What’s the ruling on giving boy/girls two names ?


Al-Imam Ibnul-Qayyim rahimahullaah ta’ala  mentions in his book ‘Tuhfatul Mawdoob’, in the 8th chapter, “The Permissibility of giving more than one name.” i.e. – to the child – ‘ (He says), when the reason behind giving a name to the child is in order for them to be known and to be distinguished from the others, then it is sufficient to give him one name and this is better. Then he said it that is also permissible to give more than one name.  He says and likewise how it is permissible to give a kunya or a laqab which is Abu Fulan (The Father of so and so or the mother of so and so) or a nickname (laqab). So in this speech of Ibnul-Qayyim rahimahullaah we have the permissibility of this (i.e. giving more than one name to the child.)

And the statement of this scholar (i.e. Ibnul Qayim) the proof which can be used to support it, is the Messenger of Allaah salallaahu alayhi wa sallam himself having more than one name.  As he was named Muhammad and Ahmad as it is mentioned in the Qur’aan as well.

[[Surah As-Saff, Verse 6:
وَإِذْ قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُم مُّصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّرًا بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِي مِن بَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُم بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ قَالُوا هَٰذَا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ

And (remember) when ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), said: “O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah unto you confirming the Taurat [(Torah) which came] before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad. But when he (Ahmad i.e. Muhammad SAW) came to them with clear proofs, they said: “This is plain magic.”
(English – Mohsin Khan)]]

[[Surah Aal-e-Imran, Verse 144:
وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلَّا رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَفَإِن مَّاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَىٰ أَعْقَابِكُمْ وَمَن يَنقَلِبْ عَلَىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَن يَضُرَّ اللَّهَ شَيْئًا وَسَيَجْزِي اللَّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ

Muhammad (SAW) is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many) Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah, and Allah will give reward to those who are grateful.
(English – Mohsin Khan)]]
Also, the kunya (Abu so and so or Um so and so), having a kunya for the child is permissible as the Prophet salallaahu alayhi wa sallam himself spoke to the child Abu ‘Umair (addressing him with a a kunya) as it is found in the saheehain narrated by Anas bin Maalik radiyallaahu anhu where he said “O father of Umair! What did Nughair (a small bird of his which had passed away) do?

[[Narrated Anas bin Malik radiyallaahu anhu, The Prophet salallaahu alayhi wa sallam used to mix with us to the extent that he would say to a younger brother of mine (he had a bird called Umair), “O father of Umair! What did Nughair do? (a kind of small bird)?” [Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 8, #150]] and Muslim 5747.

Therefore, we have in this hadeeth the Messenger salallahu alahi wa salaam referring to the child with a kunya and this is something which is permissible.  And Allaah knows best.

Abu Atiyah Mahmood bin Muhammad

Transcribed by Abu Muwahhid Asadullah At-Trinidadi

Note: Transribers additions are between [[ ]].