Resources for Choosing Muslim Baby Names

Finding a Meaningful Name for Your Muslim Baby

For Muslims, it's always a joy when Allah blesses you with a child. Children bring great happiness but also trials and responsibilities. One of the very first duties you have toward your new child, besides physical care and love, is to give your child a meaningful Muslim name.

It is reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "On the Day of Resurrection, you will be called by your names and by your fathers' names, so give yourselves good names." (Hadith Abu Dawud)

Traditionally, Muslim parents give their newborn a name on the seventh day after birth, at an Aqiqah ceremony marked by a ceremonial sacrifice of a sheep or goat. While in many traditions, names for newborns are selected for their family relevance or other significance, for Muslims, a baby's name is normally selected for religious and spiritual reasons. 

Many  Muslims choose Arabic names, even though it should be remembered that 85% of the world's Muslims are not Arabic by ethnicity, and culturally are not Arabs at all. Still, the Arabic language is extremely important to Muslims, and it is very common for non-Arab Muslims to select Arabic names for their newborns. Similarly, adults who convert to Islam very often adopt new names that are Arabic. Hence, Cassius Clay became Mohammad Ali, singer Cat Stevens became Yusuf Islam, and basketball star Lew Alcindor adopted the name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar--in each case, the celebrities chose a name for its spiritual significance. , 

Here are some resources for Muslim parents seeking a name for their new baby girl or boy: 

Son playing board game in park, with Father talking on phone, Dubai, UAE
Gallo Images - B-C Images/Riser/Getty Images

When choosing a name for a boy, Muslims have several choices. It is recommended to name a boy in a way that indicates service to God, by using 'Abd in front of one of God's Names. Other possibilities include the names of Prophets, names of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad, or other male names which have a good meaning.

There are also some categories of names which are prohibited to use for Muslim children. For example, it is forbidden to use a name that is not used for anyone other than Allah.  More »

Classroom of Out of School Girls project, Kabul, Afghanistan
Danita Delimont/Gallo Images/Getty Images

When choosing a name for a girl, Muslims have several possibilities. It is recommended to name a Muslim child after women mentioned in the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad's family members, or other Companions of the Prophet. There are many other meaningful female names that are also popular. There are some categories of names which are prohibited to use for Muslim children. For example, any name that is, or was, associated with an idol is forbidden, as is any name that has an association with a person known to be of immoral character.  More »

A Treasury of Favorite Muslim Names
Image via Amazon

There are many Muslim baby name books on the market, which include lists of names along with their meanings and possible spellings in English. Here are our recommendations if you would like to look further. More »

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Huda. "Resources for Choosing Muslim Baby Names." ThoughtCo, Jul. 1, 2017, thoughtco.com/muslim-baby-name-guide-2004087. Huda. (2017, July 1). Resources for Choosing Muslim Baby Names. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/muslim-baby-name-guide-2004087 Huda. "Resources for Choosing Muslim Baby Names." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/muslim-baby-name-guide-2004087 (accessed November 17, 2017).