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Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|03/10/05 at 19:45:29|
I would just like to know if it it's halal to change your last name as long as you are keeping your lineage. IE: My last name is Hoffman and I would like to change it to Ibn Alan (my dad's name is Alan) so it has an 'Islamic ring" to it. What are the rulings on this?
|03/11/05 at 09:42:28|
It is my understanding that we are to keep our surnames.
Prophet Muhammad [saw] had the companion's change their first names, if it meant something bad, when they accepted Islam. To the best of my knowledge, they were not told to change their last names.
|03/12/05 at 18:28:56|
Allahu a'lam, but I believe what Sr. Kathy is saying is true if you put it in proper context. The Prophet [saw] did not change people's last names *because last names, in those days, were always indicative of the tribe/lineage of the person.*
So we say Suhaib al-Rumi, Salman al-Farisi, etc keeping their last names after Islam because they were tribal affiliations or indicative of their heritage, lineage and background.
In the West, the US and Europe for example, many people's last names are not indicative of any tribal heritage or family lineage. Most of the time people's last names are simply the last names of their fathers (although *sometimes* you will find people who have such last names, especially people with a native american heritage, etc). In such cases, I see no reason why it would be prohibited to change the last name. For example, a person whose name is John Smith may change it to Jihad Abu Dharr. Because neither John nor Smith show the lineage of the person.
And we know many non-Muslims who converted to Islam and changed both names. Examples of such people are Malcolm Little (later known as Malcolm X, and finally as Malik El-Shabazz), Cat Stevens (later known as Yusuf Islam), Muhammad Asad, Martin Lings (later known as Abu Bakr Siraj al-Din), Siraj Wahhaj, TJ Winters (later known as Abdul Hakim Murad), and the list goes on and on...
On the contrary, however, we also have non-Muslims who did not change their last names after accepting Islam. People like Hamza Yusuf Hanson, Yusuf Estes, Ihsan Bagby, Sohaib Webb, Bilal Phillips, Nuh Ha Mim Kellar, and so on.
P.S. If you wanted to, you could change your name to "firstname ibn Alan Hoffman."
|03/12/05 at 18:34:04|
|03/12/05 at 19:00:24|
|What about in matters of divorce?|
When I filed such paperwork there was a choice to keep the husbands
name of go back to a maiden name or aother name I had priorly held.
I did not want the ex-husbands name.
I did not want my fathers name since the family is distant and
not to sound judgemental I did not want my name to be associated
with that family. My father was not a loving nor active father and
although if he needed anything I would provide assistance and I
call as a curtesy when he has a great grandchild born, other than that
Both of us can really care less about the other. To me he
was just the DNA donor.
Soooooo, I chose my sons last name (My first husbands name)
Even when the kids were in school I had always been called
Was I Islamically in the wrong?
It was a heartfilled and well thought out choice.
And as to first names, when a persons life was filled with difficulty and
embrasing Islam is such a big move spiritually and emotionally, it makes sense to me some may change their names as a way of beginning a new life. Make sense?
|03/12/05 at 20:29:21|
as salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,
I can understand why people choose to change their names after they embrace Islam.. to show that this is a new chapter in their lives and a fresh start.. but at the same time, I think there is some wisdom in people keeping their names too.. it can show that Islam hasn't changed you into a *different* person, but just a better one :)
Also, I hate how it is assumed that to be a 'real' Muslim, you have to have an Arab sounding name. That is soo not true, and really goes against the nature of Islam being a way of life for people from so many different cultures, ethnicities and nationalities. I think having a non-Arab name is a sign, especially for non-Muslims, that not all Muslims are from the same place or the same culture..
|03/13/05 at 12:14:51|
My understanding of the issue is that the last name shouldn't be changed if in doing so you attribute your parentage to someone else.
It's the one thing my husband is dreadfully annoyed about, I won't change my last name (I do not like his sorry).
As for first names, most old testament names have their arabic equivalent anyways.
Agree with Sr. Se7en completely, it may also hurt your parents feelings, I'd be incredibly hurt if either Fatima or Khadeeja changed their names :'(.
|03/14/05 at 08:01:54|
Thanks for the feedback, but are there any hadith relating to this so I can be sure? I grit my teeth when I say Hoffman, but I also want to keep my family, so Ibn Alan would be perfect... or perhaps an arabic equivalent to the meaning of Hoffman, if I can find out, insha-Allah.
|03/14/05 at 08:06:01|
Well, Hoffman means "farmer on a farmstead", "owner of a farmstead" or "person working on a farm". Would having the arabic equivalent of this as a surname be rediculous?
|03/14/05 at 09:42:05|
Cara I accepted my hubbies last names, because my maiden name sounds Jewish. I made that decision when working in a hospital and the Docs would give me shaloms.
My maiden name means funny white man, so while it is not bad, apparently I would not be recognized by name as a Muslim but as a Jew.
May Allah swt forgive me if i made a bad decision. I agree with se7en's view that Islam is of many cultures, on the Arab name vs Muslim name, hence why I am known as Kathy.
Abu hamza has a very good point on lineage. On the other hand, by keeping the current last name, would it prevent inbreeding? I was reflecting on how a brother and sister had married in our town a few years back. Their parents had split in their infancy, he had his dad's name, and she had her mom's. After the story broke, there was alot of talk about inbreeding and how common it is. Yikes!
|03/14/05 at 15:57:19|
|[quote author=Kathy link=board=madrasa;num=1110501930;start=0#8 date=03/14/05 at 09:42:05] |
Abu hamza has a very good point on lineage. On the other hand, by keeping the current last name, would it prevent inbreeding? I was reflecting on how a brother and sister had married in our town a few years back. Their parents had split in their infancy, he had his dad's name, and she had her mom's. After the story broke, there was alot of talk about inbreeding and how common it is. Yikes! [/quote]
Blimey Nora is it that common? :o :o :o
I read of an incident where twins accidentally married eachother (they'd been split up in infancy), the boys mother recognised the daughter (or summat like that) and the marriage was unulled.... It was in the papers years ago but I remember it as I have an amazing faculty for remembering absolutely useless tosh.
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