Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
We want our beautiful little ones to have beautiful names. But which names are really beautiful, and which are the most pleasing to Allah (swt)? The Prophet (saws) has left guidance for us in this matter as he has done in all other matters. So let us look at some of the best names to give to our children.
The Prophet saws said,
The most beloved names to Allah the Exalted are Abdullah, the servant of Allah, and Abdur Rahman, the servant of the Merciful. [Abu Dawud]
Being the ‘abd of Allah is the highest status we can reach. Whenever Allah calls us by this name in the Quran, He expresses His love to us:
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
Say, ‘O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’ [39:53]
يَا عِبَادِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ وَلَا أَنتُمْ تَحْزَنُونَ
O My servants, no fear will there be concerning you this Day, nor will you grieve. [43:68]
Allah calls the Prophet (saws) his ‘abd on special occasions only – whenever He is highlighting the Prophet’s high status.
سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. [17:1]
أَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِي يَنْهَىٰ o عَبْدًا إِذَا صَلَّىٰ
Have you seen the one who forbids a servant when he prays? [96:9-10]
No wonder, many of the special young Sahaba were given this name: Abdullah ibn Abbas, Abdullah ibn Umar, Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al Aas, Abdullah ibn Zubayr. The Prophet renamed the Jewish Sahabi Al Husayn ibn Salam to Abdullah.
The name ar Rahman is so special that it is the only name of Allah which forms an ayah by itself (55:1). It encompasses the infinite extreme mercy (due to the balaghah) that Allah bestows on His slaves. The Prophet (saws) changed the name of the very famous sahabi whose original name was Abdul Amr, popularly known as Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (ra), one of the ten promised paradise.
It is also the name of Abu Bakr’s (ra) son Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Bakr.
Names of Prophets
The Prophet (saws) said,
Name yourselves with the names of the prophets. [Abu Dawud]
Here is a list of names of the prophets which appear in the Quran:
Other names in the Quran:
There are other righteous people who were worthy of mention in the Allah’s book, other than the prophets:
- Maryam: She is such a special woman that a whole surah has been dedicated to her. She is mentioned by the Prophet (saws) as one of the four best women in the world.
- Dhul Qarnayn: There is debate as to whether a prophet or not. Nevertheless, he was a king whom Allah had blessed with wahi. He is the one who built the dam that still prevents Ya’juj and Ma’juj from coming out and causing destruction everywhere in the world.
- Imran: father of Maryam (as)
- Talut: King of Bani Israel whose army went to defeat Jalut.
- Zayd (ibn Haritha): The slave of the Prophet (saws) who was formerly married to Ummul Mu’minin Zaynab bint Jahsh.
Names given by the Prophet (saws):
- Hasan: When Hasan (ra) was born, Ali wanted to name him Harb (war). The Prophet asked him to name him Hasan (meaning handsome) instead.
- Husayn: When Husayn was born, Ali again wanted to name his son Harb, but the Prophet asked him to name him Husayn (meaning small Hasan).
- Muhassin: Ali was perhaps very fond of ‘Harb’, because when he had another son, he again wanted to name him that. But the prophet said, ‘He is Muhassin.’ Then he said, ‘I have named them according to the names of the sons of Harun: Shabr, Shubayr, and Mushabbir. [al Adab al Mufrad]
- Maymoona: Her original name was Barrah. She was one of the Mothers of the Believers, and after marriage the Prophet named her Maymoona (meaning ‘blessed’).
Names of the Prophet’s Daughters:
- Umm Kulthum
Apart from these, there are many beautiful words in the Quran that can be used as names. Some examples are: Husna, Bushra, Lamiah, Salim, Zakiyah, etc.
*In order to understand Quran better, learn Arabic at UQ Academy. Start with our course Learn 50% of the Quran in 9 hours.