LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry has banned 50 names they argue contradict the culture or religion of the Kingdom, according to reports by local media.
Parents in the kingdom will reportedly no longer be able to call their children by names such as Linda, Alice, Elaine or Binyamin (Arabic for Benjamin) after the civil affairs department at the ministry issued a list of the prohibited names.
Binyamin is believed in Islam to be the son of Prophet Jacob, but is also the name of the current Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Some names on the list are allegedly banned by the interior ministry because they are considered “blasphemous,” non-Arabic or non-Islamic, or contradictory to the kingdom’s culture or religion, Gulf News has reported.
Saudis will no longer be able to give their children names such as Amir (prince), Linda or Abdul Nabi (Slave of the Prophet) after the civil affairs department at the ministry issued the list, according to Saudi news sites.
A number of other names appear that do not necessarily fit into any category and it is therefore unclear as to why they would have been banned.
Names such as Abdul Naser and Binyamin are not found to be particularly offensive to Muslims. Binyamin is believed in Islam to be the son of Prophet Jacob (Yaqoub) (PBUH) and the full brother of Prophet Joseph (PBUH), but it also happens to be the name of the Israeli prime minister.
Abdul Naser, similarly, is the name of the famous Arab nationalist ruler of Egypt, who was at odds with Saudi Arabia.
Names such as Abdul Nabi and Abdul Hussain, common among Shia and some Sunni Arabs, are controversial because of the multiple ways in which they can be interpreted.
The ban was also allegedly justified by the ministry because some of the names were deemed foreign or “inappropriate”.
Other sets of forbidden names include those with royal connotations, such as Sumuw (highness), Malek (king) and Malika (queen).
Some on the list do not fit into any of these categories however, leaving the reason for banning them open to speculation. –London Independent
The full list of forbidden names as reported in Gulf News is listed below:
Binyamin (Arabic for Benjamin)
Al Mamlaka (the kingdom)
Rama (Hindu god)
Basmala (utterance of the name of God)
Jibreel (angel Gabriel)
Nabiyya (female prophet)
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.