We named our daughter Kinza; do we have to change it?
Assalam O Aleikum.
I have an 8 year old daughter. When she was born, we named her Kinza. We found this name in many Islamic books and websites which had a meaning of "hidden treasure", derived from the Arabic word "KANZ" which appears in the Holy Quran (meaning treasure).. However, a few years ago, we read somewhere that the word KANZ actually means the treasure which we keep to ourselves unlawfully and do not pay Zakah on it. It appears in Surah Tawbah, aayas 33 and 34, which say that this KANZ will be heated and your flesh burned with it.
At that time, we changed her name at home to Fatima and started calling her by her new name. However, recently we have seen many people naming their children Kinza and also there are quite a few Islamic books named Kanz-ul-Iman and several others using this word.
This has led us to confusion. We really like the name Kinza and we have been calling her that mostly all her life. Her grandparents and a lot of other people still call her Kinza. She is still named Kinza in her passport and all other documents, so she gets confused when some people call her Kinza and other people call her Fatima.
We want to save our child from this confusion and decide one way or the other if we should officially change her name or not.
We would prefer to keep her name as Kinza but not if it is not a good name Islamically.
Please help on this issue.. Thank you.
- Sister Samra
Dear Sister Samra, As-salamu alaykum,
I discussed this with my parents, who are both native Arabic speakers, and they both commented that the word "kanz" has no negative connotations to them, and that it can also be used to describe someone who is a treasure of knowledge, or who is treasured in love. It's not only about wealth.
Still, I felt that we needed an expert in Islam and Arabic linguistics to answer this question, so I emailed sister Haseeb Shehadah, who is knowledgeable in Islam and is a professor of Semitic languages at the University of Helsinki.
"MarHaba. Nothing is wrong with the name "Kinza" if you like it!"
Well. I was hoping for something more authoritative and scholarly, perhaps an explanation of the root word, and how Kinza relates to it.
I did review the use of the word in Surat At-Tawbah. Based on the verses alone, it's hard to say whether the word itself has a negative connotation, or if it's only because of the context. It's being translated into English as "hoard", which does carry an inherently negative connotation, as it implies accumulating wealth for oneself and refusing to share it.
But wait! I went to AlTafsir.com, which is an excellent resource by the way, and was looking at various tafseers of these verses. In a tafseer called "Asbab Al-Nuzul" (Reasons for Revelation) by Al-Wahidi I found the following hadith:
Thawban said: "When the verse (They who hoard up gold and silver"¦) was revealed, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: aMay gold and silver perish!' He was asked: aO Messenger of Allah, which of the riches should we hoard?' He said: aA heart which is grateful, a tongue which remembers Allah and a righteous wife' ".
So here the word "hoard" is being used in a positive context, to refer to good qualities of imaan, and the good of this world.
Based on this, my personal conclusion is that the name is perfectly suitable, there is nothing wrong with it, and you should stick to calling your daughter Kinza.
And Allah knows best.
If any readers have some additional advice for this questioner, I invite you to post your comments below.
(O Allah), Guide us to the straight path; The path of those whom you have favored; Not those with whom you are angry; Nor those who go astray.
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