Monday, April 4, 2011

Whats in a name?

Salaam Alaikum everyone....

I was just sending an email out to a friend and I signed it my "Muslim name".  Then, I sent one to my father and I signed it my "Christian name".......hmmmm

I am confused... Who the heck am I?? loool  Sometimes I forget who knows me as what.  My family back in the States call me my Christian name while friends and family here only know me as Ayah.  All of my legal documents have my birth name.  Even my marriage contract.  The only thing that has Ayah on it is my Shahadda.  So, where does that leave me??  Confused, all the time..lool

I took the Muslim name Ayah because of its meaning.  Signs and proofs from Allah, thats how I felt when I came to Islam 2 years ago.  He gave me signs and proofs that this is what I needed to do..Alhamdulillah!  I believed it would help me "blend in to the Muslim society" better.  Now I am wondering if that was such a good idea.

I think we are all unique.  Why try to change who we are to fit in?  Shouldn't I have learned this in High School?? lool  I miss my old name, my old identity.  I believe I can be a good Muslim and still hold on to my birth name.  I mean, its a pretty basic American name, nothing against Allah or his messenger(Pbuh).  My problem is this, how can I say, "Well, Ayah was nice, but I prefer you call me (insert name here) now".  My husbands whole family know me by Ayah, some dont even know that is not my birth name.

The point I am getting at is I dont think it is necessary to change your name when you become a Muslim.  I chose my name Ayah because it meant something special to me, and I was told it was a good thing to do.  Now I am having doubts.

What do you all think???


  1. well dear u can use both name actually :) it doesnt mean that when u have a new name u just forget ur name?? hahahah be who u are. u will b Ayah n also ur Christian name :D. n for me, my name doesnt have meaning at all, my mum just change priscilla to farsilla. n when i was young i really wanna change my name to an islamic name. but when i think it over? My mum wont give me this name for no reason. Allah wants me to have it right?? n im da only 1 who have this name. sooo HAPPY!!! lol


  2. Hmmm Ayah is nice name... :)
    When you have changed it, so now don't be confused, i think it's good to change your name and it does not effect your identity... :)

  3. Assalaamu aleykum :)

    I changed my name too when I converted. I was having doubts if I would change my name or not, but then I came across this very beautiful text about Safiyah, one of the wives of the Prophet(pbuh) and I realised she could be an inspiration to me. So I chose my islamic name to be Safiyah. Most of my friends still use my old name though, because they're used to it, but my fiancé's family for example, calls me Safiyah. I don't have any preference really, about if I want to be called by my old name or my new one. It doesn't really represent an identity to me. I'm still the same person, no matter which name I have. Becoming Muslim just added an extra dimension to that, it didn't replace everything I was before.

    I really like the name Ayah, mashaAllah, and I'm sure your other name is beautiful too. I can't really advise you to be honest, but you can use both names. Do you really feel like you've left your old identity behind by changing names?
    Maybe it will also be difficult for your family in law to remember to call you by your old name, after they've gotten used to calling you Ayah. Only you can know how they would respond to this. May Allah swt make it easy for you, ameen ;-)

  4. People do "change" names for all sorts of reasons. At work I am an abbreviated sort of version of my name because my birth name is so different that when I say my name I have to repeat it, or spell it out....and I get tired of that. Plus I wanted my name to blend in. There is nothing worse than when your first name is spoken, that EVERYONE in the hospital knows who you are. I like a little bit more anonymity... :)

    So - I really don't see any problems with it... there are a lot worse things people could call me! :)

  5. Salaam alaikum,

    YOUR ISLAMIC NAME IS AYAH AS WELL?!?!? NO WAY!!!! :D That's so cool, mash'Allah! When I converted, I wasn't actually the one who gave myself an additional name (that's the way I like to see it, I haven't "changed" my name, just added another one). It was actually my fiance, now husband, who gave me the name, so it has a very special place in my heart. All of my in-laws, and my husband, here in Morocco call me Ayah, and I've gotten so used to responding to it, and hearing it that sometimes I forget that it's not my legal name. However, back in the U.S., everybody knows me as Ashley Rose (this name is suprisingly common, I've learned), the name my parents gave me at birth (so it also has a special meaning for me), and I'm completely fine with that. I like both, and I leave it up to others to decide what to call me. Ayah is easier for some people, Ashley is easier for others. For me, I honestly do not have a preference for either one...they're both me, I feel that they both reflect who I am, and most importantly, they were both given to me by the people I love the most in this world. At this point, I feel like if I were called by just one or the other, it would be like I lost a part of myself.

  6. Thank you everyone....I feel better:) Your right CC...I had a different name at the hospital too. So everyone changes there name for one reason or another.

    @Ayah... Girl!! We have so much in Send me your email address here in a comment. I wont post it. :)

    @Safiya... I love your name!! Mashallah! It is one my list for baby girl names.. Inshallah

  7. Islam doesn't require someone who reverts to change names unless it's a name that is not appropriate i.e.. Brandy etc.
    It's already difficult enough for some non muslim families to accept their love one becomimg muslim, why change the name that parents lovely choose for their chiild if appropriate?

  8. I belive that the name we were born with is the name that Allah swt has written for us. so no need for changes lol. even if its not Arabic it still has a meaning behind it, my name is Sarah and its origin is hebrew. sis this is the first time I know your arabic name, and I am not used to it. looool Im like "Huh?? whos Aya?? :S" Does your husband use your muslim name or....?

  9. Hi Sarah, Yes, everyone here calls me by my Muslim name and people at home call me my birth name. Also, when I was working here, I used my birth name as well. Yes, I am starting to agree with you on keeping the name you are born with. I love my name, Ayah, as it has special meaning to me but I will always be the name my father gave me when I was born.. :)


Life is too short to be hateful. Just because you disagree with something, doesn't make it wrong. I welcome your comments but please refrain from being hateful. :)