Keeping names like Abdun-Nabi



To keep names like Abdun-Nabi, Abdur-Rasool, Abdul-Mustapha, Abdul-Ali, etc. is permissible. Similarly, to call yourself the servant (banda) of the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is also allowed. This is proven from the Quran, Hadith and rulings of the Jurists. However, there are some people who refute this.


The Holy Quran states, “And make Nikah of those who have not married, and your slaves and slave-girls who are virtuos.,21.1- Surah Noor, Verse 32

Here, ‘Ibaad’ supplements (muzaaf) the pronoun ‘Kum’, meaning “Your Slaves.”

“(O My Beloved صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) Say: “O my slaves who have been oppressive upon themselves, do not be hopeless of Allah’sعزوجل mercy “21.1a – Surah Zumr, Perse 53

There are two possibilities that arise from “O my slaves”,

1. It is either Allahعزوجل saying it,

2. Or the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم.

In the second case, ‘Ibaadu Rasoolillah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is meant, meaning the Holy Prophet’sصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم slave and Ummati. The second meaning has also been adapted by the pious. Maulana Rumi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, “The Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم has made the entire creation his slaves. Read the Quran and you will find ‘Ya Ibaadi’ (O my slaves …).” – Mathnawi Sharif

Haaji Imdaadullah Muhaajir Makki رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ states, ‘Ibaadullah’ (servants of Allahعزوجل) can be called ‘Ibaadur-Rasool’ (servants of the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم). The Holy Quran slales, “Qui Ya Ibaadi.” The pronoun in ‘Ibaadi’ (my slaves) returns to the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم ” – Rlsaala Nafkhaa Makkiya, Translation of Shamaaime-Imdaadia, Pg.135

Maulwi Ashraf Ali Thanwi translates this ayat as, “(0 Muhammadصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) Say, “O My slaves …”

With reference to Riyaadun-Nudrah, etc, Shah Waliullah رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ records that Hal Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ said while he was on the mimbar, “I accompanied the Holy Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم his servant (banda) and attendant (khaadim).,,21.4 – Izaalatul-Khijaa

Discussing the incident when Hadrat Abu Bakr رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ bought Hadrat Bilaal رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ brought him to Rasoolullah’s صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم court, Maulana Rumi states, “He said, ‘” both are slaves of your court. I free him before you.” – Mathnawi Sharif

Allama Haskafi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ quotes the lineage of his teacher in the following words, narrate this from our Shaikh, Abdun-Nabi Khaleeli رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ “21.6 -The Khutba of Durre-Mukhtaar

This establishes that the teacher of Allama Haskafi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ was named Abdun-Nr (the servant of the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم). In the eulogy (marsiya) of Rashid Ahm Gangohi, Maulwi Mahmood Hasan Deobandi writes, “Acceptance is this are being accepted should be in this manner. His (Rashid Ahmed’s) black sIal (ubaid) has the title ofYusuf-e-Thaani.”

This shows that the dark and black slaves of Maulwi Rashid Deobandi hal’ been given the title of Yusuf-e-Thaam by his followers. In short, supplementin the word ‘Abd’ (slave) to someone besides Allahعزوجل is proven from the Qurun Hadith, books of Fiqh and even from the opinions of the opposition. Arabs also generally say “Abdi” (my servant).

Another book of the opposition, Taqwiyatul-Imaan, states that keeping name; like Ali Baksh, Peer Baksh, Ghulaam Ali, Madaar Baksh, Abdun-Nabi, etc. ii polytheism (shirk). However, the paternal family-tree of Maulwi Rashid Alune is recorded as “Maulwi Rashid Ahmed, son of Maulana Hidaayat Ahmed, sic Qaadhi Peer Baksh, s/o Ghulaam Hasan, s/o Ghulaam Ali. His maternal lineage is “Rashid Ahmed, s/o Kareemun-Nisaa, daughter of Farid Baksh, sic Ghulaam Qaadir, s/o Muhammad Saalih, s/o Ghulaam Muhammad.?, Tazkiratur-Rashid. Part 1, Pg. J 3

Deobandis are asked whether the family Buzurgs of Maulwi Rashid Ahmed are Mushriks and Murtads or not? If they aren’t, why not? If they are, is tile’ offspring of a Murtad considered legitimate?




OBJECTION 1: Abd’ is the root word of Aabid (a person who worsbips1 so Abdun-Nabi will mean “a person who worships the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. This b explicit polytheism (shirk). Thus, such a name is prohibited.

Answer – Abd can mean aabid (a person who worships) and khaadirn (a servant). When the word is related to Allahعزوجل, it has the former meaning and when it is joined towards someone other than Allahعزوجل; it has the latter (khaadim-ghulaam). Therefore, Abdun-Nabi means “the slave of the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم .Alamghiri states, “Keeping names that are found in the Holy Quran like Ali, Rashid and Badee is permissible because these have collective meanings. When they are used in conjunction to the creation, their meanings, which are not meant for Allahعزوجل , will be expressed.” 21.8 – Kitaabul-Karaahiyat, Baabu Tasmiyatul-Aulaad

Allah’sعزوجل name is Ali, and the fourth Khalifa of Islam also has this name. Likewise, Badee, Rashid, etc. are names of Allahعزوجل but can also be names of the creation as well. The connotation of these words will obviously change. So, Abdullah means “the worshipper of Allahعزوجل and Abdun-Nabi means “the servant of the Prophetصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم”. If this interpretation is not made, what meaning will those ayats which we have presented in the previous chapter have?

OBJECTION 2: A Hadith states, “None of you should say. ‘Abdi’ or ‘Ummati” (my servant). All of you are Allah’sعزوجل slaves and so are your women. You should rather say ‘Ghulaami’ or ‘Jaariyati’.” 21.9-Mishkaat, Baabul-Adabil-Asaami & Muslim, Vol. 2. Kitaabul-Alfaaz minal-Adab

This proves that supplementing the word ‘Abd’ (slave) to someone besides Allahعزوجل is contrary to the Ahadith and is effectively Haraam. As a result, Abdun-Nabi is prohibited as a name.

Answer -This stopping is based on a Makrooh-e- Tanzeehi (i.e. saying “Ghulaami” is better than saying “Abdi”.) Imaam Nawawi رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes in the annotation of this Hadith, “If it is said that one of the signs of Qiyaamat which Rasoolullahصلی اللہ علیہ وسلم spoke -bout is that a slave-girl will give birth to her Rubb (meaning a slave has been called “Rubb”), there are two answers to this,

1. The second Hadith explains permissibility.

2. The first Hadith’s prohibition is for etiquette (adab). The Dislike (Karaahat) in this is Tanzeehi, not Tahrimi.” – Sharah Sahih Muslim

At the same juncture, Muslim also states “فان قیل قد قال النبی علیہ السلام فی اشراط الساعۃ ان تلد الامۃ ربتھا فالجواب من جھین احدھما ان الحدیث الثانی لبیان الجواز و ان النھی فی الاول للادب و کراھۃ التنزیہ لا لتحریم” and, “Do not call grapes Karam because a Muslim is Karam, 21.l1

A Hadith states, “Haka is Allahعزوجل, i.e. command and authority is His. So why is your name Abul-Hakam (the father of Hakam)?” 21.lla – Mishkaat, Kitaabul· Adab, Baabul-Asaami

Mishkaat records the following, “Do not name your slaves Yasaar, Ribaah, Najeeh or Aflah.” 21.12 -Ibid

The prohibition against these names in all of the above Ahadith is based on slight dislike (Karaahat-e-Tanzeehi). Otherwise, there will be a major contradiction between the Quran and the Ahadith. Rubb is Allah’sعزوجل name but the Quran has called the slaves Rubb as well, “کما ربیانی صغیرا”21.13 “فارجع الی ربک”,21.14

If a person calls someone his Murabbi (guardian) or Rubb (master), he doesn’t become a polytheist (Mushrik). Yes, if you abstain from this, there no problem because keeping these names is not compulsory.

On the contrary, keeping them to incite the Wahabies or Deobandies of today is a means of much reward, similar to the case of slaughtering a cow in India for Qurbaani (as a demonstration to Hindus).

In the chapter on Fatiha, we have already discussed that the preferred (Mustahab) action which the enemies of the deen try to stop from occurring should definitely be performed.

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