Naming the Child

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Correspondence of Hazrat Moulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahimahullah) 

Letter: 

Respected Moulana,

As-Salaamu alaikum warahmatullah

My husband and I have been discussing the issue of the naming of children. We would like to know whose right it is to name the child. Is it the father’s right or the mother’s right? We have been getting different feedback and contradicting answers and we thus decided we will settle on what you say.

Reply:

Respected Sister in Islam

Wa alaikumus Salaam wa Rahmatullah

1. The issue of naming of children has been the cause of tremendous heartache, as well as division and even breakdown in marriages. So let us not go by the book. There is no hard and fast rule. Islamic history proves that in some cases the name was given by the father, sometimes the mother, sometimes the grandparents, sometimes the mentor, or the teacher.

2. I generally suggest to couples who quarrel over names, that each should submit a list of 3 names: Three names given by the father (who definitely has the Islamic right) and three names given by the mother. Thereafter, try to come to an agreement on one of the names. 

3. If the couple cannot agree, select a name which is the choice of the husband, and one which is the choice of the wife. Write the names on pieces of paper, fold them and get a child to choose one. Then be happy with the choice. 

Was Salaamu alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Baraakatuh

Yunus Patel (Maulana)

Editors Note: Do keep in mind that when choosing a name, it is not how unusual the name is, or sounds. What is important is the meaning of the name, or the piety of the person whom the child is being named after.