Fatwa n° 813

Category: Miscellaneous Fatwas – Words on scale


Concerning the criterion for knowing
the undesired or forbidden names


What is the criterion for knowing the undesired or forbidden names? And is it possible that you mention some of the prohibited names that people use nowadays or in our era? And may Allah reward you with the blessings.



All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection:

     Prohibited names can be regulated as follows: “Each appellation involving a detestable meaning, or a purification for it, or a name which is a source of pessimism and bad omen when it is negated. Also, a name which denotes an insult, or a name that is specific to Allah عزّ وجلّ and cannot be attributed to none other than Him عزّ وجلّ. This also includes any name that means “a slave” of anyone other than Allah”.

Examples for hideous names: shaytân (Satan), Shihâb (meteor), Dhâlim (oppressor), Himâr (donkey), Kalb or Kulayb (dog). And among that, what was reported in the hadith of Muslim that the Prophetصلّى الله عليه وسلّم  changed the name of a woman called ‘Âsiya (unsubdued) and said: “You are Djamîla (beautiful).(1)

Examples for the loathsome names: Nâhid (a woman with swollen breast)(2), Ghâda (a soft, sweat and delicate woman).(3)

 As for the example of praised names (meaning purification): Azzedîn, Badredîn, Mohyiddîn, Nâsereddîn, Islâm, Îmân, Taqwâ. It is reported in the Sahîhayn (the two authentic books, meaning : Al-Bukhârî and Muslim) that the Prophet صلّى الله عليه وسلّم  changed the name of Barrah to Zaynab”(4), and that was Zaynab bint Jahsh رضي الله عنها.

 Example of names when negated become pessimistic: Najîh, Baraka, Aflah, Yașâr, and Rabâh, to illustrate: “Do not call your son Rabâh, or Yașâr, or Aflah, or Nâfi‘ ”.(5)

  And it is forbidden to call a person with what he dislikes even if it is a defect in himself such as blind or leprous, or mangy; but it is permissible to refer to him with such a defect with a view to identifying him to the one who does not know him unless with that defect.

And it is forbidden to name with what is reserved only to Allah عزّ وجلّ like Al-Quddûs (The All-Holy), Ar-Rahmân (The Most Gracious), Al-Muhaymin (The Lord of Supreme Sway), and Al-Khâliq (The Creator). In addition to these names, “Shâhin Shâh” meaning king of kings, and “Qâdi Al-Qudât” (judge of judges) as he said صلّى الله عليه وسلّم  in the hadith of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه: “The odious man for Allah on the Day of Resurrection; indeed, the bad and the odious one for Him is a man who was called the king of kings. In fact, there is no king but Allah.”(6)

      In connection with this, An-Nawawi رحمه الله  said in “Sharh Muslim”: “Know that the appellation with this name is forbidden and also the appellation with Allah’s names which are specific to Him such as Ar-Rahmân (The Most Gracious), Al-Quddûs (The All-Holy), Al-Muhaymin (The Lord of Supreme Sway), Khâliq Al-Khalq (The Creator of all creation), and others”(7) added to Shâhin Shâh and Qâdi Al-Qudât.

       And for the names that means “a slave” of other than Allah: ‘Abd Az-Zuhayr, ‘Abd Al-‘Uzzâ, ‘Abd An-Nabi, ‘Abd Al-ka’ba and ‘Abd Ar-Rașûl. Also it is not permissible to name with the master of people, the master of Arabs, the master of scholars and the master of judges, because it contains purification and lie.

It should be noted that the addressee in that case are the parents who name their kids with names that contain such meanings including praising and so on.

If it is a proper name that does not carry purification, it does not matter to name with such as Tayib, Sâlih, ‘Ali, and other names which have a nice meaning wishing to be realized in the person named.

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Algiers on Rabî’ Al-Awwal the 9th, 1428 H

Corresponding to March the 28th, 2007 G


(1)   Reported by Muslim (2139), from the hadith of Ibn ‘Omar رضي الله عنه.

(2)   See:  “Al-Mu’jam Al-Wașît”  (2/957).

(3) The previous source: (02/667). See also: “Fath Al-Bârî” by Ibn Hajar (10/ 576).

(4) Agreed upon: Reported by .

(5)  Reported by Muslim (2163), from the hadith of Samurata Ibn Jundub رضي الله عنه.

(6) Agreed upon: Reported by Al-Bukhârî (6205) and Muslim (2143), from the hadith of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه.

(7)   See:  “Sharh Muslim” by An-Nawawî (14/122).

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