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Naming A Child

Q:

Want to ask a question regarding naming baby? Can it be answered here in Islamic light?

*Is it ok to name baby "MAHDI"?* Some says we should avoid citing reason it's more common in Shia which I personally don't find valid reason. One says it means *"Hidayatyab (guided to Right Path)"* and one should not be named as "self-praised" (khud ki tarif krna sahi nahi) , adding more reason that if someone calls at home _"Mahdi hai?"_ and if not available, we would reply _"Nahi hai"_ which means "ghar me hidayat nahi h"... So it's not good. But my ques in that case we normally try to give baby a good name whose meaning belongs to good sifat so in that case we would always reply k "nahi hai" when d baby is unavailable at home which would b same problem in every good name.

Can anyone please elaborate? (Sorry for long question)

A:

Wa alaykum salaam

Thank you for your question. There is no problem in naming a child Mahdi, Sadiq, Kazim, Haydar, Sajjad or any other epithets of the Imams (as) commonly used for naming children. Indeed it is cited in hadith that one of the responsibilities of the father is to select good names for his children and some of the best names are the names of the Infallibles (as) and their (as) epithets. Special stress has been placed in our hadith on naming a child Muhammad or Fatima and there is also a responsibility attached to naming a child with these two names.

The reasons given in your question for not naming a child Mahdi have no basis.

May you always be guided and of the companions of al-Mahdi!

Zoheir Ali