The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) had two names. He is known as Ahmad in later records and as Muhammad in the Holy Scripture. Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has a number of names. All of them describe his character traits. He also has a different name in different places. Each natural phenomenon (such as the sky, the earth, oceans and mountains) knows him under a certain name.
It is narrated that the Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “I have five names: I am Muhammad; I am Ahmad; I am al-Maahi (the eraser) be means of whom Allah erases disbelief (kufr); I am al-Haashir - people will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment after me; I am al-Aaqib, (the last) Prophet and Messenger of Allah.
The name Muhammad means “praiseworthy” and “praised by everyone”. The name Ahmad has become a common alternative for the Prophet’s name. It has derived from the same stem as Muhammad and means “praiseworthy”.
As it is stated in hadiths, the names “Ahmad” and “Muhammad” have a number of virtues:
1. The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Name yourselves with my name, but do not name yourselves with my Kunya name (nickname)”.
2. The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “If a son born to you and out of love and respect for me and to obtain the blessings of my name, you keep the child’s name “Muhammad”, then the father and child will both enter Jannah. If somebody’s wife is pregnant and they decide to name their child by my name, Allah will give them a son. If somebody, whose newborn sons die, promise to Allah that if he has a son again, he will give him my name, his newborn son won’t die.”
3. It is narrated in the hadith that: “On the day of Qiyamat, two people will appear before Allah’s court and He will bring them to Paradise. These two people will say: “Oh, Allah, we have not done any good deeds and you brought us to Paradise. Allah will tell them: “Take them to Paradise because I made an oath that no one whose name is Ahmad or Muhammad will enter the Hell.”
4. It has been narrated that on the Judgment Day, as a respect for the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), they will say to those people whose name is Muhammad the following: “Get up and enter the Paradise”. (Wrong-doers, oppressors and those who introduce modifications in the religion are not included).
5. The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “The Fire will never attack the one who has been named in my honour.”
6. The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “If people have a meal together and there is someone called Ahmad or Muhammad among them, all of them will be blessed by Allah twice a day.”
7. According to one of the hadiths, Allah will take followers of monotheism out of the Hell on the Day of Judgment. Those who have the Prophet’s name will be the first to be taken out of the Hell. Allah will say: “You are Muslims and I am Salam; you are believers and I am Mu’min”. He will take them out of the Hell by means of these two names’ mercy.
8. The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “They will call on the Judgment Day: “Stand up the one whose name is Muhammad so that to enter Paradise.”
9. It is said in the hadith that: “If the person has three sons and none of them is named Muhammad, this person showed his ignorance by not giving one of his sons this name.”
10. Imam Malik said: “I heard people from Medina say: “There is no family which has someone called Muhammad which has not been blessed with virtuous gifts.”