Choosing the Best Name For Your Muslim Child
The importance of Muslim baby names cannot be overestimated. Parents spend countless hours and days trying to decide what is the best name for their child. So much goes into choosing a good name, I would like to offer a few ideas on how to decide which is best for your baby.
People choose Muslim baby names for many different reasons. Sometimes to fit into a certain culture. I’ve known several people whose Muslim parents gave them American sounding names so they could “fit in”.
This should be avoided as it shows a weakness in ourselves as Muslims. Even though some may fear racial or religious discrimination because of a Muslim name, it is more important that we show pride in being Muslim.
Sometimes a person chooses a name to honor a family member. In some African cultures it is customary to name one’s daughter after one’s mother. And likewise, in some cultures, it is custom to name one’s son after one’s father.
The most important thing to remember when choosing any Muslim baby name is the MEANING. It is imperative that our names reflect good, honorable characteristics.
Before going any further, let’s go over some forbidden names in Islam. While it may seem obvious to some, it can be surprising to learn how many people have these names.
- Names that are reserved only for Allah such as Al-Khaaliq (The Creator) and Al Razzaq (The Provider)
- Names that are befitting only Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) such as Sayyid Al Naas (Master of Mankind) and Sayyid Al Kull (Master of All)
- Names of enslavement to anything else besides Allah such as Abdul Uzza (Slave of Uzza) and Abdul Masih (Slave of the Messiah)
Muslim Baby Names for Boys
Now it is time to go over some names for Muslim boys. There are several good names to choose from for Muslim baby boys. You can choose names from the Prophets of Allah. Or a name of one of the companions of Prophet Mohammed, may Allah be pleased with him. Or you can choose a name that implies servitude to Allah reflecting His divine attributes. Or you can just choose a good Arabic name.
Names of the Prophets of Allah for Muslim babies
Here are the names of the twenty-five Prophets mentioned by Allah in the Holy Quran:
Choosing Muslim Baby Names from Companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
After the Prophets of Allah, the Sahabah, or Companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), are the best of all mankind. These were the men who sacrificed, fought, died, and struggled to establish Islam. They showed amazing courage and faith against tremendous odds. Hence, it is very beneficial to name our boys after these great men.
Here’s a list of some of the Sahabah:
Muslim Baby Names Derived From the Attributes of Allah
There is a hadith where Prophet Muhammad, may Allah be pleased with him states:
“The most beloved of your names to Allah are Abdullah and Abdur-Rahman”
This hadith is evidence of the honor and righteousness of using Muslim baby names derived from Allah’s attributes. A more thorough discussion on Allah’s attributes is discussed in this page about Tawhid.
You can search through the 99 names of Allah to get some ideas about Muslim baby names. Just make sure that if you choose to use one of Allah’s attributes, you must put the word “Abdul” in front of it. For example Abdul Lateef, Abdur Raheem, and Abdul Ghani.
Muslim Baby Names For Girls
Boys aren’t the only ones with good Muslim baby names. There are several good female Muslim baby names also. Whereas boys can be named after the prophets, girls can be named after righteous women of the past. And many of these women were related to the Prophets.
And where boys can be named after the Companions, girls can be named after the Sahabiyat (female companions, but really Muslim women during the time of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him).
And where boys can be named after the attributes of Allah, girls can also be named after the feminine version of that same attribute.
Muslim Baby Names From The Four Perfect Women
Prophet Muhammad (may Allah be pleased with him) said the following in a hadith:
Sufficient for you among the women of the world are Maryam the daughter of Imraan. Khadeejah bint Khuwaylid, Faatimah bint Muhammad and Aasiyah the wife of Pharaoh.
Here is some brief information about the four exemplary Muslim women:
- Maryam Bint Imraan – She is the only woman to have a chapter of the Quran named after her. She was the mother of the Messiah, Prophet Eesa (May Allah be pleased with them both). Her righteousness was so great, that the men of her time drew lots to see who would have the honor of tutoring her.
- Khadeejah Bint Khuwaylid – She was the first wife of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. She was also the first person to accept Islam and was also the mother of all but one of Prophet Muhammad’s children.
- Faatimah Bint Muhammad – She was the only child of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to have children. She was married to the illustrious companion Ali Ibn Abi Talib and the mother of Hassan and Hussayn Ibn Ali.
- Aasiyah Bint Muhaazim – She was the wife of the tyrant Pharaoh who claimed to be a god. She raised Prophet Musa (peace be upon them both) and saved him from the river by Allah’s will. Her dua for protection from Pharaoh is mentioned in the Quran in chapter 66:11.
Choosing Muslim Baby Names From the Sahabiyat
For all the male companions we mentioned above, there were also many women who helped in the spread of Islam. Here are some examples:
- Aishah Bint Abu Bakr – Prophet Muhammad’s favorite wife. She was also the daughter of his best friend Abu Bakr. Aishah is responsible for much of the information and knowledge we have concerning the lifestyle, habits, and family life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
- Sumayyah Bint Khayyat – Murdered by Meccan pagans for accepting Islam.
- Haarithah Bint Al-Muammil – Beaten and blinded by the pagan leader Abu Jahl for accepting Islam. Despite being blinded, she remained Muslim and Allah eventually returned her sight.
- Thuwaybah – She nursed Prophet Muhammad as a child and was one of the first converts to Islam.
- Hafsa Bint Umar – A Wife of Prophet Muhammad and daughter of his friend Umar. She was also a hafiz of Quran (someone who has memorized the entire Quran).
Muslim Baby Names For Girls Derived From The Attributes Of Allah
While boys usually have to put Abdul (the servant of…) before Allah’s attributes, women can take the feminine version of that attribute. Here are some examples:
- Azeezah from Al Azeez (The Mighty)
- Baseerah from Al Baseer (The All Seeing)
- Aliyyah from Al Aliyy (The Most High)
- Hakeemah from Al Hakeem (The Wise)
- Hameedah from Al Hameed (The Praiseworthy)
The names listed here are just a small sampling of the various Muslim baby names available. The best way to choose a name for your child is to think of what characteristics do you want for your child. Do you want a name that represents strength or gentleness? A name that represents intelligence or wisdom? A name that represents piety or mercy?
Or perhaps you want to name your child after a righteous person from our past.
Whatever your decision, do your research and be happy with it. The most important thing is to raise your child in a pious, stable, Islamic environment.