Sources for Middle Eastern Names and Armory


Appleton, David. "Arabic Naming Practices and Names List," Compleat Anachronist #51, The Islamic World, Autumn 1990.

An excellent discussion of Arabic naming written by the former chief herald of the SCA. This issue can be acquired from Free Trumpet Press West (AF)

Dodge, Baynard. The Fihirst of al-Nadim. Columbia University Press: New York, 1970.

Pages 931 - 1135, of volume II are a biographical index of important 10th century Arabs. This then gives us many period exemplars of correct Arab naming practices, as well as Arab names. Highly recommended. (JA)

Hamid, Azieza. The Book of Muslim Names. MELS: London, 1985.

A book on Muslim names in English, without dates. Recommended only if nothing better is available. (JA)

Schimmel, Annemarie. Islamic Names. Edinburgh University Press, Scotland, 1989.

A comprehensive and wide-ranging survey of Islamic names. Some dates. Recommended. (JA)

Smith, Antar Ibn-Stanford Ibn-Edward Ibn-George. Muslim Names and Birth-Rites.

The Qur'anic Civilization Association, Inc: Jackson, Michigan, 1985. A book on Muslim names in English without dates. Recommended only if one of the better books is not available. (JA)


Leaf, William, and Sally Purcell, Heraldic Symbols: Islamic Insignia and Western Heraldry, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1986.

A monograph on the origins and development of heraldry, with a focus on the relations to Islamic heraldry and iconography. Well illustrated with photographs of objects from the museum.

Mayer, L. A., Saracenic Heraldry, A Survey, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1933.

The best available source on this subject. The Academy library contains a summary of this book.


Al-Ja'fari, Fatima Suzan. Muslim Names. American Trust Publications: Maryland, 1982.

Unfortunately, this, like Qazi's What's in a Muslim Name, is not very good. It too just has lists of names without documentation. It is best used in conjunction with a history text that could provide documentation on the names. Not Recommended. (JA)

Qazi, M. A. What's in a Muslim Name. 1978.

This is a listing of Muslim names in Arabic and English, without any documentation. Not a very good source. If you really want a Muslim name/persona, you could select a name from here, and then try to document it using history books. You are much better off using Dodge's The Fihirst of al- Nadim. Not recommended. (JA)

This page maintained by Jim Trigg (known in the SCA as Blaise de Cormeilles),