Names that are impermissible for one to have, such as `Abdun-Naby and `Abdul-Mannan
Q: I put before you this question which is briefly related to the names of some employees in a government body. These names are: `Abdun-Naby (Servant of the Prophet), `Abdul-Mannan, `Abdul-Jayid (Servant of the good), and `Abdur-Rasul (Servant of the Messenger). Some of these names are first names and most are fathers' names and some are grandfather's names. The question is:
Is a son duty-bound to change his father's or grandfather's name if it conflicts with Islamic Shari`ah (Islamic law)?
It is not permissible to carry any of the names mentioned in the question as they suggest one's servitude to a human and one is forbidden to be a servant to any but Allah. (Part No. 10; Page No. 479) So, if a person, his father or his grandfather carries any of these names or their likes and is still living, then he must change his name to a name that is in line with Islamic Shari`ah. He should submit a name change request to the authorities. However, if one has died and their name was one of the above mentioned names or their like, then no one has the right to change it as there is no benefit gained from changing it after death. Further, the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not change the name of his grandfather `Abdul-Muttalib. Had it been prescribed to change it, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would have changed the name of his grandfather after his death. It was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated in the Battle of Hunayn:
I am the Prophet in truth. I am the son of `Abdul-Muttalib.
(Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.