Monday, 8 October 2018

Naming Boys With Names of Angels

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

وَالْصَّلَاةُ والْسَّلَامُ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ الْكَرِيمِ

وَعَلَى اَهْلِ بَيتِهِ الْطَّيِّبِينَ الْطَّاهِرِينَ الْمَظْلُومِينَ

Many Muslims today, including those who are considered Ulama, regard it as inappropriate or even a bid’a (reprehensible innovation) to name a child after one of the Angels such as Jibra’il, Mika’il or Israfil (peace be upon them). Certainly, it is inappropriate and wrong to name a girl after an Angel, however, there is a difference of opinion over naming a boy after an Angel. Ma’mar asked the great jurist and mujtahid, Hammad b. Abi Sulayman (d.120 H):

قُلْتُ لِحَمَّادِ بْنِ أَبِي سُلَيْمَانَ : كَيْفَ تَقُولُ فِي رَجُلٍ يُسَمَّى بِجِبْرِيلَ ، وَمِيكَائِيلَ ؟ فَقَالَ : لا بَأْسَ بِهِ

I said to Hammad ibni Abi Sulayman: “What will you say about a man named Jibril or Mika’il?” He said: “There is no problem in it.” (Musannaf Abd ur-Razzaq)

From among the trustworthy and sound narrators of Hadith was a man, Abu Hatim Jibril b. al-Fadl b. Mujaa as-Samarqandi, whose name was Jibril (Tarikh Baghdad v.8 p.199):

In conclusion, there is no problem with naming a Muslim boy after one of the Angels like Jibra’il, Mika’il or Israfil. Although Angels are a different kind of creation that do not have any gender distinction among them, and hence are neither male nor female, they are masculine from a linguistic angle. When the Angels descend in human form, they descend in the form of men or boys, as it is well known about the Angel Gabriel (Jibra’il) and the Angels that came to the Prophet Lot (Lut). Allah Most High specifically condemns the doctrine of considering Angels to be female (Sura 37:150; 43:19).

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