I was Christian, born to two Christian parents, I did not question my faith nor learn other than the basics. Similarly, most Muslims are born to two Muslim parents, essentially becoming Muslims by name, without there being any actual faith on their part. Then, when they reach puberty, from them are those that are blessed with actual faith, performing their obligations. Likewise, from them are those who perform these acts out of ingrained habit, and just to go along with his relatives, the people of the land in which he lives, etc.
There is so much reference on a name. But does it really matter? What about the converts? The ones who do not have Muslim parents? Who do not have Muslim names…?
A small girl around 8 or 9 called Maryam asked me why I haven’t changed my name to a Muslim name. Her innocent mind can only fathom that to be Muslim means you have a Muslim name. I told her my name was picked by my mum and it means a lot to her, so in Islam we are not to disobey our parents unless the action disobey’s Allah. I am proud of my name, it is me. And on the Day of Judgment my name won’t be mentioned. Only what is in my heart.
Bare in mind that, the first person to accept Islam was Khadijah, most scholars agree the second was Ali at 10 years old, followed by Abu Bakr and Zayd ibn Harith.
Therefore, the first four converts were a woman, a child, a wealthy old man and a poor young man. God was teaching us that Islam is for all mankind, not just one social class or minority group.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter, where you’re from, what your name is, how bad your past is, who your parents are, what colour your skin is. Islam is for everyone. And if someone was to judge me based on my name, that is a reflection of their character and level of Emaan, not mine.
Similarly, Muslim women when getting married do not adopt their husband’s name. Instead, their family tree is intact and their identity is not morphed into her husband’s she remains who she is.
Likewise, having an Arab name won’t save you on the Day of Judgement if your actions do not reflect your name. Arabic is the language of the Quran, but Arab culture is not the culture of Islam. Remember that. You can be raised as a Muslim and still find Islam again.
“This religion will be destroyed when people who never experienced Jaahiliyyah will appear (i.e. those born into Islaam will take Islaam for granted).”
– ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab [Tabaqaat (129/6)]
It might be surprising to know that the Prophet all Allāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam own father’s name was Abdullah. An Arabic name meaning a slave of Allah. Unfortunately, his father associated partners with Allah and thought He was the God of many Gods which is Shirk – the only sin Allah does not forgive. His name means nothing to Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla. We are judged based on our actions, not our beliefs, not our names, not our family – our deeds alone.
“He is Allah [who is One] Allah the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is He born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent.” Surah 112 Ayah 1-4; Holy Qur’an.
If there was no money and everything depended on your moral standards, the way that you behaved & treated people, how would you be doing in life? This should be your daily thought – this is all that will matter when you meet Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla.
Prophet Muhammad Sall Allāhu ʿalay-hi wa-sallam said, “Man’s feet won’t move on the Day of Resurrection before he is asked about his life, how did he consume it, his wealth, how did he earn it, and how did he dispose of it, and about his body, how did he wear it out.”
So whether your name is Mohammed, Michelle, Matthew or Monica – it doesn’t define you. You are defined by your character, your actions & your thoughts…