A charity with close ties to the leader of Chechnya offered parents $1,000 if they named their newborns after the prophet Mohammed or his close relatives.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Chechnya, said on Monday that a charity run by his mother offered the cash prize for those born on the day Sunni Muslims mark the birthday of Mohammed, which this year occurred on Monday.
Names for which the financial inducement qualified were Mohammad, his wives, children and the ten companions to whom he promised paradise, the Russian website RIA Novosti reported. Examples of other qualifying names included Aisha, Fatima, and Ibrahim.
Despite the powerful connections, the institution run by Kadyrov’s mother, Aimani Kadyrova, and named after his late father, Chechnya’s former President Akhmad Kadyrov, is a privately run charity, RIA Novosti reported.
Kadyrov made the announcement about the prize on Instagram, adding that the idea was his mother’s.
On Tuesday, Chechen Health Minister Shakhid Akhmadov announced that the families of 126 children — 78 boys and 48 girls — received the awards, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.
Even without a monetary incentive, Mohammed for three years has been the most popular name for newborn boys in England, including various spellings for the Muslim prophet’s name