What a Difference a Name Makes…

Figure 1A: What will you name your baby?

The article below illustrates the fact that some people who are having children are neither thinking through the long term consequences of the name nor a name that is noble and not just sounds good. Jaleesa (Ar. lit. “woman sitting down in a gathering for teaching”) Martin and Jawaan (Ar. lit. “tax revenue advisor”) McCullough welcomed a child into the world and stuck for what name to give him decided on the name “Messiah.”

Yes, Messiah, the English translation of Moshiach (Hebrew) or Maseeh (Arabic). The argument is that they “thought it sounded nice” and no one has a right to judge. The fact of the matter is that people should really think about the names they choose and the names they choose for their children. Names signify rank, honour, pedigree, family tree, legacy, title and so many other things.

This is one of the wisdoms we can take from the fact that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Let the child be named on the seventh day…” This is collected by Imam As-Suyuti in his Al-Jami` us-Saghir.

This is a consideration about taking your time, thinking, deliberating, really taking time out to think about the right name. I named all of my children but it was after one week of deliberation, going through names, looking upon them and thinking about what we hoped that they would become and praying about it.

Even if you don’t pray in matters like these or not, atleast THINK about it. Consider what type of name the child will carry, what it will signify and how it will affect him or her. What do you hope he will come to be? What successes do you hope he will have and how many challenges might he have carrying the name? Messiah is not a proper name. It is a title.

The judge is correct that only false prophets and one person bore this title to fruition and that is the Prophet and Messiah himself. If titles are so arbitrary that they can be taken as names, why not papercutter? How about…laundramat? doorstop? Dell dn2662? Samsung ML-2010?

No? Why not? Think about the type of name you want for your child and what type of contribution he will make when he gets older. Who knows…he may just thank you.

Until next time.


Judge who ordered parents to change baby’s name from Messiah to Martin is fired

  • Lu Ann Ballew was terminated from Tennessee’s fourth judicial district
    on Friday
  • Ballew, an attorney, still faces a March 3 hearing on accusations that she violated Tennessee’s Code of Judicial Conduct

Lu Ann Ballew was terminated from the Tennessee court on Friday

A Tennessee magistrate has been replaced months after ordering a baby’s name changed from Messiah to Martin because she believes Messiah is a title held only by Jesus Christ.

Lu Ann Ballew was a child support magistrate, serving at the pleasure of the chief judge of Tennessee’s fourth judicial district.

Judge Duane Slone terminated Ballew on Friday and appointed a new magistrate.

He did not return calls seeking comment, and his order does not explain why he ended Ballew’s appointment.

Ballew, an attorney, still faces a March 3 hearing on accusations that she violated Tennessee’s Code of Judicial Conduct, according to WBIR.

Among other things, the code requires judges to perform all duties without bias or prejudice based on religion.

Ballew’s August name change decision was overturned at a September hearing.

Ballew ordered the name change during a paternity hearing in Newport on August 8.

At the time, the parents were disputing the 8-month-old baby’s surname.

The boy’s mother, Jaleesa Martin, hoped to keep the name she had given the boy- Messiah Deshawn Martin – and father, Jawaan McCullough, wanted the baby to bear his last name.

Ballew surprised both parents by ordering the baby’s name be changed to Martin Deshawn McCullough, saying the name Messiah was not in the baby’s best interest.

Mother Jaleesa Martin had her son’s name changed from Messiah to Martin in court. The judge who made the decision has since been fired

Name changer: A judge in eastern Tennessee ordered for the baby boy’s first name to Martin from Messiah

Her written order said: ‘Messiah is a title that is held only by Jesus Christ.’

‘Labeling this child “Messiah” places an undue burden on him that as a human being, he cannot fulfill,’ the order said.

Ballew further stated that ‘it is highly likely that he will offend many Cocke County citizens by calling himself “Messiah”.

That decision was overturned in Cocke County Chancery Court the following month, with the judge saying that Ballew’s ruling violated the U.S. Constitution.

Parents Jawaan McCullough, left, and Jaleesa Martin, center, had been debating their child’s surname in court last August when the judge changed the child’s first name from Messiah to Martin


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