Stupid Muslim Question

Do converts have to change their name? Like when Cat Stevens changed his name to Yusuf Islam?

No they don’t have to.

Unless their name is something bad, Islamically. Like “slave of the sun” or something like that–then they should change their first name. It’s better to keep the family name though.

For a while people were telling converted Muslims to change their name… but it’s not necessary. Some people choose to do so anyway, or they’ll opt for the Arabic spelling of an English name (like Joseph–>Yusuf). But I still go by my given name–Amy. :slight_smile:

Don’t confuse what some people who joined the Nation of Islam did with typical reverts to Islam. They changed their name to avoid using the “slave names” placed upon them by white men. It had nothing to do with faith issues.

Some Athletes who revert also change their names, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabar, but many of them never change it legally, so the big checks from their teams are still to their birth names. I have never figured that one out. If you want to change your name, change it.

I know plenty of people who converted to Islam without converting into the Nation. But still, for a long time it was common for Muslims to change their names after converting. I actually gave a talk at a convention once and someone asked me then about changing my name and seriously I was a little upset by it, thinking “Why do you worry about such trivial things?” when I was talking about what it’s like to have a person’s parents kick them out and family refuse to see them.

This is kind of a bad joke in the Muslim community, that a person converts to Islam and then people start asking him right away what he’s going to change his name to. It doesn’t happen so much anymore, as people are less ignorant and realize a person doesn’t have to have a “Muslim” name to be a good Muslim.

Good points.

Personally, I only know of a few Muslims who are converts (or reverts, to use the Muslim understanding). None of them were NoI. It is my understanding that the Nation is not exactly accepted as “orthodox” Islam.

I am glad that more people see that the name does not equal quality of soul. That is a good first step to seeing people as they really are.

Cat Stephens was originally Orthodox and freely chose to do what his ancestors willingly chose DEATH rather than do.


I confess there is NO GOD but Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and Jesus is God Incarnate risen from the dead!**


Why would one ask this on a Catholic board? This would be a question for a Muslim board :shrug:

I hope you would not go to a Muslim board to ask about Catholic practices or doctrine.

What I have seen here so far makes me affirm that anyone comeing here to ask a serious “Muslim” question is makeing a mistake. There are a few Muslims here, and I can just ignore that rantings of our Orthodox friends and listen to their responses.

I’m not Muslim, but I’m stupid. Can I give an answer?

excuse me?

sometimes changing your name has nothing to do with religion at all I adopted a Turkish name because I’m learning Turkish. So I think more often than not a person chooses to do it instead of being required to do so. I know in Catholicism we have a choice to take a confirmation name that was once a requirement but now it’s not so I imagine it would be about the same.

In regard to the question, I don’t think it was inappropriate at all.
It was something for which I didn’t know the answer, so I appreciated it when Sister Amy gave a thoughtful response.

“slave of the sun” ??? :shrug:

I’ve never heard of that term or name before. You’ve got me all curious. Is this an Arabic name or something that some people have?

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Whenever you see someone’s name and it starts with ABD like Abdallah or AbdulRahman, the “ABD” means slave or servant of the thing which comes after it. So, slave/servant of Allah = Abdallah, while AbdArRahman means slave/servant of Ar-Rahman, which means the most Merciful or Compassionate. AbdulHakeem means slave/servant of the Most Wise. Allah, Ar-Rahman, Al-Hakeem, these are some of the names of Allah.

But it wasn’t uncommon for the Arabs in Muhammad’s time to name their children the servant of this “god” or that “god” which was an idol. So if the person was named after an idol, that wouldn’t be a good name.

I have a friend, for example, whose given name was Diane. She opted to change it because Diane was the name of a goddess in Greek mythology.

Hope this didn’t confuse you more. :o

That’s great, it doesn’t confuse me. Thank you. But my wife’s name is Dianne too. :o

if your name is Paul, you better change it :stuck_out_tongue:

no it is not necessary, but some feel more “in” if they adopt an Islamic name.

I know a Ali who converted to Christianity and changed his name to Alain. I know another Ali who is still Ali…i know a priest called Muhammad and he did not change it. Rachid for example is not necessarily Islamic so the Rachid i know did not change it.

All in all, it depends on the person.


I have nothing to add :smiley:
Just wanted to tell you that I favorited your “A land called Paradise”-video on YouTube :slight_smile:

Cool. :smiley:

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