None of Allah’s creatures is permitted to enslave any person of the slaves of Allah to other than Him. Therefore, it is not permissible to name somebody `Abdul-Fadeel, `Abdul-Naby, `Abdul-Rasul, `Abd Aly, `Abdul-Husayn, `Abdul-Zahra’, Ghulam Ahmad, Ghulam Mustafa, or any other name which implies enslaving a created being to another. This is because such names involve excessive reverence of pious and prominent people, and therefore, impudence against the Right of Allah (Exalted be He),and a means to Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) and transgression. Moreover, Ibn Hazm narrated the consensus of scholars regarding the prohibition of using names that imply enslaving people to other than Allah (Exalted be He).
Bearing the name “Ghulam Al-Rasul”
Q: In brief, some one was granted Saudi nationality under his name, i.e. ghulamul-Rasul (lit. Servant of the Messenger). However, he does not feel comfortable with this name and wishes to change it unless it is permissible to be called as such.
A: Apparently, Ghulam according to the dilaect of those who name their children as such means servant. Thus, Ghulamul-Rasul means Servant (worshipper) of the Messenger. It is well-known that names such as Abdul-Rahman (lit. Servant of the Merciful), Abdullah (lit. Servant of Allah) and the like symbolizes the servant’s attachment to his Lord in the aspects of worship and submissiveness. Accordingly, a Muslim may not be called Servant of the Messenger, or the like, as it entails Shirk (associating others in worship with Allah). Therefore, the one seeking the fatwa must go to the proper authorities to change his name to a valid one.
May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!
Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta
Deputy Chairman:`Abdul-Razzaq `Afify
Members: `Abdullah ibn Mani` `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan
The following is taken from : Taqwiyat-ul-Iman by Shah Ismail Shaheed (Rahmatullah Alehi)
The acts leading to polytheism:
In difficult times and situations people call upon saints, Prophets, Imam, martyrs, angels and fairies for assistance; make their vows to them, invoke them for the fulfillment of their wishes and even make so-called offerings to them so that their wishes may come true. To avoid ailments, they have no scruples about attributing their sons to those false deities by giving them such names as Abdun-Nabi, Ali Bakhsh, Hussain Bakhsh, Peer Bakhsh, Madar Bakhsh, Salar Bakhsh, Ghulam Muhiuddin and Ghulam Moinuddin etc. Someone raises a plait of hair in the name of a deity, someone slaughters an animal in their names, someone invokes them in a distressed situation and someone swears an oath in their names. This means that the way non-Muslims treat their gods and goddesses, these so-called Muslims also give exactly a similar treatment to the Prophets, saints, Imam, martyrs, angels and fairies. Despite committing all the above sinful acts, they still claim to be Muslims. As Allah has rightfully said:
“And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him.” (V.12: 106)