List of names banned by Saudi Arabia because they ‘violated Sharia’

The registration ban also includes nicknames and titles preceding names.

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(AMER HILABI/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi authorities have set forth rules for registering names in the country, including banning names which are deemed as violating the Islamic Sharia code.

A view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (adznano3/Shutterstock)

According to the Saudi newspaper Okaz, the Saudi Interior Ministry’s Civil Affairs Agency said that names such as Abd Rasul عبدالرسول (the Slave of the Messenger) would not be registered.

Likewise, the name Malak ملاك (an angel) had been forbidden due to a related fatwa or religious verdict prohibiting it.

The registration ban also includes nicknames and titles preceding names.

A picnic in the desert outside Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Lynsey Addario / National Geographic)

The Saudi agency also said that registration of compound names such as Mohammed Mustafa and Mohammed Saleh is not allowed.

According to Saudi law, the name, composed of two words, cannot function as one first name.

It is a tradition, in various Arab states, to give a newborn a compound name to commemorate two older relatives or believe that such names can stave off the evil eye.

Muslims perform the Friday prayers inside the Masjid Al-Nabawi. (Saudi Press Agency VIA REUTERS)

Meanwhile, the Saudi agency did not give an official explanation for this ban, which may be due to religious connotations or to avoid confusion.

Nevertheless, this is not the first time Saudi Arabia has issued a ban on names.

In 2014, the Saudi Interior Ministry released a list of 51 names which contravened social and religious traditions or had possible Western origins.

Some of the names that were banned in 2014 were Abdul Nabi عبد النبيAbdul Nasser عبد الناصرEmir أمير‎, Aiman أيمن‎, Malika ملكةJibreel جبريلLinda, and Binyamin بنيامين (Benjamin).

According to The Independent, the name Binyamin (Benjamin) was possibly banned because it was the current Israeli Prime Minister’s name.

Meanwhile, it is also alleged that the name Abdul Nasser was banned due to its affiliation with the former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

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