Changing a village name

Q 1: I live in a village called Dayr Al-Janadilah. The word Dayr (i.e. monastery) is used by and associated with the Christians. Any one who hears this name thinks that those living here are Christians, while only 10% of the population is Christian. Are people sinful, if they keep this name?

A: They are not required to change the name of the village; namely Dayr Al-Janadlah, for the village is known by this name. However, it is not permissible to use such names when naming new places. The general rule states that it is permissible to acknowledge existence, but not permissible to initiate.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!