Question 25: What is the ruling on a person changing their name like most of the Indonesian pilgrims do? Indonesians are used to changing their names when they go to Makkah Al-Mukarramah or Al-Madeenah Al-Munawwarah. Is this an act of Sunnah or not?
Answer: The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to change the bad names to good ones. If the pilgrims of Indonesia are changing their names for this purpose, not for finishing the rituals of Hajj or their visit to Al-Masjid Al-Nabawee (the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah) to offer Salaah (Prayer) therein, then this is permissible. On the other hand, if they are changing their names because they are in Makkah or Al-Madeenah or for finishing the rituals of Hajj, for example, then this is a Bidd‘ah (innovation in religion) and not an act of Sunnah… read more here.