Calling the father by his name

Reference: I’laam al-Mu’aasireen bi-Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen – Pages 375-376

Question: Is there any harm in a child calling his father by his name or nickname?

Response: There is no harm in that, I mean, there is no harm in a child calling his father by his name or his nickname, so long as his father does not disapprove of that. And if his father disapproves, then do not [call him by his name or nickname], [and likewise] if doing so is contrary to the custom of the people – if he was to call him [by his name or nickname] in front of the people. This is because quite possibly the father does not disapprove of this, however, the custom of the people dictates that he should not call his father by his name or nickname. So in this case we say – don’t call your father by his name or nickname in front of the people, because they consider this as disrespect.

I would suspect that if you called your father in the marketplace in front of the people – and his name was ‘Abdullaah – and you said O ‘Abdullaah or O Abu Fulaan, would the people censure you or not? That which is apparent is the people would censure you. So if he is amongst the people, then he should not call him (the father) by his name or nickname, even if he (the father) does not mind, because the people regard this as disrespect and consider it to be humiliating for his father.

I have even heard a man say: “By Allaah! If my son [ever] called me by my name I would give him a slap [on his face]!”

Abu 'Abdullaah

About Abu 'Abdullaah

- from London, UK. He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004.