Names not conforming with Shari`ah

Q: I, along with over twenty citizens, have illegal names according to Shari`ah (Islamic law). It is not easy to change them except with a Fatwa, as we have sons and daughters who are employees or students in different educational phases including college. I hope that you can inform the administration of civil affairs in Al-Jawf of this Fatwa so that we can change our names. When we obtain this we will provide our children with the new names and a copy of the Fatwa to act accordingly on this issue and conclude it. May Allah reward you.NB: I am a retired noncommissioned officer and others who have my same name are retired as well. (Part No. 10; Page No. 475) This may create a problem, unless there is a Fatwa on our issue, as we have to send a copy of such a Fatwa to the Administration of the Retirement Affairs. May Allah bless you.

A: Scholars are unanimous that one is not permitted to bear a compound name that suggests servitude to anyone other than Allah (Exalted be He), as such names (like `Abd [Servant]) should only be added to one of Allah's Names which have been mentioned in the Glorious Qur'an and in the authentic Hadiths.As such, the word: "Al-Muslih" (i.e. reformer) is not one of Allah's Names, so one is forbidden to bear the name "`Abd Al-Muslih". One must to replace it with a valid one like `Abdullah (Servant of Allah), `Abdur-Rahman (Servant of the Most Merciful), `Abdul-`Aziz (Servant of the Al-Mighty), `Abdur-Rahim (Servant of the Ever-Merciful), `Abdul-Wahhab (Servant of the Bestower), `Abdul-Latif (Servant of the Most Kind and Gracious), `Abdul-Quddus (Servant of the Holy, All-Pure), `Abdul-Mu'min (Servant of the Peace-Giver), `Abdul-Muhaymin (Servant of the Ever-Watcher and Protector), `Abdus-Salam (Servant of the All-Perfect), `Abdul-Jabbar (Servant of the Compeller), `Abdul-Khaliq (Servant of the Creator), `Abdul-Bari' (Servant of the Originator), and so on.This name may also be replaced with any of Allah's Prophets' names or His righteous servants like Muhammad, Ahmad, Ibrahim, Isma`il, Adam, Ishaq, Zakariyya, Yusuf, Yunus, Sulaiman, `Umar, `Uthman, `Aly.These good names do not suggest servitude to anyone other than Allah.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.