The Middle East kingdom Saudi Arabia has banned 50 names which the interior ministry says contradicts its culture or religion.
Times of India, quoting The Independent, said, "Parents in the kingdom will reportedly no longer be able to call their children by names such as Linda, Alice, Elaine or Binyamin (Arabic for Benjamin) after the civil affairs department at the ministry issued a list of the prohibited names.
"Binyamin is believed in Islam to be the son of Prophet Jacob, but is also the name of the current Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu."
The list also includes Rama, the Hindu deity worshipped mostly in northern India and the protagonist of the epic Ramayana.
As per the report, several names have been banned as the kingdom thought of them as ‘blasphemous’, nor-Arabic and/or Islamic.
According to the Gulf News, "The names fit into at least three categories: those that offend perceived religious sensibilities, those that are affiliated to royalty and those that are of non-Arabic or non-Islamic origin."
The Gulf News said, "A number of other names appear that do not necessarily fit into any category and it is therefore unclear as to why they would have been banned. Names such as Abdul Naser and Binyamin are not found to be particularly offensive to Muslims. Binyamin is believed in Islam to be the son of Prophet Jacob (Yaqoub) (PBUH) and the full brother of Prophet Joseph (PBUH), but it also happens to be the name of the Israeli prime minister. Abdul Naser, similarly, is the name of the famous Arab nationalist ruler of Egypt, who was at odds with Saudi Arabia.
"Names such as Abdul Nabi and Abdul Hussain, common among Shiites and some Sunni Arabs, are controversial because of the multiple ways in which they can be interpreted. Abdul in Arabic means 'worshipper of' or 'slave of', while Nabi means 'prophet' and Rasool means 'messenger'. Those who oppose such names argue that Abdul means 'worshipper of' and is therefore forbidden as only God can be worshipped. Most Muslim names with Abdul carry one of God’s 99 Islamic names. Abdul Rahman, for example, comes from the name Al Rahman."
The forbidden names as compiled by Gulf News are:
Binyamin (Arabic for Benjamin)
Al Mamlaka (the kingdom)
Rama (Hindu god)
Basmala (utterance of the name of God)
Jibreel (angel Gabriel)
Nabiyya (female prophet)