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Question: Asalamoalaikum. I am planning to name my baby girl Eshal and wanted to confirm its meaning. Kindly clarify if it's a good islamic name. JazakAllah.

The word Eishaal means, water falling in drops from the rocks. I don't know why you want to choose this name.

You owe it to your daughter to give her a good name with proper meaning. Remember we will be called by our names on the Day of Judgment.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to encourage people to choose goodly names and avoid names with pagan or unpleasant or inauspicious meanings or associations.

On the etiquettes of naming children, let me cite here one of my earlier answers:

“Children are a trust in the hands of parents. Parents, therefore, have a duty to receive this divine gift with a true sense of gratitude and do everything at their disposal to provide the best nurturing. There is nothing better they can do in this regard than by providing them a home filled with love and kindness, and thus contributing to their overall physical, intellectual, ethical and spiritual growth and development. Such a duty begins before the birth of the child and extends all through their lives. Having said this, I must say, that the first important duty when a child is born is to recite the adhan in the right ear in a gentle voice and give him or her a good name.

As for the choice of names, we are given the following guidelines:

1. We must certainly avoid names that indicate any trace of shirk or association of partners with Allah. Therefore it is forbidden to call someone `Abd al-Kaaba or `Abd al-Nabi (servant of the Ka`bah or servant of the Prophet) since all of us are servants of Allah alone.

2. We must also avoid names that imply meanings that are offensive or unpleasant in connotations. The Prophet changed names such asHarb (War) with Salaam(Peace),‘Asiyah(Rebellious) with Jamilah(Beautiful), Saab (Difficult) with Sahl (Easy to deal with), etc.

3. We are encouraged to give names that have good or noble meanings or associations, for names may inadvertently inspire a person to do great things or stay away from vices. Choosing names of prophets or great persons who have been role models of virtue and piety is an excellent idea. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) named his son Ibrahim, and he said, “I have called him by my father’s name!”

Having said this, I must add: There is nothing in the Islamic sources to indicate that we are allowed only to give our children Arabic names. Since Islam is a universal religion, there is no such requirement. Any name is okay so long as we keep in mind the above points. But, at the same time, while choosing names, we must strive our best not to compromise our Islamic identity.”


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