Category: Misc. Fiqh
Fatwa#: 17763
Asked Country: South Africa

Answered Date: Mar 26,2009

Title: Can you tell me the meaning and also if its OK to keep the name Yasrab for my son?

Question

Can you tell me the meaning and also if its OK to keep the name Yasrab for my son? 

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

We acknowledge receipt of your enquiries and the response follows hereunder:

Psychologists now acknowledge the effect a person's name has on his life. But Muhammad, Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, had revealed this fact to his followers already 1400 years ago. His teaching to his followers was that children should be given good names, and that meaningless names and those having unsavory connotations should be avoided. Subsequently, we find many incidents mentioned in the Hadith where Rasulullah, Sallallahu alayhi wasallam, changed the names of people with this object.

Another aspect of a person's name is that it bespeaks a person's religion. Hence, the name of a Muslim is usually of such a nature that by the mere mention of it, the listener understands that the person so addressed, is a Muslim. It is for this reason that the Shariah laid great emphasis on keeping good and pleasant names.

But since the spread of Western culture throughout the world, it has become customary amongst Muslims not to take into cognizance the meaning of the name when naming a child. Many do not even bother to ascertain whether it is permissible for one to keep such a name or not. Often, even if the name is correct and suitable, then by way of abbreviating it, its Islamic connotation is distorted. In fact, at times it even becomes unlawful to address one by such a name. For example, Abdur-Rahmaan is called Rahmaan; Abdur-Razzaaq, Razaaq; Abdul-Wahhaab, Wahhaab - whereas Rahmaan, Razzaaq and Wahhaab are the exclusive epithets of Allah Ta'ala. To address any creation by such a name is therefore unlawful.

Nabi Sallallahu alayhi wasallam prohibited from using such names which are only for Allah Ta’ala. Imam Muslim narrates on the authority of Abu Huraira (Rahmatullahi ‘alayhi) Nabi Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:

عن أبي هريرة  : عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال ( إن أخنع اسم عند الله رجل تسمى ملك الأملاك )

مسلم 5734

“The most despicable name in the sight of Allah is the king of kings”

Explaining this narration Mufti Taqi Uthmani (Damaat Barakatuhum) mentions:

و به ظهر ان ما تعورف فى عصرنا من تلخيص اسم عبد الرحمن الى رحمن و تلخيص عبد القدوس الى قدوس لا يجوز شرعا و لا يجوز النداء او الخطاب به والله سبحانه اعلم (تكملة فتح الملهم 4/217 مكتبة دار العلوم كراتشى)

Imam Bukhari mentions that once a person came to Nabi Sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Nabi Sallallahu alayhi wasallam asked him his name. He replied Hazn (meaning hard natured). Nabi Sallallahu alayhi wasallam advised him to change his name to Sahl (meaning soft natured). The person replied that he does not want to change the name his parent’s had given him. The narrator of this hadeeth Sa’eed, who happens to be the grandson of Hazn says our family was always hard natured.

عن ابن المسيب عن أبيه أن أباه جاء إلى النبى - صلى الله عليه وسلم - فقال « ما اسمك » . قال حزن .

قال « أنت سهل » . قال لا أغير اسما سمانيه أبى . قال ابن المسيب فما زالت الحزونة فينا بعد

Nabi Sallallahu alayhi wasallam advised that we keep good names.

Imam Abu Dawood (Rahmatullahi alayhi) narrates a on the authority of Abu-Darda (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu)

عن أبى الدرداء قال قال رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- « إنكم تدعون يوم القيامة بأسمائكم وأسماء آبائكم فأحسنوا أسماءكم ».  سنن أبى داود 4950

“On the day of judgement you will be called by your name and your father’s name, therefore keep good names.” (Abu Dawood Pg. 320 H.M. Saeed)

Nabi Sallallahu alayhi wasallam said:

قال رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- « تسموا بأسماء الأنبياء وأحب الأسماء إلى الله

عبد الله وعبد الرحمن وأصدقها حارث وهمام وأقبحها حرب ومرة ». سنن أبى داود 4952

“Keep the names of the ambiyaa. The most beloved of names unto Allah are Abdullah and Abdur Rahman. The most truthful names are Harith and Hammam. The most detestable names are Harb and Murra”.

(Abu Dawood Pg. 320 H.M. Saeed)

Allama Qurtubi explains that any other names which are similar to the names Abdullah and Abdur Rahman, example Abdur Raheem, Abdul Malik, Abdus Samad et, are also as beloved to Allah.

قال القرطبي : يلتحق بهذين الاسمين ما كان مثلهما كعبد الرحيم وعبد الملك وعبد الصمد

فتح البارى 10/585 سلفية

Names with bad meanings are disliked. For example, the name Harb (war) and Murrah (bitter). It was the noble practice of Nabi Sallallahu alayhi wasallam to change names containing a bad meaning.

 Imam Tirmizi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayhi) narrates:

عن عائشة أن النبى -صلى الله عليه وسلم- كان يغير الاسم القبيح سنن الترمذى 3073

“Nabi Sallallahu alayhi wasallam used to change bad names”

With regards to your query, the name Yasrab (ﻳﺴﺮﺏ) means for the water to flow or to saturate in the earth and if it is (ﻳﺼﺮﺏ) means the milk which is in the udders of the cow.

May Allah guide all of us to the straight path, and guide us to that which pleases Him.

 

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Wassalamu Alaykum

Ml. Mohammad Ashhad bin Said

Correspondence Iftaa Student, Mauritius

 

Checked and Approved by:

 

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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