What’s in a name?

I thought about using a pseudonym for writing and social media. I am a very private person and sending stories of my life into the cyber abyss scares me a little. I do not want to get harassed by internet trolls, risking my privacy and my identity. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there. But then I thought, why should I hide under a false name when I have such a beautiful name?

My name is Tasnim.

I asked my mother why she named me Tasnim. She said she found it in a name book and liked it. As an imaginative child, it was not an answer I was looking for. My friends were named after their mom’s best friends, a beautiful popular celebrity at the time they were born, or their parent’s favorite author. I thought those reasons were more meaningful than to just find it in a book.

Tasnim is a popular name among Bangladeshis and Pakistanis. It has been a trending name for the past 100 years or so.

Tasnim is the name of a fountain in heaven.

It is mentioned in the Qur’an from the Surat Al-Mutaffifin:

And what will explain to thee what ‘Illiyun is? (There is) a Register (fully) inscribed, To which bear witness those Nearest (to God) Truly the Righteous will be in Bliss: On Thrones (of Dignity) will they command a sight (of all things): Thou wilt recognise in their faces the beaming brightness of Bliss. Their thirst will be slaked with Pure Wine sealed: The seal thereof will be Musk: And for this let those aspire, who have aspirations: With it will be (given) a mixture of Tasnim: A spring, from (the waters) whereof drink those Nearest to God. (83:19-83:28). 

I am not an Islamic scholar so I am not going to try and interpret this for others. You can do your own research and come up with your own conclusions and opinions.

But for me, it is an interesting chapter.

The title Al-Mutaffifin is translated to “The Dealers in Fraud.” It talks about hypocrites and frauds. And assures the Believers that they will get the last laugh when the Day of Judgement is proven true. I believe this is rhetoric from the time of the Prophet (pbuh) when he and his followers would be ridiculed. I think it is meant to assure Believers that the message is true and to remain steadfast and not to fall victim to hypocrisy.

Whenever there is a new movement, there will be skeptics. No matter if it is a new religion, philosophy, political or economic idea, anything. It has been this way throughout history because humans are skeptics in nature. It is how we have survived living on earth for so many millenia.

A berry may be pretty, but it can also be poisonous. We have to experiment and determine if it is healthy, and that takes time and effort, trial and error.

This chapter also mentions there is a register that records good and bad deeds, which will reveal those most righteous. And those most righteous will be given a mixture of Tasnim, a water spring saved for those nearest to Allah (swt).

What interests me is the middle part: Thou wilt recognise in their faces the beaming brightness of Bliss. 

I do believe happiness is often shown in your face, and happy people exude a calming energy. It’s so interesting that a book of religion would have this statement about happiness.

Growing up as an immigrant in a non-Asian, non-Muslim country, my name has been butchered since the beginning. Even now, I introduce myself to people and some are honest and will say, “it’s going to take me a few tries” and some are ignorant and will say, “that’s too hard.”

I’ve grown to love my name because of its unique meaning.

Words are powerful. Names can give beauty to something by having a story.

What’s your story?


*Photo taken by Kem Ramirez Photography and used with permission. Please exercise artistic integrity and link back to the original artist.*





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