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  Home » Questions asked by Non-Muslims » Do converts to Islam need to change their names?
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Do converts to Islam need to change their names?

The simple answer to this is defiantly NO! The Quran is very clear on this matter.

Chapter (33) sūrat l-aḥzāb (The Combined Forces)

Verse (33:5) Translation Sahih International:

Call them by [the names of] their fathers; it is more just in the sight of Allah. But if you do not know their fathers - then they are [still] your brothers in religion and those entrusted to you. And there is no blame upon you for that in which you have erred but [only for] what your hearts intended. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.

There is no obligation on any new convert to Islam to change their name.

In fact it is a requirement in Islam to keep your fatherís name. Knowing your family roots is very important in Islam. Islam prohibits marriage to direct or close relatives. Therefore knowing who you are related to is very important.

Many people are mislead into abandoning their family name for a new Arabic name on conversion. This is wrong! You must keep your family name no matter what it is. There is no obligation in Islam to change your first name either. If your name is David or Ann then keep it as it is fine.

One should know what the meaning of your name is. If your first name is a word that is associated with something bad or forbidden in Islam then you are free to change it. There is no obligation to change it to an Arabic name.

For Women in Islam it is essential that they keep their fathers name even when they marry. The trend to follow western system of taking the husbandís name on marriage is only a recent trend now being adopted by many Muslims.

This is a western trend from the time when women became the husbandís property on marriage. In Islam the Woman is not the property of her husband. They are equal partners in marriage. It is better for Muslim women to keep their Fathers name on marriage even if they also take their husbands name.

One should always remember that when Islam was revealed to the world it was revealed to people who already had names. The Prophet Muhammad was known by this name before Islam was revealed to him. He was already named by his father and did not change his name on acceptance of Islam. So the statement Islamic name simply means the name of anyone who is a Muslim.

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