Getting religious with baby names is a bit limited if you're considering registering your child in Saudi Arabia. Though not all names related to holy books are frowned upon or banned, some names here and there - regardless of their wide popularity - are soon to go extinct in the country.
Saudi Arabia's Civil Authority implements strict laws that prohibit the registration of names that include titles, exceed one word, or "violate the Islamic sharia."
On Wednesday, the authority reminded parents that they aren't allowed to name their baby girls "Malak" (Arabic for Angel). No matter how cute and angelic your daughter is, and it doesn't matter if you heard angels singing in your ears the moment she was born, "Malak" is no longer in your spectrum of options.
Despite the fact that the name is quite (extremely) popular in several Gulf countries, the authority said a religious edict states it is prohibited in Islam.
A source told StepFeed the name has been banned since August this year, but a reminder was sent out because a recent edict reaffirmed the need to further publicize the ban.
Earlier this summer, Saudi Arabia issued a list of 50 names that have been banned in the kingdom and it included "Malak." However, parents continued to try registering the name in the country, the source added.
The reminder of the ban on the popular name made the rounds on Saudi Twitter and let's just say Saudis are polarized over it.
Those upset over the ban include women named Malak
"Why are they upset about our name?"
And others who just can't even with the news
"In the future, it'll get to a point when they won't let us name our own kids. Instead, they'll name them for us."
Everyone has questions
"OK what do those who are over 20 years old and called Malak do?"
The irony? Names considered pretty bizarre remain permissible in the kingdom
While names that are common in the region are banned, others that aren't so familiar are allowed and some parents actually registered them.
In 2017, the kingdom's civil authority revealed tens of people applied to change names they considered bizarre. For women, the names included things like "Foota" (Cloth), "Qahwa" (Coffee), and "Is'af (Ambulance). For men, they listed names including "Sondooq" (Box) and "Hayen" (Easy).
Changing names in adulthood is a phenomenon that has long existed in the kingdom. In 2015, a local report revealed that nearly 10 Saudis, mainly women, change their names every day, averaging to 240 individuals per month.