In sha Allah, as I mentioned earlier I am going to go back to using my original name. It has become strange, impractical, and uncomfortable to use two names, one name in the Muslim community and another name outside of the community.
I remember reading Queen Noor’s book in which she spoke about having to be firm with her family to force them to recognize her conversion and name change. My family, co-workers, and friends I knew before my conversion call me one name, and my Muslim friends call me another name. I was in the car recently with my mother and a friend and they were each calling me by a different name.
I thought of legally changing my name but have decided against it. So the only thing for me to do is to re-assert my name change back to my original name. I figure that since we are in the blessed month of Ramadan that this would be the best time to make the announcement of the change. I pray that Allah azza wa jal makes it easy for me. I’m not exactly sure what I will say but I think it go something like this:
Random Sister: Asalamu alaykum sister …
Muslim Apple: Wa alaykum salaam, call me …
Random Sister: Why?
Muslim Apple: Because I’ve decided to keep my original name.
Random Sister: Ok, how do you pronounce that again?
Random Sister: Am I saying it right?
Random Sister: So, why did you change your name again?
In sha Allah, I’m going to begin the name change back tonight.
i’m interested in how sisters respond to this. let us know?
In sha Allah, I’m going to the masjid for iftar and taraweeh tonight so we’ll see. 🙂
This name change back campaign is harder than I thought it would be, in sha Allah, I will write a post about my experiences thus far when I get a chance.
You go, girl! Well, i’ve been pretty stubborn for 8 years about keeping my “non-Muslim” name. I like my name. Problem is we may move overseas soon, insha’Allah and my name does not go over well in areas more familiar with British English than American English, so i may take a nickname. But i plan on always using my original name in the states and with other Americans (Muslims or not).
Thanks musicalchef. It’s getting better, it’s just a slow process, and of course my original name is a bit unusual unless your familiar with Nigerian names so in addition to telling people my name I also have to teach them the correct pronunciation.
Please tell me that your original name is not Boopsie or something like that. Then again, if it’s a Nigerian name, I’m guessing now — though I don’t even know what a ‘Nigerian name’ would sound like if it fell on me. I’m always a bit abashed to realize that when I see a ‘foreign’ name (ie, not one that I see normally, like Sergei or Andre), I have no clue how to pronounce it (for one thing, with an accent or without?), whether its male or female, and even (if its Asian) which is the surname. Tough stuff.
its up 2 u, u change ur name into wot eva, its ur name and its non of another man business
ur doin da rite thing, if u want every 1 2 call u the name u want them 2 call u
Guess I’m fortunate in that my birth name is a Muslim name
Practically *all* names are Muslim – the only ones that aren’t are ones that have a bad meaning, or indicate polytheism such as ‘Abdul-Shams’. Very few of the Companions of the Prophet changed their names when they embraced Islam, including Bilal and Salman who had non-Arabic names.
(Picky I know)
Alhamdulillah, the name change back campaign is gathering steam and getting easier. I’ve decided it is best to tackle the situation in small groups of sisters and then to move to another group. This way they can help reinforce and remind each other of just what name they should be calling me.
I totally understand. I was under the false impression that we must have a “Muslim” name, which is really and Arabic name that we share with Arab Christians and others LOL. I changed my Nailah because I wanted to have an “African” name, and have been using it since I was 14. I found this name is pretty popular in Northern Africa and of course of arabic origin. My family and some of my high school friends still call me by the name my parents gave me. Legally, based on my experience changing your name is nightmare. The process is simple, what follows is a headache. Anyway, I do believe if we keep our birth names it will be a great form of dawah. To this day I’m still happy to meet Muslims named Diane, Jennifer, Corey, blah blah blah. Then again, in the black community you’ll meet tons of people named Bilal, Umar, Khadijah, Aishah, Kareem, Rahmeen, so I have finally realized a name really does not define you as a Muslim.
Asalamu alaykum Bint Will:
Recently, my mother tried to introduce me to one of her colleagues as in “this is my daughter Zainab” and I corrected her and said, “Mom, my name is Ify” and she was surprised. I told her I haven’t gone by Zainab in years, that I like my name i.e. the one she gave me, and that there was nothing wrong with having my original name. I can’t describe how happy she was and the delight in her expression at hearing me say that and she agreed that Ify is a good name.
I think so many of the people who push converts to take Arab or Muslim names don’t realize the impact this can have on our families. Islam places an importance on family and being good to parents, which is far more important than changing a name that has no negative connotations whatsoever.