Islamic marriage advice and family advice

girl’s change of surname

Muslim names

Muslim by name?

Is it permissible in Islam to change a minor girl's surname to something more neutral, like a feminine name instead of her biological father's if she does not feel comfortable using it? She has no relationship or physical/emotional connection with her father since her birth. She has solely been raised and financially taken care of by her divorced mother. Please advise.


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  1. Salaams,

    It is required for all women to take their father's surname. Not feeling a connection to the father or knowing him, or even having a bad one, exempts a woman from this.

    I do completely understand why you wouldn't want to take your father's surname. It's hard to take a name that doesn't feel like 'you'. But in this case, if you do it for the sake of Allah and with the intention of complying with Islam, you can find peace in your choice. It will be more difficult living every day with an incorrect surname that you know, islamically, you shouldn't be using. In time, you will make the name yours in your unique way, in shaa Allah.

    -Amy Editor

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