Is it against the Sunnah to have a kunyah (parental nickname) based on a female child’s name, like Aboo ‘Aa’ishah (the father of ‘Aa’ishah) or Umm ‘Aa’ishah (the mother of ‘Aa’ishah), because they are the parents of a girl named ‘Aa’ishah? Someone told me that the Sunnah is to use male names only in kunyahs.
While male names were predominantly used in kunyahs, there is nothing against having a kunyah based on a female name, like Aboo ‘Aa’ishah.
A group of the Companions had kunyas like this, namely:
- Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan (Aboo Laylaa)
- Aboo Hurayrah
- Aboo Umaamah
- Aboo Ad-Dardaa’
- Umm Ad-Dardaa’
- Aboo Ruqayyah Tameem ad-Daaree
- Aboo Kareemah al-Miqdaam ibn Ma’di-karb
- Aboo Laylaa, the father of ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Abee Laylaa
- Aboo Rayhaanah
- Aboo Reemah
- Aboo ‘Amrah Basheer ibn ‘Amr
- Aboo Faatimah Al-Laythee
- Aboo Maryam Al-Azdee
These Comapanions’ kunyahs were all mentioned by an-Nawawee in his book, al-Athkaar (pp.425-426 of ‘Abdul-Qaadir al-Arna’oot’s checking), in the chapter entitled: The Chapter of Taking a Kunyah Like Aboo Fulaanah and Aboo Fulaan, or Umm Fulaan or Umm Fulaanah for a Woman.
Since the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) never showed any dislike for any of these kunyahs, we can then consider kunyahs based on female names like these as being Sunnah, meaning: Sunnah Taqreeriyyah (Sunnah established through his approval, but not his own practice or statement).
And Allaah knows best.
Written by: Moosaa Richardson