Is it true that Allaah named all the prophets; like, no man was named Muhammad before Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, or Abraham before Abraham, may Allaah exalt his mention, and Noah Before Noah, may Allaah exalt his mention? Is that true? Please tell me what the meaning is of all the Prophets' names?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
We did not find any evidence or report on the authority of any reliable scholar stating that Allaah named all the Prophets; however, it was explicitly mentioned that the names of some Prophets were divinely chosen, such as Yahya (John) and ʻEesa (Jesus), may Allaah exalt their mention; and glad tidings of some of them were given, such as our Prophet Muhammad .
The fact that no one carried the name of a given prophet before that prophet is not evidence that Allaah gave His Prophet this name through divine revelation and divine commandment. Rather, it is determined by Allaah's predestined decree and command, choosing the best and blessed names for His Prophets by inspiring their families to give them such names. For instance, Allaah inspired ʻAbd Al-Muttalib to name our Prophet Muhammad. As-Suyooti wrote, "Ibn ʻAbd Al-Barr narrated in his book Al-Istiʻaab on the authority of Ibn 'Abbaas, 'When the Prophet was born, his paternal uncle ʻAbd Al-Muttalib offered his ʻaqeeqah and named him Muhammad (i.e., Praised). When he was asked, 'Why did you name him Muhammad and did you not give him a name of his forefathers?', he replied, 'I wanted that Allaah should praise him in the heaven and that people should praise him on the earth...''" [Al-Hawaalik]
We apologize to the dear questioner for not mentioning the meanings of the names of all the Prophets of Allaah. We advise him to concern himself with matters that benefit him in his worldly life and religion and ask only about matters that lead to doing good deeds or are related to religious rulings. Knowing the meanings of the Prophets' names does not lead to doing any action, and ignorance of such information does not harm the person. Therefore, the scholars did not care for including knowledge of this matter in their books on Islamic Creed or Tafseer (exegesis). They only stated that the Muslim is obliged to believe in all the Prophets of Allaah in general and in those who are mentioned in the Quran in particular.
Allaah knows best.
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