Have you ever wondered how difficult or almost impossible it would have been if people and things dont have a name? Living would be one difficult thing to do. All praise is due to Allaah who has made things easy for us by giving things names and teaching us those names. Allaah says, "And He taught Adam all the names (of everything" (Q2:31). So Allaah taught our father Adam (peace be upon him) the names of all things. If it were not important or useful, names of things would not have been the first thing that Allaah taught to Adam (peace be upon him).
It was in the year, 1989/1990, a fellow student at the University of Ibadan was about to turn back from entering the library at the Computer Science Department. He related what happened: " I was outside for some time, and apparently someone just entered before I did, so when they started greeting one another I could have sworn that the people inside were either gangsters or armed robbers except that I had heard those names before; the greeting went thus: "Jaido (Jide), Fikiye (Tawfeeq), Bori, Gboye (Gboyega), Giwo Santana (Mr. Giwa) and on and on and on". What of the" Story of a bus conductor, who on having a small skirmish with another road user, started demonstrating on the road and shouting" E mo mi ni, emi atupa" (You dont know me, me lantern)? Strange isnt it? Some think its cool to have all . sort of strange names / nicknames, and am sure you know quite a handful.
This is especially true of the youth, from secondary schools to tertiary institutions. The stranger the name, the better. But is it? By the time they grow older and start a family of their own, they would be ashamed to be called by these very names. Names and its types In Islaam, names that we bear could be of any of five types. Ism: This is the birth name or. what is usually called first name, e.g. Adam, Muhammad, Abdullaah, etc.
In theses parts, we call these our Muslim name or our Sunne Nasab: This refers to ones lineage. It is not unusual to find in Islaam someone being called by his fathers name. So we have names like Ibn Umar (son of Umar) 0 Ibn Abbass etc. Allaah says, "Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just with Allah. But if you know not their fathers (names, call them) your brothers in faith." (Q33:5).
However, over time, the nasab get frozen and Ibn Hanbal or Ibn Taymiya does not necessarily means the direct son of Hanbal, but perhaps the grandson. Kunya: This usually refers to ones offspring, so we hear of Abu Hafsah (father of Hafsah), Abu Hamza etc. Or when a woman bears a child, she then drops her own name and becomes the mother of .. e.g Umm Habibah (the mother of Habibah). It is not all the time that the kunya refers to an offspring, sometimes it might be just a nick name like Abu Hurayra (father of kittens).
Also, it is not only adults that bear kunyas; I the Messenger of Allaah (peace ( and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to give kunyas to children. He gave the kunya of Abu Umayr to a younger brother of Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) and Umm Khalid to one young companion who was a girl at the time. Laqab: These are titles bestowed as : an honour, a description of the person or a nickname e.g Dhul Yadain (the one with two hands)
Nisbah: These are names that points to profession, geographic origin, residence or place of birth for example al- Makki (from Makkah), al-Jilani (from Jilan) Recommendation about names
Bear good names: One of the most important rule about all the above-mentioned types of names (Ism,Nasab ,Kunya ,Laqab and Nisbah) is that you can only bear names that are good. And the good names are names that are pleasing to Allaah, His Messenger or approved by the consensus of the righteous scholars. Narrated Abu Wahb al-Jushami (may Allaah be pleased with him): The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Call yourselves by the names of the Prophets.
The names dearest to Allah are Abdullah .and AbdurRahman, the truest are Harith (one who cultivates) and Hammam (one who loves to do things), and the worst are Harb (war) and Murrah (bitter)." (Abu Dawuud) In fact, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to change the names or nickname of his Companions that have bad meanings. Narrated Aisha (may Allaah be pleased with her): "The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to change a bad name. (Tirmidhi).
And he changed the name of Umars daughter amongst many others that he did. Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him): "Allah's Messenger ( pea c e and blessings of Allaah be upon him) changed the name of Asiyah (Disobedient) and said: "You are Jamilah (i.e. good and handsome)". (Muslim).
As for nicknames, Hani ibn Yazid narrated: "When Hani went with his people in a deputation to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he heard them calling him by his kunyah (surname), AbulHakam. So the Messenger tJl Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon turn) called him and said: Allah is the Judge (al-Hakam), and to Him judgment belongs. Why are you given the kun y et: AbuIHak"am? He replied: When my people disagree about a matter, they come to me, and I decide between them, and both parties are satisfied with my decision.
He said: How good this is! What children have you? He replied: I have Shurayh, Muslim and Abdullah. He asked; Who is the oldest of them? I replied: Shurayh. He said: Then you are Abu Shurayh. (Abu Dawud) Avoid bad names and nicknames: Allaah says, "O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group, it may be that the latter are better than the former; nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former, nor defame one another, nor insult one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it, to insult ones brother after having Faith [i.e.. to call your Muslim brother (a faithful believer) as: "0 sinner", or "0 wicked", etc.]. (Q49:11)
And the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, "The most awful name in Allah's sight on the Day of Resurrection, wi/l be (that of) a man calling himself Malik AI-Amlak (the king of kings)." (Bukhari) Avoid names of tyrants and known disbelievers: It is also disliked to use the names of known evil doers/well known disbelievers. For example, Shay tan (Satan),Firawn (Pharaoh), Qarun etc. Avoid names that are "too. good": In the story of Abu Hakam narrated above, the reason why the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked him to change his name was because the name was an exaggeration even though one can say it is good. For this reason he also changed the name of his wife. Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allaah be pleased with him): "The name of Juwayriyyah (the wife of the Prophet) was Barrah (Pious). Allahs Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) changed her name to Juwayriyyah and said: "I did not like that it should be said: He had come out from Barrah (Pious)." (Muslim) The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "I do not name your servant Rabah (winner) or Aflah (successful) or Yasar (facilitator) or Najih (successful), because it would be said, Is he there? And the answer would be (if he is not), . No. (Abu Dawud) He also said, "I will surely prohibit naming Rafi (lifter), Barakah (blessing), or Yese)" (Tirmidhi)
Storie: Good Names" Bad Names: Narrated AI Musaiyab: "That his father (Hazn bin Wahb) went to the Prophet and the Prophet asked (him), "What is your name?" He replied, "My name is Hazn.(rugged)" The Prophet said, "You are SahI (smooth) ." Hazn said, "I will not Change the name with which my father has named me." Ibn AI-Musaiyab added: We have had roughness (in character) ever since. (Bukhari)
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked about a milk camel about to be milked, "Who milks this camel?" A man stood up. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "What is your name?" The man said, "Murra (bitterness)." The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to him, "Sit down." Then he said, "Who milks this one?" A man stood up and the of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, "What is your name?" He said, "Harb (war)." The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, "Sit down." Then he said, "Who milks this camel?" A man stood up, and the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon .him) said to him, "What is your name?" The man said, "Yaish (he lives)." The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to him, "Milkr (Muwatta)
Umar ibn al-Khattab asked a man what his name was. He said, "Jarnra (live coal)." "The son of who?" He said, "Ibn Shihab (meteor, flame)." "From whom?" He said, "From al- Huraqa (burning)." "Where do you live?" He said, "At Harrat an-Nar (lava field of the fire). "At which one of them?" He said, flames)." Umar said, "Go and look at your family - they have been burned." And it .was as Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said." (Muwwatta). Be careful about the you bear and watch that guy name or nickname that you wish to attach to yourself.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited