ADOPTING THE NAMES ABDUR NABI, ABDUR RASUL, ETC.
To name a child or adopt the name of Abdur Nabi, Abdur Rasul, Abdul Mustafa, Abdul Ali, etc. is permissible (Ja’iz). Similarly, to call one’s self as the servant of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is also Ja’iz. This has been proved on the authority of the Holy Quran, Ahadith and the statements of the learned Scholars (Fuqaha).
It is said in the Holy Quran: “And marry men among you who are single (unmarried) and those who are pious and the maid servants”. (Surah Noor:32) In this verse, the word “Min Ibadikum” carries the significance of “under your possession or those who are your servants as being in your control under legal possession”.
At another place it is said: “Say O Prophet! O My servants who have done wrongs to their souls! They should not be despaired of the Mercy of Allah.” (Surah Zamar:53) In this verse, the word “Ya Ibadi” (O My Servants) has two significances. In the first instance, the word “Ya Ibadi” relates to the servants of Almighty Allah. The other meaning of the word stands for the servants of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and his Ummati. The second view has been held by a large number of Scholars.
In the “Masnavi Shareef” of Maulana Rumi (radi Allahu anhu) it is said that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has attributed the entire universe as being his servant. The Quranic verse beginning with “Ya Ibadi” is the pointer in this respect.
Haji Imadadullah (radi Allahu anhu) says that we can say “Ibadallah” as “Ibadur Rasul”. (Risalah Nafkhiyah Makkiyah)
Hazrat Umar (radi Allahu anhu) said that he was with the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and was his Abd and Khadim, meaning his servant as being in his possession and doing service (Khidmat) to him. (Izalatul Khifa)
In the “Masnavi Shareef” it is said that after purchasing Hazrat Bilal (radi Allahu anhu) from his cruel master, Hazrat Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) went before the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and said “We both are your servants and I free him in your presence.”
There are some who say: The word “Abd” is generally meant as servant or slave or worshipper, one who worships. The name “Abdun Nabi” would mean one who worships Nabi (The Messenger of Allah). This is clear Shirk as it amounts to associating Almighty Allah with someone else; therefore such like names are forbidden.
The word “Abid” stands for both the worshipper and the servant. When the reference of the person is towards Almighty Allah and his name is Abdullah, then it would mean the worshipper of Allah.
When the reference is in relation to some other person, then in that event it will mean the servant of so and so. The name of Abdun Nabi will denote the servant of the Nabi.
It is said in “Fatawa-e-Aalamgiri”, Kitabul Kirahiyat, Chapter Tasmiyatul Aulad (Naming the Children): The names which are found in the Holy Quran can be taken for giving name (to a new born child) and this is permissible; for example Ali, Rasheed or Badee. In that case, the meaning of the name will not be as it is spoken in reference to Almighty Allah. It will be rather as the servant or ghulam of that person (this is not Shirk).
This shows that Ali is also one of the Names of Almighty Allah. The same can be said in reference to Rasheed or Badee, but the meaning of the word shall always be a servant or ghulam (one who obeys the command).