Guest Author - Linda Heywood
Chapter 33, verse 5
You shall give your adopted children names that preserve their relationship to their genetic parents. This is more equitable in the sight of God. If you do not know their parents, then, as your brethren in religion, you shall treat them as members of your family. You do not commit a sin if you make a mistake in this respect; you are responsible for your purposeful intentions. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
There are no instructions in the Quran for us to change our names when we become Muslims. For some reason converts to Islam are told they have to choose and ‘Islamic’ name. There are no Islamic names only the names of God that people take for themselves from the Quran. Then they feminise or masculinise the name. Or they copy the names of the Prophet and his wives. There is no reason to change your name just because you choose to follow a certain religion.
If God instructs us to keep the names of the adopted children to preserve their parentage then why would you consider changing a name that your parents gave you? Your name at birth is the name you keep no matter which religion you followed before or which nationality you are.
There are no names specific to Islam that God prefers you to name a child. A name is something chosen by the parents because they like that particular name. A child never gets a say in what it is to be called. The name your parents chose for you is the name God intended for you.
Islam is a paternal religion; the children take the father’s family name. Married women are not obliged to change their names to the name of their husband because they are not a member of that family except by marriage.
What you chose to call yourself is totally up to you and if you chose to change your name then that is your choice. The name I now use is not the name on my birth certificate. My father’s father, my paternal grandfather was adopted. The family who adopted him changed his name to their family name even though Heywood was his original family name on his birth certificate. I decided to use his original family name as it seemed more appropriate than using his adopted name. I did not change my name when I married.
Most names have a meaning. My name Linda for example is originally from the Germanic language and means ‘soft, tender’. In Spanish the word linda means ‘beautiful’. Now, whether my parents named me well is not for me to decide, but the three words above do describe my soul if not my physical appearance.
A name is one of the things in life that defines us as who we are. It does not have to show which nationality we are, which religion we follow, which sex we are (I have a male and female friend both named Angel). If you think about how many different nationalities and cultures exist on the planet, now imagine how many names people have, it is impossible to count.
Some of us have the same names, either because we are related or by coincidence. If I Google my name several other women share it with me but we are not related.
Some names have just one letter such as Su O, Ly O. They are Korean names. (I found all the names on WikiAnswers).
The longest name in the world comes from Bangkok and is:
Krungthepmahanakonbowornratanakosinmahintarayudyayamahadiloponoparatanarajthaniburiromudomrajniwesmahasatarnamornpimarnavatarsatitsakattiyavisanukamphrasit (155 letters).
The hardest name to pronounce is Wlorczyk. It is pronounced, Badarchik. It is a Polish name.
Names come in and go out of fashion. People name their children after their favourite singers, actors or relatives. I was named after an actress from the 1940's named Linda Darnell. Others name their children after places, fruit and vegetables, colours, nature. Some children names are chosen because of the numerology behind the name.
There are an abundance of names we can call our children. It helps to choose a name that is not going to cause your child distress during its lifetime. Children can be cruel and will use an unusual or unrecognised name to taunt another child.
So does your name complement your personality? Do you know what your name means? Take a look at the Behind the Name link below.