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Naming people in Good Manner

• ‘Abdullah Hudud radhiyallahu anhu related that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “Who will drive these camels of ours?” or “Who will deliver these camels of ours?” A man said, “I will.” He asked, “What is your name?” “So-and-so,” he said. He said, “Sit down.” Then another stood up and Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam asked, “What is your name?” The man said, “So-and-so.” He said, “Sit down.” Then another man stood up and Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “What is your name?” “Najiyyah (Rescuer),” he said. “Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “You will do it. Drive them.”

• Abu Wahb radhiyallahu anhu reported that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “Name yourselves with the names of the Prophets. The names which Allah loves most are ‘Abdullah and ‘Abdur Rahman. The most truthful names are Harith and Humam. The ugliest names are Harb and Murra.”

• Jabir radhiyallahu anhu said, “A man had a child and named him al-Qasim. We said, “We will not give you the kunya (pet name) Abul Qasim nor will we so honour you. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam was told and he said, “Call your son ‘Abdur Rahman.”

• Sahl radhiyallahu anhu said, “Al-Mundhir ibn Abi Usayd radhiyallahu anhu was brought to Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam when he was born and Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam placed him on his thigh while Abu Usayd radhiyallahu anhu was seated near him. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam was busy with something in front of him, so Abu Usayd radhiyallahu anhu told someone to take his son from Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam’s leg. When Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam became aware of it, he asked, “Where is the child?” Abu Usayd radhiyallahu anhu replied, “We sent him home.” Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam asked, “What is his name?” He replied, “Such-and-such.” Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “No, rather his name is al-Mundhir.” So we called him al-Mundhir from that day.”

• Abu Hurayrah radhiyallahu anhu reported that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “The name which Allah hates the most is that a man be called the King of Kings.”

• Hanzala ibn Hidhaym radhiyallahu anhu said, “Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam used to like to call a man by the name that he liked best and by his favourite kunya (pet name).”

• Ibn ‘Umar radhiyallahu anhu said that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam changed a woman’s name from ‘Asiya (rebellious), saying, “You are Jamilah (beautiful).”

• Muhammad ibn ‘Ata’ radhiyallahu anhu related that he visited Zaynab bint Salama radhiyallahu anha and she asked him about the name of one of his sisters. He reports: “I said, “Her name is Barra.” She said, “Change her name.” Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam married Zaynab bint Jahsh radhiyallahu anha, her name was Barra and he changed it to Zaynab. I visited Umm Salama radhiyallahu anha when she married him and my name was Barra. He heard her call me Barra and said, “Do not adorn yourselves. Allah is the One who knows those who are pious (barra) among you and those who are deviant. Call her Zaynab.” Umm Salama radhiyallahu anha said, “She is Zaynab.” I said to Zaynab radhiyallahu anha, “Give her a name.” Zaynab radhiyallahu anha said, “Change it to what Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam changed it.” So he called her Zaynab.”

• Ibn ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Sa‘id al-Makhzumi radhiyallahu anhu, whose name was as-Surm, reported that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam named him Sa‘id (happy).

• ‘Ali radhiyallahu anhu said, “When Husayn radhiyallahu anhu was born, I named him Harb (war). Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam came and said, “Show me your son. What have you named him?” “Harb,” we replied. He said, “He is Hasan.” When Husayn radhiyallahu anhu was born, I named him Harb. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam came and said, “Show me your son. What have you named him?” “Harb,” we replied. He said, “He is Husayn.” When we had a third son, I named him Harb. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam came and said, “Show me your son. What have you named him?” “Harb,” we replied. He said, “He is Muhassin.’ Then he said, “I have named them according to the names of the sons of Harun: Shabr, Shubayr, and Mushabbir.”

• Abu Hurayrah radhiyallahu anhu reported that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “Name yourselves with the names of the Prophets, but do not use my kunya. I am Abul Qasim.”

• Anas ibn Malik said, “Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam was in the market when a man said, “Abul Qasim!” Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam turned towards him. He said, “Messenger of Allah, I was calling this man.” Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “Call yourselves with my name but do not use my kunya.”

• Yusuf ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Sallam radhiyallahu anhu said, “Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam named me Yusuf and let me sit in his room and stroked my head.”

• Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah radhiyallahu anhu said, “One of our men among the Ansar had a son and wanted to call him Muhammad. The Ansari said, “I put him on my shoulder and took him to Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam. [Another variant has: “He had a son and they wanted to name him Muhammad.”] Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “Name yourselves with my name but do not use my kunya. I have been made the distributor (Qasim) to distribute things between you.” Husayn radhiyallahu anhu said that he added, “I was sent as a distributor to distribute between you.”

• Abu Musa radhiyallahu anhu said, “I had a son and I brought him to Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam and he named him Ibrahim. He chewed up a date and gave it to him and made supplication for him to be blessed and then gave him back to me.” He was Abu Musa radhiyallahu anhu’s oldest son.

(The above mentioned narrations are quoted from Adabul Mufrad – Bukhari)

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