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The Meaning Behind Common Arabic Names Part 3

posted on: Apr 21, 2021

By: Lindsey Penn/Arab America Contributing Writer

In every culture, names have significance. Understanding these names can give a lot of insight into the culture, showing what is important to them in terms of qualities, history, and more. The Arab world is no different-each name that has a specific meaning. Here are a few common names and their meaning. For each of these names, there are multiple ways to spell it in English. This article is part 3 in a series.

Omar (Arabic: عمر)

Now a popular name around the globe, Omar is a boy’s name that means “flourishing”. It comes from the Arabic word meaning “life”, which has the same root as the name. Omar (but spelled like Umar) was also the name of one of the Prophet Muhammad’s companions and was the second Muslim caliph. Many people consider him to be a great founder of the Muslim state.

Omar Khairat

As for famous people with the same name, there are Omar Khairat, an Egyptian pianist, Omar Mukhtar, a Libyan who fought the Italian occupation of Libya, and Omar Abu-Riche, a Syrian poet.

Othman (Arabic: عثمان)

Othman also spelled Uthman, is another boy’s name. It means “baby bustard” or “wise”. A bustard is a type of bird. One of the Prophet Muhammad’s companions were named Uthman. He married two of the Prophet Muhammad’s daughters and was the third caliph of the Muslims.

Othman Al Omeir

As Othman can also be written as Osman and can be a surname, there are many famous people with the name. Some famous people with the name include Arwa Othman, a Yemeni writer, and Othman Al Omeir, a Saudi businessman.

Qasim (Arabic: قاسم)

Also a name for boys, Qasim means “someone who divides goods among the people”. It comes from the Arabic root (q-s-m or قسم), meaning “to divide” or “to share”. The Prophet Muhammad named one of his sons Qasim.

Kacem el Ghazzali

Famous people with the name Qasim (first or last, also with alternate spellings) are Awn Alsharif Qasim, a Sudanese writer, Kacem El Ghazzali, a Moroccan-Swiss author, and Qasem Burhan, a Qatari soccer player.

Rashid (Arabic: رشيد)

Rashid is a boy’s name that means “rightly guided”. It is also one of the 99 names of Allah.

Rashid Taha

Famous people named Rashid include Rashid Taha (an Algerian musician), Rachid Yazami (a Moroccan and French scientist), and Rashed Al Hooti (a Bahraini soccer player).

Rashida (Arabic: رشيدة)

Rashida al-Qaili

This name has the same meaning as Rashid, but it is a girl’s name. A famous person with the name Rashida is Rashida al-Qaili, a Yemeni journalist.

Rashad (Arabic: رشاد)

Rashad Khalifa

Yet another name for boys, Rashad comes from the Arabic word for “to be on the right path”. Rashad means “good sense” or “good guidance”. Celebrities with the name Rashad include Rashad Barbir, a Lebanese soccer player, and Rashad Khalifa, an Egyptian-American biochemist.

Rania (Arabic: رانية)

Rania Sabeh

Rania is a name is for girls and it means “delightful” or “looking at”, coming from the Arabic root that means “to gaze”. Famous people with the name Rania are Rania al Abdullah, the Queen of Jordan, Rania Sabeh, a Lebanese model, and Rania Mamoun, a Sudanese journalist.

Sadiq (Arabic: صادق)

Sadiq El Fitouri

A name for boys, Sadiq means “loyal”. Some people with the name Sadiq are Sadiq El Fitouri, a Libyan soccer player, and Sadiq Jaber, an Iraqi soccer player.

Safiyyah (Arabic: صفية)

Safia El Emari

Meaning “pure” in Arabic, Safiyyah (or Safia or Safiya) was one of the names of one of the Prophet Muhammad’s wives. Famous people named Safiyyah are Safia El Emari (an Egyptian actress), Safia Boukhima (an Algerian volleyball player), and Safia Abukar Hussein (a Somali runner).

Sa’id (Arabic: سعيد)

Sa’id is a very common boy’s name in Arabic, with multiple spellings in English. It means “happy” or “lucky”. One of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad was named Sa’id.

Said Sheikh Samatar

Two people with the name Sa’id are Said Sheikh Samatar, a historian from Somalia, and Said bin Taimur, a former sultan of Oman.

Sai’da (Arabic: سعيدة)

Saida Agrebi

With the same meaning as Sa’id, Sa’ida is a girl’s name. One famous person with the name Sa’ida is Saida Agrebi, a Tunisian politician.

Sara (Arabic: سارة)

Sara Salama

Sara is a girl’s name meaning “pure”, “happiness”, “joy”, and “delight”, among many other meanings. It is a name from the Old Testament, where Sara was Abraham’s wife. The name is now hugely popular around the world and is one of the most popular names. One (of many) famous people with the name Sara is Sara Salama, an Egyptian actress.

Here is a huge list of Arabic names.

You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Check out Arab America’s blog here!