Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Need help with my name

Muslim namesSalaam,

My name is Keith V Harris and I am a recent convert to Islam. I have found that my name is of Celtic origin which is pagan and I wish to change it. I was wondering if Yusef Abd al Nur Harris or just Abdul Nur Harris was preferable.

Also my best friend wishes to take Wakil as a first name but some of the brothers are telling him he cannot. I thought it was fine as long as he didn't place Al in front of it.

Please help

- Keith

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2 Responses »

  1. Brother Keith, Wa alaykum as-salam wa Rahmatullah,

    Congratulations on taking this big step, and welcome to the brotherhood and sisterhood of Islam.

    Insha'Allah your Ramadan is going well. These last ten days of Ramadan are such an amazingly blessed time. Let's take advantage of it and draw close to Allah. This is a good time to ask Allah for guidance in any matter, even something like a name change.

    So, to answer your question, either Yusef Harris or Abdul-Nur Harris, but not Yusef Abdul-Nur Harris because that implies that your father's name is Abdul-Nur.

    For more information about the naming system in Islam see:

    The Islamic Naming System

    About your friend, I don't know of anything wrong with the name "Wakil". Like you said, Al-Wakil is one of Allah's names and one cannot take that name, but a person can be called Abdul-Wakil, and again, I see nothing wrong with simply "Wakil". If someone says that it is not an acceptable name, ask them to furnish some proof from the Quran or Sunnah, and then share it with me please.

    Wael Editor

  2. Hi,
    I read your post. I'm Irish so I am Celtic like you are. Are your parents pagans? Because they are the ones who named you. I understand you do not like that your name came from a pagan origin. But your parents choose your name. Let me remind you that the name of a child by it's parents in Celtic culture is a great gift. And that by changing it you know you are greatly disrespecting them. It could cause great heartbreak to them. You must also respect your parents. Arabic names were around before Islam as well so remember that too.

    It is good to do what is right in your life for you but being Celtic is also a part of who you are. I am very concerned about your views on yourself. This troubles me. Where you come from (being Celtic) is an intrigal part of who you are. Do you look in the mirror and think this is a pagan person? Your DNA comes from ancestors of pagans. Are you going to kill yourself now? Do you see what I mean? You are not pagan but your origins come from those people. Do you get rid of you too? No of course not. Why delete your name which is part of your culture? Especially knowing how harnful it will be toward your parents.

    I hope before you do this name change that you weigh the pros and cons. I am Buddhist. I love my life and the path I have chosen. I have been asked to be given a Buddhist name for this is part of being Buddhist. BUT I am Celtic and changing my name is a great disrespect to my parents. I know this. I will never change my name for this reason. I will not disrespect my parents.

    This is a situation when religion clashes with culture. Just so all non Celts understand this is one of the most disrespectful things a Celtic person can do to their parents. Is by changing the name. It would be like a Muslim child changing their religion. This is how serious this is. In Buddhism as well as Islam you should not disrespect your parents.

    I wish you the best in whatever you do.

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