It is well known that the Prophet used to change the names of a number of Sahabah who had pagan names (such as Abdul-Ka’bah, imagine the Prophet seeing the Shias of today naming their children Abdul-Zahra’, Abdul-Rida and other pagan names …) or names with bad meanings.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to change bad names to good ones. [Al-Tirmidhi #4774]
Ignorance of Arab names and their origins
Shias due to their immense hatred for Mu’awiyah (may Allah be pleased with him) go as far as to attack his name (something the Prophet and the Ahl Al-Bayt never did!), they will tell you that the name Mu’awiyah actually means ‘howling female dog’ in Arabic (i.e. a bitch, something many Shia females call themselves when they refer to themselves as Kalbat Al-Hussein i.e. bitch of Al-Hussein). According to Arabic dictionaries, the name ‘Mu’awiyah’ has the following meaning:
‘Al-Muawiyah’ means baby fox or female barking dog.
‘Abu Muawiyah’ means leopard.
‘Al-`Awiy’ barking of dog or wolf.
‘Muawiyah’ is simply an ancient Arabic name of a person, derived from the above.
Another very praised meaning is:
واشتقاقه من قولهم تعاوى القوم اذا تداعوا الى حرب وغيرها واستعوى بنو فلان بنى فلان استنصروهم
Ta’aawa Al-Qawm: To call people to war.
Ista’waa banu fulaan: to ask for the help of other people.
Now did the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) disliked this name? Remember there is ample evidence for him changing the name of numerous Sahabah, he never shyed away from speaking the truth, yet he did not change the name of ‘Muw’awiyah’ who was one of his personal scribes of the Qur’an.
Some names that did not carry pagan meanings or lost their bad meaning were and are still given by the Arabs to their children, hence we can find that even in the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) own tribe we find people with weird names:
‘Abbas (uncle of the Prophet, also Al-Hussein Ibn Ali had a half brother whom Shia revere named Abul-Fadhl Al-‘Abbas!) = A man with a SCOWLING face
Handhalah = A bitter or even poisonous fruit.
Of course most Shias who are almost exclusively lead by non-Arabs, in particular Iranians whom many of them are notoriously not very fond on Arabs (hiding their hatred and grudge under pretext of ‘loving the Prophet’s household’) have no clue about the actual meaning of names such as ‘Abbas, yet they attack a name such as ‘Mu’awiyah’ because it fits with their secterian narrative.
The beautiful name of Mu’awiyah can be found in the Prophet’s progeny and so-called students of the 12th Imams!
Some Bani Hashimi’s who named their children ‘Mu’awiyah’:
- ‘Abdullah ibn Ja’far ibn Abi Talib (i.e. brother of ‘Ali!) named his son ‘Mu’awiyah’ (he had also a son named Yazid, also an ancient beautiful Arabic name). He (Mu’awiyah ibn ‘Abdullah) married Fatimah bint Al-Hassan ibn Al-Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib [Al-Kashif by Al-Dhahabi 2/276(5528) and also in ‘Ansab Al-Ashraf’ 2/46 and this is also mentioned in ‘Nasab Al-Quraysh’ by Mus’ab Al-Zubayri, pg. 52 and in Tahdhib Al-Kamal 6060, 28/196]
- ‘Ubaydallah ibn Al-Harith ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib (from the Prophet’s clan) one of the warriors of the battle of Badr named one of his sons ‘Mu’awiyah’ who was martyred at the battle of Badr [‘Ansab Al-Ashraf 7-8/6]
Ironically, one of the very much praised narrators in Shi’ism who has attributed many narrations to Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq was called ‘Mu’awiyah ibn ‘Ammar’; Just like the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had no issue with the beautiful name Mu’awiyah, neither had Ja’far Al-Sadiq who according to Shia narrations themselves never criticised this name nor advised his companion to change it.
‘Well, even if some of Bani Hashim named their children ‘Mu’awiyah’, they certainly didn’t do it out of love for Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufiyan whom we Shia will always hate no matter what!’
This is a common Shia excuse, an old one, from Khomeini adherents to Shirazi ones such as Yasser Al-Habib, all Shia propagandists repeat that pathetic excuse, not realising how shallow it is. They do the same with regards to names such as ‘Omar (‘Ali named TWO of his sons ‘Omar, in fact he also named his sons Abu Bakr and ‘Othman, Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein did the same!). They ask:
‘Prove that ‘Ali named his son ‘Omar after ‘Omar IBN AL-KHATTAB or ‘Othman after ‘Othman ibn ‘Affan, our narrations state he named his son ‘Othman after another ‘Othman …’
Obviously the narrations of the Shia are no hujjah (evidence) to anyone in this Ummah except for themselves, as for us Ahl Al-Sunnah, well, according to that logic Muslims must start doubting that Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) Muhammad named his son Ibrahim (peace be upon him) after the mighty Prophet of Allah Ibrahim Khalilullah (peace be upon him), as there is no EXPLICIT evidence where the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) literally states that he named his son after Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), he could have named him after a local baker in Madinah after all! Can you see where that nonsense leads to? Thus, it is a fair assumption for the Muslims to believe that the likes of ‘Ali (who named three of his sons of the the three caliphs Shia hate most) and Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein (who also gave their sons names and nicknames such as Abu Bakr and ‘Omar) and even later Imams (such as Imam Al-Sadiq who had a daughter named ‘A’ishah!) did that out of love for particular Sahabah, and even if Shias reject this, what they can’t reject is that at the very least the Ahl Al-Bayt named their children after the aforementioned names due to their love for those names, names such as Abu Bakr, ‘Omar, ‘Othman, ‘A’ishah and even Mu’awiyah.
Shias can now start following the Sunnah of their Imams and respected members of the Bani Hashim and name their children after the aforementioned names with WHATEVER intention they like, including Mu’awiyah of course, this of course, only if they don’t believe that they know better than their Imams who explicitly stated in their narrations that one should never give his children bad names.