Changing His Name After Embracing Islam
Fatwa No: 393040

  • Fatwa Date:3-3-2019 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 26, 1440
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Question

Should I change my name if my name is Afsar which is of Persian origin? I found earlier on a QA that name other than that of Arabic Orgin is forbidden. Hope the team answers.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.{C}

Allah has not made it obligatory in His Book that a non-Arab Muslim must be named with an Arabic name; neither did the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) make it obligatory in his Sunnah.

The person who becomes a Muslim is not ordered to change his name to an Arabic name unless the name indicates something contrary to the Islamic ‘Aqeedah (creed), such as the name ‘Abd Al-Maseeh (the slave of Jesus), and the like, or any name that indicates being a slave to other than Allah. Also, a name that involves imitation to the non-Muslims, or a name which is a symbol of one of their religious rituals. Moreover, it is not permissible to have a name that indicates a bad meaning or designates glorification and so forth. We have already clarified this in several Fataawa.

The Fatwa of the Standing Committee reads:

It is not obligatory to change the name of any non-Muslim who embraces Islam unless his name is forbidden by the Sharee'ah, such as ‘Abd Yaghooth, Abd Al-Husayn, Abd Al-‘Uzza, and Abd Manaat; in which case, it is obligatory to change his polytheistic name to a Muslim name. However, it is not mandatory to change the name of his father and his grandfather.” [End of quote]

As for changing it just because it is a non-Arabic name, then this is not obligatory. We are not aware of any scholar who makes it an obligation.

Therefore, if the name that you referred to in the question is free from these violations, then there is no harm in keeping it.

But if you want to change it to a good name, such as ‘Abdullah or Abd Ar-Rahmaan, then this is good otherwise it is not an obligation.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 84551, 82724, 85202, 87262, and 343519.

Allah knows best.

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