Changing Surname After Marriage

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By Pure Matrimony -

Source :
By Asma bint Shameem
In our eagerness to copy the West, we Muslims have adopted many of their practices which have no basis in the Sharee’ah. And among them is the practice of a woman changing her family name to that of her husband after she gets married.
The fact is that Islam does not require woman to change her name at marriage and there is nothing in the Sunnah to indicate that a woman should take her husband’s name after she gets married.
Actually, the Ulama tell us that this is an innovated practice that is not approved of in Islaam.
Now, I know some people will say“ Oh, come on, What’s the big deal?”
So read on and you will know what I mean.

The wives of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) are the Mothers of the Believers, and the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam), is the noblest of people and the best example. And yet when we look at their example, we will realize that when the Prophet(Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) married any of his wives, NOT ONE of them took his name. On the contrary, each one of them kept her father’s name even if her father was a kaafir. Similarly, the wives of the Sahaabah and those who came after them did not change their names.

Did you ever think why they didn’t do that?
Surely, if it was a good thing, the wives of the Prophet(Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) would have done it and the Prophet(Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) would himself have instructed it and encouraged them to do it.
That is because it is Allaah’s order to keep your father’s name as an indication of your lineage.

Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just with Allaah…” [al-Ahzaab 33:5].
And the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

“Whoever calls himself by other than his father’s
name, will be cursed by Allaah, the angels and all the people.” (Ibn Maajah -Saheeh by al-Albaani).

And he (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) also said:

“Whoever knowingly claims to belong to anyone other than his father, Paradise will be denied him.” (Ahmad, al-Bukhaari, Muslim).

Now some might argue….“But the woman is not claiming that her father is someone else. She is just honoring her husband or she doesn’t mean it that way. She just wants to belong to her husband out of love for him.”

To those people I say.
If it was a matter of honor to have the husbands name attached to the wife’s, wouldn’t our Ummahaat have done that??

Isn’t it the biggest honor in the WORLD to have the name of the Prophet(Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) attached to yours? And yet the wives of the Prophet(Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) didn’t do that.
Ever wonder why?

And if it was a matter of expressing love for the husband, no relationship between a husband and wife on the face of this earth was better than the relationship between the Prophet(Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) and his wives. And yet none of the Mothers of the Believers expressed their love for the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) by changing their last names.

It doesn’t make any sense
The last name is an indication of the father of the person and represents the person’s lineage.
Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd said: “This is one of the beauties of Sharee’ah, because calling a person by his father’s name is more appropriate for knowing who is who and telling people apart…..” (Tasmiyat al-Mawlood, 30, 31).

Originally, the woman is ‘the Daughter of So and so’, and NOT ‘the wife of So and so’. Since there is no blood relationship between the husband and wife, how can she take his last name as if she is part of the same lineage?

And surely, she is not claiming that he is her father!
Also what happens if she gets divorced, or her husband dies, and she marries another man? Will she keep changing her surname every time she marries another man?
In addition to this, there are rulings attached to the woman being named after her father, which have to do with her inheritance, spending and who is her mahram, etc. Taking her husband’s last name overlooks all that.

Also, if you think about it, the husband is named after his own father, and what does she have to do with the lineage of her husband’s father? This goes against common sense and true facts.
Besides, the husband has nothing that makes him better than his wife’s father. So why should she give up her father’s name and take her husband’s last name??
And why does the man get to keep his father’s name and not the woman??!!
It just doesn’t make any sense.

Sheikh Salih Al-Munajjid says:
“A woman changing her family name to that of her husband after she gets married is Haraam and is not allowed in Sharee’ah, because it is not permissible for anyone to claim to belong to anyone other than his or her father…… And Allaah knows best.” (

Not only is it so in this world, but, we will also be called by our father‘s name in the Hereafter as well. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

“On the Day of Resurrection, each betrayer will have a banner raised beside him, and it will be said, this is the betrayer of So and so, the son of So and so.” (Bukhaari, Muslim).

So, all you single females out there, don’t be in such a hurry to change your maiden name after you get married. And those of you who have already done that, it is never too late. Take back your maiden name and reclaim your identity. It is part of the Sharee’ah.

Wa Allahu alaam.
Source :

39 Comments to Changing Surname After Marriage

  1. Fathimath Afiya

    You didn’t mention about the numerous muslim women who are born without fathers and through no fault of them. It would be important to have a discussion with the pointers focused on the reality!

      • Mustapha Kazeem

        In response to what sister Fathima said you will refer to whoever that doest have parent has so and so bint bro of Islam or bintu sister in Islam
        Wa Allahu Alaam

  2. Assalaamu ‘alaykum and JazakalLaah for sharing this important information. While I completely agree that women should follow the Sunnah and keep their fathers’ names in principle, I do sometimes wonder how to combat one of the challenges the West presents: with so many unwed mothers out there and so many girlfriend/boyfriend relationships, how does an honourable married Muslim woman reflect her respectable married status without being confused for one of those who is unmarried and carrying on like a married woman (in relationships and having children etc)? I do know of women who keep their maiden names (let’s say she is ‘Miss Fatima (bint) Adam’ and she marries so she becomes Mrs Fatima Adam) but they are confused for being married to their fathers! AstaghfirulLaah! Is it really true that there is no reconciliation to this problem???
    We also note that everywhere it is said the women do not HAVE TO take their husband’s name, yet nowhere does it clearly state that she MUST NOT take his name… and in the Noble Quraan, AlLaah does clearly tell us not to mae Haraam what He has made Halaal and not to make Halaal what He has made Haraam – therefore, can we reall say it is ‘harram’ per say to take her husband’s name?
    Please don’t misunderstand, I do agree that women should keep their fathers’ names, but I’d just like clarification over this very real dilemma – because I for one do not want to be confused either with being married to my father (yuk) or being an unwed women after my marriage.

    • shenaaz adam

      wa alykoum salam Munjlee. I appeal to you to read your comment carefully. In reality when people hear any name with Mrs in front of it, they automatically assume that you are married. But they do not automatically think that you are married to your father. That doesnt even enter their thoughts. So there is no confusion in the real world. If a situation arises where you are questioned about your married status and children, a simple explanation sorts it out with no problems. I am a revert and have been for 17 years but I have kept my fathers name. The only question and confusion that I cause is why a muslim has a christian name. When i am questioned about my married status I say married and it goes down as Mrs C Pugin and nowhere in there does anyone say “yuk, she’s married to her father “. Stick to sunnah and all will go well with no problems. May Allah guide you.

  3. Ayisha Mariyam

    Assalamu alaikum. I do agree with you but as you see.. I was named Ayisha Mariyam by my fathe..and this creates lot of confusion as i have two names..i dont hve my fathers name along with nine.. Also im not married.. I really want to change my name to either my father’s or husband’s as im going to get married soon.. I dont know wt to confused..

    • Change it to your fathers (or attach your father’s name to your existing name) and May Allah reward you 🙂

  4. You are teh last one to ask about Islam,I am sorry but you are lost and what you saying is not true,your islam is not islam,The western muslims the hwite,black and the pakis are just I do not know welad al 9hab

  5. Assalamualaikum,
    I am sorry I can’t cite textual evidence at the moment, but it is my understanding that as for the last hadith you mentioned, people will actually be called by their mother’s name (i.e. so-and-so, son/daughter of [so-and-so’s mother]) on the Day of Judgment. You may want to double check the claim that people are called by their father’s name on the Day of Judgment. wAllahuA3lam

  6. As salamu alaikum,
    From my own part of the world it is said a lady can change her surname provided that she bears her fathers name as her middle name but not her last name. As in Fauziya-my name, Imran-my father’s name and Usman-my husbands name.
    Pls what is the ruling of these kind of practice is it accepted islamically

  7. Bilal Jawaid

    i have the same question.. and this matter is so vast to write a short note on it, i think each n ever point must be clearly defined.
    over all its a gain in knowledge

  8. Siham gseir

    Salam walakum.. I am married woman and have kepy my fathers name as i new it wasnt right to take my husbands. However with regards to children as you ad your child have different surnames it becomes extremely difficult to do day to day things as they dont believe im the mother especially when trying to go on holiday which i have been refused to board a plane due to the fact that they did not belive i was the mother and must now carry birth certificates everywere!

    • ma sha Allah ukhti may Allah reward your struggle!!! nothing better than a muslima willing to suffer for her deen. It is Allah’s promise not to let the reward of those believers who do good be wasted, may Allah raise you and your family in rank and closeness with Him for every incident of inconvenience and discomfort, amin.

    • Bismilah AlRahman, AlRahim…

      Al hamdou liLah, we Spaniards have no problem whatsoever.
      We carry our father’s and mother’s last name.

      Women keep their father’s and mother’s last name and if wishes she can add as a non official signature the “of so and so”.

      Children will know who their father is and mother as well.
      If the father is unknown (which should not be but in extreme cases), the children will take the mother’s last names.

  9. Bismillah

    As salaamu alaikoum

    Subhaana Allah, after reading all of the comments it really seems like we are trying to dodge what the deen says to make ourselves comfortable. What does it matter if people confuse you for being a sicko married to your dad when you know that you are not and moreover Allah knows that you are not?
    If your father gave you two female names back to back, it is a problem, but one you can fix, if you want to keep both names maybe hyphenate them and then add his after it.
    As an illegitimate child i carry my mother’s last name according to Sharee’ah as the child is not allowed to be called after a fornicator, I spoke to a scholar about my name, about three of them, so like esa ibn maraym (not an illegal child but one without a father) I am also “me bint mommy” but in every other case the last name should be that of your biological father. I am also a convert descendant of slaves and on top of that my maternal grandfather was adopted by parents who changed his last name, i think this is a heavier name issue than what any of you have mentioned, Whatever my mother carries I carry since I cannot carry my father’s name, but the rest of you, if its marriage or some naming accident by a parent who was unfamiliar with the sunnah, then subhaana Allah it is NOT PERMISSIBLE to call yourself after anyone but your father’s name or family name, you can attribute yourself to where you are from, for example Ibrahim ibn Ali Al Arabi (As-Somali; Ash-Shamiyyah, At-Tamimi, etc.) I’ve seen it where the father’s name is the middle name and then the last name is the family name, Allahu alim, but just stick to not adopting anyone else’s (husbands) name to be safe. This article made it really very clear about what to do I’m not sure how anyone became confused. I thought converts had this the worse ( trying to change their american last names as soon as they get married to some one form a muslim country in order to have a more “islamic sounding” identity, but I guess its an all around thing. Lets not imitate the non muslims who named their wives and slaves after themselves due to the belief of ownership, who ever imitates a people is one of them and we will be raised with those that we love, so please, holdfast altogether to the sunnah and may we be raised with khaleelullah sallallaho alayhe wa alihe wa sellam.

  10. Assalamualaikum,

    I have no my father name in my full name, so how about this? on my culture the father name rarely mentioned, only when in a marriage ceremony. I was taught that I add my husband name just tell that I’m my husband’s wife.

    thanks for the answer

  11. do you mean first or last name by saying father name? cos what i know when we die we will be calling by the first name of our fathers. But in real world we use last name of our fathers, our all family uses the same last name and this is not really our fathers name i think,it is not a father name it is just a family name, it is from grand grand fathers..
    And of course every lady do not have to own their husband’s last name they can use their father’s last name with husband’s last name. I mean both together cos when they have children, children will use the last name of the husband i think, this just shows “if they are family or not”

  12. So, if my mother’s dad is Haniffa, and my dad is Anees… she shud still be known as Miss. Haniffa? people won’t know she’s married…. :S

  13. Affa Malik

    Assalaam A Laikum,

    I think this article was brilliant. A friend of mine changed her surname to that of her husband but they are now divorced. She still has his surname and insists that it was perfectly acceptable for her to take his name on in the first place. A lot of Pakistani women do not have their father’s name instead they have Bibi, Khatoon, Bi, Begum or their mother’s name as a surname.

    I am married and have kept my surname. My three children all have their father’s name and it has never caused me any problems/issues. (I’m I the UK) All official agencies know that I’m married despite my marriage not being registered.

    I found your article informative and very well written. Jazakallah

  14. Asalamo aleikum. I converted to islam some years ago and took a Muslim name (Maryam) but in our culture we don’t take our parents name. So when I got married I took my husbands family name to not have my own Christian name. Is this wrong of me? Should I change back to my old surname?

    • I strongly believe you should try changing your last name to your father’s name.
      That is what I have heard.

      Allah hu Alam

    • Assalamu Alaikum,

      You can keep your first name i.e. Maryam, but have to change your last name to that of your father’s name since taking the husband’s surname is haraam and the Prophet himself did not ask any of the muslims to change their father’s name.

      Allah Knows best

  15. What if you are a convert to Islam and do not want your fathers last name because of haram history? When I get married, inshaa Allah, I want to take my husbands last name and inshaa Allah I will. I do not think it should be haram to take a husbands last name because of lineage.

  16. I have my mother’s first name as my surname which is a common practice in India. I still use my maiden name even after marriage but was wondering if this practice of using mother’s name instead of father’s name acceptable ?

    • Assalamu Alaikum,

      As the article states, it isnt permissible to take any other name other than the father’s name no matter what the reason might be.
      The Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever calls himself by other than his father’s name (or attributes himself to someone other than his father), will be cursed by Allaah, the angels and all the people.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, 2599)

      Allah Knows best

  17. Diana Nekmat

    My question is what if we just add our husband surname to our original name example my name is Diana Nekmat so now I am married so I just added Diana Nekmat Egejuru since my husband surname is Egejuru is it still haraam?
    Please reply me….

    • Assalamu Alaikum,

      It isn’t permissible to add your husband’s surname to your own because it is like claiming to belong someone other than your father which is haraam.

      Allah Knows best.

  18. Assalamoalekum, thank you for sharing this knowledge i wasnt really aware of the major implications of changing ones name!

    but what about people living in the west, for documents etc? is it ok to show you are Mr. and Mrs. X? just for the sole purpose to show you are married. for example when opening a joint account in a bank etc?

    and Allah’s knows best, Jazaka Allah 🙂

    • In my opinion,

      I dont think this is a problem in the West since there are already sooo many Muslim married women,carrying their father’s last name…who don’t have troubles.
      InshaAllah things work out for the best if you have the right intention 🙂

  19. I have a question too, what about an adopted child? Is she to bear her biological father’s name or her Adopted Father’s?

    • The adopted child must not take the name of the foster parents.
      He/She must carry their own biological last name.

      Allah hu Alam

    • Assalamu Alaikum,

      It isn’t permissible to call an adopted child with a name other than his/her’s father’s name. Allah says in the Quran, “nor has He made your adopted sons your real sons. That is but your saying with your mouths. But Allâh says the truth, and He guides to the (Right) Way. Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just with Allâh. But if you know not their father’s (names, call them) your brothers in Faith and Mawâlîkum (your freed slaves). And there is no sin on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend. And Allâh is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [al-Ahzaab 33:4-5]

      The Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever knowingly claims to belong to anyone other than his father, Paradise will be denied him.” (Narrated by Ahmad, al-Bukhaari and Muslim).

      Allah Knows best.

  20. Junaid Shaik


    Just have few questions, if anyone can answer with some explanation and proofs if needed.
    1. My family surname is Shaik, me and my sister and my bro, we all carry shaik/Shaikha(sister) as our surname and our father’s name is Shaik M Ahmed. Is this right ?
    2. Say for example, in india most of the women have their names as XYZ BEGUM or XYZ UNNISA, they do not carry any surname… is it ok to leave it at that.

  21. My name is salma . my father’s is Mir. I will write Salma binte Mir. salma daughter of Mir. why is there such a confusion?? Even if I’m married. my name remains salma binte Mir. its not complicated at all

  22. Zahra Ansari (maiden name ZITOUNI)


    I don’t think that taking your husband’s name create confusion, since in most administration they ask you your maiden name, or if ever in the past you had a previous family name.

    Furthermore in my French passport, the maiden name is stated first followed by your marital name.
    So no confusion at all….

    Plus once you have children, a lot of arabic cultures, refers to you as “Oum” + “name of your oldest child”.
    You are not any-more the daughter of so and so, but the mom of so and so.

    That does not change who you are but simply refers to a change of dynamic.
    Once you are married the one to look after you is no longer your parents, but your husband, and it does not mean you stop being a daughter, it just mean that the family dynamic has changed.

    I am really happy to have my husband’s name and hopefully sharing it with my future children…


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