Choosing a name for your baby is not only a very hard choice to make but also a very important factor to show your love to your little one. The name you keep for your kid might be altered or even made short for the sake of convenience, but what you name your child first, will definitely stay as an ultimate name for your kid in your soul. It will define the kid’s personality for a lifetime to come.
Arab style of naming doesn’t necessarily mean that the name belongs to a specific community, but in general, Arabic baby names have a different pattern. There are rules as how the names must be placed and how it is not supposed to be placed and the way they are put together.
It is very interesting to know that the Arab style of naming essentially comprises of 5 components in a name. Although, it might not be possible to have all these components in a single name, it is the backbone skeleton structure of any name in Arabic.
- Ism – It is the personal name. It could be anything from Sultan, Maha, Muhammad, Ali etc. It is common that the personal name is an adjective
- Laqab – The Laqab indicates the personal quality of the person and the name is given as the child grows into an adult. Eg. Jamal Al Rashid means, Jamal the rightly guided
- Nisba – The Nisba is technically same as the Laqab, but it shows the personality of the person through a place. It could be the person’s birthplace or even an unknown place which shows the pride or good of the person. Eg. Haroun Al Afgani, The Nisba claims that he was an Afghani, although chances are there he was born elsewhere but with characters of an Afghani.
- Nasab – It means the parents name. A baby’s name followed by one or two generations of Nasab can be claimed as the full name of the baby. Classically ibn/bin is used for son and bint is used for daughter. Eg. Mohammad Bin Tuklak, Osama Bin Laden
- Kunya – It means children. It generally is preceded by Umm (mother) or Abu (father). It is an honour based naming making the children proud. It is not given while naming the babies though. Eg. Yasser Arafat is called as Abu Ammar, and the name is used by close comrades and friends of his.
Recent Changes In Arabic Naming
In recent times, due to colonisation, people simply have a first name and the last name, although these can be derived from the classical components of the names. Kunya is still prevalent in most places. Laqab is more or less rare. Nisba shows itself only when the full name is asked for. Nasab is still common in Gulf, in the descendants of the kings. For example, “Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz ibn Abdulrahman ibn Faisal ibn Turki ibn Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Saud ibn Muhammad ibn Muqrin Al Saud” is the name of the King Of Saudi Arabia.