BEARING A KUNYAH ‎(ةينكلا) IN ISLAM

Praise be to Allah.
It is a good thing for the Muslim to be concerned about Islamic rulings, even concerning the smallest of details. Even more important than being concerned about them is to act upon what ones knows of those rulings. With regard to Kunyah there are some issues that are worth pointing out.
A Kunyah is a combined term consisting of a name preceded by the word Abu (father) or Umm (mother). Depending on its position in a sentence, Abu may appear as Abaa or Abee. A kunyah is an epithet for a person that at least superficially indicates paternity or maternity. Most often, the name used in the kunyah is the bearers eldest child. But, as we will show below, this is not a necessary condition.
Bearing a kunyah and addressing people by their kunyah is an old Arab etiquette that was condoned by Islam. It was practiced by the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), his companions, and the righteous Muslims through the ages. Addressing a person with his kunyah is a show of respect and esteem. Thus, it is recommended for a Muslim to bear a kunyah and to address other by their kunyah’s.
Contrary to common understanding, it is recommended for a Muslim to bear a kunyah even without offspring.

Hamzah bin Suhayb reported that ‘Umar (radee Allaahu ‘anhu) said to Suhayb: “How come you use Abu Yahya as your kunyah even though you do not have a son (called Yahya)?” Suhayb (radee Allaahu ‘anhu) replied:
“Allaah’s Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) gave me this kunyah of Abu Yahya.”[Ibn Maajah, al-Haakim, and others. Verified to be authentic by al-Albaanee (as-Sahihah, No. 44)]
Furthermore, a person’s kunyah should not necessarily contain the name of his (or her) children. Many of the companions (radee Allaahu ‘anhum) were known with a kunyah that did not derive from a child’s name. Examples: Abu Bakr, Abu Hafs (‘Umar), Abu Hurayrah, Abu Tharr, Abu Sulaymaan (Khalid bin al-Waleed), Abu Salamah, etc.”
Abû Hurayrah relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Use my name when naming yourselves but do not use my kunyah as a kunyah for yourselves.”
It is an authentic hadîth related by al-Bukhârî and Muslim, among others.

It was narrated from Haani’ that when he came to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) with his people, he heard them calling him by the kunyah Abu’l-Hakam. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) summoned him and said: “Allaah is al-Hakam (the Judge), and judgement belongs to Him. Why are you known by the kunyah of Abu’l-Hakam?” He said: When my people differ concerning anything, they come to me and I pass judgement among them, and both sides accept it. The Messenger of Allaah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “How good this is. Do you have any children? He said: I have Shurayh, Muslim and ‘Abd-Allaah. He said: “Who is the oldest of them?” I said: Shurayh. He said: “Then you are Abu Shurayh.”
Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4955; an-Nasaa’i, 5387; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani inSaheeh Abi Dawood.

It was narrated from Aa’ishah that she said: O Messenger of Allah, all my friends have a kunyah except me. He said: “Take a kunyah from the name of your son (nephew) ‘Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr.” So she was called Umm ‘Abdullah until she died.
Narrated by Ahmad, 43/291. Classed as saheeh by the editors ofal-Musnadand by al-Albaani inas-Silsilah as-Saheehah, 132.

It was narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (sa) gave him the kunyah Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan when he had not had a child.
Narrated by al-Haakim, 3/353; at-Tabaraani inal-Kabeer, 9/65; classed as saheeh by Ibn Hajar inFath al-Baari, 10/582.

Al-Bukhaari narrated inal-Adab al-Mufrad, under the heading Chapter on giving a kunyah before one has a child: It was narrated from Ibraaheem an-Nakha‘i that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood was given the kunyah Abu Shibl when he did not have a child.
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Adab al-Mufrad, 848.

It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was the best of people in attitude. I had a brother who was called Abu ‘Umayr — I think he was weaned. When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) saw him he said: “Abu ‘Umayr, what happened to (your pet) bird?” He used to play with the bird.
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5850; Muslim, 2150.

from Sharh Muslim14/129
Inal-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (35/170, 171), it says: The scholars said: They used to give kunyahs to children as a sign of optimism that the child would live until he grew up and had a child, and so as to avoid nicknames.
There is no impediment to giving a child a kunyah, even before weaning or at the time of birth, whether the child is male or female.
Thus, If they are given the kunyahs of some of the Sahaabah, male or female, this is something good and is not objectionable.
And Allah knows best.

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