Jul 20, 2012

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Is it permissible to change my last name?

Is it permissible to change my last name?

Question

I want to change my name to an Islamic name simply because I  like to be called by Islamic name. And if I change my name, I can also change the picture in my passport (which is without hijab currently). Once I change in my passport, I can change my ‘non-hijab’ picture in my driving license and other official places Insha Allah.

According to Wikipedia, my last name (or surname) is one of the Niyogi Brahmins surnames. Brahmin is the class of priests and preachers of Dharma in Hinduism. Niyogis are a sect of Brahmins and are predominantly Telugu speakers. Here is the reference
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niyogi#Surnames_.28Family_Names.29_of_Niyogi_Brahmins

So, my question is – can I change my last name (or surname)? Is it recommended for me to change my last name or is it forbidden? Or is it alright to have a last name (or surname) of that origin. Or should I have an Islamic surname along with my original surname? I have made Istikhara regarding changing my name. Insha Allah I will go ahead with the process once you respond regarding my last name (or surname) query. So, please help me.

Answer

In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalāmu ῾alaykum wa Rahmatullāhi Wabarakātuh

Alhamdullilah, we are very pleased to see that you wish to embed Islamic values in every aspect of your life; this is a true sign of Imaan which you perceive within you. We make dua to Allah Ta’ala that he grants you steadfastness and happiness in your life. Aameen

In principle there is no need to change ones surname, however if you feel your surname has some link with the Hindu priests, then to change your surname would be desirable.

And Allāh Ta῾āla Knows Best

Mufti Luqman Hansrot

Fatwa Dept.

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