It is common practice for converts to Islam to adopt Muslim names. But is it necessary – and what kind of name is appropriate? One Saudi blogger ponders the question, while some others are thinking about the use of aliases in the blogosphere – and yet another encourages the government to ‘name names’.
Zuhair asks whether you need to change your name when you change religion, in a post entitled ‘What if my name were Peter?‘:
Ali Al Omary wonders whether using a pseudonym online is a good thing:
ÙˆÙ‚Ø¯ ÙŠØ¹ØªØ¨Ø± Ø§Ù„Ø¨Ø¹Ø¶ Ø£Ù† Ù‡Ø°Ù‡ Ø§Ù„Ø¸Ø§Ù‡Ø±Ø© Ø¸Ø§Ù‡Ø±Ø© Ø´ÙƒÙ„ÙŠØ© Ù„Ø§ ÙŠØ¬Ø¨ Ø§Ù„ÙˆÙ‚ÙˆÙ Ø¹Ù†Ø¯Ù‡Ø§ Ø£Ùˆ Ø§Ù„Ø³Ø¹ÙŠ Ø¥Ù„Ù‰ Ø§Ù„ØªØ®Ù„Øµ Ù…Ù†Ù‡Ø§, ÙˆØ£Ù†Ø§ Ù„Ø§ Ø£ØªÙÙ‚ Ù…Ø¹ Ù‡Ø°Ø§ Ø§Ù„Ø¨Ø¹Ø¶, Ø¨Ù„ Ø£Ø±Ù‰ ÙÙŠÙ‡Ø§ Ø£ØØ¯ Ø£Ù‡Ù… Ø§Ù„Ø¹ÙˆØ§Ù…Ù„ Ø§Ù„Ù…ØªØ³Ø¨Ø¨Ø© ÙÙŠ ÙÙ‚Ø± Ø§Ù„ÙˆÙŠØ¨ Ø§Ù„Ø¹Ø±Ø¨ÙŠ ÙˆØªØ¯Ù†ÙŠ Ù…Ø³ØªÙˆÙ‰ Ø§Ù„ØªÙˆØ§ØµÙ„ ÙˆØ§Ù„ØÙˆØ§Ø± Ø¨ÙŠÙ† Ø£ÙØ±Ø§Ø¯Ù‡.
ØµØÙŠØ Ø£Ù† Ø§Ù„ØªØ®ÙÙŠ Ø®Ù„Ù Ø§Ø³Ù… Ù…Ø³ØªØ¹Ø§Ø±, Ù…Ù† Ø´Ø£Ù†Ù‡ Ø£Ù† ÙŠÙ…Ù†Ø Ø§Ù„Ù…ØªØ®ÙÙŠ Ù‡Ø§Ù…Ø´Ø§ Ø£ÙƒØ¨Ø± Ù…Ù† Ø§Ù„ØØ±ÙŠØ© ÙˆØ§Ù„Ø§Ù†Ø·Ù„Ø§Ù‚ Ø¯ÙˆÙ† Ù‚ÙŠÙˆØ¯, Ø¥Ù„Ø§ Ø£Ù†Ù‡ Ø³ÙŠØ¶Ø¹Ù Ù„Ø¯ÙŠÙ‡ Ø§Ù„Ø¥ØØ³Ø§Ø³ Ø¨Ø§Ù„Ù…Ø³Ø¤ÙˆÙ„ÙŠØ© Ø§Ù„Ø£Ø¯Ø¨ÙŠØ©, ÙˆÙ‚Ø¯ ÙŠØ¨Ø¯Ø¯ Ù…Ù† Ù†ÙØ³Ù‡ Ø§Ù„Ø·Ø§Ù‚Ø© Ø§Ù„ØªÙŠ ØªØ¯ÙØ¹Ù‡ Ø¥Ù„Ù‰ Ø¨Ø°Ù„ Ø§Ù„Ø¬Ù‡Ø¯ ÙÙŠ Ø¥Ù†Ø¬Ø§Ø² Ø¹Ù…Ù„ Ù…Ø§ Ø¨Ø´ÙƒÙ„ Ø¬ÙŠØ¯.
Ø¨Ø§Ù„Ø·Ø¨Ø¹Ø› Ù„Ø§ Ù…Ø§Ù†Ø¹ Ù…Ù† Ø£Ù† ÙŠÙƒØªØ¨ Ø§Ù„Ø¨Ø¹Ø¶ ØªØØª Ø§Ø³Ù… Ù…Ø³ØªØ¹Ø§Ø± ØÙŠÙ† ÙŠÙƒÙˆÙ† Ù‡Ù†Ø§Ù„Ùƒ Ø¶Ø±ÙˆØ±Ø© ØªØ³Ù‘ÙˆØº Ù„Ù‡ Ø°Ù„Ùƒ, Ø£Ù…Ø§ Ø£Ù† ÙŠØªØÙˆÙ„ Ø§Ù„Ø¥Ù†Ø±Ù†Øª Ø¥Ù„Ù‰ ØÙÙ„Ø© ØªÙ†ÙƒØ±ÙŠØ©, ÙÙ„Ø§ Ø£Ø¸Ù†Ù†Ø§ Ø³Ù†Ø¹Ø²Ø² Ù…Ù† ÙˆØ¬ÙˆØ¯Ù†Ø§ ÙÙŠ Ù‡Ø°Ø§ Ø§Ù„Ø¹Ø§Ù„Ù… Ø¨Ù‡Ø°Ø§ Ø§Ù„Ù„ÙˆÙ† Ù…Ù† Ø§Ù„Ù‡Ø±Ø¨ Ø§Ù„Ø¬Ù…Ø§Ø¹ÙŠ.
Meanwhile, the blogger Someone has decided that honesty is the best policy:
ÙØ¥Ù†ÙŠ Ø£Ø¹Ù„Ù† Ø§Ù„ØªØ§Ù„ÙŠ:
Ø£ÙˆÙ„Ø§Ù‹: ØªØºÙŠÙŠØ± Ø§Ø³Ù…ÙŠ Ø§Ù„Ù…Ø³ØªØ¹Ø§Ø± “someone” Ø§Ù„Ø°ÙŠ Ø£ÙƒØªØ¨ Ø¨Ù‡ Ø§Ù„ØªØ¯ÙˆÙŠÙ†Ø§Øª Ø¥Ù„Ù‰ Ø§Ø³Ù…ÙŠ Ø§Ù„ØµØ±ÙŠØ : ÙÙ‡Ø¯ Ø§Ù„ØØ§Ø²Ù…ÙŠ.
Ø«Ø§Ù†ÙŠØ§Ù‹: Ø§Ù„Ø¥ÙØµØ§Ø Ø¹Ù† Ù…Ø§ ÙŠÙ…ÙƒÙ† Ø§Ù„Ø¥ÙØµØ§Ø Ø¹Ù†Ù‡ ÙÙŠ ØµÙØØ© Ø§Ù„Ù†Ø¨Ø°Ø© Ø§Ù„Ø°Ø§ØªÙŠØ©ØŒ Ù…Ø«Ù„ Ø§Ù„Ù†Ø´Ø£Ø© ÙˆØ§Ù„Ø¯Ø±Ø§Ø³Ø© ÙˆØºÙŠØ±Ù‡Ø§ Ù…Ù† Ø§Ù„Ø£Ù…ÙˆØ±.
Ø«Ø§Ù„Ø«Ø§Ù‹: Ø¥Ù…ÙƒØ§Ù†ÙŠØ© Ø§Ø³ØªÙŠØ±Ø§Ø¯ Ø§Ù„Ø¨Ø¹Ø¶ Ù…Ù† ÙƒØªØ§Ø¨Ø§ØªÙŠ ÙˆÙ…Ù‚Ø§Ù„Ø§ØªÙŠ Ø§Ù„Ù…Ù†Ø´ÙˆØ±Ø© ÙÙŠ Ù…ÙˆØ§Ù‚Ø¹ Ù…Ø®ØªÙ„ÙØ© Ù…Ø«Ù„ Ø§Ù„Ø¥Ø³Ù„Ø§Ù… Ø§Ù„ÙŠÙˆÙ… ÙˆÙ…Ø¬Ù„Ø© Ø§Ù„Ø¹ØµØ± ÙˆÙØ¶Ø§Ø¡ Ø§Ù„ÙØ¶Ø§Ø¦ÙŠØ§Øª ÙˆØºÙŠØ±Ù‡Ø§ Ø¥Ù„Ù‰ Ø§Ù„Ù…Ø¯ÙˆÙ†Ø© Ù…Ø¹ Ø¥Ø¶Ø§ÙØ© ØªØ¹Ù‚ÙŠØ¨Ø§Øª ÙˆØ£ÙÙƒØ§Ø± Ø¬Ø¯ÙŠØ¯Ø© ØÙˆÙ„Ù‡Ø§.
Ø±Ø§Ø¨Ø¹Ø§Ù‹: ÙŠÙØ¨Ù„Øº Ø£Ù…Ø±Ù†Ø§ Ù‡Ø°Ø§ Ø¥Ù„Ù‰ Ø§Ù„Ø¬Ù‡Ø§Øª Ø§Ù„Ù…Ø®ØªØµØ©.
ÙˆØ§Ù„Ù„Ù‡ ÙŠØ³ØªØ± ÙˆØ¨Ø³ ØŒ ÙˆÙŠØ¹ÙŠÙ†Ù†Ø§ Ø¹Ù„Ù‰ ØªØÙ…Ù„ Ø§Ù„ØªØ¨Ø¹Ø§Øª.
"First: I am changing my pseudonym from ‘someone’ and will write my blog under my real name: Fahad Al Hazmi.
Second: I am declaring what I can in my ‘about’ page, such as my upbringing, education, and other matters.
Third: I will try and retrieve what I can of my articles, which have been published on other sites, such as Islam Today, and update them with new ideas and add them to this blog.
Fourth: I would like the concerned authorities to know about those decisions.
"And may Allah be able to protect me, and enable me to shoulder the consequences of all this."
And speaking of names, John Burgess, a former US foreign service officer who blogs about Saudi Arabia, comments on the importance of ‘naming and shaming’, in a post entitled ‘Time to Start Naming Names in Saudi Arabia‘:
There is a tendency in Saudi Arabia – as in most other Arab countries – to not air dirty laundry in public, even other people’s dirty laundry. Thus, we hear about crimes, but never about who committed them. … It was quite a shock, in fact, when the Saudi Ministry of Interior released names and photos of Al-Qaeda terrorists within the Kingdom in 2003, creating the first public ‘Most Wanted’ lists. If government acknowledges that crimes against the public have been committed, it does have a duty to inform the public that there are dangerous people about. It’s not enough to arrest them as the vagaries of the Saudi courts could very well mean that these people are out of jail and again committing crimes and the public has no warning whatsoever. Shame is a powerful tool in Arab culture. Governments and media should use it, when appropriate, to reach ends in the service of society.