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Question about converting to Islam...

(21 Posts)
paolosgirl Sat 17-Sep-05 12:31:09

I was watching He's having a baby, and one of the dads converted to Islam about a year after he met his partner. He's now known as Shakeel (sp?) - do you have to change your name if you convert, or is it personal choice?

Nbg Sat 17-Sep-05 12:41:11

I was wondering about this too.

A young girl who I work with has done the same but is quite sensitive about it so don't like to ask.

jane313 Sat 17-Sep-05 12:54:11

My friends husband converted. (Mainly to please my friends parents) and he hasn't changed his name.

stitch Sat 17-Sep-05 13:06:21

no you dont have to change your name at all. the name changing thing came about because a long time ago, in the arab world, there was a tradition that a baby was named after the first thing/animal that the father saw after coming out of the house. so lots of people were called things like dog, fox, etc. in islam a name should have a good meaning. some people choose to change their names as they want it to be immediately obvious that they are muslims. but it is a personal choice.
i knew of a lady called Joy, who wanted to change her name, but was told that she didnt need to as her parents had given her a name with a very good meaning.

paolosgirl Sat 17-Sep-05 20:36:08

Thanks for the answers. I think I'd be upset if my DS or DD changed their name if they converted to another religion. We chose their names before they were born, and then christened them in Church. It would really hurt to have to call them something else after 20 odd years (or whatever)

stitch Sat 17-Sep-05 20:54:03

exactly, you put thought and love into the choice of name for your dc.

paolosgirl Sat 17-Sep-05 20:55:46

So true, stitch. To have to call them something else would be like having another person as my child - IYKWIM?

stitch Sat 17-Sep-05 21:00:16

i have always admired the strentgh of character of people who convert. whatever religion they are converting to. because in essence, you are really saying to your parents that you reject everything they have taught you. and it also shows the parents strength of character when they accept their children for what they are, and not what they would wish them to be.

to change your name as well, could be the final nail in the coffin.

paolosgirl Sat 17-Sep-05 21:04:44

I don't think I'd have any problem with mine converting as such....whatever they choose to do with their lives is fine by me - as long as they don't hurt or endanger anyone or anything, and respect everyone else, which is the way I bring them up right now. I don't know why, but the idea of them wanting to change their name for some reason really hurts me.

Wait a minute, PG!! They are 6 and 8 and have not indicated to me that they have any intention of changing their names if/when they convert to Islam!

suedonim Sat 17-Sep-05 22:09:49

My ds1 has recently converted to Judaism due a complicated (and non-pc, imho) situation with his dw. He was given another name but I don't think he even rememebers what it was now.

stitch Sun 18-Sep-05 10:31:38

[grim] pg, yes ithink you are wworrying a bit needlessly.
ds2 is sat here asking why i am laughing. how do i explain? we moms worry about problems before they areise....

stitch Sun 18-Sep-05 10:33:43

sue, hope you are not unhappy with his decision. i know there are various cultures that also have this formal name business.

i know someone who has a formal name, and is then called something else entirely by his maternal grandparents, and his paternal granparents/ side of the family have a different name for him altoghether. very coonfusing in my opinion.

suedonim Sun 18-Sep-05 13:52:20

No, I'm not unhappy about it, Stitch, though I was a bit <gulp> when he said what he was doing. I'm not religious, as such, it was more that it was a challenge to the generally Christian life and culture that surrounds us. His dw has enthusiastically taken on board Christian celebrations, such as Xmas presents and Easter eggs! My other ds's girlfriend is Muslim so I'm juggling quite a few balls here.

Anim01 Tue 12-Jul-11 19:15:40

I didn't change my name either, but it exists in both the Qur'an and the Bible anyway. Most biblical names have such equivalents - handy for some of us...

amirah85 Tue 12-Jul-11 22:26:22

i did change my name when i converted,you dont have to but its usually done especially if the previous name doesnt have a good previous name was connected with the polytheism in ancient Egypt (dont ask me why!!)so i changed it,even tho my family doesnt use my new name. p.s. i think joy is a beautiful name smile

Riveninside Thu 14-Jul-11 12:41:16

I didnt change my name but am toying with the idea because i have always hated my real name and never ever use it.

littleducks Thu 14-Jul-11 14:04:36

I have two names, my husband, ILs, friends call me my 'changed' name

My parents, family and professional contacts call me my 'original' name

Can be confusing but works most of the time, i may drop my original name when my parents die (thats sounds morbid and i dont expect it to be for a long time)

SometimesIAmABirdbrain Thu 14-Jul-11 14:16:30

My husband didn't change his name when he converted. My parents were quite keen for him to do so but he was firm about it - his parents chose his name with love and care when he was born and he was not about to change it when it wasn't a must to do so. His name is biblical anyway.

I know of many people who after converting, take the surname 'Abdullah' as a muslim surname. Again, my husband didn't do so and good on him as I actually think it boils down to personal choice. I also think it would have been unfair to his parents, almost like a slap in the face were he were to do so. As it is, his parents were very accepting as they came to realise that despite his conversion, he was still the son they knew and loved. They even go to the trouble to serve halal meat when we go around for dinner.

MOZZEE Thu 14-Jul-11 21:48:21

I changed my name by deed poll. My first name is still the same as what my parents gave me. My middle name is Muslim but very similar sounding to my original middle name. I converted from Judaism, but didn't have a Jewish name so I don't think i've offended anyone. My first name my family, English friends and work call me. My Muslim name, my ILs and my Muslim friends call me. I took my DH surname, but my children also have the same surname so I feel proud we are all one family unit smile. My DH is the only confused one. He sometimes doesn't know what to call me!! grin

MrsSnow Sun 17-Jul-11 16:11:17

My DH converted in 20s, his parents rejected him because of this and so he promptly found a new name which was associated with a person who had been rejected in similar circumstances. Fast forward a decade and we are married and in touch with his parents who can't understand why he changed his name hmm

He uses his muslim name for family and friends and his old name for work.

GothAnneGeddes Mon 18-Jul-11 15:24:36

I didn't change my name, because it's me. I do get the odd remark from other Muslim like "Oh, I didn't know X was a Muslim name". To which I replied "Well, I'm called X and I'm a Muslim, so it's a Muslim's name".

I did take DH's surname on marriage as I liked it and I kept my surname as a middle name.

DD actually has an English first name and a Welsh middle name, both with very good meanings. It's raised a few eyebrows, but the most important thing in Islamic names is the meaning, not that they are Arabic.

I think it is overstating things to say that by converting, you are rejecting your parent's way of life. There are many things about my life that are the same and I share many of the same values as them. They're more upset about me being an ardent leftie tbh.

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