We get a stream of these.

I think it's worth creating an individual meta thread to discuss this style of question. (We should be asking more of these, to better define the site.) Hence this meta thread.

Question: Is "Is [specific name] a suitable name?" on topic?

  • 1
    I was literally going to ask this question yesterday but decided not to. Jun 5 '17 at 15:13
  • 2
    Might these fall under Questions about Arabic language, not related to teachings of Islam ? Also these would be purely opinion based unless its a clear-cut haram or disapproved name like adbul-lat or ibn kalb etc.
    – UmH
    Jun 5 '17 at 20:22
  • 2
    From my experience in other SE sites, if one kind of question is starting to become a problem, either create a canonical post for dupe target, or state it as off-topic somewhere (example: this meta post). Now, I don't know if it's feasible, but can a canonical post be created to cover most general cases, while leaving the special case to be answered independently?
    – Andrew T.
    Jun 11 '17 at 12:37
  • It is undoubtful that such questions will be asked in the future, therefore I have created this question islam.stackexchange.com/questions/40800/… so it can be refered to in the future
    – Aboudi
    Jun 17 '17 at 23:15

My first instinct would be to make a canonical "What sorts of names are allowed in Islam" and close these as dupes, but I honestly don't think that'll really help anyone: Most of these questions already come with the understanding that "bad" names are discouraged and what that means.

These sorts of questions are generally just asking "What does this name mean?" or "Does this name have a bad meaning?" rather than any actual question about the rules of naming. Rather than drawing on any particular Islamic expertise, these are just general etymological questions that span not only Arabic, but any number of potential languages.

I would call many of these off-topic under the general meaning of "Questions about Arabic that aren't directly related to the topic of Islam" (e.g. Mahdiya and Liza) but questions which indicate an understanding of what the name means and an actual concern about it in particular being problematic (e.g. Christine or Aleem) are probably okay.

  • That was my first instinct too, but you are correct about the implications...!
    – Medi1Saif Mod
    Jun 16 '17 at 6:10

These variations seem on topic:

  • Is [name] a haram name?

  • Is [name] an Islamic name?

However, these questions are boring, and we could generate zillions of them. Thus: I think these should be closed as off topic unless there's some reason given to think that the particular name might be haram or Islamic.

  • The Liza question was closed in this way.
  • The Christine question was not closed; they write "So my understanding is that since Christine suggests service to Christ, it is haram."
  • The Mahdiya question was not closed; but it seems clear that it might be haram due to overlap with Imam Mahdi.
  • The Aleem question was not closed; it indicated a reason it might be haram.
  • I just voted to close the Riyah question for this reason; even though it asks if it's permissible, it's not stated as to why there should be any reason to think otherwise.

On top of this, these questions may otherwise be off-topic for being about the Arabic language, or may be primarily opinion-based questions.

  • The Zareef question is now closed; it's an example which asks both for an opinion, and about the Arabic. But there's no relation to Islam indicated.

Note: it may be possible to edit out the opinion-seeking component, making it on-topic.

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