Naming babies under scrutiny

Updated 13 March 2015

Naming babies under scrutiny

The names of newborns in Saudi Arabia has changed greatly in recent years due to increased cultural openness and the spread of knowledge within society. Unusual or rare names have been reduced due to the work of authorities across the Kingdom who have enacted regulations to curb exotic or strange names.
The most circulated names in the Kingdom include Mohammad, Fahd, Abdullah, Abdulrahman, Turki, Bandar, Omar, Ali, Fatima, Aisha, Nora, Hessa, Sheikha, and Maha.
Parents are no longer calling their children a variety of odd names, including Rashash (a gun machine), Zaqam (to do with the mouth) and Najar for boys, as well as Faziah (one who is afraid) and Mureibah (fearful) for girls.
Nowadays parents can find dictionaries for names in most bookshops and libraries in order to help them choose good names that suit their preferences.
Reports suggest that some men become angry, hoping for a boy, after their wives give birth to girls. In such cases, they usually choose a distasteful name for their girls. However, such instances have declined due to increased awareness regarding the issue in the society.
Bodies like the social status department help people with odd names to change them.
According to the department, the majority of those who want to change their names are young males and females.
To help people with odd names to avoid humiliation, lists of names have been published, highlighting names which under no circumstances should be used.
Dr. Iman Al Saied, professor at the King Saud University, believes that humans are closely linked to their names.
“Name of a person is an integrated part of his or her psychological context. Some names may induce laughing, provoke sarcasm and mockery, or may simply be repulsive or ugly, which might inflict harm on the person, leading him to lose self-confidence.
“In such cases, the person becomes depressed and prefers to be left alone. Such feelings distances him or her from family members and friends,” she said.
“It is in the lawful rights of a Muslim person to be named a good, worthy name.”
Muhammad Al-Jasser, spokesman at the Civil Status Department, said there are controls and regulations in place when choosing a name for the newborn.
“We urge citizens to give names that are compatible with Islamic law to their newborns,” he said, adding that the department always issues directions in this regard.


Saudi delegation attends opening of Europe’s largest mosque

Updated 23 August 2019

Saudi delegation attends opening of Europe’s largest mosque

  • Chechen president hails Kingdom’s support for Islamic unity, moderation
  • Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa delivered the Friday sermon

GROZNY: The minister of Islamic affairs, call and guidance headed the Saudi delegation to the opening of what Chechen authorities said is the largest mosque in Europe on Friday.
Upon his arrival at Grozny International Airport, Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif Al-Asheikh said the construction of the Fakhr Al-Muslimeen Mosque is a source of happiness.
The marble-decorated mosque has capacity for more than 30,000 people and has been described by the Chechen authorities as the “largest and most beautiful” mosque in Europe.
The opening was held under the patronage of Chechen President Ramzan Akhmadovich Kadyrov, with the participation of Islamic delegations from a number of countries.
Al-Asheikh was received by Salah Mezhiev, advisor to Kadyrov and Chechnya’s supreme mufti, as well as other officials. Al-Asheikh said Saudi Arabia works hard to spread moderation throughout the Islamic world.
Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa delivered the first Friday sermon to be given in the mosque at the request of President Kadyrov.
Kadyrov welcomed the Saudi delegation and congratulated the Kingdom’s leadership on the success of this year’s Hajj season.
He hailed Saudi support for Islamic unity, spreading moderation and combating all forms of violence, extremism and terrorism.
The secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, also attended the opening of the mosque.
The mosque's grounds, planted with flowers and sprinkled with fountains, can host an additional 70,000 worshippers, local authorities said.