Saturday, January 31, 2009

Islamic Names-do I have to change mine?

After you convert/revert to Islam you may meet some who pressure you to change your name to an Islamic name. This is not a practice that comes from the sunnah (the actions of the Prophet Mohammed as he guided the early Muslims) so if you wish, you may keep the name you were given by your parents. To change your name to an "Islamic one" is not required unless your name is of something un-Islamic, like the name of a god (Zeus or Diana) or contrary to the teachings of Islam. My birth name is a feminine variant of Christopher, which means Christ-bearer. As a Muslim, I believe in Jesus, and love Isa, but I do not refer to him as Christ (the son of God, or part of the shirk of the trinity) so I changed my name to Intisar (which means Triumph---as I wish to battle all my personal naffs and beat them to become a better Muslimah). Some choose to take on an Islamic name and some do not to symbolize their rebirth or reversion to God's path. If you choose to do so, it doesn't have to legally change, but Muslims should call you by your new name, since it's written that God will call you by that name on Judgement Day. For a dictionary of Muslim names check out this link for muslim names and meanings

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