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Excellent Names in Islam

The author is unknown to us, but the information in the article is sound and good Insha'Allah - Editor


When the parents intend to name their beloved child - whether male or female, then they may choose his or her name from one of the following four classes of names.

Giving the Child a Name Indicating Servitude to Allah (SWT)

The child is given a name indicating servitude to Allah (SWT) by calling him 'Abd (slave of...) followed by one of Allah’s (SWT) names, those which are confirmed for Him and the most beloved of such names to Allah (SWT) - the One free of all imperfections - are 'Abdullah (the slave of Allah) and 'Abdur-Rahman (the slave of the Most Merciful) as shown by the Hadith:

"The most beloved of your names to Allah - the Mighty and Magnificent - are 'Abdullah and 'Abdur-Rahman" (Reported by Muslim & Abu Dawud)

Then these are followed in excellence by similar usage of the rest of Allah’s (SWT) names to indicate the person’s servitude to Him, such as ‘Abdur-Raheem (the slave of the Bestower of Mercy) and ‘Abdul-Lateef (slave of the One knowing the Most Hidden Matters and the One Most Gracious and Kind to His slaves), and so on.

The Messenger (SAW) established the example for us in this by putting into practice, so he called on of his sons ‘Abdullah and he called the son of Abu Talhah: ‘Abdullah. He furthermore called the son of another ‘Abdur-Rahman and there are many more examples. Therefore, we find that a large number of the Companions gave these two names to themselves and their children so that the number of them carrying this name was near to three hundred and Ibnus-Salah mentions that they numbered about two hundred and twenty.

Giving a Child a Name After One of the Prophets of Messengers of Allah

It is said that he (SAW) said:

"Call yourselves by the names of the Prophets." (Part of a Hadith reported by Ahmed & Abu Dawud)

And he (SAW) said:

"You may name with my name." (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

And we find that following this principle, he called his own son Ibrahim - after the name of his forefather Ibrahim (AS), he (SAW) said:

"A son was born to me this night and I called him after my forefather Ibrahim." (Reported by Muslim & Abu Dawud)

He likewise called the son of Abu Musa ‘Ibrahim’ and he called a son of ‘Abdullah ibn Sallaam ‘Yusuf’ after the Prophet (AS). (Reported by Ahmad)

This also used to be practiced by the Bani Israel as the Prophet (SAW) informed us and approved of with his saying:

"They used to name their children after the Prophets and the pious people who came before them." (Reported by Muslim)

Giving the Child a Name After One of the Pious People

Naming after the Pious People - The Companions, The Martyrs and the Scholars - both the Men and Women of Them.

Hoping that the child will grow up to love and respect them and follow their way and adopt their manners in righteousness, knowledge and seeking martyrdom. For this reason the noble companion az-Zubayr ibn al-Awam (RA) chose the names of some of the martyrs from the Companions for his ten sons, hoping that they would become like them. So he named one 'Abdullah after 'Abdullah ibn Jahsh the martyr of Uhud, and 'Urwah after 'Urwah ibn Mas'ood, and Hamzah after Hamzah ibn 'Abdul-Muttalib - the noblest of the martyrs, and Ja'far after Ja'far ibn Abee Talib - the martyr of Mutah, and Mus'ab after Mus'ab ibn 'Umayr - the martyr of Uhud (RU) and what we have just mentioned is not specific to the males - rather it is for both the males and the females. So it is indeed praiseworthy and beneficial for the correct upbringing of daughters that they be called after the names of the pious women and those who participated in Jihad from the female companions and those after them, hoping that they will follow them in piety, chastity and manners, and from these names are: Fatimah, Maryam, Asma, Sumayyah, Nusaybah, Khawlah and others from the pious and believing women.

Good Names Which do not Fall Into the Previous Three Categories

Names that are good in their wordings and meanings carrying meanings of bravery, chastity or piety and easily pronounced, harmonious, and suitable and befitting the person who carries the name. They should be far from that which has been forbidden in the Shariah and from the examples of this type are: Hamzah, Khalid, Anas, Usamah, Thamir, Harith, & Hammam the last two being the most true of names as occurs in the Hadith, and names like them in wording and meaning and from the examples of these for daughters are: Sarah, Hassanah, Su’ad, 'Affaf and other such names beautiful in wording and meaning. This class also covers calling the child after the child’s grandfather or grandmother - if it is a good name- as seen in the Hadith:

"So I named him after my forefather ‘Ibrahim.’" (Reported by Muslim & Abu Dawud) 


'Abdullah (the slave of Allah, also after 'Abdullah ibn Jahsh - the martyr of Uhud) 'Abdul-Lateef (slave of the One knowing the Most Hidden Matters and the One Most Gracious and Kind to His slaves)
'Abdur-Raheem (slave of the Bestower of Mercy) 'Abdur-Rahman (the slave of the Most Merciful)
Asma (the sister in-law of Muhammad (SAW) Fatimah (the daughter of Muhammad (SAW)
Hamzah (after Hamzah ibn 'Abdul-Muttalib - the noblest of martyrs) Ibrahim (after the name of Prophet Muhammad's (SAW) forefather)
Ja'far (after Ja'far ibn Abee Talib - the martyr of Uhud) Khawlah
Maryam (mother of Isa (AS) Mus'ab (after Mus'ab ibn 'Umayr - the martyr of Uhud)
Nusaybah Sumayyah
'Urwah (after 'Urwah ibn Mas'ood) Yusuf (after the Prophet)



Affaf Anas Banur-Rashdah (sons of lawful marriage) Hammam
Hamzah Harith Hassanah Hisham
Husanah (good and beautiful) Jameelah (beautiful and good) Khalid Sa'eed
Sahl (smooth) Sarah Silm (peace) Su'ad
Thamir Usamah Zaynab Zur'ah (sown seed)

We have a wealth of good articles here on explaining all about Musim names and the Islamic naming system:

Muslim Names

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