Islam puts immense emphasis on the clear identification of family relationships. The Prophet (SAW) himself said,

“Learn enough about your lineage to know your blood relatives and treat them accordingly.” (At-Tirmidhee)

That is, family lines should be known well sufficient to prevent marriages within the forbidden degrees and to determine blood and family obligations.

Names Imply a Genealogical Relationship

This is clearly stressed in the Islamic naming system in which each name and its orders imply a particular genealogical relationship. For instance, the name Khaalid ibn Abdullah ibn Zakee al-Harbee, which in present times is written Khaalid Abdullah Zakee al-Harbee means Khaalid the son of Abdullah, the son of Zakee, from the tribe of Harb.

This naming system people after their fathers and forefathers have came into view in most cultures. Even in English, George the son of John in time became George, John’s son and eventually became George Johnson.

In pre-Islamic times, the Arabs were habitual to change the lineage of their adopted sons to their own lineage. and this carry out also during the beginning stages of Muhammed’s Prophet hood (SAW). However, Allah (SWT) forbade it during the Madeenan stage of Prophet hood in which the majority of the religious, social and economic laws of islam revealed.

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Call Them By Their Fathers

Ibn Umar (RA) reported that after the Prophet (SAW) freed Zayd ibn Harithah and adopted him, people were habitual to refer him as Zayd ibn Muhammed until this verse.

“Call them by (the names of) their father’s that is more just in the sight of Allah.” (Al-Ahzab 33:5)

Once this principle became part of the divine law, the Prophet (SAW) taught to further emphasize it by a series of warnings. For example, on one occasion He said,

“He who knowingly attributed his fatherhood to someone other than his real father will be excluded from paradise.” (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood).

Abu Dharr (RA) also related that he heard Prophet (SAW) said,

“He who deliberately lets himself be called the son of someone other than his father is guilty of disbelief (kufr).” (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood).

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