On the seventh day after Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was born, his grandfather, ‘Abdul Muttalib, had his ‘aqeeqah. ‘Aqeeqah is where an animal, like the sheep or goat of qurbaani, is slaughtered on the seventh day after a child is born.
After slaughtering the ‘aqeeqah, ‘Abdul Muttalib prepared food with the meat and invited the Quraish to come and eat. When they came, they asked him what name he had given to the new born child. ‘Abdul Muttalib told them that he had named the child Muhammad.
The Quraish were very surprised, because this was a new name. They said to him, “Why did you give him a name which no one, from our fathers and grandfathers until now, has given to their child?” Since the name Muhammad means “the one who is praised and about whom people speak good things”, ‘Abdul Muttalib said, “I named him Muhammad so that Allah Ta‘ala and all the creation will praise him and speak good about him one day.”
Before the birth of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), ‘Abdul Muttalib had seen a dream. He dreamt that an iron chain came out from his back. One end of the chain was going towards the sky, another end of the chain was going towards the earth, another towards the west and another towards the east. After some time, the chain turned into a tree. Every leaf of the tree was shining so brightly that it was even brighter than the sun. People from the east as well as the west were holding onto the branches of this tree. Some of the Quraish were also holding onto the branches of this tree, but a few others from the Quraish were trying to chop the tree down. Whenever these people tried to cut it down, an extremely handsome young man came and pushed them away.
The meaning of this dream was that ‘Abdul Muttalib would have a grandson, and people from the east to the west would follow him. The angels in the sky and people on earth would praise him and speak good about him. This is why ‘Abdul Muttalib kept his name Muhammad (which means ‘The Praised One’).
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was also given the name Ahmad. Before his mother was born, she saw a dream, and in the dream, she was told to name him Ahmad.
In the Quraan Majeed, Allah Ta‘ala uses both names, Muhammad and Ahmad, for our beloved Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also has many other names which explain his beautiful character and qualities.
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