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Prohibited Names in Islam

From Manners of Welcoming the New Born Child in Islaam
By Yoosuf ibn ‘Abdullaah Al-‘Areefee
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood ibn Ronald Burbank


There are also names which are contrary to the Shariah or which have meanings unacceptable to people of sound intellect and pure souls, so these names are to be avoided, since giving these names to the children would be a crime against their Deen (beliefs) and their manners because they would grow up connected to these names and the meanings which they carry.

The prohibited names are of two categories: those which are forbidden in the Shariah and those which are either disapproved of due to the Shariah, or due to manners and good taste.


1. Names indicating servitude to other than Allah (SWT) such as: 'Abdun-Nabee (slave of the Prophet), 'Abdur-Rasool (slave of the Messenger) and 'Abdul - Muttalib - and whatever is like these names. Just the same in meaning are ‘Ghulaamun-Nabee’ and Ghulaamur-Rasool’.

2. Using these names which are particular names of Allah (SWT)- the One far removed from all deficiencies - like: al-Ahad (the One and Only, Unique in his Lordship, names and attributes, and His right to worship. The One having no equal, no assistant, no rival and no one similar to Him), ar-Rahman (the Most Merciful) and al-Khaliq (the Creator).

3. From the names which should also be avoided are the names of tyrants and despots like: Fir'awn (Pharaoh), Qaroon, Abu Jahl and their like, also the names of the leaders of Kufr and the heads of atheism such as Marx, Lenin and so on, since using their names would mean that one was pleased with their actions, and would mean imitation of them, and love of their systems of thought - and all this is forbidden.


1. Giving names which are meant to show servitude to Allah (SWT) but not known to be from Allah's (SWT) perfect names - like 'Abdul-Mawjood, Abdul-Maqsood and 'Abdus-Sattar. This is because nothing can be affirmed as one of Allah's (SWT) names without an authentic text, and these names do not satisfy this as they are rather attributes and information, so it is to be feared that in this way we might fall into giving Allah (SWT) names which neither He nor His Messenger (SAW) used for Him.

2. From these names are those which carry meanings of pessimism, or blameworthy characteristics which will be disliked or cause aversion or cause the possessor of the name to feel degraded, humiliated and such as will kill his personality - like Harb (war), Himar (donkey), and Kalb (dog) - and their like which are usually given as names by people of the desert of countryside.

3. From good manners is to avoid naming children with names which are suggestive or offend one's meaning of shame - such as: Huyam (one passionately in love), Nuhad (A young woman with full and raised breasts), Saham (summer heat)!, Wisal (sexual union), Ghadah (delicate young woman), Fatin (temptress), Fitnah (temptation), Shadiyah (female singer) and names with similar meanings.

So fathers and mothers should steer clear of giving these kind of names to their children - since they are mostly names carried by the lunatic film actresses and dancers and using these names may be a danger to the children’s personality and to their society - since they will grow up having an attachment and fondness for them along with the meaning they convey and for those infamous persons who carry these names. This may then lead them to imitate those people and follow their way, slowly losing their Islamic personality - and it is to Allah (SWT) that we turn for aid.

4. It is also disliked to give names which amount to a declaration of a person's being pious like: Barrah (pious / piety) and the like - due to this meaning the Messenger of Allah (SAW) changed the name of one of his wives from Barrah to Zaynab, as he used to hate that it be said: "He left/went out from 'Barrah' (piety)."

5. From these names which it is disliked to use for naming are the names of the Angels. Particularly if they are used for females - such as Malik since it is to be feared that this involves imitation of the pagans who gave feminine names to the angels. But as regards to their use for males - then that is disliked by Malik, but allowed by a group of the scholars since the Hadith prohibiting it is not authentic.

6. Just as it is disliked to name with the names of Surahs of the Quran such as: TaHa, Yaseen and other names of Surahs. This is the saying of Imam Malik (Ra) - Ibnul- Qayyim also said: "The saying of the common people that Yaseen and TaHa are from the names of the Prophet (SAW) is not correct, there is no 'Sahih' Hadith about it or any 'Hasan' Hadith, nor anything 'Mursal' [having a missing link between the Tabiee and the Prophet (SAW)], nor any narration from any Companion, but rather they are letters like 'Alif Lam Meem', 'Ha Meem', 'Alif Lam Raa' and the like."

7. It is disliked to give names 'Yasar' (Ease), 'Rabah' (Profit), 'Najeeh' (Successful), 'Aflah' Prosperous), 'Ya'la' (Elevated)' and Barakah' (Blessing) since the Messenger (SAW) forbade that with his saying:

"Do not call your boy Yasar, nor Rabah, nor Najeeh, nor Aflah, since you will say: Is he there?' So it will be said: 'No'. Indeed they are four, so do not attribute more to me." (Reported by Muslim, Abu Dawud & At-Tirmidhee)

And the forbiddence of Ya'a and Barakah occurs in another Hadith reported by Muslim.


The Messenger (SAW) used to love names which were good in their wording and meaning and he used to hate other names, prohibit them and change them. From these names which the Messenger (SAW) changed was:

· ‘Aasiyah (Disobedient) - he changed her name to Jameelah (Beautiful and Good) (Reported by Muslim & Abu Dawud)

· He (SAW) also said to a man, "What is your name?" So he replied: "Hazn." (Roughness). So he (SAW) said: "Rather you are Sahl (Smooth)." (Reported by Al-Bukhari & Abu Dawud)

· ‘Barrah (Pious Woman) to Zaynab (Reported by Muslim)

· As-Surm (Separation) to Sa’eed (Al-Bukhari)

· Asram (Cut Off) to Zur’ah (Sown Seed) (Reported by Abu Dawud)

· Jaththamah (Signifying Inactivity) to Husanah (Good and Beautiful) (Reported by al-Hakim)

· Shihab (Flame and Fire) to Hisham (Reported by Al-Bukhari)

· Harb (War) to Silm (Peace) (Reported by Abu Dawud)

· Banuz-Zinyah (Sons of Fornication) to Banur-Rashdah (Sons of Lawful Marriage) (Reported by Abu Dawud).

‘Abdul-Maqsood ‘Abdul-Mawjood
‘Abdul-Muttalib ‘Abdun-Nabee (slave of the Prophet)
‘Abdur-Rasool (slave of the Messenger) ‘Abdus-Sattar
Aasiyah (disobedient: not same as Pharaoh’s wife) Abu Jahl
Aflah (prosperous) al-Ahad
al-Khaliq (the Creator) ar-Rahman (the Most Merciful)
Asram (cut off) Banuz-Zinyah (sons of fornication)
Barakah (blessing) Barrah (pious / piety)
David (Name given to Prophet Dawud (AS) in the Bible) Diana
Fatin (temptress) Firawn (Pharaoh)
Fitnah (temptation) George
Ghadah (delicate young woman) Ghulaamun-Nabee
Ghulaamur-Rasool Harb (war)
Hazn (roughness) Himar (donkey)
Huyam (one passionately in love) Jaclyn
Jaththamah (signifying inactivity) Joseph (name given to Prophet Yusuf (AS) in the Bible)
Kalb (dog) Lenin
Malak (name of an angel) Marx
Michael Najeeh (successful)
Names of Jews and Christians Nuhad (a young woman with full and raised breasts)
Qaroon Rabah (profit)
Saham (summer heat) Shadiyah (female singer)
Shihab (flame and fire) Name of any surah in Quran
TaHa (Surah in Quran) Wisal (sexual union)
Ya’la (elevated) Yasar (ease)
Yaseen (Surah in Quran)


We have many more good articles on about the Fiqh of names in Islam, good names for Muslim boys and girls, Muslim names for converts, etc:

Muslim Names

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