Name Patterns from Ibn al-Bannāʼ
by Basil Dragonstrike


On this page I have gathered all the different patterns of name elements found in the diary of Ibn al-Bannāʼ; first I'll cover some of those patterns, each time using a full name from the book. Since there are more than fifty different patterns found in this book, I will discuss only some, and then give a chart (without examples) of all the patterns.

A quick review: Arabic names are composed of four (five actually) different types of name elements. The first name element is the kunya, a name using Abū or Umm usually followed by the ʻism of the eldest son. Next is the ʻism, the personal name (SCAers should note that this is the only type of name element that corresponds to a "primary name"). Next comes the nasab, using "ibn" or "bint" to denote the father (rarely the mother) of the person; this can extend to a number of generations, and sometimes generations are skipped (i.e., the nasab is not that of the father, but of the grandfather, great-grandfather, etc.). Sometimes, other terms are used, to indicate one is the son-of-the-daughter, the brother, etc. of a specified person; the only such case in this book is Ṣibt ibn Jauzi, "the son-of-the-daughter of the son of Jauzi" (this formation is not in the list below) . The fourth type of name element is the laqab/nisba, or as I call it, the byname; this is a description of the person. Descriptions can be based on appearance, occupation, tribe, etc. The fifth type, which, when present, comes first, is what is called a "honorific"; there is more information on this below.



Now, obviously, the simplest name formation is calling someone by just his/her ʻism. An example straight from the book is Jaʻfar. Among women there's ʻĀʼisha. Slightly more complicated is calling someone by his/her ʻism followed by a byname: examples are Hilāl al-Ḥaffār, or among women Badr al-Dujā. There's also an ʻism followed by a nasab, such as Muḥammad b. Sīrīn; a bit more complex is an ʻism followed by a nasab that's based on the father's kunya, such as the well-known ‘Alī b. Abī Ṭālib. Or the nasab can be based on a byname, as with ‘Umar b. al-Khaṭṭāb, the second caliph. Of course, there's an ʻism followed by by a nasab and then a byname, for example ‘Abd al-Qādir b. Muḥammad an-Nu‘aim (note the theophoric ʻism). Naturally, the nasab can be stretched to multiple generations, and more than one byname can be added; one of the more extreme examples of this is the woman, Karīma bint Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Ḥātim al-Marwazīya, with an ʻism, three generations of nasab, and a byname.

Another simple formation, and the one most often used by Ibn al-Bannāʼ, is a kunya by itself; I'll mention only Abū Raqba out of all the possible examples. A bit more complex is a kunya and an ʻism, like Abū Naṣr Muḥammad. There's also a kunya followed by a byname, such as Abū Manṣūr al-Khaiyāṭ, or followed by a nasab, such as Abū Ṭālib b. Ghailān. Then, obviously, there's the kunya plus ʻism plus nasab plus byname, such as Abū Sa‘īd al-Ḥasan b. Muḥammad al-Kutubī; this can be considered something of a classic formation. Here too, the nasab can be extended to more generations, and multiple bynames used.

Then, there are people known only by their nasab, such as Ibn Khamīs; Ibn Bannāʼ (another example) does not refer to anyone by nothing more than a multi-generation nasab. There is the use of a nasab based on a kunya, such as Ibn Abī Mūsā, or a nasab based on a byname, like Ibn al-Maṭbakhī. A nasab may be followed by a byname, as in Ibn Khaṭṭāb al-Jassār.

Some people in the diary are referred to by a byname alone, such as al-Khiraqī, two bynames, like al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī, or even three, as in al-Jazarī al-Faqīh al-Ḥanbalī.

Some people in this book are called by what are known as "honorifics"; that is, name elements usually of the form "______ al-Dīn"; though "_____ al-Daula," "______ al-Mulūk," and "______ al-Mulk" are also found. While such names are not allowed in the SCA, for the sake of completeness I will give examples of all those formations I found. Simplest is an honorific on its own, such as Ḑiyā’ al-Dīn. We find an honorific plus a byname, ‘Imad al-Dīn al-Iṣfahānī, but the next simplest is Tāj al-Mulūk Hazārasb b. Bankīr b. ‘Iyāḑ, which is an honorific, an ʻism, and two nasabs.

Let's move on to the chart of all patterns, including the ones discussed above. (Please note: the only formations found in women's names in this work are ʻIsm, ʻIsm + Byname, and ʻIsm + Nasab + Nasab + Byname.):
Honorific
Honorific + Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab + Nasab
Honorific + Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab + Byname
Honorific + Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab + Byname +Byname + Byname
Honorific + ʻIsm + Nasab + Nasab
Honorific + Byname
Kunya
Kunya + Honorific + ʻIsm + Nasab + Byname
Kunya + ʻIsm
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab based on an Honorific
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab + Nasab
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab + Nasab based on a Byname
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab + Nasab + Nasab + Nasab based on a Byname
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab + Nasab + Nasab + Byname
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab + Nasab + Nasab + Byname + Byname
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab + Nasab + Nasab based on a Byname + Byname + Byname
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab based on a Kunya + Nasab + Nasab + Byname + Byname
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab + Nasab + Byname
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab + Nasab + Byname + Byname
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab + Nasab + Byname + Byname + Byname + Byname
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab + Byname
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab based on a Kunya + Byname
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab based on a Byname + Byname
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab + Byname + Byname
Kunya + ʻIsm + Nasab + Byname + Byname + Byname
Kunya + ʻIsm + Byname
Kunya + Nasab
Kunya + Nasab based on a Kunya
Kunya + Nasab based on a Byname
Kunya + Nasab + Nasab
Kunya + Nasab + Byname
Kunya + Nasab based on a Kunya + Byname
Kunya + Nasab based on a Byname + Byname
Kunya + Byname
Kunya + Byname + Byname
ʻIsm
ʻIsm + Nasab
ʻIsm + Nasab based on a Kunya
ʻIsm + Nasab based on a Byname
ʻIsm + Nasab + Nasab + Nasab
ʻIsm + Nasab + Nasab + Nasab + Byname
ʻIsm + Nasab + Nasab + Byname
ʻIsm + Nasab + Byname
ʻIsm + Byname
Nasab
Nasab based on a Kunya
Nasab based on a Byname
Nasab + Byname
Nasab based on a Kunya + Byname
Nasab based on a Byname + Byname
Byname
Byname + Byname
Byname + Byname + Byname
Back to top