The guidelines given by the Prophet (sws) in
naming our offspring can be summarized thus:
1. Names which have good meanings should be kept. The
Prophet (sws) used to change names having bad meanings. It is reported in
certain Ahādith that the name of one of the daughters of Umar (rta) was `Aāsiyah
which in Arabic means "a sinning lady". The Prophet (sws) changed her name to
Jamīlah (a beautiful lady).
2. Names which have a ring of superiority should be
avoided. The Prophet (sws) changed the name of one of his wives from Barrah
(which means pious) to Jawayriyyah.
3. Names which are only appropriate for the Almighty
should be avoided. The Prophet (sws) showed his dislike for names such as
Māliku’l amlāk (king of kings).
4. The Prophet (sws) has urged Muslims to keep the names
of the various Prophets of Allah and is reported to have said that the two
names which Allah likes very much are `Abdullāh (Servant of Allah) and `Abdul
Rahmān (Servant of the most Gracious).