Is anglicising Muslim names from Dawud to David or Maryam to Mary, acceptable?



Islamic Text

Anglicising Muslim names should be avoided.

As Muslims we always give preference to that which is mentioned in the Holy Quran and blessed Sunnah, therefore we will prefer the names of Prophets mentioned therein instead of anglicising these names.

As well as this our Prophet regularly emphasised the importance of remaining distinct from other religious communities, and warned against following their ways.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: إِنَّ اليَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى لَا يَصْبُغُونَ، فَخَالِفُوهُمْ

Abu Hurairah  said that the Messenger of Allah   said, ‘The Jews and the Christians do not dye their hair, so be different to them (and dye your hair).’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, 7542).

Therefore, a Muslim should refrain from anglicising Muslim names and use the names mentioned in the Holy Quran and the blessed Sunnah, not only is it more correct but also more likely to be a means of blessings (Barakah).

وَالثَّانِي: كَجِرْجِسْ وَبُطْرُسْ وَيُوحَنَّا وَمَتَّى وَنَحْوِهَا، فَلَا يُمْنَعُونَ مِنْهُ وَلَا يَجُوزُ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ أَنْ يَتَسَمُّوا بِذَلِكَ؛ لِمَا فِيهِ مِنَ الْمُشَابَهَة

The second (type of name) is like Gerges, Putrus (Peter), Yuhana (John), Mata (Matthew) and the like. They (the people of the book) are not prevented from keeping such names, but it is not permitted for Muslims to take such names, because it contains resemblance (to the People of the Book). (Ibn Qayyim al- Jawziyah, Ahkam Ahl Dhimmah).

التَّسْمِيَةُ بِاسْمٍ لَمْ يَذْكُرْهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى فِي عِبَادِهِ وَلَا ذَكَرَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – وَلَا اسْتَعْمَلَهُ الْمُسْلِمُونَ تَكَلَّمُوا فِيهِ وَالْأَوْلَى أَنْ لَا يَفْعَلَ كَذَا فِي الْمُحِيطِ. (الفتاوى الهندية) 

They (the scholars) spoke about using a name that Allah (Most High) did not mention for his servants, nor did the Messenger of Allah ﷺ mention it, nor do the Muslims use it, (they concluded) it is best not to use such a name, as has been mention in al-Muheet. (Fatawa Hindiyah, also in Radd al-Muhtaar).  

Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen (04.01.2021)

See also:

Are Jews and Christians disbelievers?