Gorgeous Islamic Baby Names You'll Fall In Love With

Finding a good name for your baby is no small task: if there are no immediate or obvious people you'd like to name them after, selecting a solid name can be a daunting process! Luckily, history provides many wonderful options to choose from — and, if you want to venture beyond traditional Euro-centric names with lots of historic appeal, Islamic history and culture offer some great options. 

Founded in the 7th century in what is now Saudi Arabia, Islam means "submission to the will of God" in Arabic. Now the world's second-largest religion, Islam teaches that there is a single, omniscient god, referred to as Allah (the Arabic word for God). The belief in Mohammed as God's prophet is one of the five pillars of Islam, which are the fundamental beliefs and practices that underpin all of Islamic faith and society. So it's no surprise that Islamic names have a deep meaning to those who follow the religion, though some of these names are so beautiful you certainly don't need to follow any particular religious doctrine to appreciate them.


Mohammed — which can be spelled as Muhammed, Muhammad, or Mohammad — was the name of the prophet who founded Islam in the 7th century. Born in 570 in Mecca (now part of Saudi Arabia), Mohammed was raised by his grandfather and uncle and worked as a merchant, in addition to being devoted to his religious life. During a pilgrimage in 610 to Jabal al-Nour (Arabic for "mountain of light") near Mecca, the Angel Gabriel appeared to him during a meditation. This revelation became the foundation of Islam, and since Mohammed is the central figure in Muslim faith, it's easy to see why this is such a popular name.

Arabic for "greatly praised," the name Mohammed ranked number 566 in the United States in 2017, was reportedly the most popular name in Oslo, Norway back in 2014, and is among the top ten names in the United Kingdom in its most recent ranking list (2016). 


Arabic for "servant of God," Abduallah is a popular boy's name. A variant transcription of the name Abd Allah — the Arabic words for "servant of" and "God" — Abd Allah was the prophet Mohammed's father. Although Abd Allah died before Mohammed's birth, Abdullah is one of the most common names in the Muslim world. The name has seen a steady rise in popularity in the United States, too, and ranked as number 328 as of 2018, even though it didn't even show up in U.S. name registries until 1996. As you may expect, any name's popularity can vary greatly by location, and in the United States, Abdullah is at its most popular in New York (ranked at position 352), and and is the least popular in North Carolina (where it's number 1,078). 

Since it's one of the most frequently-used names in the Islamic world, there's a preponderance of famous and notable men named Abdullah. Some especially remarkable examples include Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, who was the king of Saudi Arabia until his death in 2015, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and former Turkish president Abdullah Gul. 


Khadijah was the name of the prophet Mohammed's first wife, whom he met while working as a merchant. Fifteen years his senior, she proposed marriage and the two went on to have a happy partnership and numerous children. Khadijah was also one of the first people to believe Mohammed's experiences on Jabal al-Nour, and her unwavering support of Mohammed in the early days of Islam's history earned her (along with two other key women in Islamic history) the nickname "the mother of the believers."

Meaning "early baby, trustworthy, and respected" in Arabic, Khadijah is one of the most popular girl's names in the Muslim world, and ranks as number 1,822 in the United States after a jump up to number 905 in 1994. Other notable women named Khadijah include Khadija Ahrari, who was one of first women elected to Parliament in Afghanistan; Khadija al-Salami, Yemen's first female film producer; Khadija Ryadi, a prominent human rights activist in Morocco; and Khadija Salum Ally Al-Qassmy, who is a member of Tanzania's Parliament. 


Fatima was the prophet Mohammed's daughter, and she is widely believed to have been his favorite. While Mohammed had other children, those children either died young or didn't have children of their own. Fatima went on to have children, grandchildren, and a long line of descendants. Her role as a de-facto matriarch, and as the head of an ever-increasing pool of descendants who can trace their lineage to the prophet Mohammed, solidified her importance in Islamic history. One of the three women called the "mothers of the believers,"  Fatima married Ali, the prophet's cousin and a central figure in Islamic history, and had two sons, Husayn and Hasan. Shi'a Muslims believe that Husayn and Hasan are the rightful heirs of the prophet's teachings and religious authority.

Arabic for "captivating" or "shining one," Fatima is an especially popular girl's name in parts of the world that are predominantly Shi'a. The name has steadily become more popular in the United States, most recently ranking as number 270 in 2018. Other notable Fatimas include Fatima Muhammad al-Fihri, who founded the world's oldest university (University of Al-Karaouine in Fez, Morocco) in 859, Pakistani author Fatima Surayya Bajia, and Somali-American model (as seen on America's Next Top Model) Fatima Siad


Aisha, also spelled as Ayesha, is Arabic for alive and prosperous, and it is a highly popular name for baby girls in the Islamic world. Ranked number 368 in the United States as of 2018, the name has gained a great deal of popularity in the West, too! Pronounced ay-EE-sha, the name has its roots in early Islamic history. 

After his first wife Khadija's death, Mohammed married Aisha, and she went on to become one of the most crucial figures in Islamic history. Because she had spent most of her life with Mohammed, after his death she was able to lend insight and personal expertise in helping people understand and interpret the Qu'ran (Islamic scripture). Because so many of the prophet's teachings can be traced back to Aisha, she is a revered figure in Islam — and, thanks to that reverence, Aisha is an understandably popular name. 

The name started becoming popular in the United States in the early 1970s, and it has become even more so with time: in 1975 Stevie Wonder named his first daughter Aisha; more recently, actress Aisha Tyler, as well as cook and television personality Ayesha Curry, have brought the name into the limelight. Other notable women include Jordanian princess Aisha bint al-Hussein and Bollywood actress Ayesha Takia


Anyone who grew up in the '90s remembers the popular — not to mention incredibly talented — singer, songwriter, and actress Aaliyah Haughton. Haughton died tragically in a plane crash in 2001, but her arrival on the pop culture scene throughout the 1990s helped introduce the West to this beautiful name. Aaliyah, which is a variation on Aliya (other variations can be be spelled as Aaliya, Alia, or Alya), means heavens, highborn, or exalted. Aliya is also the feminine form of Ali — who, as the son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed, was a crucial figure in Islamic history.

In addition to Aaliyah Haughton, other famous women bearing this name include Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina, Canadian TV producer and personality Aliya Jasmine Soyani, American chef and television personality Aliya LeeKong, and the late queen of Jordan Alia al-Hussein. The X-Men comics series even features a character named Aliya Dayspring, so this name is sure to have broad popular appeal. 


Looking for a boy's name that's both uncommon and distinguished? Adil is Arabic for fair, honest, and just (traits that anyone would want their son to embody!). Derived from the Arabic verb 'adala, "to act justly," the name can also be spelled either as Adel or Aadil, and it is pronounced as AAH-deel. While it's not a frequently-used name in Western countries or in Western pop culture, it's highly popular in the Muslim world. 

Given the name's emphasis on fairness, justice, and honesty, it's the perfect name for a future lawyer or law enforcement officer — but you can be sure that the name works well in a variety of situations! For example, notable men named Adil include several sultans of Bijapur, India, British actor Adil Ray, Norwegian actor Adil Khan, numerous athletes (such as soccer player Adil Rami and cricket player Adil Rashid), and late Bosnian politician and intellectual Adil Zulfikarpasic


Most recently popularized by British actor Idris Elba, the name Idris can trace its roots to both Welsh and Islamic history. The name of a prophet mentioned in the Qu'ran, Idris may be the same person as the Hebrew prophet Enoch. While the meaning of the name Idris is up for debate, it may have been derived from the Arabic root word for "to study" or "to instruct." The name's popularity has fluctuated in the United States, recently reaching number 2,130 after becoming less popular in the 1990s and early 2000s. Meanwhile, Idris is a popular name in the U.K., where it's ranked at number 291. 

In addition to Idris Elba, another prominent Idris was the late Idris Shah, an Indian Sufi writer whose life was dedicated to choosing and collecting important works of classical literature from the Eastern Sufi tradition, and then translating and adapting those works to resonate with people in the West. 


Pronounced nye-lah, Nailah (also spelled Naila, Niylah, or Na'ila) is Arabic for "one who succeeds," "lucky," "winner," and "achiever." The name gets historical weight from Na'ila bint al-Furafisa, the wife of Uthman ibn Affan — the third caliph (leader) of the Islamic empire from 644-656, and the last caliph to rule over the entirety of Islam before the Sunni-Shi'a schism. 

Naila tried to protect Uthman from an angry mob that was laying siege to their home; while he was eventually killed in the fighting, she survived and lost several fingers (or, according to some, her hand) in an effort to protect her husband. Ranked in 2018 as the 928th most popular name in the United States (having risen 190 spots since 2017), Nailah is a popular name with plenty of staying power! In addition to Na'ila bint al-Furafisa, another notable figure is Naila Kabeer, an Indian-born British social economist, researcher, scholar, and feminist.


Mansur, which means both victorious and divine aid in Arabic, has a distinguished history. Also transliterated as Mansoor and Mansour, the name is derived from the name of Abu Jafar al-Mansur, a revered caliph (leader) of the Abbasid dynasty — one of Islamic history's greatest empires, which existed from 750 until its demise in 1258. (Under the rule of the Abbasid dynasty, the Islamic empire experienced significant territorial expansion, as well as vastly increased prestige, influence, and power.) During his reign, Abu Jafar Al-Mansur founded the city of Baghdad in 762, and as a result, the name bears a great deal of regal, historical significance. Adding to which, according to the experts at Nameberry, it "suggests a man who is sure of himself." 

Other dignified historical men named Mansur include Mansur Al-Hallaj, a 9th century Persian Sufi mystic and poet, Mansur al-Atrash, a Syrian politician and journalist, Lebanese musician and composer Mansour Rahbani, and Iranian musician Mansour Jafari Mamaghani. 


Looking for a gorgeous and unique name for your darling daughter? Give Amira a look! Taken from the Arabic verb amara, to rule or to command, Amira means princess in Arabic (it is the feminine form of Amir, which is the Arabic name for prince). Pronounced Ah-MEER-ah, Amira can also be spelled Amirah, Ameera, or Ameerah. 

The name is especially popular in African and Middle Eastern countries, but is also gaining popularity in the United States: although it didn't appear on U.S. naming charts until 1998, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration, Amira was ranked as number 317 in 2017, and it doesn't show any signs of dropping off in popularity. Meanwhile, as of 2018, Amira is ranked at number 179 in the U.K., and Amirah is number 329.

Your baby girl would have a wide selection of role models named Amira, as notable women bearing this name include Somali-Filipino model Amira Ahmed, Saudi princess Ameera al-Tawil, Tunisian Olympic distance runner Amira Ben Amor, scholar and historian Amira Bennison, Egyptian writer and author Amira Nowaira, and Egyptian opera singer Amira Selim.  


Zahra, which is pronounced ZAH-rah, means both "flower" and "radiant one" in Arabic, is also a nickname used to refer to Fatima, the daughter of prophet Mohammed. Mentioned once in the Qu'ran as part of an idiom used to describe things that bring happiness, satisfaction, and beauty, Zahra can also mean "splendor" or "bounty." 

In addition to the name's historical significance, in recent years it has been gaining popularity in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Zahra first broke into the top 1000 most popular names in the U.S. in 2012, and it has become increasingly popular since then. The name most recently ranked as number 452 in 2017. Zahra also has superstar appeal, as both David Bowie and Eddie Murphy have daughters with Zahra as their middle name. 

Other remarkable women named Zahra include Zahra Bani, an Italian javelin thrower of Somali descent, Iranian academic Zahra Rahnavard, and Zahra Kazemi-Ahmadabadi, an Iranian-Canadian freelance photographer who was killed in Iran. 


Another traditional boy's name that has gotten a great deal of exposure lately is Adnan. The name Adnan arrived on the pop culture scene via the hugely popular Serial podcast — which delved into the case of Adnan Syed, who was jailed for the murder of his girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in 1999 — and has become increasingly popular in recent years. Ranked number 744 in the United Kingdom and number 3,654 in the United States, Adnan means "settler" in Arabic.

Adnan is a name indirectly referenced in Islamic scripture, as a man named Adnan is believed to have been an ancestor of the Prohpet Mohammed, the son of the prophet Ishmael (and, therefore, the grandson of Abraham), and one of the original settlers of the northern Arabian Peninsula. Adnan Syed isn't the only famous man carrying this name, though: other notable Adnans include British musician and actor Adnan Sami Khan and Albanian-Belgian soccer player Adnan Januzaj