Keeping the names of angels for one's children

Q: Can you name your child angel names?

A: It is makrooh (undesirable) to keep the names of angels. The Hadith has discouraged keeping the names of malaaikah (angels) for one’s children. Similarly, Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had expressed disapproval when he had heard someone keeping the names of malaaikah (angels). Hence, it is better for one not to keep the names of angels for one’s children.

عن عبد الله بن جراد قال صحبني رجل من مؤتة فأتى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وأنا معه فقال يا رسول الله ولد لي مولود فما أخير الأسماء؟ قال: إن أخير أسمائكم الحارث وهمام، ونعم الاسم عبد الله وعبد الرحمن، وسموا بأسماء الأنبياء ولا تسموا بأسماء الملائكة، قال: وباسمك؟ قال: وباسمي (شعب الايمان للبيهقي رقم 8268)

Hazrat Abdullah bin Jaraad (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) relates: “On one occasion, a person from Mutah accompanied me and then came to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) while I was with him. He said, ‘O Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), a child was born to me. What is the best name (to keep for the child)?’ Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, ‘The best of names are Haarith and Hammaam. Abdullah and Abdur Rahmaan are excellent names. Keep the names of Ambiyaa, and do not keep the names of malaaikah (angels).’ He then asked, ‘and (can I keep) your name?’ Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, ‘Yes, you may keep my name.’”

Though this Hadith has been declared as weak according to the muhadditheen, however, it has been corroborated with the following narration of Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu).

وعن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله تعالى عنه أنه قال ما قنعتم بأسماء بني آدم حتى سميتم بأسماء الملائكة (عمدة القاري 15/39)

Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) is reported to have said: “Are you not satisfied with the names of humans, that you are keeping the names of malaaikah (angels)?”

Keeping the names of malaaikah (angels) was not common among the Sahaabah, Taabi'een and our pious predecessors for centuries. Hence, it is best to keep names which conform to the practice of the Sahaabah, Taabi'een and our pious predecessors.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)