Question # 37: What does Islam say about naming your male child on one of the primary angels (Mikhael, Jibrael, Ishrafeel). Is it allowed, prohibited, makrooh?

bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: Although there is difference of opinion among scholars about naming one’s child after the name of the angels, it is preferable not to use the names and the like of Abraar, Malaak, Eemaan and Jibreel.

Long Answer: Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about giving the names Abraar, Malaak, Eemaan and Jibreel.

He replied: The names Abraar, Malaak, Eemaan and Jibreel should not be used. (Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen)

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Barraak (may Allah preserve him) was asked about calling a girl Malaak and he said: It is better not to do it, for two reasons:

  1. What is meant by Malaak is malak (angel), and there is exaggeration in giving someone this name.
  1. It is a name that is well known among the (Arab) Christians, who are the ones who say malaak for malak. There are so many good names, with which there is no problem, that there is no need to use names that are dubious or problematic.

Ibn ul-Qayyim said in his book “Tuhfat il-Mawdood fi Ahkaam il-Mawlood” in the second chapter under “What is preferred among the names and what is considered reprehensible among them” said: “… and among them are the names of the angels such as Gibraa’eel and Meekaa’eel and Israafeel, it is makrooh to name human beings with these names. Ash’had said: Imam Maalik (may Allah have mercy upon him) was asked regarding naming someone the name Gibreel he abhorred it and it didn’t please him; Judge ‘ayaad said: “… and others allowed it.” Abdul-Razzak said in al-Jaami’ via Ma’mar: “I said to Hammaad ibn Abi Sulaiman what would you say regarding a man whose name is Gibreel or Mikaa’eel, and he responded, ‘There is no objection.’ (laa ba’s bi-hi)”

Regarding the hadith: “laa tusammow bi-asmaa’ il-malaa’ikah” (“don’t name yourselves with the names of the angels”), al-Bukhari has said that the validity of its chain of narration is questionable. This means that the hadith would not be considered sahih. (Tuhfat il-Mawdood)

In al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyya most of the scholars have ruled that using the names of the angels like Gibreel and Mikaa’eel is not makrooh (disagreeable or reprehensible). Maalik, on the other hand, has ruled that it is makrooh. (al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyya, al-Kuwait)

Some have stated that the meaning of Gibreel is Abdullah and likewise Mikaa’eel (See Tafseer Ibn Katheer under ayat numbers 97-98 in Soorah al-Baqarah)

Thus, based on what has been presented, it is preferable not to use the names of the angels, and that we follow the rightly-guided forefathers in the naming of our children and in the naming of those who accept Islam among the non-believers. The most preferred names, no doubt, are Abdullah and Abdul-Rahman as has been related in the sound hadith. (Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.