Question # 107: I named daughter ‘Eshaal’ after seeing it on some website referred it as Qur’anic name. Can you please verify it?

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.

Answer:  The meaning of the word ‘eshaal’ (إِشْعَال) is burning, ignition which comes from the root word ‘ش ع ل ’ (SH-AIN-L) which means to ignite, combust. The word itself does not appear in the Qur’an, but the variant verb of it ‘ishta’ala’ (اشْتَعَلَ) appears in the Qur’an in Soorah Maryam, which means to burn, to flame, to catch fire, to ignite, or to enkindle.

Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “He said, “My Lord, indeed my bones have weakened, and my head has flared (Ashta`al) up with white (hairs), and never have I been in my supplication to You, my Lord, unhappy.” (Soorah Maryam, 19:4)

The word appears in the context of Zakariyya (عليه السلام) and his supplication for a son; in this ayah, he informs Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) of his weakness and old age, and its external and internal traces. (Tafseer Ibn Kathir)

The literal meaning of اشْتَعَلَ is a sudden burst of fire. Here the word is used as a simile for grey hair covering the head like a glow of fire.  [In this ayah,] …Zakariyya (عليه السلام) before making his supplication, mentioned about his weakness and old age by referring to his bones. One of the reasons for this was, as pointed out in the translation, that in his peculiar circumstances i.e., his old age and physical weakness, it was not appropriate for him to ask for a child. Another reason given by Imam Qurtubi in his commentary is that for possible acceptance of supplication it is better to mention one’s weakness, destitution and inadequacy… (‘Ma’ariful Qur’an’ by Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi’)

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.