Arabic Names from al-Andalus: Frequency of Men's Given Names from al-Andalus

by Juliana de Luna (Julia Smith)

© 2008 Julia Smith; all rights reserved
last updated 21Apr08

Several datasets from al-Andalus allow the creation of statistics regarding the relative frequency of names. While the datasets cannot be said to be independent (as each is based on a biographical dictionary, and many of the same people are doubtless mentioned in each one), they are certainly suggestive of some trends. The name of the prophet, Muḥammad, is by far the most popular men's name in every dataset, with between 19% and 32% of the men in the sample having that name. The name Aḥmad is the second most popular, with between 12% and 17% of men having that name. `Alī and `Abd Allāh are in third and fourth place in some order with between 4% and 9% of individuals each. Rounding out the top ten are `Abd al-Raḥmān, Ibrāhīm, Yūsuf, Yaḥya, Qāsim, Jalaf, Sa`īd, `Umar, Sulaymān, Ḥasan, and `Uthmān. These names are moderately concentrated, with the top five names accounting for between 50% and 66% of men and the top ten names accounting for between 64% and 78% of names. Despite this, there are large numbers of unique names in each dataset, with half or more of names belonging to only one individual.

Study 1 (Mediano, 797 men)

81 names, 41 unique names

Name# of men% of mencum %
1. Muḥammad25632.0%32%
2. Aḥmad11113.9%46%
3. `Alī627.8%54%
4. `Abd Allāh577.1%61%
5. `Abd al-Raḥmān405.0%66%
6. Ibrāhīm354.4%70%
7. Yaḥya202.5%73%
8. `Umar141.8%75%
8. Yūsuf141.8%76%
10. Ḥasan131.6%78%
11. Abū l-Qāsim121.5%80%
12. `Abd al-`Azīz101.3%81%
13. `Abd al-Ḥaqq81.0%82%
13. `Īsa81.0%83%
13. Qāsim81.0%84%
13. Sulaymān81.0%85%
17. Mūsa70.9%86%

Study 2: Fierro and Zanon (338 men)

84 names, 54 unique names

Name# of men% of mencum %
1. Muḥammad9628.4%28%
2. Aḥmad4513.3%42%
3. `Alī164.7%46%
4. `Abd Allāh144.1%51%
4. `Abd al-Raḥmān144.1%55%
4. Yaḥya144.1%59%
7. Qāsim72.1%61%
7. Yūsuf72.1%63%
9. Ibrāhīm41.2%64%
9. `Īsa41.2%65%
9. Sulaymān41.2%67%

Study 3: Aguilar, Manzano, and Romero (381 men)

104 names, 78 unique names

Name# of men% of mencum %
1. Muḥammad7419.4%19%
2. Aḥmad4712.3%32%
3. `Abd Allāh338.7%40%
4. `Alī184.7%45%
5. Yūsuf174.5%50%
6. Ibrāhīm164.2%54%
7. Jalaf123.1%57%
8. Sa`īd92.4%59%
8. Yaḥya92.4%62%
10. Qāsim82.1%64%
11. Ismā'īl71.8%66%

Study 4: del Felipe and Rodriguez (411 men)

99 names, 72 unique names

Name# of men% of mencum %
1. Muḥammad10325.1%25%
2. Aḥmad7017.0%42%
3. `Alī317.5%50%
4. `Abd Allāh286.8%56%
5. Ibrāhīm153.6%60%
6. `Abd al-Raḥmān122.9%63%
7. Yaḥya81.9%65%
8. Qāsim61.5%66%
8. Sulaymān61.5%68%
8. `Uthmān61.5%69%

In all investigated datasets, there are 298 different names found from al-Andalus.