British Muslims & Names..

Discussion in 'Politics and Society' started by enlightenment, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    Would it be entirely unreasonable to suggest that British Muslims, when having children, elect to give them names which would be more traditionally British names, or at least Westernised names, rather than names that would be traditional to the country of origin of their ancestors?

    I am not saying it should be made a law(!), I just wonder if it is entirely out of the question that more Muslims could do this, or are they literally obligated to use a certain pool of names? I don't think it would be a cure all either, more one component in a large jigsaw, that may see them foster even better relations with others.

    I believe I am right in saying that Jews commonly altered their names, right through history, and even today. Some of those motives will have been a desire to assimilate.

    Likewise, it would be rare in the UK for a black couple to give their baby a tradional African name, and yes, I appreciate that the first African on this island would not have been called 'Dave or Steve' in their land of origin, and that they were given new names, quite invasively.

    However, these days, more black couples would be likely to CHOOSE what we would think of as a non African name, than they would an African one.

    Like I say, not suggesting this as a directive, more wondering if there is a chance that some Muslims themselves (and more of them) could consider as a possibility?
     
  2. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

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    I dont think so. The Islamic cultural identity is to be seperate from non Muslims, hence the Beards and dress codes. Generally Muslim follow the Arabic way of naming their children.
     
  3. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    I appreciate it would not be an overnight process, yet is there NO inclination at all yet for some Muslims to call their kids by non Muslim names?

    I would have thought that there would be some examples, and that maybe this could be built on, from within the Islamic community.

    Are you suggesting that Muslims have a stronger identity with their names, then the blacks that I mentioned, or the Jews that I mentioned, both of whom have history of modifying their names?
     
  4. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

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    really there is no such thing as a muslim name as any name that does not mean something bad is suitable but most opt for arabic names.
     
  5. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    Okay Arabic names it is.

    Sally has retained a name that is patently NOT Arabic, therefore, it cannot be a given that you must be called a certain thing, in Islam.

    Otherwise she would have changed her name.

    Which she hasn't.
     
  6. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    What do you mean by traditional British? What do you mean by Westernised - is a German name OK? If you don't think it should be law, why say it?

    Your two traditional British names:

    David is Hebrew. Stephen is Greek and is the first Christian martyr.

    Both are traditional British names because they are in the Bible. Perhaps not obvious choices for Muslims.

    s.
     
  7. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Are we suggesting that British ex-pats to the Middle East should give their children names such as Mohammed, Ali, or Fatima? :)
     
  8. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Yes. That would be entirely unreasonable.
     
  9. Sam Albion

    Sam Albion akaFrancisKing:ViveLeRoi!

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    It's entirely unreasonable, IMHO, full-stop. Parents spend hours agonising over names: what such monikers mean, their... significances... "Anne was my grandmothers' name", "Abigail means Beloved of her father", "Paul means small", "Samantha means servant of God", "etc, etc. And... even when plebs call their child "Kylie", after Ms Minogue, or "Darlington, as that's where he was conceived", etc... 'tis up to them.

    John Wayne's real name was Shirley. Should we suggest his parents gave him a more... masculine name?
    Frank Zappa called his children "Dweezil" and "Moon unit". Is that acceptable?
    My middle name is Napoleon. I am not french, short, or have a fondness for big blue hats.

    It'd be poor form to suggest Jews chose "less Jewish" names; although many of them did during WW2, they didn't do it happily; they did it to up the odds on them surviving. As other people have suggested, slaves were given new names by successive masters; Joe gets sold and becomes John, and by the time he's forty years old, he doesn't know who he is anymore; his name, his identity, has vanished.

    As buddha himself suggests in the Rice Seedling Sutra, a persons existence depends on many different things; his ignorance, his birth, his death, his reason for living, his attatchments and his contacts, but also his name and form...
     
  10. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    Okay.

    Just thought it would be worth checking, to make totally sure..:)
     
  11. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    Why say what?

    Why say that some Muslim people may gravitate toward selecting less Arab/Muslim names?

    Because some might.
     
  12. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    I did acknowlege that - however, that is hardly the case now, if two British Africans get together.

    They could choose a tradtionally African name if they wanted.

    Most do not.
     
  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I think you knew your question was unreasonable before you posited it...

    You knew what the response here would be as well.
     
  14. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    Woo-hoo, now I can see into the future, according to you...:rolleyes:

    My nephew is getting married to a Chinese girl, in May.

    As and when they have a child, do you think they may call it a tradionally Chinese name, or a more Western one, since you know everything and all?

    Were Sally to have a child, can you say 100% that she would select an Arabic name?
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I can't say 100% that when Sally is among friends or inlaws she doesn't have an Islamic name...

    I didn't say you could predict the future, I was simply indicating you were fairly adept at pot stirring thread starters...
     
  16. greymare

    greymare New Member

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    Perhaps you should posted this thread under the Islamic section ...........
     
  17. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    Good.

    Okay, if we move on then?

    Thanks.

    Btw - you are entitled, AFAIK, to start your own threads, Wil.

    Try doing that rather than following me around like a lovestruck groupie - :p
     
  18. greymare

    greymare New Member

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    So, you are free to post as you will, but if someone systematically responds........ they are a groupie???????????? Oh dear, me thinks your head is getting rather large!!
     
  19. Muslimwoman

    Muslimwoman Coexistence insha'Allah

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    Hmmm the question sounds a little like why don't Muslims stop being Muslim in public in the west.

    As NCT rightly says they are not Islamic names but Arabic. However many Arabs Westernise their name when in the west. My husbands work believe he has a first and surname only ... if only they knew lol (honestly it takes ages to say the full name).

    However if you went to Egypt you would be asked for your first name, second name, fathers name and family name ... when you said Fred Smith they would be rather confused.

    The Quran says "Call them by (the names of) their father's, that is more just in the sight of Allah..." (Al-Ahzab 33:5)

    So Muslim women who marry do not take their husbands name but keep their fathers name. Adopted children cannot take the family name of their adoptive father but must keep their birth name (fathers name).

    You have to understand how Arabic names work to understand their importance, they are basically a family tree, a way to trace your lineage.

    During the time of Prophet Mohamed (pbuh) only new Muslims with very pagan names would change their name, eg someone named after a pagan deity would naturally change his name. Of course many Arab Muslims also share their name with Christian/Jewish tradition .. Ibrahim is Abraham, Musa is Moses, Yusuf is Joseph, Maryam is Mary, etc.

    On the whole Muslims like to be identified as Muslims and they like their children to feel part of the faith (my sister in law has a son called Abd al-Rahman meaning the slave of Allah).

    Names are much more important to Muslims than to us. The science of hadith is built partly on the ability to trace narrators back through their names, hence lineage.

    When I converted at Al Azhar I was asked what I want to change my name to. I said I don't want to, I am confident as a person so don't need to reinvent myself, my parents gave me this name and it is a perfectly good name. The Imam shrugged and said "no matter it is an Arabic name anyway but there is no rule about changing names, it is just an option".

    I thought he was pulling my leg but I have checked and indeed it is also an Arabic name ... I was born to be a Muslim ;)

    No just one name, and even that one I have to wear on a badge or I forget it most days :eek:

    Although I do now have a surname nobody can pronounce or spell so I stick with my family surname in UK just to make life easier ... although it is funny watching people trying to pronounce it :D
     

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