Ruling on giving names indicating servitude to other than Allah – Fatwas of Nur Ala Al-Darb

Q: Some people commonly give their children names such as `Abdul-Nabiy (the servant of the Prophet), `Abdul-Hussayn (the servant of Al-Hussayn). What is the opinion of your Eminence on such names? Please advise us. May Allah reward you well.

A: It is impermissible to give names indicating servitude to other than Allah (Exalted be He), i.e. it is prohibited to say `Abdul-Nabiy, `Abd Aly, `Abdul-Hussayn and so on. This is Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islamic law and Muslims of sound intellect), for such names should be denoting servitude to Allah Alone like `Abdul-Rahman (The Servant of The Most Compassionate), `Abdul-Rahim (The Servant of the Most Merciful), `Abdul-Malik (The Servant of The Sovereign), `Abdul-Quddus (The Servant of The Most Holy) etc. This is the right form of servitude, which is to be declared to None but Allah.

Ibn Hazm Abu Muhammad said:

The widely-known opinion of scholars is to prohibit any name indicating servitude to other than Allah, such as `Abd `Umar, `Abd Al-Ka`bah and the like with the exception of `Abdul-Muttalib, as there is disagreement on that. In other words, scholars agree upon prohibiting this. Therefore, it is impermissible to give names showing servitude to other than Allah (Exalted be He) regardless of who the person is. Accordingly, it is impermissible to say: `Abdul-Hussayn, `Abd `Umar, `Abdul-Nabiy, `Abdul-Ka`bah and the like. Rather, a person should use either names signifying servitude to Allah (Exalted be He) or other names like Salih, Muhammad, Ahmad, Zayd, Khalid, Bakr and the like.

Source : alifta.net – Fatwas of Nur `Ala Al-Darb