Crisis about our names


Assalamu Alaykum,

My last name is Rahman, and because we live in a western country, my mother, father, and siblings’ last names are also Rahman. It is common among my culture, the Bengali culture, to have Rahman as a last name. The problem is, aside from my father, we do not have any suffix after our first name or a prefix before Allah’s name to indicate that we are not ascribing this name of Allah’s to ourselves. (For example, instead of Abdur Rahman, we have names such as Ahmed Rahman.)

I found out recently that this is impermissible, and have talked to my mother about this, but she is under the impression that as long as we don’t believe the quality of Rahman is attributed to us and that we do not let anyone else call us by Rahman, it is fine. My parents don’t let anyone call them by their last name, only ever going names such as Mrs. A or MD or just their first names or the like.

However I still don’t feel it is right to even have the last name as Rahman in the first place, and it should be changed.

Are we committing shirk? Are my parents committing kufr for not thinking they have to change our last name? How can I approach my parents about this matter in a more efficient way?

I’d also like to state that I have been afflicted with extreme waswas for a long time and have been trying to work through it, and I don’t want to feel like my parents are non-Muslims or have committed apostasy. I don’t know whether waswas is making me further confused about the state of my parents or this matter in general, but it’s causing me grief.

I hope by the will of Allah this finds you and you are able to get back to me.

May Allah bless you, forgive you, and have mercy on you,


Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

Al-Rahman is the exclusive name of Allah; thus, it is not permissible in Islam to call anyone with that name. So you are allowed to use that name with a prefix such as Fadhl al-Rahman, Abdul Rahman, etc.

As for Rahman without the letter of al, it is also not desirable; however, some scholars think it may not be forbidden as Allah is Al-Rahman.

However, I would advise you if you can change the name by adding a prefix to it, that would be more in conformity with the Islamic aadaab or the proper Islamic manners in regards to naming.

For further details on naming, you may refer to the answer linked below:

What Are the Islamic Guidelines of Choosing Names?

Almighty Allah knows best.

Thursday, Jan. 01, 1970 | 00:00 - 00:00 GMT

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