Naming the Child
Importance of naming the child
It is narrated from Ima-m al-Ka-dhim (as) that the first good a father can do for his child is to give him a good name.
It is the right of the child that his parents give him a good name and treat him well. 211 In another tradition it is narrated that among the rights of a child are a good name, teaching him to write and marrying him off when he reaches the age of bulugh. 212
When to name the child
It is narrated from Ima-m ‘Ali- (as): “A child should be named while in the stomach, and if not named and is miscarried, on the Day of Judgement it will ask its father, “Why did you not name me?” The Prophet (s) named Muhsin, the son of Hadrat Fa-tima while in the stomach, and Muhsin is that child that after the Prophet (s) passed away, he was still in the stomach when ‘Umar made him a martyr.”
It is narrated from the Ima-ms (as) that: “A son is not born to us, the Ahlul Bayt, except that he is named Muhammad for 7 days, and then if desired, it can be changed or removed.” 213
It has been mentioned in Fiqh al-Rida- that fix the name (i.e. announce the name to others) on the 7th day.
Naming the children after the Ahlul Bayt (as) is an open declaration of love and friendship towards them, and religion is nothing but love and friendship of the Ahlul Bayt (as), as Alla-h (swt) states in the Noble Qur’an, in Surat A-li-‘Imra-n, Verse 31:
“If you love Alla-h (swt), then follow me (the Prophet (s)); Alla-h (swt) will love you…”
It is narrated from Ima-m al-Ba-qir (as) that the most suitable names for a child are those that denotes servitude to Alla-h (swt), like ‘Abdulla-h (servant of Alla-h (swt)), and the best names for a child are those of the Prophet (s)s.
The Prophet (s) said that whoever has four children and has not named any of them after me, has oppressed me. 214
It is narrated from the Prophet (s): “In a house where the names of some of the individuals are of Prophet (s)s, the blessings of that house will never disappear.” 215
In another tradition, it has been narrated from Ima-m al-Ka-dhim (as) that poverty and indigence will never enter the house in which the name Muhammad, or Ahmad, or ‘Ali-, or Hasan, or Husain, or Ja’far, or Ta-lib, or ‘Abdulla-h, or Fa-tima is present. 216
It is narrated from Ima-m Husain (as): “If I had a hundred children, I would have liked to name all of them ‘Ali-.” 217
It is narrated that a person came to the Prophet (s) and asked, “A son has come to us, what should I name him?” The Prophet (s) replied, “Name him the best of names with me, and that is Hamza.”
It is narrated from Ja-bir who said: I went with Ima-m al-Ba-qir (as) to someone’s house and a child came out. Ima-m asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Muhammad.” Ima-m asked him, “What is your title (kunyah)?” He replied, “Abu ‘Ali-.” Ima-m said, “You have taken yourself out of Satan’s stronghold. Surely, every time Satan hears someone being called, Ya Muhammad! Ya ‘Ali-! he withers away and when he hears someone being called by the name of our enemies, he becomes happy and takes pride in that.”
In another tradition it is narrated that someone came to Ima-m as-Sa-diq (as) and said that Alla-h (swt) had given him a boy. Ima-m congratulated him, and asked, “What have you named him?” He replied, “Muhammad.” Ima-m turned his head down towards the floor and kept repeating the name Muhammad until his face almost touched the ground. Then he said, “My life, my children, my wives, my father, my mother and all of the people of this earth be sacrificed for the Prophet (s). Because you have given him such a blessed name, do not abuse him and do not hit him and do not make bad reach him. And know this that there is not a house in which the name of Muhammed is present, but that everyday, that house is made Noble and pure.”
In another tradition it is narrated that one should respect a daughter whose name is Fa-tima and not abuse her and never hit her. 218
The titles of Hadrat Fa-tima (as) can also be used for names of daughters:
Muba-raka: The one who is blessed.
Ta-hira: The one who is pure.
Zakiyya: The one who is wise.
Ra-diya: The one who is content.
Mardiyya: The one whom Alla-h (swt) is pleased with.
Siddi-qa: The one who is truthful.
Muhaddathah: The one that angels talk to.
Muhaddithah: The one that narrates traditions.
Zahra: The luminous one.
Names not recommended
In several traditions it has been narrated that the Prophet (s) has forbidden naming a child with the following names: Ha-kim, Hakim, Kha-lid and Ma-lik. And he has said that the worst names with Alla-h (swt) are Ha-rith, Ma-lik and Kha-lid. And when the name is Muhammad, he has forbidden 4 titles (kunyah): Abu ‘Isa-, Abul Hakim, Abu Ma-lik and Abul Qa-sim, as both the name and title are not agreeable to the Prophet (s).
In tradition, it has been narrated that one should not name the child Ya-si-n, as that is specific to the Prophet (s).
211 Mustadrak al-Wasa-il, vol. 15, pg. 128, no. 17748
212 Ibid., vol. 15, pg. 166, no. 17876
213 al-Ka-fi-, vol. 6, pg. 18, no. 4
214 Tahdhib al-Bala-gha, vol. 7, pg. 438, no. 11
215 Mustadrak al-Wasa-il, vol. 15, pg. 129, no. 17751
216 al-Ka-fi-, vol. 6, pg. 19, no. 8
217 al-Ka-fi-, vol. 6, pg. 19, no. 7
218 al-Ka-fi-, vol. 6
Adapted from the book: "From Marriage to Parenthood; The Heavenly Path" by: "Abbas and Shahin Merali"
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