First of all, we’d like to state that Islam emphasizes that Muslims should have good names and give good names to their children. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: “You will be called on the Day of Resurrection by your names and the names of your fathers, so have good names.” Naming one’s child after an angel is a controversial issue among Muslim scholars. Some scholars are of the opinion that it is reprehensible. Others hold the opinion that there is nothing wrong with that.

Regarding the point of naming children after the angels, here is the fatwa issued by Sheikh Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi lecturer and author. The fatwa reads: “In his book Tuhfatul-Mawdud fi Ahkamil-Mawlud, Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim, under the title “What is preferred among the names and what is considered reprehensible”, wrote: “… and among them are the names of the angels such as Jibril (Gabriel), and Mika’il and Israfil, it is makruh (disliked) to name human beings with these names. Imam Malik (may Allah bless his soul) was asked regarding naming someone Jibril and he abhorred it. Judge `Ayyad said: ‘… and others allowed it.’ `Abdur-Razzak said in Al-Jami`: “I said to Hammad ibn Abi Sulaiman: ‘What would you say regarding a man whose name is Jibril or Mika’il, and he responded: ‘There is nothing wrong with them.’”

Regarding the Hadith: “Do not name yourselves with the names of the Angels.”, Al-Bukhari said that the validity of its chain of narration is questionable. This means that the hadith would not be considered authentic. (Tuhfatul-Mawdud, p. 83). In the Kuwaiti Encyclopedia of Islamic Jurisprudence, most of the scholars have ruled that using the names of the angels like Jibril and Mika’il is not makruh. Malik, on the other hand, has ruled that it is makruh. Some have stated that Jibril means `Abdullah and likewise does Mika’il. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir:Surat Al-Baqarah)

Based on the above mentioned, it is preferable that we do not use the names of the angels, and that we follow the rightly-guided forefathers in naming our children and those who revert to Islam from the non-believers. The most preferred names, no doubt, are `Abdullah and `Abdur-Rahman as has been related in the sound hadith.”