Names of children, and when a change becomes necessary

Q402 :My 13-year-old daughter's name, Julisha, has been criticized by our neighbors as being a Christian name. This has caused her much worry. Is it essential to change it according to Islam?

A402 : The Prophet did not change the name of any of his companions unless there was a very good reason for such a change. Generally speaking, the change was caused either by the name being symbolic of beliefs which are contrary to Islam or its having a very bad meaning. For example, if a companion of the Prophet was called Abduluzza, which meant that he was servant of the well known idol called Aluzza, the Prophet changed that name to Abdullah or Abdurrahman, which meant that the person concerned was a servant of Allah or a servant of the Merciful, who is Allah. I am not sure that the name "Julisha" has any strong association with the Christian faith, unless it is so in your part of the world. The name "Julia" is a well known Christian name, but not "Julisha". Besides, is it a name so identifiable with Christianity, to the extent that the person who hears it would immediately say that the holder is a Christian girl? Apparently not, because if it was, you would have not given it to your daughter. On the other hand, is it a common name in your part of the world? If so, then it could be used by followers of different religions. In this case, you certainly need not change it. You should be guided in this respect by the Prophet's action, which shows that a change of name is needed when the name indicates or promotes beliefs other than those of Islam.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )