Not Obliged to Change Your Name
Fatwa No: 418069

Question

Assalamu alaikum.
Im Nafais 34yrs now. I had a doubt on my name meaning. My name was kept by my grandfather. When i asked from my parents they dont know the meaning of it. Even i cant find the meaning for my name by searching google. Only thing i found was yhat there was a publication name "Dar-Al-Nafais." Im worried whether im living without a meaningless name after all. As the prophet SAW denied those who have meaningless names.
Can you tell me the meaning for my name "Nafais"? Or should i change it after all.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

You are not obligated under the Sharee‘ah to change your name. The name “Nafaa’is” is meaningful. The Arabic word Nafaa’is is the plural form of Nafeesah (valuable/precious attainment). Ibn ‘Allaan  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Daleel Al-Faaliheen: "Nafaa’is is the plural form of Nafeesah, which means what one desires to have, such as knowledge, property, or the like." [End of quote]

Scholars said that “Nafaa’is Al-Amwaal (valuable properties)” were called as such because the owner’s self (Nafs) is attached to them.

As far as we know, it was not reported that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) disapproved of meaningless names, and it was not customary among Arabs to bear meaningless names to begin with. Rather, it was reported that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) changed some names which denoted unpleasant meanings.

Allah Knows best.

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