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Last updated: 8th October 2006
Question ID: #2676
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8th October 2006

i would like to know if nicknames are allowed in islam.

Ulamaa ID 09
Answer last updated on:
14th October 2007
Answered by:
Ulamaa ID 09
Location: Zambia

Wa 'Alaykumussalaam wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh.

Allaah Most High says in the Glorious Qur'aan:

"...And do not call each other (by derogatory and insulting) names. (Al-Hujraat, 11:49)

The above verse forbids Muslims from calling their fellow bretheren using names that would come accross as humilating or resentful. For example, 'fatso', 'shorty', 'dumbo', or anything that would hurt the person addressed. Therefore such nicknames will not be permissible to use unless the person is so commonly called by it that he would not be known by his actual name.

Also, nicknames that are un-islamic should not be used, as a person's name has an effect on him. A promiscuous or indecent nickname will have that sort of an effect on the person.

However, loving and affectionate nicknames are permissible. Allaah Ta'aala himself lovingly called Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) by names other than his actual name. For example, "O You wrapped up in a cloth".

The Messenger (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) too called his wife 'Aishah (radhiallaahu 'anha) "Humayraa" (one with pink cheeks). At times he would lovingly call her "O 'Aish". He nicknamed another Sahaabi "the father of the kitten", because he would always have some cat or another with him. There are many such examples found in the books of Hadeeth.

And Allaah Ta'aala knows best.