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Ruling on giving a child an Amazigh (Berber) name.

Published: 23/03/2011 03:10:00 PM GMT
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I am Amazigh and I want to give my son an Amazigh name. What is the shar‘i ruling on that?

Praise be to Allaah.

There is nothing wrong with giving your son an Amazigh name, because the basic ruling concerning names is that they are permissible, so long as they do not imply worship of anything other than Allah, may He be exalted – i.e., they are not names like “ ‘Abd” plus the name of some created being – and they are not names that are exclusive to the kuffaar. 

But you should choose a good name for your son, because this is one of the rights that he has over you. 

Al-Maawardi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his book Naseehat al-Mulook (p. 167): When a child is born, one of the first ways of honouring him and treating him kindly is to give him a good name, because a good name has an effect on the soul when first hearing it. 

With regard to what is mustahabb when it comes to names, he said: It (the name) should be a good name and be appropriate to the situation of the child; it should be in accordance with the names of the people of his background, religion and status. End quote. 

There is nothing wrong with giving the child names that are common among your people and tribe, so long as you choose names that have a good meaning, because names have meanings and have an impact on the people to whom they are given. 

If you pay attention to names that are used only by Muslims or names that have an Islamic significance, that will be better. The same applies to choosing Arabic names, because of the strong connection between Arabic and Islam. 

See also questions no. 14626 and 7180. 

And Allah knows best.


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