135: Ruling on naming humans with the names of angels


As-Salaamu 'Alaikum wa RaHmatullahBy Allah's mercy, many Muslims are entering Islaam in America.Many Muslims change their names after accepting Islaam. Some change their names to names of angels like Jibreel or Mika'il, etc. According to the 'aqeedah of Ahl-us-Sunnah, angels are neither male nor female. If one says they are male, this is bida'ah and if one says they are female, thisis kufr. So, I would like to know in light of all of this, what is the proper status of changing ones name to the nameof an angel. Is it haraam, makruh, mubaH, etc.?Please help me with this answer for I have been asking and I have yet to receive a response. May Allah rewrd you foryour answer. What advice would you give someone who has changed his or her name to the name of an angel? was-salaam.

Al-hamdu lillah.,

Ibn ul-Qayyim said in his book "Tuhfat il-Mawdood fi Ahkaam il-Mawlood" in the second chapter under "What is preferred among the names and what is considered reprehensible among them" said:

... and among them are the names of the angels such as Gibraa'eel and Meekaa'eel and Israafeel, it is makrooh to name human beings with these names. Ash'had said: Imam Maalik (may Allah have mercy upon him) was asked regarding naming someone the name Gibreel he abhorred it and it didn't please him; Judge 'ayaad said: "... and others allowed it." Abdul-Razzak said in al-Jaami' via Ma'mar: "I said to Hammaad ibn Abi Sulaiman what would you say regarding a man whose name is Gibreel or Mikaa'eel, and he responded, 'There is no objection.' (laa ba's bi-hi)"

Regarding the hadeeth:

"laa tusammow bi-asmaa' il-malaa'ikah" ("don't name yourselves with the names of the angels"),

al-Bukhari has said that the validity of its chain of narration is questionable. This means that the hadith would not be considered sahih. ("Tuhfat il-Mawdood," p. 83)

In al-Mawsoo'ah al-Fiqhiyya most of the scholars have ruled that using the names of the angels like Gibreel and Mikaa'eel is not makrooh (disagreeable or reprehensible). Maalik, on the other hand, has ruled that it is makrooh. (al-Mawsoo'ah al-Fiqhiyya, al-Kuwait, Vol 11/p.334)

Some have stated that the meaning of Gibreel is Abdullah and likewise Mikaa'eel. See Tafseer Ibn Katheer under aayaat numbers 97-98 in Surat il-Baqarah.

Thus, based on what has been presented, it is preferable not to use the names of the angels, and that we follow the rightly-guided forefathers in the naming of our children and in the naming of those who accept Islam among the non-believers. The most preferred names, no doubt, are Abdullah and Abdul-Rahman as has been related in the sound hadeeth. wallahu a'lam. And Allah knows best.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
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