Let's Talk Reflections

Who Do You Think You Are? The Power In A Name

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

A couple of years ago, I briefly wrote about Yoruba culture and the importance we place on names in a blogpost titled, My Daughter’s Name. Recently I watched Jola Ayeye’s brilliant video, ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’, which showcases a conversation with her father on the meaning of her names. It’s a heartwarming conversation that made me reflect on my names.

The meaning of my names

Mahmoudat in Arabic means praiseworthy. It’s derived from Mahmoud, one of the names of Prophet Muhammad peace and blessing be upon him. It appears in the Quran in Surah Isra where Allah swt says,


“And from [part of] the night, pray with it as additional [worship] for you; it is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station.”


My middle name in Yoruba means, “God has blessed me with wealth” , and my oriki name (the name that has stuck in my immediate family) means the “One who is cherished and taken care of together.”

Lately I’ve been going through a rough time spiritually compounded by the fact that this feels like my worst Ramadan ever. The video felt like a timely reminder from Al-Lateef (The Subtle) to remind me of the possibilities that lie in what people call me everyday.

“A name is not just a tag, it’s a prayer. It’s hopes, dreams and ambitions.”

Who Do You Think You Are By Jola Ayeye

A couple of hours after watching the video, I wrote a dua inspired by my name,

“Ya Allah, make me worthy of my name and praiseworthy in your sight.
Ya Allah, make tahajjud beloved to me and raise my station on the Day of Judgement.
Ya Allah, purify my heart and beautify my character just like the Prophet Muhammad.”

Jola’s video is beautifully produced and a must watch.

I pray that you benefited from this post and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

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