Rulings for Naming The Newborn Babies
Author : Dr. Hassan Abu_Arqoub
Date Added : 12-12-2022


All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.


Islamic rulings for newborn babies can be summarized as follows*:


First: On what day should a newborn be given its name?


It is recommended to name the newborn on the seventh day, as customary amongst the people. The evidence on this is the following Hadith: Narrated 'Amr bin Shu'aib from his father, from his grandfather that: "The Prophet (PBUH) ordered naming the child on the seventh day, removing the harm from him, and Al-'Aqq (removing the hair and slaughtering the animal for 'Aqiqah)." [A good /unfamiliar narration].


It is also recommended to name the newborn on the first day based on the following Hadith: Abu Musa reported: 

"A child was born in my house and I brought him to Allah's Apostle (May peace be upon him) and he gave him the name of Ibrahim, he rubbed his palate with dates, and prayed that Allah blesses him." {Agreed upon}.


We can reconcile both Hadiths by saying that giving a name to the baby on the day it was born is true when no Aqiqa is to be offered for it and on the seventh when Aqiqa is to be offered after having given it a name on the first.


Second: Should a newborn baby be named even if it passed away before it was given a name?


It is stated: "Even if the newborn baby died before it was given a name, it is recommended to name it. It is also recommended to name the miscarried embryo in which the spirit was breathed, and if it couldn`t be told whether it was a boy or a girl, it is to be a given a name that fits both genders, such as Kharijah, Talhah, and Hind." [Mughni Al-Muhtajj].


Third: Giving a good name to one`s child.


It is recommended for the father to choose a good name for his child since 

the Prophet (PBUH) said: "On the Day of Resurrection, you will be called by your names and by your father's names, so give yourselves good names." [Ahmad & Abu Dawood].


Fourth: What are the most beloved of names to Allah?


The most beloved of names to Allah are 'Abdullah and 'Abd Al-Rahman. As Ibn Umar (May Allah Be Pleased with them) reported that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said: "The names dearest to Allah are 'Abdullah and 'Abd al-Rahman." {Moslim}. Abu Dawood added: "And the best names are Harith (He who digs the earth) and Humam (Courageous and generous).


Fifth: What are the disliked names in Islam?


A- Ugly names are disliked, such as Shaytan (Satan/the Devil), Zalim (Wrongdoer), and Himar (Donkey).


B- It is disliked to give one`s child a name that people take as an evil omen when negated, such as Najih, Barakah, Rabah, and Aflah. This is attested to in the following Hadith: "Samura b. Jundub reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "The dearest phrases to Allah are four: Subhan Allah (Hallowed be Allah), Al-Hamdulillah (Praise be to Allah), La Ilaha Illa-Allah (There is no deity but Allah), Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greater). There is no harm for you in which of them to begin with (while remembering Allah). And do not give these names to your servants: Yasar and Rabah and Najih and Aflah." [Moslim]. The narrator says: "Don`t add to these four." Does this phrase mean that you can`t draw an analogy on the names that he heard from the Prophet (PBUH)?


 Is that in Shareh Muslim, An-Nawawi said: 

"The narrator saying (Don`t add to these four names) doesn`t mean that it is banned to make an analogy based on these four and other names of similar meaning."


Fellow Shafiee's scholars said that it is disliked to name one`s child with these four names or names of similar meaning and that these four are given as an example. 


These names are properly disapproved and not forbidden, and the cause for their being disliked is reflected in the words of the Prophet (PBUH) who said: "Is Falah (Success) there? They say: No., he isn`t). Such name is disliked because when you say there is no Falah, it means there is no success in that home. Accordingly, the answer is ugly and may cause the hearer to take it as an evil omen." 

C- Names of Tazkiyah (A term alluring to Tazkiyat An-Nafs, meaning "sanctification" or "Purification of the self." Ibn Abbas (May Allah Be Pleased with them) reported: "the name of Juwairiya (the wife of the Holy Prophet) was Barra (Pious). Allah's Messenger (PBUH) changed her name to Juwairiya and said: I did not like that it should be said: He had come out from Barra (Pious)." [Muslim]. 


Sixth: Islamic Ruling on Changing Ugly Names.


It is recommended to change ugly names, names taken as a bad omen when negated, and names of Tazkya.


Seventh: What is the Islamic ruling on using the names of angels and Prophets?


It is permissible to give the names of angels and Prophets to one`s children, and this isn`t disliked.


Eighth: What is the Islamic ruling on naming one`s child Yaseen or Taha?


It is permissible to name one`s child Yaseen or Taha and this isn`t disliked.


Ninth: Is there a reward for naming one`s child Mohammad?


Malik said: I heard the people of Mdinah saying: "A family in which there is a member called Mohammad shall be blessed with good sustenance."


Ten: Is it permissible to name a child by "Abdoalnabi"?


Most scholars opt for prohibiting this name and considering it disliked for fear of ascribing partners in worship with Allah. However, giving this name to a child can be permissible if it is intended as the servant of the Prophet (PBUH). Yet, it is better not to use it.


Eleven: Is it permissible to nickname a child?


Yes, this is permissible because Anas said: "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, visited us. I had a young brother who used the Kunya of Abu 'Umayr. He had a sparrow, which he used to play with, and it had died. The Prophet (PBUH) came and saw that he was sad. He asked: "what is wrong with him?' He was told, 'His sparrow has died.' The Prophet said, 'Abu 'Umayr, what has happened to the little sparrow?" {Agreed upon}.


Twelve: Which son`s name should a father be called with?


It is recommended that he should be called by the name of his oldest son.


Thirteen: Is it permissible to nickname the person who has no son?


It is recommended to nickname the people of excellence from among the men and women if they had no sons.


Fourteen: Is it permissible to nickname the Kafir (Disbeliever), the Fasiq (Evil sinner), and the Mobtadi` (Innovator)?


It isn`t permissible to nickname any of these because they are unworthy of this honor. 

If someone used the following verse in which, Allah, The Most Exalted Said (What means): "Perish the hands of the Father of Flame! Perish he!" {Al-Masad/1}. What is your answer to this?

The answer: He was nicknamed with Abu Lahab (The Father of Flame) and his real name wasn`t mentioned because it is Abd al-Uzza, which is one of the three chief goddesses of Arabian religion in pre-Islamic times and either she was worshipped by the pre-Islamic Arabs along with Al-Lat and Manat. Or, he was known by his nickname more than his real name.


Fifteen: Is it permissible for a son to call his father with his name? or, the student to call his teacher with his name?


 It is recommended for a son to say: "Father." And the student to say: "Teacher."


Sixteen: Is permissible for a person to nickname himself in his books and letters?


Etiquette stipulates that one doesn`t nickname himself in a book or else unless he is only known by that nickname or that nickname is more famous than the name itself.


*This article is taken from "Kitab Al-Athkar" by An-Nawawi and [Moghni Al-Mohtajj] for Al-Shirbini. However, it underwent some additions and modifications.



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