Dubai: In the UAE you will hear names starting with Abdul, such as Abdul Rahman, Abdul Rahim, and Abdul Aziz and so on. As a matter of fact these names are not only known in the UAE and Gulf countries but are also used all over the Arab and Muslims world. These names form an integral part of the Islamic religion and each one of these names mirror a description of Allah, which adds honour to the holder of the name.
Most of the names are after the 99 names of Allah, which in Arabic is known as Asma Allah Al Husna.
The names form two syllables, for example Abdul Rahman, Abd means servant and Al Rahman is one of the 99 names of Allah, which means The Compassionate. The name translates as Servant of the Compassionate. The most popular names in the UAE are Abdul Rahman, Abdul Rahim, Abdul Aziz, Abdul Latif and Abdul Khaleq.
In the Arab world there is a style of naming, such as the father of Mohammad, reads in Arabic as Abu Mohammad, the mother of Ali is known as Umm Ali, the son of Ahmad is Ibn Ahmad in the Arabic style but Bin Ahmad in Emirati and the Gulf dialect style. The daughter of Khalid reads Ibnat Khalid in Arabic and for the Emirati and Gulf style reads Bint Khalid.
This system forms an integral part of the UAE community and it is not new but dates from ancient Arab heritage. The concept dignifies the position of the person by referring to their patronymic roots and mirrors pride, as well as the authenticity of Arabian tribes. Normally, the father and mother are called by their eldest son or daughter's name to honour their position as parents due to the substantial status of parents in Islam in the first place and in Arab culture.
This system is also applied to single people who are called after famous people in the Arabic and Islamic eras. For instance, a single man who is named Mohammad is always called Abu Jasem after the famous name of Prophet Mohammad's (PBUH) son Al Qasim (but Emiratis pronounce it Jasem.)
On the other hand, a woman named Fatima is called Umm Hussain after the famous daughter of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) Fatima and her well-known son Hussain. Also a single woman named Mariam is called Umm Eisa, and a single man named Eisa is called Abu Mariam after the Prophet Eisa and his mother Mariam.
Some of the 99 names of Allah:
1) Al Rahman — The Compassionate
2) Al Rahim — The Merciful
4) Al Qudoos — The Perfect
5) Al Salam — The Peace and Safety
6) Al Mu'min — The Guarantor
7) Al Muhaymin — The Guardian
8) Al Aziz — The Almighty
9) Al Jabbar — The Compeller
10) Al Mutakabbir — The Greatest
11) Al Khaleq — The Creator
12) Al Bari' — The Rightful
13) Al Musawwir — The Fashioner of Forms
14) Al Gaffar — The Forgiving
15) Al Qahhar — The Subduer
16) Al Razzaq — The Provider
17) Al Mu'dhell — The Giver of Dishonour
18) As Sami — The All-Hearing
19) Al Basir — The All-Seeing
21) Al`Adl — The Absolute Just
22) Al Latif — The Gentle
23) Al Halim — The Forbearing
24) Al ‘Azim — The Magnificent
25) Al Hasib — The Bringer of Judgment
26) Al Jalal — The Majestic