Question 115: Ahlul bayt (pbuth) named their kids Usman, Umar, and Abubakr! why these days we (Shia) don’t give our children such names? is it part of our faith is to hate them?
Answer 115: With a quick glance at historical books we see that Abu Bakr ibn Ali, Umar bin Ali and Usman bin Ali were the children of Laila the daughter of Masoud Thaqafi, Um Habib and Ummul Banin, respectively. When reflecting on the similarity of name between these children and the Khulafa it can be said:
The public mindset at that time was in such a way that these names were not significant and subject to attention and accordingly didn’t posses approving or disapproving connotations. As a matter of fact these names would not remind anyone of the Khulafa and it was through the passing of time and history that the names of these three people were bolded, but back then these names were so common that if Ali (A.S.) or anybody else chose the name Abu Bakr for their child it wasn’t reminiscent of the first Khalifa. Moreover there were great companions of the prophet (A.S.) that had these names like Usman bin Maznun and others.
These names were in that era and, as witnessed in historical books, later on used commonly in the time of the other Imams. Besides these names weren’t hated and condemned by the Shiites as Mu’jam Al-Theqat has listed nearly 60 pages of narrators that had the name Umar or Usman bin Saied which was one of the four special representatives of Imam Zaman (A.S.) in the time of the minor occultation.
One must know that the names of the three khalifas were not confined to them, but actually frequently used before and after Islam, among Arabs. This naming could not be a reason for friendship and liking. For example, the last king of Iran, named Muhammad Reza, was the most despised person in the country, but at the same time this didn’t change the fact that this name was commonly used among people. There were others among the great Sahabah (The Companions) of the Prophet (A.S.) that had the same name as the Khulafa too such as Usman bin Maznun and others so how can someone claim that these names weren’t for the remembrance of these great companions. You can check the names of the Sahaba that were named Abu Bakr, Umar and Usman in Al-Isti’aab by Ibn Abdul Birr and Asad Al-Ghabah by Ibn Athir.
It is useful to note that nowhere in our historical books (that have been studied) has it been mentioned that Imam Ali directly chose these names, hence there is a possibility that these names were picked by his respected spouses or others which the Imam respected and wouldn’t argue with their decisions.
For further information in this regards, please read the following answer:
Index: The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni, answer 187.
 . Arbali, Ali, Kash al-Ghumma an Ma’rifat al-A’immah, vol. 2, pg. 66; Ibid and Al-Irshad, pg. 167; Mu’jam al-Khu’i, vol. 21, pg. 66; Ibid and Al-Irshad, pg. 167; Mu’jam al-Khu’i, vol. 13, pg. 45; Mu’jam al-Thuqat, vol. 21, pg. 66; Al-Irshad, pg. 484; Mu’jam al-Thuqat, vol. 13, pg. 45; Muntahal-Amal, vol. 1, pg. 220.