Changing names to improve health

The people of Pakistan and India are very superstitious, perhaps because of the high poverty and illiteracy in the two countries. I have met many people who think a black cat crossing your path means that you will probably have a very bad day. As for superstitions about the solar and lunar eclipses, the less said the better. Normally, women who belong to superstitious families are not allowed to go out of their houses unless they require urgent immediate medical treatment. When there is a solar or lunar eclipse, even a woman who is in a critical condition is locked up even if she’s in danger of dying.

But there is one piece of superstition which I can’t understand. Why do some mullahs and scholars advise people to change the names of children who’re not well or who’re hyperactive? I remember a little girl years ago (the daughter of distant relatives) whose name was changed so that she’d get better. Of course the name change had no effect on her health. Then there was a certain scholar associated with the Binnoria mosque in Karachi who advised his followers not to give the name “Aasia” to their daughters. He said families who named their daughters Aasia were always unlucky.

I wonder if those who regularly comment on black magic can say something about changing names to make people lucky or healthy.


30 thoughts on “Changing names to improve health”

  1. Arabic names (whether Muslim or Christian) are similar to Jewish/Christian names. The Arabic equivalent of David, for instance, is Dawood. Joseph is Yousuf and Jacob is Yakoob in Arabic. Moses and Jesus are Moosa and Essa, while Jonah (the prophet who was swallowed by a whale) is Younus in Arabic. Not all Muslims have Arabic names. In Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey (and to some extent in Iran), pre-Islamic names are common. Even in India and Pakistan, some Muslims are named for the Sanskrit equivalent of the day on which they were born, others have names according to their fathers’ professions. It’s a fascinating subject, and as I said in this post, some people change names of their children whenever they feel it will do some good. I have a distant relative (about 8 years younger than me) who changed his name to that of mine (including the surname) at the age of 18, possibly because even when young I was regarded as a successful person among my relatives. This man’s son is now married to my daughter and sometimes it’s very difficult for her to explain how her father and her father-in-law have the same name!

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  2. hmm……u knw wat! I never believed in this thing myself……while reading the introduction to the topic i was agreeing with the author when suddenly i read the part abt the name ‘aasia’. I was shocked! Cox i have myself observed the issue with this name….i had never heared anyone else mention this but had observed myself tht all the Asia’s i knw have had terrible incidents in their lives (4 to be the exact number). Im shocked to read this! As crazy as it sounds i am forced to believe in this.

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  3. Hend: Uh-huh. He’s just snuck back out of sight, waiting to pounce on you with both feet when you’re least expecting it. Watch out, if he sics Jenni the Jinni on you, then your woes will have just begun! 🙂

    I shall now make a leap, comprehensible only to one such as myself and some of the cleverer of you all, back to a subject closer to the subject of the thread, which is names. I have often wondered how Islamic names equate to western names. I note that there are many Anglicizations of “Mohamad,” who would equate possibly to the Christian “Jesus;” among the Spanish-speaking Catholics are many young males named “Jesus,” which they pronounce as Hey-soos, but not among other Christian bunches. Other Christians frequently name boys John, James, Peter, Paul, David, and other religion-derived names. Oddly I have felt that, possibly due to frequency of occurrence, Mohammad might equate to John. I know that my son’s name Aaron, has the middle-eastern equivalent of Haroun, possibly derived from the same source.

    So what’s in a name? Is it only as good as the bearer thereof? “A rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet.” A cowpatty, by any other name–?

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  4. shakir

    again your information is wrong. there were no marathi-gujrati riots in mumbai…ever, not then and not at any other time…from my observations they share cordial relations.

    i suggest you do research and correct your assumptions…there were never any riots in mumbai between hindus and never will be…you should know the history of your motherland (mumbai, india) based on reliable news.

    there were demostrations to my knowledge by maharahstrians again the government because the gujrati chief minister and the central government of the day egged on by the trader lobby was trying to make mumbai a part of gurarat…this ill intentioned attempt resulted in deaths of unarmed people when police started firing.

    in any case…the fact is if mumbai was a part of gujarat then NAMO and his fellow gujratis would have eradicated muslims from mumbai…like they did in gujrat…have you watched the DVDs of what they did etc…?….your relatives should probably….can happen again.

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  5. Hend: I’m quite sure that Gujrati college girls were stripped and raped during the Marathi-Gujrati riots in the fifties. In those days Indian newspapers were widely available in Karachi and there were a lot of close relatives going to Bombay and visiting Karachi. I must have either read about such incidents in newspapers or my relatives may have told me.

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  6. shakir

    though i am not a SS fan, you are actually misinformed interms of history…and natually biased against SS for its anti muslim stance. but in this case you should thank thackeray for saving muslims.

    there is absolutely no record of any gujaratis being stripped and paraded, there pure rumours and nothing like this ever took place. however there is a documented record of the gujarati chief minister of that time giving orders to police to fire upon peaceful unarmed maharashtrian demostrators. there is a monument in mumbai called hotatma chowk in memory of those dead.

    it is however true that the gujarati chief minister and the traders wanted mumbai to be a part of gujarat instead of maharashtra. if this had happened then you would probably seen the same kind of treatment for muslims in mumbai which was seen in gujarat a few years ago by NAMO and his men. muslims of mumbai are indebted to thackeray for this.

    in any case from the history that i have read and my understanding of how geo politico cultural entities are formed…mumbai is geographically a part of maharashtra…surrounded on all sides by maharashtra and earliest settlements were also by locals. the facts that mumbai was annexed by the portuguese in 17th century or gifted to the british or the fact that gujarati traders were imported by british and granted favours to conduct business do not dilute the original fact that local maharashtrians were already there before anyone else.

    the whole point of acrimony about mumbai was the ridiculous claim over mumbai by the gujarati traders and the chief minister on the basis of money power. fortunately better sense prevailed.

    “Do you think he’s crazy enough to stip some “outside” people naked, as heppened in the sixties?”

    yes maybe if they are pakistani.

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