah, such as: 'Abdul-Maseeh (slave of the Messiah/Christ) or 'Abdul-Ka'bah (slave of the Ka'bah) or other than that from the prohibited names. That is because the Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) changed the names of some individuals because of these two types of [unpleasant/offensive and prohibited] names."

[url=http://www.fatwa-online.com/fataawa/muslimminorities/0110115.htm]Answered by Shaykh Saailh ibn Fawzaan[/url]

Reference: al-Muntaqaa min Fataawa Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan - Volume 1, Page 433-434, Fatwa No.257

Moosaa
04-22-2011 @ 10:29 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Member
Posts: 1280
Joined: Sep 2002
          
Jazaak Allaahu khayran for these important quotes.

Food for thought: In the West, many people tend to think that a "name change" is an absolute first step to becoming a Muslim, even when the name is not offensive or impermissible.

Coming from that background where not much respect may be established for parents (some less than others), the names given by the parents are changed by new Muslims, when it makes the parents angry (since they chose the original names that were dropped like yesterday's newspaper)!  

While the very idea of accepting Islaam is going to challenge the new Muslim's relationships accross the board, especially with his parents and closest relatives, shouldn't we be a bit more cautious about how we advise the new Muslims regarding name changes?  Shouldn't we investigate their family situation and have knowledge of their situations before we encourage a (non-obligatory) name change, especially an official one related to a person's official documents?

The parents may already be having difficulty understanding why "Abdullaah" doesnt attend their social functions, like wedding parties, birthdays, thanksgiving dinners, etc.

They are often offended when "Abdullaah" won't greet (hug and kiss) his brother's wife (sister-in-law) or female cousins!

And other issues come up that present real challenges wherein a Muslim must remain firm in his Deen and not compromise.  In light of all this, could we think carefully about how casting aside a new Muslim's given name may affect his relationship with his parents?

I heard of a case where the parents were very upset at their son who recently accepted Islaam, and one of their complaints was:  He just abandoned the name we gave him from birth and raised him with, and took some new name like his old name meant nothing to him!!

Moosaa
ibn John
Richardson


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