Nawhami is an Arabic onomastic (nisbat) which means “the one from Newham”. Newham is a borough in London, England. Technically, it should have been Newhami (نيوهامي) but in classical Arabic that would be considered ineloquent; the combination of Ya and Waw coupled with the incongruent diacritics is problematic. So there remain three options; Nihami (نيهامي), Nuhami (نُوهامي) and Nawhami (نَوهامي). Nawhami is preferred as it resonates the W from the English, feels closer in pronunciation and lighter on the tongue.

Muhammad Saifur Rahman is a relatively common name. So on occasion, there are chances of identity error. Mostly, it is harmless. Once, I received a communication intended for the late Mawlana Saifur Rahman of Madrasah Sawlatiyyah in Makkah. I redirected the sender to the correct recipient. However, other times it was potentially harmful. Once, a person with the same name as me issued a fatwa regarding plucking of the eyebrows. A colleague of mine who is a mufti approached me seeking clarification. He told me that some are attributing the answer to me while he thought it did not seem not like an answer I would give. I affirmed and said that I did not issue any such answer nor do I agree with the answer given.

In order to differentiate from others with my namesake, I added Nawhami at the end of my name to avoid confusion. I chose the London borough of Newham as most of my formative years were there.

Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
2 February 2017