Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Changing last name?|
|01/10/02 at 06:31:46|
A friend of mine got married 2 years ago, and now her husband is INSISTING that she change her last name to his. He says that she is *his* wife, and MUST have his name, as his children will have also.
I need some proofs to show that in Islam this is not required, and we only do it when for example, the law of the country dictates that we have to have the same surname/last name.
Any references, proof, ahadeeth etc will be GREATLY appreciated. JazakumAllahu khairun in advance
|Re: Changing last name?|
|01/10/02 at 11:05:09|
|Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,|
It's a shame more Muslims don't know they should not be changing their names because of marriage. In fact, those coming into the fold of Islam don't even have to change their name after taking the shahadah unless their name has a bad meaning. I'm a big proponent of keeping your birth name, unless you *really* don't like it, or it obviously has a bad meaning.
I hope this helps, insha'Allah.
Question Reference Number: 2537
Title: It is haraam for a wife to take her husband’s name
Many sisters in our community have taken the names of their husbands without realizing that they should have kept their father's name. Should they change their name back to the father's name or is it allowed to keep the husband's name?
Also, if a person is born out-of-wedlock, should they carry their father's last name or their mother's last name? What is the evidence for this?
Jazak Allah Khair.
Praise be to Allaah.
It is not permitted for anyone to claim to belong to anyone other than his father. Imitating the kuffaar by dropping the wife’s surname and giving her the husband’s name is haraam; it is also a form of falsehood, and humiliation of the woman. Anyone who has done this must repent to Allaah and put it right by going back to her father’s name.
With regard to a child born out of wedlock, he should be given his mother’s name and cannot be given the name of the adulterer. (For more information, see Question #1942 and 284).
Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)
Question Reference Number: 1942
Title: Taking a family name other than that of one’s father (or attributing oneself to someone other than one’s father)
A woman before becoming Muslim changed her last name from her family name to her husband's. Now that she is Muslim, she is no longer married to that man. Also, she would like to formally change her name to a Muslim name to affirm her Islamic identity. She would like to also change her last name back to her family name, however, she would like to adopt her mother's maiden name (maternal grand-father's name) instead of her father's name, since there is some conflict between them, and that she said he did not have much to do with her upbringing. Is it permissible for her to take her mother's maiden name?
Praise be to Allaah.
This woman’s desire to take an Islamic name and to change her family name from that of her former husband is quite correct, but it is not permissible for her to call herself after anyone except her legitimate father – no matter what the reasons for wishing to do so. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "Call them (adopted sons) by the names of their fathers…" [al-Ahzaab 33:5].
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever calls himself by other than his father’s name (or attributes himself to someone other than his father), will be cursed by Allaah, the angels and all the people." (Reported by Ibn Maajah, 2599; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6104).
And Allaah is the Source of help.
Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)
|Re: Changing last name?|
|01/10/02 at 11:00:20|
|Call Them by Their Fathers' Names|
Sheikh Wajdi al-Ghazzawi
Reprinted from al-Jumuah Magazine volume 12 issue 5/6
What's in a name? More than you think. If you're thinking about changing your name to something more "Islamic," read this article first to avoid mistakes. Our ancestry are to us like roots are to a tree, one cannot truly cut them off.
One of these faults, which are widespread among Muslims, especially those who are serious about their religion, is the changing of the family name to a Muslim name. This is forbidden by Allah, hence He says, "Call them after their fathers. That is most just in the sight of Allah. If you know not their fathers, then call them your brothers in faith and your patrons. There is no blame on you if you make a mistake but you are accountable for what is done intentionally. Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful." [Qur'an 33:5]
In his famous tafseer, Imam ibn Katheer said that this verse abrogated a ruling of something that was allowed at the beginning of Islam. Abdullah ibn Umar said, "We used to call Zayd ibn Harithah, the patron of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, Zayd ibn Mohammed until the Qur'an stated, "Call them after their fathers. That is most just in the sight of Allah." (Bukhari) Ibn Katheer said, "Allah ordered us to call them by their real fathers' names. That is only just and fair."
This common mistake among new Muslims in the West, namely changing their family name, typically can lead them to fall into the following prohibitions:
First, Neglect of Allah's Orders:
It makes them subject to the grave warning and the definite threat that came in several ahadeeth. One of these ahadeeth, narrated by Imam Ahmad and Ibn Majah from Ibn Abbaas say, that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said that, "Whomever is not named after his father, or who takes as a benefactor and protector other than his supporter, is cursed by Allah, His Angels and all the people." This is a severe and definite warning to those who are not named after their real fathers.
Just because the father's name is a Christian name or a non-Muslim name is not reason enough, in Islam, to change it. And so if one's father name is George, he should not change it to Muhammad or Ali for example. One must be named after his real father's name, even if he is a non-believer (kafir), or the worst enemy to Allah and His Messenger, sallallahu alayhe wa sal-lam.
To help illustrate this point, examine the following:
• Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl: This companion of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam became a Muslim in the year of al-Fatih or the concurring of Makkah, and was one of the best Muslims, one who fought for the sake of Allah until he was killed. He was the son of one of the worst of Allah's enemies, Abu Jahl, the man who fought the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, with his hands, tongue and money. Nevertheless, Ikremah never changed his father's name after becoming a Muslim. He kept his real father's name although it was not an honorable one.
• Ramlah bint Abi Sufyan: The Mother of the believers, the wife of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, married the Prophet before her father himself became a Muslim. Yet, she did not change her name and the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, did not order her to change it, although he was one of the Prophet's strongest enemies at the time.
• Safiyyah bint Huyay: Her father Huyay ibn Akhtab was a Jew. When she became a Muslim, the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam married her, and she did not change her father's or her grandfather's name even though everyone knew that they were non-believers, and that they were the enemies of Allah and his Messenger, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam. More than that, Safiyyah used to visit her family, and when Umar ibnul Khattab heard that she liked the Jews, he asked her about it. She replied that they were her family, and that as a Muslim she was supposed to keep her kin ties strong and, that that was the reason for her visits with them. Look at this example! Safiyyah did not forsake her family ties and never abandoned her family's name. She did this because she knew that her name would not hurt her or weaken her faith and belief in Allah.
There are many more examples, but in these three I hope that all of us find good enough reasons to rethink the issue, and to avoid doing the opposite of what these three good companions of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, did.
The Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "He who knowingly claims to be the son of other than his father, then he is forbidden from entering Paradise." How can those who are running away from the Hellfire, by seeking Islam and becoming Muslims, be so negligent, that they might end up in it anyway, by carelessly misnaming themselves to others than their real fathers? Why would anyone claim to be the son of someone he knows for sure is not his father? One may meet a Muslim who claims that his name is Muhammad Abdurrahman Ali. One would think that this means he is Muhammad the son of Abdurrahman, and the grandson of Ali. But after checking, one would be surprised to discover that Abdurrahman and Ali are not real people at all, and that Muhammad, who happens to be the son of John, the grandson of Roberts, for example, made them up. This is not a good thing to do, for it leads one to fall into the next sin, falsification.
Second, Cheating People and Misleading Them:
In the previous example, when one hears the name Muhammad Abdurrahman Ali, one automatically thinks that the name belongs to a Muslim from a Muslim country. You do not expect it to belong to be an American or a European from a Western non-Muslim father. This is an obvious case of cheating and falsification, especially if the information is presented on paper, like on a resume or other documents, meant for official procedures or employment. This falsification is the same as lying, if not worse.
Third, Injustice and Aggression:
For someone to be called after other than his real father's name is to do great injustice to the father. This is why Allah says, "Call them after their fathers. That is most just in the sight of Allah." It is only just and fair that Allah has made that obligatory on us. How can anyone of us, willingly, choose to do otherwise?
Such acts are not allowed in Islam, whether the father is a Muslim or not. It is imperative that Muslims who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and who have read these scripts and warnings but have fallen into this sin, to repent to Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala, and correct their mistake by renaming themselves after their real fathers, John, George or any other.
What Should One Do?
Stating the above, the following question needs to be answered: What can a person who does not know his real father do? This is especially important because promiscuity in the West has made this task difficult. Allah has revealed the answer to this question, "If you know not their fathers, then call them your brothers in faith and your patrons." [5:33] Of the one who does not know his father, we ask, who was the man who raised and took care of you? If the answer is, my stepfather, or this man whose name is, for example, Ibrahim, then we call the person, our brother in Islam, Ibrahim's patron.
If he has no patron, then he can relate his name to his country or city and add his kunia, or nickname, to it. A lot of prominent Muslim scholars have done this in the past. The name can be for example, Abu Muhammad (nickname), Ali (his name) al-Canadi (the Canadian), or al-Ameriky (the American), or al-Britany (the British), so on and so forth.
One excuse for the father's name change that some people use, is the allegation that their fathers' and grandfathers' names are not their real names. They are names, they say, that were given to them by the slave masters. Therefore, they are changing these names so that they change the names, which are related to a bad interval in their history. The answer is that this action is a misconception and a direct contradiction to the above verse. Allah has obliged us to be named after our real fathers. If one's father's real name was changed by force during the period of slavery, and you managed to know the original name, then use it. But if you do not know the real name and you change the current name, then you have committed the same sin as the oppressor, for you have changed a man's name. Such a situation, however, applies only to a number of people in the West.
Another excuse some people use for example, is that one would say, "I am calling myself Muhammad Abdullah (i.e. the slave of Allah) and that should be alright, for we are all slaves of Allah, believers and non-believers." And even though this statement is true in general, people use names to indicate and ascertain a specific blood relationship, and not to make a general statement about the fact that one is the son of a man who was created by Allah. Again, we must be careful so that we do not fall in the name change trap.
Wives Taking Their Husbands' Last Names:
It is important to note that one of the forms of being named after other than your father, is what some newly converted Muslim women do. They change their family names to their husbands' family names, as is the norm in the West. I have seen many Muslim men and women who have fallen into this prohibition. This type of name change actually has two problems. The first is the fact that the woman would fall into the sin of changing the name of her real father who spent his life and money caring for her. What a recompense! The second is making resemblance to the non-believers in a tradition that is permanently a part of their lifestyle.
An Important Question:
Many newly reverted Muslims ask, should they change their names?
The answer is that they should not change their names except in the following situations:
• If the name is forbidden in Islam. For example, if the name implies worshipping other than Allah like Abdush-Shams (slave of the sun), Abdun-Nabi (slave of the Prophet), Abdul-Maseeh (slave of the Christ), etc. Also, if the name symbolizes idols like Naelah, Hubal or Buddha, then it must be changed immediately.
• If the name is typical of the non-believers like Botros, John, Diana, Suzanne or Victoria, then a Muslim should stay away from these names.
• If the name praises oneself, as in the case of Barrah (pious), the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, changed it to Zainab and said, "Do not praise yourself. Allah knows the pious ones more than you do." (Muslim)
• If the name has a bad meaning like the names of animals such as Faar (mouse), Kalb (dog), Hanash (snake). Or pronounced badly in another language such as Tom (many pronounce it Toom, which sounds like garlic in Arabic).
If the non-Muslim name is like one of the above then it must be changed to a good Muslim name, one that is desirable in Islam. For example Abdurrahman, Abdullah, any of the Prophets' names, the companions names, the wives of the Prophet, allallahu alayhe wa sallam, or his daughters.
It should be taken into consideration that only the first name is changed and not the father's name no matter how bad it is. In the Day of Judgment, people will be called by their fathers' names. Bukhari wrote a chapter in his book about people being called by their fathers' names. In it he mentions a hadeeth narrated by Ibn Umar who said that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "On the Day of Judgment, a sign will be raised for the deceitful saying, 'This is the deceit of Fulan Ibn Fulan (this man the son of such a man).'" It is necessary to mention that we should use the relational noun between names in the Arabic language. For example Muhammad George Al-Ferency (the French) should be called Muhammad the son of George the French.
Finally, after reading this clear account, accompanied by evidences and examples, it now becomes necessary for every Muslim who believes in Allah and the Last Day, to correct such mistakes and go back to his real name. A worshipper is judged by his deeds, and his emaan (faith). Allah knows best who is pious and who is not, and changing names in the way we were discussing does not increase it. As was demonstrated, such an act can in fact hurt one's relationship with Allah. And Allah knows best.
|Re: Changing last name?|
|01/10/02 at 11:01:13|
|The Islamic Naming System|
Taken From Tafseer Surat Al-Hujuraat By Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
Islam places great emphasis on the clear identification of family relationships. The Prophet (SAW) himself said,
"Learn enough about your lineage to know your blood relatives and treat them accordingly." (At-Tirmidhee)
That is, family lines should be known well enough to prevent marriages within the forbidden degrees and to determine blood and family obligations.
Although it is the duty of the Islamic state to take care of its citizens, the primary responsibility lies first and foremost on family members. Therefore, according to Islamic law, blood relationships should be clearly defined and any tampering with them is strictly forbidden. This is clearly stressed in the Islamic naming system in which each name and its sequences implies a specific genealogical relationship. For example, the name Khaalid ibn Abdullah ibn Zakee al-Harbee, which in present times is written Khaalid Abdullah Zakee al-Harbee means Khaalid the son of Abdullah, the son of Zakee, from the tribe of Harb. This system of naming people after their fathers and forefathers has appeared in most cultures. Even in English, George the son of John in time became George, John's son and eventually became George Johnson. In pre-Islamic times, the Arabs used to change the lineage of their adopted sons to their own lineage and this practice also occurred during the early stages of Muhammed's prophethood (SAW). However, Allah (SWT) forbade it during the Madeenan stage of prophethood in which the majority of the religious, social and economic laws of islam were revealed, Ibn Umar (RA) reported that after the Prophet (SAW) freed Zayd ibn Harithah and adopted him, people used to refer to him as Zayd ibn Muhammed until the verse the following verse was revealed,
"Call them by (the names of) their father's, that is more just in the sight of Allah..." (Al-Ahzab 33:5)
Once this principle became part of the divine law, the Prophet (SAW) was instructed to further emphasize it by a series of warnings. For example, on one occasion he said,
"He who knowingly attributed his fatherhood to someone other than his real father will be excluded from paradise." (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood)
Abu Dharr (RA) also related that he heard the Prophet (SAW) say,
"He who deliberately lets himself be called the son of someone other than his father is guilty of disbelief (kufr)." (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood)
Thus, the Arabic system of naming people according to their father's names which was endorsed by the Prophet (SAW) and approved of by Allah (SWT) is considered the Islamic naming system. Islamic law is comprehensive. It regulates all aspects of human life in order to establish a social system in which human welfare is looked after and the worship of God is enshrined. Consequently, although some facets of the Islamic naming system may be more important than other, none are so irrelevant or unimportant that whether it is done or not makes no difference. The fact that European colonialism has managed to corrupt the application of the Islamic naming system especially among non-Arab Muslims does not in any way alter its validity. By colonial times the western naming system had degenerated into a meaningless jumble of names followed by a family name. Influenced by the Greco-Roman culture in which women were considered to e the property of men, western society erased a woman's family name upon marriage and replaced it by that of her husband. In the Islamic naming system she retains her father's name as it indicates her true lineage. However, both of these degenerative Western trends have been widely adopted in Muslim lands along with other un-Islamic cultural trappings of European colonialism. New Muslims, unaware of the Islamic naming system, often adopt Arabic names in the chaotic European style. In fact, those of African descent often erase even their family names on the basis that these names are remnant from the days of slavery. That is, those of their ancestors who were salves usually adopted the family name of their slave masters and it was the slave masters' name which was handed down from generations to generation. Hence, an individual who may have been called Clive Baron Williams while his father's name was George Herbert Williams may, upon entering Islamic, rename himself Faisal Umar Nkruma Mahdi. However, his name according to the Islamic naming system should have been Faisal George Williams, that is, Faisal the son of George Williams. Whether "Williams" was the name of his ancestors plantation owner or not is not of any consequence. Since his father's name was George Williams, he is, according to the Islamic naming system, the son of George Williams. That much of his father's name is necessary to determine who his relatives are in order to avoid incestuous marriages, discharge inheritance rights and fulfill general responsibilities to blood relations.
This becomes especially important in the West where premarital and extra-marital relations are common leading to generations of illegitimate inter-related children. Consequently, when some of these half-brothers and sisters enter Islam under different assumed family names, there exists a very real possibility that some of them may unintentionally contract incestuous marriage. The practice among new Muslims of deleting their family names has frequently created deep resentment among their non-Muslim families which could have been easily avoided if the Islamic naming system had been adopted. Actually, the new Muslim is under no obligation to change even his or her "Christian name" unless it contains an un-Islamic meaning. Thus, the given name clive, which means cliff-dweller need not have been changed whereas "Dennis", a variation of Dionysus which means He of Dionysus, (the Greek god of wine and fertility who was worshipped with orgiastic rites), would have to be changed. Similarly female names like Lois which means desirable or Ann or its diminutive forms Annie and Nancy which means grace, need not be changed while names like Ingrid which means daughter of Ing (a god in Germanic mythology) or Laverne taken from teh name of the Roman goddess of spring and grain would also have to be changed. However,. it is perfectly acceptable for a Muslim, whether a recent convert or not, to change his or her first name. It was the Prophet's (SAW) practice to change peoples first names if they were too assuming, negative or un-Islamic. One of the Prophet's (SAW) wives was originally named Barrah (pious) and he changed it to Zaynab (collected by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood) as Allah (SWT) had said in the Quran,
"Do not claim piety for yourselves for He knows best who is God-fearing." (An-Najm 53:32)
Ibn Abbas (RA) reported that another of the Prophet's (SAW) wives was also named Barrah and he changed it to Juwayriyah (collected by Muslim). Ibn Umar (RA) reported that his father, Umar, had a daughter named Aasiyah (disobedient) whom the Prophet (SAW) renamed Jameelah (beautiful - collected by Muslim). Jabir ibn Abdullah (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) decided to forbid names like Ya'laa (elevated), Barakah (blessing), Aflah (successful), Yasaar (wealth) and Naafi (beneficial). (collected by Muslim).
However, Allah's Messenger (SAW) never changed the names of people's fathers, no matter how un-Islamic they may have been. For example, when the Sahabi Abdu Shams ibn Sakhr accepted Islam, the Prophet (SAW) cancelled his given nam, Abdu Shams (slave of a sun), and renamed him Abdur-Rahman ibn Sakhr (collect by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalaanee). His father's name, Sakhr (rock), was left untouched. Likewise, the Sahabi, Abu Salamah's name was changed to Abdullah ibn Abdul-Asad leaving his father's name Abdul-Asad (slave of the lion) unchanged (collected by Ibn al-Jawzee). Thus, it can be concluded that erasing one's family name is against both the letter and the spirit of Islamic law. The father's first and last name should be retained and if the father is unknown, the mother's first and last name should follow the Muslim's given or chosen name.
However, it should be noted, that there are other titles and descriptive names which may be added to either or both the beginning and the end of a person's actual name. According to the Islamic naming system, prefixed names known as Kunyah consist of Abu (the father/owner of) in the case of males and Umm (the mother of) in the case of women followed by the name of the person's oldest child or male child, a child wished for or a trait the person is noted for. Some people became so well known by their Kunya that their actual names are almost forgotten. For example, among the Sahabah: Abu Bakr (Abdullah ibn Uthman), Abu Hurayrah (Abdur Rahman ibn Sakhr), and Abu Laylaa (Bilal al-Ansari); and among the legist: Abu Haneefah (Nu'maan ibn Tahabit). The suffixed tittles are of two types, the Laqab, a descriptive trait, for example, Abu Bakr was titles by the Prophet (SAW) "as-Siddeeq" (the truthful) and Umar, "al-Farooq" (the discerner). The second type is known as Nisbah which refers to the place or tribe with which one is associated. For example, the Sahabi, Abu Dharr "al-Ghifaaree" (from the tribe of Ghifaar) and Hadith scholars such as al-Bukhari (Muhammad ibn Ismaa'eel), from the city Bukhara and at-Tirmidhee (Muhammad ibn Eesaa) from the city of Tirmidh. The Nisabah suffix may also refer to a profession.
Care should also be taken in naming girls, as the practice of giving girls two or three female names before the family name is a fairly recent western practice which is inconsistent with the Islamic naming system. For example, a girl named Asmaa Jameelah Zaynab Abdullah whose father's name was Zayd Abdullah should really be called Asmaa Zayd Abdullah, that is, Asmaa the daughter of Zayd Abdullah. This principle is due to the fact that a man's or woman's given name, according to the islamic naming system, should only be followed by the name of his or her mother if the father was unknown, or the child was illegitimate and the parents were not married. Thus, the name Asmaa Jameelah Zaynab Abdullah in the Islamic naming system means Asmaa was the illegitimate daughter of Jameelah and her mother Jameelah was also the illegitimate daughter of Zaynab, the daughter of Abdullah.
|Re: Changing last name?|
|01/10/02 at 13:44:28|
So check this:
My name is Abdullah right,
and my wife, simply added my last name on to make oine of those hybrid names...
is that okay? asalamu alaikum. abdullah,.
|Re: Changing last name?|
|01/10/02 at 16:06:23|
|Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah, |
I don’t know. I’ve heard yes, no and everything in between. Unless there’s a scholar on the board, asking your local imam would be best, since each fiqh issue has many related scenarios that aren’t taken into account with brief fatawah such as these. My bad, didn’t mean to make this into a fiqh thread!
|Re: Changing last name?|
|01/10/02 at 23:05:00|
|Also please look at these --|
From Muzzamil Siddiqi:
Q 4. Concerning names, is a woman supposed to change her family name to
her husband's name after marriage as it is in the West? What is the
method of naming children in Islam: first, second and family name?
A 4. It is permissible for a woman to change her last name after
marriage. A woman can introduce herself or others can introduce her as the
wife of so and so. In the Ahadith we see that the Prophet's wives were
sometimes refered to with the names of their fathers and sometimes as
"wife of the Prophet". These things are more based on cultural practices
and whatever is convenient can be done. What is forbidden in Islam is
that a person refer to him/herself as the son or daughter of someone
other than the real biological father. Allah says in the Qur'an, "Proclaim
their parentage; that is more equitable in the sight of Allah"
(al-Ahzab 33:5). The Prophet -peace be upon him- said, "Whosoever will claim
the name of anyone other than his father will not even get the smell of
Paradise" (Ibn Majah, Hadith no. 2601)
There is no specific tradition of last name among Muslims. Sometimes
the people take the last name of the family (Queishi, Hashimi), sometimes
they take their last name from their profession (Qassab, Najjar),
sometimes they take their last name from the city in which they are born
(Mekki, Medini, Shami, Masri) and many other ways. The proper way in Islam
is that the person should be known by his/hername and the name of
his/her biological father. Allah says in the Qur'an in sura 33, verse 5,
"Call them by the names of their fathers, that is more just in the sight
of Allah." It is not required for a woman to take the name of her
husband, but it is also not forbidden if she is recognized as the wife of
so-and-so. In the books of hadith, we read sometimes that the Prophet's
(SAAWS) wife Aisha was sometimes mentioned as Aisha, the wife of the
Prophet. So, that is permissible in Islam. Children should recognize their
names and the names of their biological fathers.
|Re: Changing last name?|
|01/11/02 at 05:35:17|
|So what happens if the child is found abandoned, and no biological parents, much less names, are known? (For instance, when children are found on the doorsteps of orphanages in China, or Haiti.) Are these children to be given names, or allowed to be adopted and given the adopted parents' family name, or what? Just curious. My sister (not Muslim) has adopted three children from Haiti with such backgrounds.|
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