The prohibited names are of two categories:
- Those names which are forbidden in the Sharee'ah (Islamic Law).
- Those names which are either disapproved of by the Sharee'ah, or due to basic manners and good taste.
(1) Names indicating servitude to other than Allah - the Most High such as: 'Abdun-Nabee (slave of the Prophet), 'Abdur-Rasool (slave of the Messenger) and 'Abdul-Muttalib. Such names, and those which resemble them in meaning are prohibited.
(2) Using the Names of Allah (ta'aala) which are particular to Him alone. Such as, al-Ahad (the One far removed from all deficiencies).
(3) Names which are particular to other religions, i.e.: Jews and the Christians, like: George, David, Michael, Joseph, Diana, Jaclyn etc. This is because we - the Muslims - have been forbidden to imitate them.
(4) From the names which should also be avoided are the names of tyrants and despots like: Fir'awn (Pharaoh), Qaaroon, Aboo Jahl and their like, also the names of the leaders of disbelief and atheism such as Marx, Lenin and so on.
Secondly, Names disapproved of in the Sharee'ah or disliked due to bad manners or bad taste
(1) Giving names which are meant to show servitude to Allah but using names not known to be from Allah's perfect names - like 'Abdul-Mawjood, 'Abdul-Maqsood and 'Abdus-Sattaar. This is because nothing can be affirmed as one of Allah's names without an authentic text.
(2) From these names are those which carry meanings of pessimism, or blameworthy characteristics which will be disliked or cause aversion or cause the possessor of the name to feel degraded, humiliated, and haunt his personality. For example, Harb (war), Himaar (donkey), and Kalb (dog).
(3) From good manners is to avoid naming children with names which are suggestive or offend one's shame. For example, Huyaam (one passionately in love), Nuhaad (A young woman with full and raised breasts), Sahaam (summer heat)!, Wisaal (sexual union), Ghaadah (delicate young woman), Faatin (temptress), Fitnah (temptation), Shaadiyah (female singer) and names with similar meanings.
(4) It is also disliked to give names which amount to a declaration of a person's being pious. Such as, Barrah (pious / piety) and the like. It was due to this that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) changed the name of one of his wives from Barrah to Zaynab, as he used to hate that it be said, "He left/went out from 'Barrah' (piety)."
(5) From these names which are disliked are the names of the Angels- particularly if they are used for females. For example, Malaak since it is to be feared that this involves imitation of the pagans who gave feminine names to the angels.
(6) It is also disliked to name with the names of the chapters (Soorahs) of the Qur'an such as: TaaHaa, Yaaseen and other names of soorahs. This was the opinion of Imaam Maalik (rahimahullaah); Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) also said,
"The saying of the common people that 'Yaaseen' and 'Taa-Haa' are from the names of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is not correct.
There is no Saheeh (authentic) hadeeth regarding it nor any Hasan (authentic, but of a lesser nature) hadeeth, nor anything Mursal, nor any narration from any Companion.
Rather they are letters, like 'Alif Laam Meem', 'HaaMeem', 'Alif Laam Raa' and the like."