well looky here

I’m ahead of the times.

Why do some Muslim converts change their whole names and others only part?

Like the motivations to convert in the first place, the reasons to change or keep one’s name vary from person to person. That said, the majority of Muslims who enter the faith choose to alter their names to mark the beginning of a new chapter in their lives. Experts on American Muslims suspect that converts to Islam are more likely to adopt new names than those who switch to other religions, and to make use of their new names in day-to-day life rather than assuming them purely for symbolic reasons. It’s not clear why that might be the case, although the adoption of Islamic beliefs and traditions may reflect a more substantial departure from mainstream American culture than, say, converting to Judaism or Christianity.

Are they really not sure why it’s the case?  Really?  Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that new muslims are relentlessly pestered to change their name by (usually well meaning) born muslims?  Or feel obligated to adopt the name some stranger gives them when they make shahada?

Maybe I should be an expert on american muslims?


10 thoughts on “well looky here

  1. Just noticed the Rumi quote in the upper left corner. “My Beloved” has opened so much inside of me as I study religions of our world and link with Him by any, all and none of the names we create for Him.


    michael j

    • It is one of my favorite quotes in the mystical vein. Oftentimes, esoteric things go right over my head, but being lost in the Divine is something I can understand.

  2. Gosh, I should be an expert as well. <_< for most it's either pressured or conjoled or just told otherwise but don't realize its even necessary into changing a name. Aye. People need to be unbiased when being an expert. That included Muslims who insist that taking on an "Islamic" (read Arab) name is wajib.

  3. I have not experienced the pressure. I know there is pressure, but I wonder how many just claim they were pressured to explain a choice for which they find it hard to come up with a clear alternative explanation? Most of the converts (female) I know seem extremely eager to take a “Muslim” name and the name quite frequently precedes their shahada.

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