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Opinions on Muslim names

(51 Posts)
junsab Mon 22-Aug-11 00:27:39

Hello All,

My first ever post so here goes:
My son is due on the 30th of September (soon!). We are muslim and have a shortlist of names. Islamic names are usually of arab origin and are chosen according to their meaning and/or significance in islamic history/culture.

I just wanted to know how they sounded to an English ear! I'm not that fussed really about school or anything like that and will happily call him whatever we think is best but I'm just interested (perhaps the English teacher in me) in how non-English names sound to others smile

Hamza
Sufyaan
Hisham
Zaid

Toobluntforboss Mon 22-Aug-11 00:29:40

I think they all sound lovely. I know an Akhtar which I also think is a nice name. Congrats on your upcoming arrival.

Kayano Mon 22-Aug-11 00:42:10

My good friend is Sufyaan and I love that name

NotADudeExactly Mon 22-Aug-11 00:42:52

I love Hisham - if it's pronounced correctly.

Sufyaan is lovely but will always be a street name to me due to it being the name of a main shopping area in a city where I once worked. This wouldn't really apply to anyone else, though. smile

I'm less keen on Hamza and Zaid. It's just a question of taste, I suppose. I guess I have a thing for names that are stressed on the long final syllable.

AlfalfaMum Mon 22-Aug-11 00:50:33

I really like Sufyaan, Zaid and Hisham. I find Sufyaan and Hisham easier to pronounce, I feel awkward trying to say Zaid.
I don't like Hamza because I think of ham.

BlackadderWentForthToMultiply Mon 22-Aug-11 01:50:41

Zaid. also Sufyaan is excellent to. though i am anglo/asian/muslim so there isn't the issue of aural familiarity.

InstantAtom Mon 22-Aug-11 06:47:04

I like Zaid best from the list.

theworldspins Mon 22-Aug-11 12:01:20

Zaid but then I know a Zayd.

Not really a fan of the other 3 but Hisham out of the 3 I like best

oohlaalaa Mon 22-Aug-11 12:06:37

I would know how to pronounce Zaid, but the others I would not know.

We had two muslim boys at school, and they known as Sam and Mo. I think their names were Samir and Mohammed.

junsab Mon 22-Aug-11 12:17:15

Thanks for the input!
alfalfamum that's quite funny about 'ham' (oh the irony!). Never thought about it as it's meant to be pronounced 'Hum-za' but I can see that might be automatic reaction when looking at it in print.
oohlaalaaI hate the idea of names being shortened into anglicised versions. It sort of defeats the purpose of giving them cultural names to begin with. But it does happen a lot. These names would be hard to do that with which I like!
Hmmm...Sufyaan and Zaid seem to most popular. Good to know...

Firawla Mon 22-Aug-11 12:21:46

I like all of those, probs like Hisham best as its less common. I think they should be all quite easy for people to pronounce, people always get used to the names once they hear it a few times anyway

SoupDragon Mon 22-Aug-11 12:26:06

I have no idea how any of them are pronounced so can't really comment. smile However, My three have had children with all sorts of "foreign" names and it has never been a problem for them or me to pronounce them once told.

Iamkenny Mon 22-Aug-11 12:41:36

Zaid out of them all.

I know a whole family of girls who get called by their shortened (anglicised) names - Moe, Afro, Ani and Ash.

It happens a lot with Mohammah.

But if the short version sounds/looks like a anglicised name then you can't really help it, just the luuck of the draw

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Mon 22-Aug-11 12:58:07

I'm not a Muslim, but my two DCs both have "ethnic" names and based on that, my advice would be... think about how much patience you might have for explaining the correct spelling and/or pronounciation! Obviously, the necessity for this will depend upon whether or not there are plenty of other Muslims in your area, but Zaid and Hisham will always be easier to spell than Sufyaan and the initial H in Hamza will always be a bit beyond most non Arabic speakers...

eeyore2 Mon 22-Aug-11 13:02:37

I like Zaid the best. And I think it will be easiest for non-Muslims to pronounce fairly similarlarly to how you would say it. Think about how happy you would be for lots of people to mispronounce your son's name - e.g. most non-Muslims would pronounce Hamza with a short a not a long one. It might really get on your nerves!

ButHeNeverDid Mon 22-Aug-11 13:04:33

Zaid is my favorite - and I think BreastMilk's point about spelling is a good one.

Sorry - but I think Hamza is a very bad idea. Reminds me of Abu Hamza.

junsab Mon 22-Aug-11 13:12:38

Okay so Hamza seems to be the most difficult one. Despite some poor associations (Damn that Abu Hamza ruining it lol) it is a very strong, powerful name (means Lion and historically very famous). However, the constant mispronunciation might get a bit annoying.

Cattleprod Mon 22-Aug-11 13:23:16

I think Abu Hamza would put me off that name, the others are nice though, my favourite being Sufyaan.

None of them translate badly though, although very sensible of you to ask. There were quite a few boys called Manmeet on the ONS name list last year (not sure if this is Muslim or other origin) whose parents obviously hadn't made the connection with one of the many British terms for, erm, part of a man's anatomy!

EvenLessNarkyPuffin Mon 22-Aug-11 13:24:58

Is Hisham pronounced the same way as Hicham El Guerrouj? If so that's my favourite. And a great namesake.

edam Mon 22-Aug-11 13:29:09

Nice names but agree with everyone else re. Hamza - I can't hear it without thinking of Abu Hamza and didn't know how to pronounce it before reading this thread.

saadia Mon 22-Aug-11 13:29:14

If you are concerned about meanings and history I would out who Abu Sufyaan was.

TheBreadstick Mon 22-Aug-11 14:10:39

I like Zaid best, and as mentioned earlier, unfortunately cannot hear Hamza without thinking of Abu Hamza.

Just out of interest what do the names mean? Might sway opinion?! (I read the post about Hamza meaning Lion, but haven't seen any other posts with the meanings on smile)

Bread x

birdofthenorth Mon 22-Aug-11 16:32:35

I would also associate Hamza with Abu Hamza, sorry!

Love Sufyaan & Zaid (though Sayid is the tormented gay Muslim character in Eastenders -but he's quite nice so wouldn't be the worst association people could make).

somewherewest Mon 22-Aug-11 17:51:46

More votes for Sufyaan and Zaid! I also have the Hamza/ham/Abu Hamza associations unfortunately, and would naturally pronounce it 'ham-za'. I guess it partly depends on the ethnic/religious balance of the area you live in. If non-Muslim people there are used to Muslim names the pronunciation/association isues probably wouldn't be so bad.

somewherewest Mon 22-Aug-11 17:52:16

Or 'issues' even grin

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