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Salam. We chose the name Isaiah for our son because it has a good meaning even though it is Hebrew not Arabic. Now we have been told it is wrong/haram to keep it because it is not a Muslim name. Do we need to change it?

We also found the name Isaiah in an Islamic book, stories of the prophets by ibn katheer, so we thought is good in Islam. But people still say it is not a muslim name and we should change it. Please help, thanks.

Answer

This is an official answer by QuranicNames.com Staff

Scholars in general do not like Muslim children to be named after characters mentioned in the Bible but not in the Quran or hadith, for example Benyameen/Benjamin is the name of Prophet Yusuf's brother in the Bible, but Muslims do not generally use it as a name. But there is no rule against it, it is just a preference.

For this reason you can use Isaiah as a Muslim name, but  it is a question of whether you like the name enough to be ready to have to explain and justify it to all the uninformed Muslims who will say it is wrong/haram.

Reader Comments:

  1. Joanne on Monday 5th of May 2014 03:58:23 PM

    A muslim name is any name that has a good meaning… I understand your frustration because as a convert some people have said that I need to change my name, purely because its English, to an Arabic one but I know loads of Turkish people who have purely Turkish names and no one advices them to change theirs because Turkey is a Muslim majority country. This is even the case when the person has a name such as Savas (which means war) which is one of the few names the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did advise should be changed.
    What we need to remember is that at the time of revelation of the Quran nowhere was a Muslim country… If we want Islam to spread it needs to assimilate (where no sin is incurred) and not be seen as something that excludes.
    As far as your childs name is concerned it has a very good meaning and on top of that it is the name of a prophet – who wasn’t mentioned in the Quran but who is agreed upon as being a prophet by scholars.
    I think it is very honorable that you take your duty to name your child seriously but what we must remember that people are judged on their deeds. If your son Isaiah grows up with that name but being taught righteousness and humility then it is surely good for him. And if a person is given the name Ismael is brought up to be a Muslim in terms of culture only (avoiding Pork because its dirty but drinking alcohol if he likes, not really understanding the tenants of Islam, never praying but feeling sure of his place in the afterlife because of his name and ethnicity only) then that is surely bad for him.

  2. Anonymous on Saturday 20th of August 2016 10:04:49 PM

    “Scholars in general do not like Muslim children to be named after characters mentioned in the Bible but not in the Quran or hadith”

    Well, those “Scholars” aren’t doing a very good job misinforming Muslims. Isaiah IS an accepted prophet, and SO IS other prophets like Daniel, Samuel, Jeremiah, and JUST because they’re NOT mentioned in the Quran DOES NOT MEAN we should consider these names as “unacceptable” as it’s very DISRESPECTFUL to these important, wise, ISLAMIC prophets.

    “Benyameen/Benjamin is the name of Prophet Yusuf’s brother in the Bible, but Muslims do not generally use it as a name. But there is no rule against it, it is just a preference.”

    Um, just because it may not be as popular compared to other Muslim names, does NOT mean Muslims think it’s a “bad name” (which it VERY much sounds like you’re implying/accusing all Muslims of doing so; as Muslims we ALL respect prophet Yaqub’s son).

    “For this reason you can use Isaiah as a Muslim name, but it is a question of whether you like the name enough to be ready to have to explain and justify it to all the uninformed Muslims who will say it is wrong/haram.”

    Well, those Muslims who say it’s “haram” are making themselves look very stupid.

    To anyone considering using this name: Go for it!

    DON’T let this website put you off from using this name as TRUST ME, this website has a silly habit of making out that religious names like Samuel, Daniel, Benjamin, Joshua etc. shouldn’t be used by Muslims just because they’re popularly used by Jews and Christians when Muslims believe in these important figures too! These names ARE part of Muslim culture, NOT apart.

    At the end of the day, any good meaningful name from any origin is acceptable in Islam, simple as. 🙂

  3. Anonymous on Sunday 11th of September 2016 11:15:37 AM

    This question is ridiculous. There is no haram / halal “name”. If I wanted to name my kid Yellow Pants, it does not matter. As long as the kid is a good person, name is irrelevant from an Islamic perspective. You just need to like the name and make sure it’s not embarrassing for this kid in the future

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