Giving to Children Their Names
Quoted from the book (An Hour with Ghosts) By Mohammed-Ali Hassan Al-Hilli

In the pre-Islam period, they called their sons: Abd – Al-lat, Abd – Al-uzza, Abd – Manat, Abd – Shams and other names which declared them slaves of idols and pillars; or they name them as slaves or servants of the angels. In fact, Prophet Mohammed – salam be to him – prohibited the naming with such names.

[The word Abd: means a slave or a servant; and notice that the title of Prophet Jacob: "Israel" which means: Isra-el: the servant of God: the same in Arabic as Abd-Allah.]

Nowadays, the same situation has appeared again; because people started to name their sons: Abd – Al-Hassan, Abd – Al-Hussein, Abd – Al-Zahra, Abd – Al-Hamza, Abd – Al-Ekhwa and other names which declare them as slaves or servants of imams and sheikhs; while this as a whole is some sort of associating [these imams and sheikhs] with God.

This kind of names is not allowed, even if you name your son Abd – Al-Nabi [i.e. the servant of the prophet], or Abd – Mohammed; because all people are God's servants and they are not servants or slaves of men.

It is mentioned that Imam Ali – salam be to him – sent a message to Hassan, his son, including admonishing and advices. In one of such advices he said: "And never be a slave of others while God has made you free."

Therefore, if you want to name your son, then name him: Abd – Allah, Abd – Al-Kariem or Abd – A-Rahiem or what is like that of names [which signifies slavery to God alone]; in order that God will be pleased with you and will not dislike you.

Read more