Shaykh Ibn Baaz: Is the Name “Muhsin” Allowed?

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

The following question was posed to the great scholar, Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have Mercy on him):

My name is Muhsin*, and a student of knowledge told me that this name was not allowed. He advised me to change my name. What is your opinion, may Allaah reward you with goodness?

*Muhsin literally means one who does things proficiently, with sincerity to Allaah. It also carries the meaning of one who is kind and graceful to others.

The shaykh responded, saying:

There is no problem [with this name], since it is one of the names which can be used [for people], like ‘Azeez (Mighty), Samee’ (one who hears), Haleem (gentle), and their likes. Allaah’s Names are not something forbidden for the people to use, except for those which are exclusive to Him, the Exalted, like:

  • al-Khallaaq (the Ever-Creating)
  • ar-Razzaaq (the Ever-Providing)
  • Maalik al-Mulk (the Owner of the Dominion)
  • ar-Rahmaan (the Most Gracious)
  • and the likes of these Names.

As for names which are not exclusive to Him, then a person may take one which suits him, and for Allaah are Names that suit Him. So, a person can be called Haleem, Ra’oof (kind), or Raheem (merciful), since Allaah has described His Prophet, Muhammad (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) as:

بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَؤُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
With the believers, he is kind and merciful [9:128]

Similarly are the names as-Samee’ (one who hears) and al-Baseer (one who sees), as found in the Statement of Allaah the Mighty and Most High:

إِنَّا خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ أَمْشَاجٍ نَّبْتَلِيهِ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا
Verily We created mankind from a droplet, mixed, to be put through difficulties, and We made him someone who hears and sees

He referred to him (mankind) as Samee’ (hearing) and Baseer (seeing).

To summarize, people can use some of the Names of Allaah, those which are not exclusive to Him, the Exalted, like Samee’, Baseer, Qadeer (capable), Haleem, Ra’oof (kind), Raheem (merciful), etc. And Muhsin is from this category.

Source: One of the shaykh’s answers on the Noor ‘alad-Darb radio program, as found here on the shaykh’s official website, or here in this audio clip.

Translation by: Moosaa Richardson for (1437.04.06)

22 thoughts on “Shaykh Ibn Baaz: Is the Name “Muhsin” Allowed?

  1. asalam mahlaikoem admin/ustadh moosa richardson,

    djazakkallahoegaiyran for this fawaid. I wanted to know if the name maalik is also permissible to use(ya’ni to name yourself maalik)?

    may allah reward you all

    • Wa ‘alaykas-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. I don’t think anyone has ever taken Imaam Maalik ibn Anas to task about his name! ِAnd there were many Companions named Maalik, and Allaah is pleased with all of them.

      • as salamu-alaicum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!

        dear ustadh moosa,

        how about mutakabbir and muhaymeen? are these names exclusive only to allah-subhana wa ta’ala?

        • Wa ‘alayk as-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Mutakabbir is not allowed as a name for people as kibr (pride) is not allowed for them. Thus, that Name is exclusive to Allaah. As for Muhaymin, I don’t know.

          • If pride is seen as a negative attribute then how can we ascribe it to Allah the most perfect?

          • It is a blameworthy attribute with people, because they are deficient, weak, and in need, and thus they have no grounds to have pride. Yet, Allaah, is different than His Creation. He is Perfect, and all His Attributes are Attributes of Perfection, and thus He is al-Mutakabbir, the Justly Proud. As Muslims, we understand there are things befitting Allaah that are not befitting His Creation (He is worshipped, He is justly proud, He is not asked about what He does, etc.), just as there are things allowed for Mankind which are not befitting unto Allaah (having a wife, a son, partners, and associates, sleep, illness, etc.). All of these differences are based on Allaah being the Perfect and Flawless Creator, and Man being the imperfect and deficient Creation. And Allaah knows best.

  2. As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh,

    I would like to know if it is better to have « ‘Abdul- » as a prefix for names such as Muhsin, ‘Azeez etc..

    Jazaaka l-laahu khayraan.

  3. as-salāmu ʿalaykoum waa Raḥmatullāhi waa Barakātuh,

    From what I’ve understood thus far is that you can name your child any good, appropriate name just as long as it isn’t a name that befits Allāh Alone, i.e., al-Raḥmān, al-Khāliq, al-Razzāq (without adding ʿAbd at the beginning) etc. and a name that shouldn’t be too praiseworthy like adding ad-Dīn. Would this also apply to the name Mukhliṣ or is it too praiseworthy?

    In addition, I’ve heard that it is good/a Sunnah to call your child by a nickname for example, a boy whose birth name is Aḥmad but he is nicknamed Abū (something attributed to him) or even Abū Bakr to help motivate him to become a better person, etc.

    Please could you clarify both these questions In shāʾ Allāh, JazākaAllāhu khayran.

  4. السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

    Ustaadh what is the principle that one can use to underatand names that are exclusive to Allah and thus obligate to have ‘Abd” if one wishes to use it to Name a child after it.. and other which are pernissible to use without ” Abd “?

  5. Asalamualykum
    Is it permissible for someone to return to their country of origin (kuffar) after making hijrah if things get hard or they can’t get a visa in the Muslim country.

    Also could you please put all the tafsir lessons into one playlist/collection when you get the time

    May Allah bless u and your family. ameen

  6. Assalamualaykkum,

    Regarding, “Allaah’s Names are not something forbidden for the people to use, except for those which are exclusive to Him, the Exalted, like:….”

    Any reference to all the names exclusive to Allah, that cannot be named? so that we are aware in advance.

    BaarakAllahu feek

    Abu AbdirRahman Rajeef

  7. First I would like to correct some of the people who seemed their questions have some confusions, because allah,s names are all exclusive to him and anything else is abdi or his slaves, therefore you want your child name one of the names of allah its must, you say abdi-majeed or muhsin or any one of the 99 names of allah,and they are all same means saying my child is the slave of majeed for example, therefore we cannot say my child his name is majeed or muhsin these names are exclusive to only allah and allah knows best

    • Welcome to Abaa Uthman. I invite you to correct your understanding of the topic by reading the article above and understanding the evidences. Be warned, dear brother, and may Allaah grant you success, be warned against forbidding the servants of Allaah from what Allaah has not forbidden them from, as He has said:

      وَلا تَقُولُوا لِما تَصِفُ أَلْسِنَتُكُمُ الْكَذِبَ هَذَا حَلالٌ وَهذا حَرامٌ لِتَفْتَرُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ لا يُفْلِحُونَ
      “And do not say, regarding what your tongues depict dishonestly: ‘This is permissible, and that is impermissible…’ that you invent lies upon Allaah! Certainly, those who invent lies upon Allaah are not successful.” [an-Nahl: 116]

      And the door of repentance is wide open, and Allaah is the Oft-Forgiving, the Ever Merciful, and Allaah knows best.

  8. Assalaamu’alaykum Ustaadh..

    A brother I met has the name ‘abd al-Sattaar.

    This is probably the first time I am hearing such a name.

    Is al-Sattaar a name from the names of Allaah?

  9. As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum Wa-Rahmatullaah,

    How should الله be written in english? Is it “Allah” as it’s most commonly spelled? Or is it “Allaah”? Also, assuming one of them is right & the other is wrong, would the latter have an effect on the meaning of the Name?

    • Wa ‘alayk as-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. We do not know of any names of Allaah in English. We only say “Allah” or “Allaah” as a transliteration of His Name الله.

  10. Assalamu Alayk,

    In regards to the above article, it mentions that the name Ar Rahman is exclusive to Allaah Taa’la. So if the surname of an individual was Rahman – eg: It would appear as Rabee Rahman, is this a surname that is acceptable or does Abdul need to be adding before the word Rahman?

    Jazak Allaahu Kheiran

  11. Assalamu alaykum

    My brother’s name is Abdur Rasheed. I heard that Rasheed is not from one of Allah’s names, is that true ?
    If that is the case, does he has to change his name ?

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