As there are many rights of children upon the parents (for example teaching Adab [etiquette], performing ‘Aqeeqah etc.), giving good names to children is also one of their responsibilities.
The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has stated, ‘It is the right of a child upon his father to give him a good name.’ (Musnad Bazzaar, vol. 15, pp. 176, Hadees 8540)
Who should give name to a child?
Basically, the responsibility of giving name to a child lies on the father of the child. Sometimes this responsibility is transferred to any close relative for example grandmother, paternal aunt, paternal uncle etc., who usually do not have the Islamic knowledge and they give such names to children which have no meanings or the meanings do not sound good. So, consult the learned people before giving names to your children.
How should names be?
Respected parents! Perform your responsibility well by giving good names to your children. Which kinds of names are good and which are not good? In this regard, Hakeem-ul-Ummat Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Na’eemi رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه said, ‘A good name is that which is not meaningless for example ‘Budhoa’ [بُدھوا], ‘Talwa’ [تَلوا] etc., [are the meaningless names]. The names should not have the meaning of pride and arrogance for example ‘Badshah’ [king], ‘Shahanshah’ [emperor] etc., and nor should the names have bad meanings such as ‘Aasi’ (sinful) etc. It is better that the names should be given after the blessed Prophets عَلَيْهِمُ السَّلَام, blessed companions, Ahl-e-Bayt Athaar رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُم such as Ibraheem, Isma’eel, ‘Usman, ‘Ali, Hussain, Hasan etc.; similarly female children should be given names after the following personages: Aasiyah, Fatimah, ‘Aishah etc. One who gives the name ‘Muhammad’ to his son will be forgiven اِنْ شَـآءَ اللّٰە and he will see the blessings of it in the world. (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 5, pp. 30)
Do not give the names containing the meaning of pride
Respectable parents! Remember, according to Islamic teachings, it is forbidden to give such names to children which contain the meaning of pride. The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has stated, ‘On the Day of Judgement, the person with the worst name in the sight of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ is that who is named Malak-ul-Amlaak (i.e., the king of kings); Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ alone is the King. (Sahih Muslim, pp. 911, Hadees 5610)
People will be called by their names on the Day of Judgement
The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has stated, ‘On the Day of Judgement you will be called by your names and the names of your fathers, so give yourselves good names.’ (Abu Dawood, vol. 4, pp. 374, Hadees 4984)
Those who name their children after any movie actor or non-Muslim مَعَاذَ اللّٰە should learn a lesson from this blessed Hadees. What will be more humiliating than this that the children of Muslims be called out by the names of non-Muslims on the plain of resurrection?
May Allah Almighty grant us Taufeeq to give good names [to our children] according to the Islamic teachings.
اٰمِيۡن بِجَاهِ النَّبِيِّ الۡاَمِيۡن صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم
Note: Which names should be given to children? For more Shar’i guidance, read 179-page book ‘Naam Rakhnay kay Ahkam’, a publication of Maktaba-tul-Madinah, Dawat-e-Islami.