The Saudi interior ministry has issued a list of 50 names that are banned from naming, and according to local newspapers, the names contradict the Islamic and traditional culture of the country.
It is also noticed that some of the names on the list do not fall under any of these three categories; rather, they have been justified by the ministry as “inappropriate.” This makes the matter up for interpretations. For example, Benjamin is the name of prophet Jacob’s (Yaqoub) son according to the Islamic tradition. Yet, the name is banned, and when we dig deeper, we realize that it is also the name of the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Thus, to what extent is this fact related to the reason it was banned?
On the other hand, some names that fall under the first category, which is offensive to Islam, are names that start with “Abd” meaning “the son of” in Arabic. This word usually comes before one of God’s 99 names. Therefore, if the word after “Abd” does not refer to God, it is considered to be illegal even if it refers to the prophet.
The list of names included: