A Reverts Guide to Islam

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Islam began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began, so give glad tidings to the strangers.”

Decision to Change your name

As a new Muslim changing your name to a muslim name might have crossed your mind or perhaps you have been pressured by other muslims to change your now that you are muslim. You are feeling confused and overwhelmed.

A convert to Islam is not obliged to change their name to a muslim name. However, if the non-muslim name has a meaning that is against Islam
then selecting a new name would be advisable.

If something is not classified as haram (prohibited) in the Deen (religion/way of life of a Muslim), then it is halal (permitted). Retaining a name that (1) does not identify itself with/contain anything Islamically forbidden and (2) is not a Name of Allah , has not been declared haram. It is according to sunnah (the examples of the Prophet's life what he said, did, implemented, how he implemented), to change a bad name (whether it is an arabic name or any other language) immediately, and it is permissible according to sunnah to exchange a name for a better one.

Changing your name to a muslim name can be done: - either through the official name changing channels, resulting in a name change on your bank account, passport etc. - alternatively, it can be as simple as selecting your new name and asking others to use it, leaving your official name as that given on your birth certificate.

The latter option tends to be the most popular amongst new muslims, and is perfectly acceptable.
Having decided on the new name the convert can tell friends and family as appropriate, realizing that telling parents that the name they chose for you as a baby has now been changed, could be a delicate matter. A number of converts continue to be known to their families by their non-Muslim names, at least until the family have accepted their change in religion.

There are many Muslim names to pick from, and the names listed below are only a few out of the many. Some converts prefer to pick a Muslim name that is similar in sounding to their non-muslin name, whereas others, prefer a brand new name that is different, a totally new name for a new start.


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