When I was sure that I wanted to live my life as a Muslim, my next thought was if I was going to change my name. As a Mualaf, it is not necessary to take on a Muslim name, but I believe that a name builds character. A name helps identify a person. There is much strength in a name.
Allah Himself has many beautiful names. My favourite way to call on Him is Ar-Rabb. Although this is not one of the 99 names or attributes of Allah, I find so much comfort in calling on Him as my Lord, because it was how I addressed Him in prayers and conversations before I became a Muslim.
He was my Lord then, and He is my Lord now. Only, now, I am learning more about His names and attributes. He is my Ar-Rabb and my creator, Allah.
When I was looking for a name, it was exciting and fun. There were so many beautiful names to choose from. Did I want to resonate as a girl who is proud and strong, or a girl who is intelligent and orderly? There were so many choices.
The name Khayyira came to me in the early stages of my search. Every other name I saw after did not have the same appeal as this. For one, it starts with the letter K, which is the same as my birthname. For another, the meaning behind the name is everything that I aspire to be within my heart.
Beautiful and Radiant. Noble, Admirable and Praiseworthy.
There is so much more to being beautiful and radiant than just on the exterior. They always say that looks can be deceiving. It’s very easy to look beautiful on the outside these days, with make up, collagen stimulators, so many different products to make you look younger and more radiant. But what is there that we can buy from the store that will make our souls more beautiful and radiant?
I find that this is a challenge. That this name has so much to hold than just a pretty face.
I know, right now, I may not be entirely worthy to carry this name. But it is the essence of who I want to be as a Muslim. A reminder of goodness and humility. It is only than that I would be noble, admirable and worthy of praise, if I could ever be worthy of praise.
Insha Allah I will achieve the qualities of my name. Khayyira.