Helping apostates to change their names

Ruling on helping apostates Fatwa no. 7712 I received a question from one of the employees in the identity card department stating that the people who newly embrace Islam sometimes need to change their names especially if their meaning contradict Islamic beliefs. (Part No. 2; Page No. 48) It sometimes happens that some of them apostatize from Islam. This requires the re-changing of their names again to the previous ones before Islam. There are many Islamic and non-Islamic rulings that are dependent upon these changes like inheritance, marriage and personal status. Now, since the person asking this question works in the Civil Affairs Department, Identity Card Branch, will he be committing a sin if he changes the names of such persons? Does his work count as support to them in their Riddah (apostasy)? Moreover, he receives commands from his supervisors to do so. What is the ruling on this issue?


A: If you are aware that the person who wants to change his name is leaving Islam and reverting to disbelief, you should not offer him any kind of help even though your supervisor orders you to do so. Allah (Exalted be He) says (what means): Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwâ (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. This is also based on the fact that: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) cursed the one who consumes (takes) Riba (usury/interest), the one who pays it, the one who writes it down and the two who witness it. He (peace be upon him) said, “They are all equal.” Reported by Muslim in his Sahih. If the one who helps in Riba-based dealings is cursed, then how about one who helps in recording Kufr (disbelief) and facilitates the needs of those who commit Riddah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Obedience is only in Ma‘ruf (that which is judged as good, beneficial, or fitting by Islamic law and Muslims of sound intellect). (Part No. 2; Page No. 49)  There should be no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience to the Creator. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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