Do Muslims have monopoly over Islamic Names? I am asking this question because a Jewish owned Canadian Marketing Company is marketing Halaal food products under the name of “Al Safa”. Many Muslims have objected to it and said that it is deceiving Muslims? In a related question the same company is being attacked by Muslims because of its Jewish ownership. Are Muslims allowed to deal with Jews and others. Please provide the answer in detail in the light of Qur’an, Sunnah and historical references.
Firstly, I do not understand the common classification of ‘Muslim’ and ‘non-Muslim’ names. There are indeed some names, which have an un-Islamic connotation – like polytheistic names, for instance – yet, classifying names in the categories of ‘Muslim’ and ‘non-Muslim’ is completely without basis. Is ‘Moses’ (or Musa) a Jewish name? Or ‘Jesus’ (or `Eesaa) a Christian name?
‘Al-Safa’ is a name of an Arabic origin. Any one can brand his product by that name. I do not see anything that can be considered objectionable in the name of the product. Furthermore, I do not even understand how such branding of the product can be considered ‘deception’. It would indeed be ‘deception’, if the company, fraudulently sold prohibited items, under the ‘Halaal’ label. However, I do not see anything ‘deceptive’ in selling truly ‘Halaal’ edible products, under any or Arab or non-Arab name, irrespective of the religious affiliations of the management of the processing company.
Another aspect of your question relates to whether a Muslim can use edible products – labeled ‘Halaal’ – processed by non-Muslims? In my opinion, there is nothing wrong in using products, even if they are processed by non-Muslims, as long as they do not entail any ingredient, which is prohibited by the Shari`ah.
I hope this helps.
August 30, 2001