Changing one's name after performing Hajj

Q: What is the ruling on changing one's name like most of the Indonesian pilgrims do? Indonesians usually change their names when they go to Makkah Al-Mukarramah or Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah. Is this Sunnah (action following the teachings of the Prophet) or not?

A: The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to change bad names to good ones. If the Indonesian pilgrims are changing their names for this purpose, and not for finishing the rituals of Hajj or their visiting Al-Masjid Al-Nabawy (the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah) and offering Salah (Prayer) therein, then this is permissible. (Part No. 2; Page No. 515) On the other hand, if they are changing their names because they are in Makkah or Al-Madinah or for finishing the rituals of Hajj, for example, then this is a Bid‘ah (innovation in religion) and not an act of Sunnah.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.