Islamic/Muslim Names – Do I Need To Change My Name?

Bismillahir rahmanir raheem

Islamic/Muslim names. Do you need one? The short answer is no.

When you revert to Islam, there’s a nagging feeling that you want to belong to the crowd. Instead of being Katie you now want to be Khadija, instead of being Amy you want to be ‘A’isha and there’s nothing wrong with that. But do you need an Islamic name, no you don’t.

The Prophet (saw) only used to change or advise people to change their names when they came to Islam if there current name was something filthy, disrespectful or against the principles of the religion. For example, if before reverting your name was Christian, this would be a problem.

Narrated by ‘A’isha (ra) The Prophet (saw) “He used to change bad names.” [Tirmidhi]

Umar (ra) had a daughter whose name was “`Asiyah” (meaning disobedient or rude). The Prophet (saw) changed her name to “Jamilah” [Abu Dawud]

A man once brought his some to Umar (ra) to complain that he did not obey him so Umar asked the boy if he knew the rights of the parent over the child. The boy recited them and then asked “Oh Umar, do children have any rights over their fathers?” One of the rights Umar (ra) specified was that the father should give the child a righteous name.

From my own personal perspective, I have had friends that have changed their name and some that have not. Some want to escape their past and start a fresh with a new name, others like myself don’t feel the need. My name was very carefully chosen by both my mother and father and from my own perspective it would be a disrespect to them to change it especially when it’s not against Islam or its teachings.

Changing your name is an option and not an obligation and some sheikhs and imams that have actually advised some not to do it. I think its amazing and both conforting at the same time when I meet a revert and their name’s Robert, Charmaine, Derek or in my case Christal. To me, it indicates that they are comfortable with who they are and that Islam accepts people from all walks of life, all previous religions and embraces them warmly. It shows we’re not a homogeneous group of people but individuals that form a whole. When you look at a jigsaw, all the pieces are different shapes, they’re not all the same.

So Islamic names, do you need one? No, not if you don’t want one.

Did you change your name when you reverted to Islam or did you keep the name you were given at birth? Drop me a line at or contact me on social media TwitterFacebook and Instagram!

Wasalaam – Peace Be With You

0 thoughts on “Islamic/Muslim Names – Do I Need To Change My Name?

  1. Rashida Al Almaniya says:

    As salamu aleikum,

    I am switching between my real name and my islamical name. Sometimes I feel better with my real name, sometimes not.
    I love my real name, because my name means God has mercy with her. And I never thought about the meaning. My parents have choosen this name only becaurse it sounds nice. But after the conversion, I think it is really amazing. God has had mercy on me, to guide me to Islam. I love it.

    On the other hand, I am feeling so much negative connections with this name. I have left so much behind, but I feel still involved to this kind of life, too much bad memorys and old habits. And then I take a deep breath and I say to myself, I am Rashida. I am a muslim now. And it feels so much more comfortable. I am not the person that I used to be. I don’t want to be this person again. I don’t want to be connected with this old life. It was not all bad, but I don’t want to be any longer this person.

    • ChristalBlogs says:

      MashaAllah, jazakillahu khayrun for the comment sis it really touched me. May Allah swt make it easy for you Ameen. When you become Muslim, all your previous sins are forgiven alhamdulillah and Rashida is a beautiful name. In my humble opinion, changing names does not change the person you are on the inside. Islam is a journey towards Allah that takes time, it can’t be rushed.

  2. Mama of Leo says:

    Well, thank you!
    It makes all sense if you are not Arab.
    I mean there are alot of Christian Arabs who have the names that sound Islamic, like Abdullah, for example. This does not meant that they are Muslim. On the other hand, if one’s name in the native language has a good meaning, then why not keep it!
    I am not Arab (although Muslim by birth). I named my son “Aslan”. One of my friends’ mother asked me once: “What does this name mean?” and I told her that this is the Turkish word for Lion. She then said “oooh… and why the strange unusual name? Why didn’t you name him “Osama” or “Hamza”? (both meaning Lion)

    I just smiled to her. In my head I was saying: “Because I am not Arab, auntie, so the name is not unusual for my people if it is for you!”

    • ChristalBlogs says:

      As long as your name doesn’t have a bad connotation in Islam You don’t really need to change it. I think Aslan is a beautiful name mashaAllah. I think among Muslims theres a misconception sometimes that Arab equates to Islam/ Muslims which isnt true. May Allah swt guide us, Ameen

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