Bearing the name Ghulamul 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 dialect 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 with Allah in His Divinity or worship). 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.