Names

Al-Adab al-Mufrad Al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

XXXIII. Names

353. The kunya Abu'l-Hakam

811. Hani' ibn Yazid related that when he came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, with his people, the Prophet heard them using the kunya Abu'l-Hakam. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, called him and said, "Allah is the Judge (al-Hakam) and He has judgement. Why have you been given the kunya Abu'l-Hakam?" He said, "When my people disagree about something, they bring it to me and I judge between them so that both parties are content." "How excellent this!" the Prophet exclaimed. Then he asked, "Do you have any children?" Hani' replied, "I have Shurayh, 'Abdullah and Muslim, the Banu Hani'.' He asked, "Which of them is the oldest?" "Shurayh," he replied. He said, "You are Abu Shurayh," and he made supplication for him and his children.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, then heard them call a man among them 'Abdu'l-Hajar [slave of the Stone]. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, asked, "What is your name?" "'Abdu'l-Hajar," he replied. "No," he said, your name is 'Abdullah."

Shurayh said, "When Hani was ready to return to his land, he came to the Prophet, 'Abdullah and said, "Tell me something that will make the Garden certain for me." He said, "You must speak good and give food."

354. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, liked good names

812. 'Abdullah Hudud related that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Who will drive these camels of ours?" or "Who will deliver these camels of ours?" A man said, "I will." He asked, "What is your name?" "So-and-so," he said. He said, "Sit down." Then another stood up and the Prophet asked, "What is your name?" The man said, "So-and-so." He said, "Sit down." Then another man stood up and the Prophet said, "What is your name?" "Najiyya (Rescuer)," he said. "The Prophet said, "You will do it. Drive them."

355. Swiftness in walking

813. Ibn 'Abbas said, "The Prophet of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came forward swiftly while we were sitting, He approached in such a manner that we wee alarmed by the speed with which he came towards us. When he reached us, he greeted us and said, 'I came swiftly to you to tell you about the Night of Power. I forgot it in the time it took me to get to you, so look for it in the last ten nights (of Ramadan).'"

356. The names which Allah Almighty loves the most

814. Abu Wahb, a Companion, reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Name yourselves with the names of the Prophets. The names which Allah Almighty loves most are 'Abdullah and 'Abdu'r-Rahman. The most truthful names are Harith and Humam. The ugliest names are Harb and Murra."

815. Jabir said, "A man had a child and named him al-Qasim. We said, 'We will not give you the kunya Abu'l-Qasim nor will we so honour you. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was told and said, 'Call your son 'Abdu'r-Rahman.'"

357. Changing one name to another

816. Sahl said, "Al-Mundhir ibn Abi Usayd was brought to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when he was born and the Prophet placed him on his thigh while Abu Usayd was seated near him. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was busy with something in front of him, so Abu Usayd told someone to take his son from the Prophet's leg. When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, became aware of it, he asked, 'Where is the child?' Abu Usayd replied, 'We sent him home.' The Prophet asked, 'What is his name?' He replied, 'Such-and-such.' The Prophet said, 'No, rather his name is al-Mundhir.' So we called him al-Mundhir from that day."

358. The name which Allah Almighty hates the most

817. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The name which hates the most is that a man be called the King of Kings."

359. Someone who calls another person using the diminutive of his name

818. Talq ibn Habib said, "I was the most vehement person in denying intercession. I questioned Jabir and he said, 'Tulayq, I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "They will come out of the Fire after entering it," and we recite (the same Book) you recite.'"

360. Calling someone by the name he loves the most

819. Hanzala ibn Hidhaym said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to like to call a man by the name that he liked best and by his favourite kunya."

361. Changing the name 'Asiya (meaning "rebellious")

820. Ibn 'Umar said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, changed a woman's name from 'Asiya (rebellious), saying, "You are Jamila (beautiful)."

821. Muhammad ibn 'Ata' related that he visited Zaynab bint Salama and she asked him about the name of one of his sisters. He reports: "I said, 'Her name is Barra.' She said, 'Change her name. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, married Zaynab bint Jahsh. Her name was Barra and he changed it to Zaynab. I visited Umm Salama when she married him and my name was Barra. He heard her call me Barra and said, 'Do not adorn yourselves. Allah is the One who knows those who are pious (barra) among you and those who are deviant. Call her Zaynab.' Umm Salama said, 'She is Zaynab.' I said to Zaynab, 'Give her a name.' Zaynab said, 'Change it to what the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, changed it.'" So he called her Zaynab.

362. Surm (meaning "separation")

822. Ibn 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn Sa'id al-Makhzumi, whose name was as-Surm, reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, named him Sa'id (happy). He related that he had seen 'Uthman reclining in the mosque.

823. 'Ali said, "When al-Husayn was born, I named him Harb (war). The Prophet came and said, 'Show me your son. What have you named him?' 'Harb,' we replied. He said, "He is Hasan.' When al-Husayn was born, I named him Harb. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came and said, 'Show me your son. What have you named him?' 'Harb,' we replied. He said, "He is Husayn.' When we had a third son, I named him Harb. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came and said, 'Show me your son. What have you named him?' 'Harb,' we replied. He said, "He is Muhassin." Then he said, 'I have named them according to the names of the sons of Harun: Shabr, Shubayr, and Mushabbir.'"

363. Ghurab (meaning "crow")

824. It is reported that al-Harith ibn Abza said, "I was present at Hunayn with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he asked me, 'What is your name?' 'Ghurab,' I replied. He said, 'No, your name is Muslim.'"

364. Shihab (meaning "flame")

825. 'A'isha said, "A man called Shihab (flame) was mentioned in the presence of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Rather you are Hisham.'"

365. Al-'As (meaning "rebel")

826. Muti' said, "I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say on the day of the Conquest of Makka, 'No Qurayshi will be killed in custody from today until the Day of Rising.'" None of the rebels of Quraysh except Muti' became Muslim. His name had been al-'As and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, renamed him Muti' (obedient).

366. Someone who calls his companion and shortens or leaves out part of his name

827. 'A'isha said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "'A'ish! Jibril sends you greetings." She said, "And peace be upon him and the mercy of Allah." She remarked, "He sees what I do not see."

828. Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Thumama, related that she went out to answer a call of nature,. Her brother, al-Makhariq ibn Thumama, said, "Go to 'A'isha and ask her about 'Uthman ibn 'Affan. People have said a lot about him. She said, "I went to her and said, 'One of your brothers sends you greetings and asks you about 'Uthman ibn 'Affan.' 'A'isha said, 'Peace be upon and the mercy of Allah.' 'A'isha then went on, 'I testify that I saw 'Uthman in this house one hot night when the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had received revelation through Jibril. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, struck the palm ­ or held the hand ­ of Ibn 'Affan, saying, 'Write, 'Uthma! Allah has placed in this house with His Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, only a man who is honoured with Him. If anyone curses Ibn 'Affan, the curse of Allah is on him.'"

367. Zahm (meaning "crowd")

829. Bashir ibn Nuhayk said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came and said, 'What is your name?' 'Zahm,' I said. He said, 'You are Bashir (bringer of good news).' While I was walking and keeping pace with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, he said, 'Ibn al-Khasasiyya! Are you resentful towards Allah? Do you keep pace with the Messenger of Allah?' I said, 'May my mother and father be your ransom, I do not hold any resentment against Allah. I have every blessing.' The Prophet came to the graves of the idolaters and said, 'These people have missed a lot of good. Then he came to the graves of the Muslims and said, 'These people have obtained much good.' There was a man wearing ox-hide sandals walking between the graves. The Prophet said, 'You with the ox-hide sandals! Remove your sandals!' So he removed his sandals."

830. Part of previous hadith.

368. Barra (meaning "pious")

831. Ibn 'Abbas said that Juwayriyya's name had been Barra and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had renamed her Juwayriyya.

832. Abu Hurayra said, "Maymuna's name was Barra and then the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, renamed her Maymuna."

369. Aflah (meaning "most successful")

833. Jabir reported: "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'If I will, I will prohibit my community, if Allah so wills, from any of them taking the name Baraka (blessing), Nafi' (Helper) or Aflah (Most Successful),' and I do not know if he said, Rafi' (one who elevates) or not. Someone asks, 'Is Baraka (blessing) here?' and is told, 'He (or it) is not here.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, died because he could forbid that (using those names)."

834. Jabir ibn 'Abdullah said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, wanted to forbid people calling themselves Ya'la (to rise), Baraka (blessing), Nafi' (Helper), Yasar (good fortune), Aflah (most successful) and names like that. Then he was silent about that matter and did not say anything."

370. Rabah (meaning "profit")

835. 'Umar ibn al-Khattab said, "When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, withdrew from his wives, I was with Rabah, the slave of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and I called, 'Rabah, ask permission for me to come in to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.'"

371. The Names of the Prophets

836. Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Name yourselves with the names of the Prophets, but do not use my kunya." I am Abu'l-Qasim."

837. Anas ibn Malik said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was in the market when a man said, 'Abu'l-Qasim!' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, turned towards him. He said, 'Messenger of Allah, I was calling this man.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Call yourselves with my name but do no use my kunya.'"

838. Yusuf ibn 'Abdullah ibn Sallam said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, named me Yusuf and let me sit in his room and stroked my head."

839. Jabir ibn 'Abdullah said, "One of our men among the Ansar had a son and wanted to call him Muhammad. The Ansari said, 'I put him on my shoulder and took him to the Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. [Another variant has: "He had a son and they wanted to name him Muhammad."] The Prophet said, 'Name yourselves with my name but do not use my kunya. I have been made the distributor (Qasim) to divide things between you.'"

Husayn said that he added, "I was sent as a distributor to divide between you."

840. Abu Musa said, "I had a son and I brought him to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he named him Ibrahim. He chewed up a date and gave it to him and made supplication for him to be blessed and then gave him back to me." He was Abu Musa's oldest son.

372. Hazn (meaning "rough")

841. Sa'id ibn al-Musayyab reported that his grandfather went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He asked, "What is your name?" "Hazn (rough)," he replied. The Prophet said, "You are Sahl (easy)." He said, "I will not change a name which my father gave me." Ibn al-Musayyab said, "Roughness (hazuna) remained among us afterwards."