Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Muslim Name

I do not wish to take up another name, really. I am Candice and that's important to me, but when I was talking with my husband about our possible vacation in Egypt in summer 2011, he told me his mom wanted us to come so badly, and that she wanted to bring me to Saudi Arabia for Umrah! I'm really excited about that possibility! Insha'Allah it will all work out because that would just be amazing!

I know they don't allow non-Muslims into Mekkah and Medina so I'd need to prove that I am Muslim. I know there are big mosques with imams that can testify and write something up. Not sure exactly how it works or anything, but I know that will be an important part to make sure I'm able to go. It got me thinking that giving myself a Muslim middle name would be a good way to "make it official" as well.

I'd been against the idea of changing anything in my name from the beginning and wrote a post about it a while back about what a "Muslim name" is. I feel the same way as I did then, but what has changed is that I think that maybe it *would* be nice for me to find a name that has significance to me in my new life as a Muslim.

I feel I will need to read more about Islamic history and find a person who I really appreciate and go with that because I need it to be a name that inspires me. But at the same time, I want the sound of the name to be *me* and a name ending in -a just isn't me. And there aren't a lot of names not ending in -a that sound like me!

Any ideas?

I have only Zainab so far!!

21 Comentários:

UmmSqueakster said...

mashaAllah that's so awesome! No input re: muslim names (as you know where I stand on that issue, ha), but if you're going to Egypt, you can get a conversion certificate from al Azhar that should inshaAllah allow you to easily make hajj and umrah.

I have a little bit about it here - http://umms.wordpress.com/converts/shahada-certificates/

AbuS arranged it all, so I don't really know who you would go to talk to, but I would guess that if you enter the main al Azhar masjid, there is an office immediately to the right after the entrance hallway of the mosque administrator. Have your husband ask him who he would need to talk to at the actual university (which is a few blocks away).

Let them know that you've already converted, but want to have a certificate to make umrah inshaAllah. They'll ask you a few questions, fill in the blanks on the form, and then get the sheikh al Azhar himself to stamp it off. It took a few days to get it all processed back in 2003, so make sure you do it at the beginning of your Egypt trip.

Banana Anne said...

Maryam is always very nice (although not exactly unique). Another thing you could do is take the prefix "Amat", or "female servant", and add one of the Names of ALLAH. So "Amatullah" would be "female servant of ALLAH", equivalent to "Abdullah" for males. You could pick a Name of ALLAH that really speaks to you and do it that way (I personally love "Amatul-Wadud", or "Servant of the Loving", and "Amatul-Rahman", or "Servant of the Most Merciful"). If I was going to add a name to my name, I would probably do something like this because these are truly Islamic names, reflecting our relationship with ALLAH.

Oh, Masha'Allah that sounds like such a great opportunity! Insha'Allah it will work out so that you're able to go! Yeah, if you go to a masjid they can give you like a "shahadah certificate" to prove that you are Muslim (you just have to say shahadah in front of the imam/whoever is issuing the certificate); I'm actually planning on getting one this weekend Insha'Allah.

Technodoll said...


the innernet is your best friend for these kinds of things! yey! :-D

Candice said...

UmmS: I went to your post, thank you! I would kind of love to have a certificate from al-Azhar and my husband would know how to set all that up. Or at least be able to figure out how!

Banana Anne: You are a genius! What a wonderful name to take! And with 99 different choices, how can I not find one that is most me?!

Technodoll: What happens with these websites is that they see no difference between Arabic names and Muslim/Islamic names so there is very little in there that I would be even interested in taking up as my name! It's actually very frustrating for so many Muslims to feel than any Arabic name is a Muslim name and that it's an obligation to get rid of our old names (even if they don't have a bad meaning!)

That said, there are a bunch of great names in these types of list, they're just hard to pick out!

.::Tuttie::. said...

my FIL tried to name me khadija and insisted I change my legal name but I refused. It was no big deal although at the time it felt monumental. What I did instead was take my middle name and translate it to Arabic and it was fine (hint: she is a mother of a prophet).

I will not be changing my legal name as I wrote in a previous post about my secular identity crisis I feel that my name is very important to me.

like the others said you can just get a certificate from the local masjid saying you are Muslim and that's really all you need.

LK said...

I like Zainab :)

jana z. said...

i happen to think zainab is one awesome powerful name! i had said if i ever change ill possibly be noor or hala (the prophet's sis in laws name) but i love the name zainab lots!!

x_Elizabeth_x said...

In order to enter saudi for umrah or hajj you need a letter from an imam stating you have taken your shahada. It's very simple. Another way is that there are some services on the internet that you can get the shahada over the phone, webcam etc, I'm sure they could offer advice on that!

Rukhpar Mor said...

OOh..I want to participate!!!!!

Umm...i can' really think of any names......zainab is a nice one=)

even the amat- that banana anne suggested are great!!

I always like the name Aasiya..Pharaoh's wife...she reminds me of a powerful woman=)

BuLaN said...

i vote for zainab too. my dad used to call me zainab although my real name is different :)

Gardens of Sand said...

My husband, a convert to Islam did not change his name. He still goes by it despite many Muslim friends and my granma's comments that he prove his Islamicness by changing his name to an Arabic one. One he first converted, he approached his mosque's imam about it. The imam told him Islam is an all encompassing faith and not restricted to Arabs, that's one of the beauties of Islam.

I used to secretly hope he would change his name until his family started commenting on me taking on an American name now that I am American. I hated that.

Anyways, islamic names wise, I love Mariam. An easy name to pronounce and a great person to want to emulate, a honorable lady honored in the Quran. I love the name Sarah as well and janna (paradise).

Susanne said...

I've heard people say that most of these "Muslim names" predated Islam so they are really Arabic ones. Maybe that's why the confusion you have with distinguishing the two?

I guess Hajar would be a Muslim name that doesn't end in 'a.' Or Iman. I like Noor and Suroor.

Nurul said...

Nur Syahada (Syahada Light)

nk said...

Masha'Allah.. very nice opportunity!

my name is one of those non -a names. My name is Nuraan - which means spiritual light of Jahannah.
But there are so many beautiful names out there.

Hajr is also a nice name. the mother of Nabi Ismaeel(AS).

Other names without -a at the end: Maryam(already mentioned), Imaan (Faith), Razaan, Zayyaan, Su'ad...
there are many and I dont want to make your choice difficult.

but Insha-Allah, if you do choose a Muslim name, I hope it will be one that you are content with and that has a good meaning attached.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

I think Zeinab is great! I also like Aisha.

Candice said...

Tuttie: I'm glad no one tried to pressure me. I don't think I ever had anyone tell me I should change my name! I love Khadija. It ends in -a but it's a name that feels like me probably for no other reason than sounding a little like my name! Ca/Kha the letter d in the middle and my surname starts with J.

Gardens of Sand: A male convert! I don't know any! They need to get blogging these male converts! hehe. I think it's great he didn't change it because people were pressuring him. It's important to stay true to yourself!

Susanne: I love Iman!

Nurul: I couldn't use a Nur name because my daughter is Nora and it's her's!

nk: Great ideas! Nuraan is beautiful but my daughter is already Nora!

CLA: I like Aisha too but I just feel it's too "common".

Blue said...

I read somewhere (i'll try to remember where) that some scholars are actually discouraging the practice of changing one's name when converting, because it could be construed as a denial of one's actual heritage. The belief is that your parents gave you your name and you shouldn't change what your parents gave you. Hmm... not very helpful, is it? Maybe you could compromise... look at the meaning of your name and see if there is an Arabic name with the same meaning? behindthename.com is a great place to look.

Candice said...

Blue: Nono, I don't want to change my name! I'd keep all my names and add a second middle name if I did anything. It'd be symbolical of my new life as a Muslim.

The LAST thing I want is just an Arabic name! I'm of the ones who believe that there's nothing more Islamic about a name just because it's Arabic!

bangrudy said...

Subhanallah...it's a good name. GO on with your trip to Mecca.

dwi said...

Your posts are interesting.... Your view about Islam, make me want to cry because of happy. You are mualaf, right?

From your posts, I think you are a smart woman. So, why you don't use name Aisha? Aisha, Rasulullah's wife, is a smart woman.

Good luck, Sister.


Islamic Family Law

Candice said...

dwi: Thank you for your comment. From what I was able to try to find, Muallaf is a convert? If so, yes, I am.

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