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105 Beautiful Middle Eastern Names

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Explore the magic of long-lived Middle Eastern names for the flourishing baby boy or girl you’re expecting.

When you travel ancient lands to find the ideal Middle Eastern names for your baby boy or girl, you enter a world of multiple traditions. From ancient Persian mythology to classic Mediterranean names, there are many choices for little boys and girls to enjoy.

This unique name list contains 105 Arabic names for little princes and princesses. The names can honor the rich history of the Middle East while offering unique choices, both traditional and modern, for your little one’s life.


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105 Most Popular Middle Eastern Names for Boys and Girls

These Middle Eastern names will bring some exotic charm to the little guy or gal in your life.

Abdul

Abdul combines the Arabic word “abd,” meaning “servant,” and the prefix “al/el,” meaning “the.” Abdul is known as the “servant of Allah.” Abdul is popular all over the Islamic world for young boys who dream of becoming a top prince.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Servant
  • Pronunciation: AHB-DuwL
  • Variations: Abdoul, Abdullah, Abdull
  • Namesakes: Abdul Mumuni (known as Abdul Salis), a British actor who appeared on Casualty, the UK medical drama. Abdul Fakir, an American singer and the founding member of the Motown quartet the Four Tops.
  • Popularity: Abdul is ranked 15th worldwide, most popular in Pakistan, and rated 2nd in Afghanistan.
Traditional, Popular

Adil

Adil is a form of Adel, an Arabic boy’s name meaning “fairness” and “justice.” It originated with the root “adala,” meaning “to act justly.” These typically Arabic names can make way for your little guy to shine.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Righteous
  • Pronunciation: Ah-DIYL
  • Variations: Adeel, Adyeel
  • Namesakes: Ali-qoli Khan (known as Adil Shah), the second shah of Iran from 1747 to 1748. Adil Shayakhmetov, the head of Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee from 2009 to 2010.
  • Popularity: Adil is ranked 1,478th worldwide, most popular in Morocco, and 30th in Sudan.
Masculine, Common

Ahmad

Ahmad is derived from the Arabic “aḥmad,” meaning “to thank or “to praise.” It’s one of many names that refer to the prophet Muhammad. Ahmad is the perfect handsome and upright name for the little guy in your life.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Highly praised
  • Pronunciation: Ahh-MAAD
  • Variations: Ahamad, Ahmed
  • Namesakes: Ahmad Hardi, a Kurdish poet, and figure in the Kurdish liberation movement. Ahmad Jalloul, a Lebanese footballer for Lebanese Premier League club Safa.
  • Popularity: Ahmad ranked 83rd worldwide and is most popular in Indonesia, where it ranks 5th.
Popular, Traditional

Aisha

Aisha also means “she who lives” and came from Aisha, the third wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Aisha is one of the prettiest Middle Eastern girl names given to women.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Womanly
  • Pronunciation: Ay-IY-Shaa
  • Variations: A’isha, Aaisha, Aieysha
  • Namesakes: Aisha Tyler, an American actress known for voice work in the TV series Archer. Aisha Labib, the wife of Mohamed Naguib, Egypt’s first President.
  • Popularity: Aisha ranked 273rd worldwide and is most popular in Nigeria, where it ranks 14th.
Traditional, Pretty

Akeem

Akeem is a diminutive of Hakeem, which also means “wise” or “insightful.” Akeem isn’t as common as it once was, but giving your son an intelligent name like Akeem can only make him feel special.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Intelligent
  • Pronunciation: Aa-KIYM
  • Variations: Ahkeem, Akim, Akym
  • Namesakes: Akeem Anifowoshe, a Nigerian boxer known for Ring Magazine’s 1991 Fight of the Year. Akeem Vargas, a German basketball player for BG Göttingen of the Basketball Bundesliga.
  • Popularity: Akeem is uncommon worldwide but mostly used in Nigeria, where it ranks 220th.
Uncommon, Masculine

Aliya

Aliya is the Arabic feminine form of Ali and means “heaven” and “highborn.” It also means “ascent” in Hebrew. Aliya became popular due to the famous singer/actress Aliyah, but your little Aliya can be as famous as her heart desires.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Exalted
  • Pronunciation: Aa-LIY-aa
  • Variations: Aliah, Aliyah, Aailyah
  • Namesakes: Aliya bint Ali of Hejaz, the second and last Queen of Iraq. Aliya Mustafina, a Russian artistic gymnast with 45 medals.
  • Popularity: Aliya ranked 4,862nd worldwide, is most popular in Pakistan, and ranked 354th in Kyrgyzstan.
Pretty, Unique

Amal

Amal is unisex and mentioned in the Book of Chronicles in the Hebrew Bible. It can also mean “inspiration” and “longing.” Amal is a Muslim female name that has stayed strong over centuries and is ready for your little one to own.

  • Origin: Hebrew, Arabic
  • Meaning: Hope
  • Pronunciation: Aa-MAAL
  • Variations: A’mal, Aamaal
  • Namesakes: Amal Kassir, a Syrian-American spoken word poet. Amal Nasser el-Din, an Israeli politician and member of the Knesset between 1977 and 1988.
  • Popularity: Amal ranked 443rd worldwide and is most popular in Jordan, where it’s ranked 11th.
Unique, Popular

Amina

Amina is derived from “amīnah,” meaning “devoted, honest, trustworthy, loyal, faithful, obedient of Iman.” Aminah was the mother of the Islamic prophet Muhammad himself. With attributes like these, your Amina will utterly rock.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Protected
  • Pronunciation: Aa-MIY-Naa
  • Variations: Aminah, Ameenah
  • Namesakes: Amina Annabi, a French-Tunisian singer-songwriter in the 1991 Eurovision Song Contest. Amina Wali, a Pakistani alpine skier and national champion for 15 years.
  • Popularity: Amina is ranked 140th worldwide, most prevalent in Nigeria, and 7th in Tanzania.
Pretty, Popular

Amir

Amir originally meant “commander of the army.” It became known as “prince” when given as a title to a ruler’s son. Your little royal can be known as the Arabian prince named Amir.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Prince
  • Pronunciation: Aa-MEEHR
  • Variations: Amire, Amyr
  • Namesakes: Amir Bagheri, the second Iranian to become a chess grandmaster. Amir Mokri, an Iranian cinematographer, known for the films Bad Boys II and Man of Steel.
  • Popularity: Amir is ranked 305th worldwide and most popular in Iran, where it ranks 22nd.
Cute, Common

Anahita

In Persian mythology, Anahita is the goddess of “the waters,” associated with fertility, healing, and wisdom. Anahita is among the most notable Middle Eastern names for the young royal girl you love.

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: Pure
  • Pronunciation: AA-naa-HHIY-Taa
  • Variations: Anahit, Anahyta
  • Namesakes: Anahita Nemati, an Iranian actress known for the film Hiva and the TV series Mosafer. Anahita Zahedifar, an Iranian chess player and a FIDE Master since 2015.
  • Popularity: Anahita is uncommon worldwide but mostly used in Iran, where it’s ranked 525th.
Feminine, Cute
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Arif

In early Islam, Arif referred to a man entrusted with specific Muslim duties, such as caring for children or handling money. Arif has remained a trustworthy name, as sweet as the little guy in your life.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Kind, smart, wise
  • Pronunciation: Aa-RIYF
  • Variations: Areif, Aryf
  • Namesakes: Arif Sağ, a Turkish singer and member of the Turkish parliament from 1987 to 1991. Arif Alaftargil, a Turkish alpine skier who competed at the 1998 Winter Olympics.
  • Popularity: Arif ranked 765th worldwide and is most popular in Bangladesh, where it’s ranked 53rd.
Ancient, Popular

Arwa

Arwa also means “satisfied” and is associated with water and mountain goats. Arwa is one name shy of being considered uncommon, so you can bring this cool name to the common side of things when naming your little girl.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Gracefulness, beauty
  • Pronunciation: Aar-WAA
  • Namesakes: Arwa al-Sulayhi, the ruler of Yemen from 1067 until her death in 1138. Arwa Damon, an American journalist and senior international correspondent for CNN.
  • Popularity: Arwa ranked 4,999th worldwide and is most popular in Yemen, where it ranked 85th.
Unique, Uncommon

Asher

Asher was known as the son of Jacob in the Hebrew Bible. In the Quran, Asher means “fierce” and “like a lion.” For a unisex name with Jewish and Muslim origins, Asher is more modern than its history for the baby you’re expecting.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Blessed, fortunate
  • Pronunciation: AESH-ahr
  • Variations: Ashar, Ashyr
  • Namesakes: Asher Peres, an Israeli physicist known for work on quantum mechanics. Asher Levy, one of the first Jewish settlers on Manhattan Island.
  • Popularity: Asher is uncommon worldwide but used most in Israel, where it’s ranked 161st.
Cool, Uncommon

Asma

Asma was known as the niece of the prophet Muhammad. If “lofty” had a female name, it would be the succinct Asma. Don’t worry, as your little Asma isn’t likely to let her stature get to her head.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: High status, supreme
  • Pronunciation: AAZ-Maa
  • Variations: Asmah
  • Namesakes: Asma Fawaz al-Assad, the current First Lady of Syria. Asma Hasan, an American writer, known for the book Red, White, and Muslim.
  • Popularity: Asma ranked 362nd worldwide, is most popular in Bangladesh, and 9th in Somaliland.
Unusual, Cute

Ayer

Ayer was an old Arabic term for the household member in charge of the family estate, which was later used in France. Is your little boy ready to take on the family fortune with this unique Arabic name?

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Heir to a fortune
  • Pronunciation: EY-er
  • Variations: Ayers
  • Popularity: In 2014, 772 people were named Ayer worldwide, mostly in Northern Cyprus where it’s ranked 272nd.
Modern, Rare

Badr

In Arabic, Badr officially means the “full moon on its fourteenth night” or the “ecclesiastical full moon.” It appears in the Quran and is unisex. Badr is awaiting the best little boy you know to pick up this classic male name for himself.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Full moon
  • Pronunciation: BAAD-er
  • Variations: Badir
  • Namesakes: Badr bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a member of the Saudi royal family. Badr El Kaddouri, a Moroccan footballer for Ukrainian Premier League team Dynamo Kyiv.
  • Popularity: Badr ranked 3,569th worldwide and is most popular in Kuwait, where it ranks 2nd.
Ancient, Common

Barak

Barak appears in the Hebrew Bible as the name of ancient General Barak. It originally meant “to bless” or “to kneel.” Barak is among the strongest Middle Eastern boy names for the young, new leader you know.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Lightning
  • Pronunciation: Baa-RAHK
  • Variations: Baraq, Barack, Barrak
  • Namesakes: Barak Eilam, an American–Israeli executive and the CEO of NASDAQ / NICE since 2014. Barak Mautamata, the Prime Minister of Vanuatu from 1999 until 2001.
  • Popularity: Barak is rare worldwide, used mostly in India, and ranked 313th worldwide.
Masculine, Rare

Baya

Baya also means “berry” in Spanish and once meant “Tunisia’s queen” or “Beya’s wife.” Among unisex Arabic names, Baya is cute for a little girl or boy who can use it as a terrific men’s or women’s name.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Good, beautiful
  • Pronunciation: BAA-Yaa
  • Variations: Baja
  • Namesakes: Baya Rahouli, an Algerian athlete and African record holder in the triple jump. Baya Mahieddine, an Algerian artist whose work has appeared on Algerian postage stamps.
  • Popularity: Baya is mildly uncommon worldwide but used most in Algeria, where it’s ranked 86th.
Cute, Uncommon

Cyrus

Cyrus also means “one who bestows care.” It was given to many Persian kings, most famously Cyrus the Great, in the 6th-century BC. Cyrus is the royal name you’ve been dreaming of for the first and only baby emperor boy you’re expecting.

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: Sun
  • Pronunciation: SAY-Rahs
  • Variations: Cirus, Cyress, Cyris
  • Namesakes: Cyrus Christie, a British footballer for the Republic of Ireland national team. Cyrus Dallin, an American sculptor, known for his depictions of Native Americans.
  • Popularity: Cyrus is uncommon worldwide, used most in Kenya, and ranked 136th in Liberia.
Masculine, Cool

Daria

Daria is the female version of Darius, the Persian word for “sea.” It can also mean “learned,” “wealthy,” and “knowing.” The young Daria in your life has a chance to be all these things and more with this pretty given name.

  • Origin: Persian, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Blessing
  • Pronunciation: DAAR-iy-Ah
  • Variations: Dariya, Darija, Darria
  • Namesakes: Darius Crouter, a Canadian minister in the House of Commons from 1881 to 1882. Darius Khondji, an Iranian-French cinematographer who worked with David Fincher and Woody Allen.
  • Popularity: Daria is mildly uncommon worldwide, used most in Poland, and ranked 106th in Ukraine.
Traditional, Feminine
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Dina

Dina has meanings in both Arabic and Hebrew cultures, including “lord of the poor” and “God has judged.” More intimately, Dina can mean “love,” which is probably the most important meaning for the little girl you want to name Dina.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Divine, god-like
  • Pronunciation: Diy-NAA
  • Variations: Dena, Dinah
  • Namesakes: Dina Garipova, a Russian singer who won the Russian singing competition The Voice. Dina Muhammad, an Egyptian belly dancer named the “Last Egyptian Dancer” by Newsweek magazine.
  • Popularity: Dina ranked 446th worldwide and is most popular in Egypt, ranked 24th.
Pretty, Popular

Djamila

Djamila is the feminine version of the Arabic Jamil, from “jamāl,” meaning “beauty.” It not only refers to physical beauty but also the beauty found in kindness and good deeds.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Beautiful
  • Pronunciation: Jhah-MIHL-Ah
  • Variations: Jamila
  • Namesakes: Djamila, a Medinan Qiyan-courtesan musician and Islamic convert of the Banu Sulaym tribe. Djamila Bouhired, an Algerian militant and nationalist who opposed the French colonial rule of Algeria.
  • Popularity: Djamila ranked 2,167th worldwide and is most popular in Algeria, where it ranked 13th.
Feminine, Common

Elmira

Elmira has been used from the Arab empire to the Spanish and English ones when referring to a “noblewoman” or “aristocratic lady.” Elmira is still used today and can be the ideal way to name the noble little lady in your life.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Princess
  • Pronunciation: Ehl-MIH-Raa
  • Variations: Almira
  • Namesakes: Elmira Alembekova, a Russian racewalker and gold medalist at the 2014 European Championships. Elmira Zherzdeva, a Soviet singer and Meritorious Artist (since 1992).
  • Popularity: Elmira ranked 3,267th worldwide, is most popular in Russia, and ranked 15th in Kyrgyzstan.
Unique, Common

Esther

Esther is derived from the Persian “setāra,” meaning “star.” She may have also been the Babylonian goddess of love Ishtar, associated with Venus, or the “morning star.” The prettiest star you know can thrive as Esther once she arrives.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Star-like
  • Pronunciation: EHS-Tahr
  • Variations: Ester, Estar
  • Namesakes: Esther Hautzig, an American writer known for her award-winning book The Endless Steppe (1968). Esther Kamatari, an exiled Burundian princess, known for her humanitarian work.
  • Popularity: Esther ranked 116th worldwide, is most popular in Nigeria, and ranked 11th in Kenya.
Traditional, Popular

Etan

Etan is also used in Hebrew culture, meaning “firmness” or “long-lived.” Etan comes from the Arabic root “aindn,” which was used in the Quran. Etan is a boyish gem with a lot of history for your little guy.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Steadfast
  • Pronunciation: Eh-Taen
  • Variations: Eitan, Ethan
  • Namesakes: Etan Boritzer, an American children’s writer known for his book What is God? (1989). Rabbi Etan Mintz, an American rabbi and spiritual leader of the B’nai Israel Synagogue of Baltimore.
  • Popularity: In 2014, 2,343 people were named Etan worldwide, mostly in India.
Masculine, Rare

Faiz

Faiz is derived from its root word “faʾz,” meaning “successful,” “overflowing,” and “plenty.” It might sound like a stereotypical Arabic or Persian boy’s name, but Faiz is synonymous with a little boy who’s up to win at all odds.

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: Victorious
  • Pronunciation: Faa-IHYZ
  • Variations: Faaiz, Fayiz
  • Namesakes: Faiz Karizi, an Afghan singer and the most prolific folkloric singer of Afghanistan. Faiz El-Ghusein, a Hauranian author of Martyred Armenia, an account of the Armenian genocide.
  • Popularity: Faiz ranked 2,657th worldwide, is most popular in Pakistan and ranked 62nd in Saudi Arabia.
Traditional, Common

Farah

Farah is one of the most celebratory Middle Eastern names meaning many things, like “joy, gladness, gleefulness, merriment, and rejoice.” It’s loaded with good tidings for the little girl you cherish the most.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Happiness
  • Pronunciation: FAA-Raa
  • Variations: Farra, Farrah
  • Namesakes: Farah Hussein, an Egyptian artistic gymnast and gold medalist at the 2019 African Games. Farah Pahlavi, the Queen and empress consort of Iran from 1959 to 1979.
  • Popularity: Farah ranked 1,049th worldwide, is most popular in Pakistan, and ranked 13th in Somalia.
Feminine, Traditional

Farida

Farida is among the most used female names throughout the Muslim world given to Lebanese, Saudi-Arabian, and Palestinian women. It can also mean “precious pearl” and become your little princess’s new name.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Unique
  • Pronunciation: FAA-riy-Dah
  • Variations: Faridah, Faryda
  • Namesakes: Farida Diouri, a Moroccan novelist whose novel Vivre dans la dignité, ou mourir was selected for the Grand Atlas Prize. Farida Mammadova, an Azerbaijani historian of ancient Caucasian Albania.
  • Popularity: Farida ranked 673rd worldwide and is most popular in Algeria, where it’s ranked 35th.
Popular, Pretty

Farouk

In Arabic, “Al-Fārūq” means “the one who distinguishes between right and wrong.” This morally upright name can also mean “seer of truth,” so your little guy can start life off on the right foot.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Knowing between right and wrong
  • Pronunciation: Faa-RAHK
  • Variations: Faruk
  • Namesakes: Farouk al-Sharaa, a Syrian politician and foreign minister of Syria from 1984 until 2006. Farouk Hosny, an Egyptian painter who was Minister of Culture from 1987 to 2011.
  • Popularity: Farouk is mildly uncommon worldwide, primarily used in Algeria, and ranked 192nd in Kuwait.
Masculine, Uncommon

Fatima

Fatima’s “captivating” meaning is coupled with the original definition of “one who is captivating like the stars.” What a gorgeous Arabic metaphor for your life’s most unforgettable girl.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Captivating
  • Pronunciation: FAA-tiy-Maa
  • Variations: Fatimah, Fatyma, Fatema
  • Namesakes: Fatima Olukoju, a Nigerian athlete who raced in the 1991 All-Africa Games. Fatima Al-Budairi, a Palestinian radio broadcaster who worked for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
  • Popularity: Fatima ranked 40th worldwide, is most popular in Algeria and ranked #1 in Oman.
Traditional, Popular
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Halah

Halah also means “moon halo” and “glory.” Hala was one of the names of Khadija, Muhammad’s first wife. The halo around the moon became her symbol. This magical meaning can touch the life of the little angel you love best.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Nimble
  • Pronunciation: HHAE-Lah
  • Variations: Hala, Haala
  • Namesakes: Halah bint Khuwailid, the sister of Muhammad’s first wife.
  • Popularity: Halah is rare worldwide, used most in Saudi Arabia, and ranked 828th in Israel.
Rare, Ancient

Halil

Halil tends to be the Turkish version of Khalil or Khaleel. It also means “clear,” “prominent,” “happy,” and a “heavenly pouring rain.” Make the super unique Halil the perfect choice for the young man you’re raising in life.

  • Origin: Arabic, Turkish
  • Meaning: A close friend
  • Pronunciation: HHaa-LIYL
  • Variations: Haleel, Haleil, Haliel
  • Namesakes: Halil İbrahim Akçay, a Turkish footballer for Trabzonspor. Halil Kaya, a Turkish wrestler and bronze medalist at the 1948 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Halil ranked 2,275th worldwide, is most prevalent in Turkey, and 14th in Northern Cyprus.
Traditional, Common

Halima

Halima, like many Arabic girl names, has many meanings like “forbearing,” “gentle,” and “mild-mannered.” Halima was also the name of the prophet Muhammad’s foster mother and will be great for the baby girl you’re expecting.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Generous
  • Pronunciation: HHaa-LIY-maa
  • Variations: Haleema, Haleemah, Halimah
  • Namesakes: Halima Aden, a Somali-American fashion model, and the first hijabi supermodel. Halima Bashir, a Sudanese doctor, and author of the book Tears of the Desert.
  • Popularity: Halima ranked 255th worldwide, is most popular in Bangladesh, and ranked 16th in Niger.
Feminine, Popular

Hamsa

Hamsa is the name of the palm-shaped amulet sign of protection. It’s unisex and comes from the Arabic “hamsa,” meaning “five fingers of the hand.” Hamsa can be a mystical part of a cool full name for the little one you know.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Swan
  • Popularity: Hamsa is uncommon worldwide, used mostly in India, and ranked 182nd in Niger.
Unique, Uncommon

Hassam

Hassam might also be a Pakistani word meaning “weapon.” It’s a powerful, Middle Eastern name for boys that can be memorable for the sword-fighting little man you love.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Sharp sword
  • Pronunciation: HHaa-SAEM
  • Namesakes: Hassam-ud-Din Rashidi, a Pakistani historian, and scholar of Sindhi literature.
  • Popularity: Hassam is rare worldwide, used mostly in Pakistan, and ranked 174th in Mauritius.
Masculine, Rare

Hedi

Hedi is unisex and also has origins from the Germanic “hadu,” meaning “combat” or “battle,” to “sweet” in Hebrew and Greek. It’s used in Tunisia and Hungary, so it can make your baby’s name even more international.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Leader, guide
  • Pronunciation: HHEH-Diy
  • Variations: Hedy
  • Namesakes: Hédi Nouira, the 2nd Prime Minister of Tunisia between 1970 and 1980. Hédi Temessy, a Hungarian actress, appearing in the film The Grandmother.
  • Popularity: Hedi is rare worldwide, used mainly in Germany, and ranked 98th in Tunisia.
Uncommon, Unusual

Ibrahim

Ibrahim is one of Allah’s messengers in the Quran and is a variation of the Hebrew boy’s name Abraham, consisting of “av,” meaning “father,” and “hamon,” meaning “multitude.” This most traditional male name is a favorite between parents and sons.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Father of many
  • Pronunciation: Ih-braa-HHIYM
  • Variations: Ebrahim
  • Namesakes: Ibrahim Nasrallah, a Palestinian poet, and winner of the Arabic Booker Prize (2018). Ibrahim Tounkara, a Canadian football player with the Calgary Stampeders.
  • Popularity: Ibrahim ranked 38th worldwide and is most popular in Nigeria, where it’s ranked 2nd.
Traditional, Popular

Idris

Idris is the prophet mentioned in the Quran and an equivalent of Enoch in the Bible. The original meaning may be “interpreter.” Idris is popular everywhere from Wales to Nigeria, so keep it going wherever your smart little boy resides.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Smart, studious
  • Pronunciation: IHD-Rihs
  • Variations: Idres, Idriss, Idriys
  • Namesakes: Idris Waziri, the head of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Commerce from 2003 until 2006. Idris Foster, a Welsh Jesus Professor of Celtic at the University of Oxford from 1947 until 1978.
  • Popularity: Idris ranked 1,193rd worldwide and is most popular in Nigeria, where it’s ranked 42nd.
Cool, Common

Jabir

Jabir was known in Arabic culture as the person who comforted the grieving. It’s a serious boy’s name with a thoughtful origin. You can celebrate this symbol of comfort for the little boy who means the most to you.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Comforter
  • Pronunciation: JHAA-Bihr
  • Variations: Jabeer, Jabyr, Jaabir
  • Namesakes: Jabir Shakir, an Iraqi footballer for Al Shorta. Jabir Al-Kaabi, the Iranian Sheik of Mohammerah during the 19th-century.
  • Popularity: Jabir is mildly uncommon worldwide, primarily used in India, and ranked 490th in Saudi Arabia.
Traditional, Uncommon

Jamal

Despite being a masculine name, Jamal means “beauty” and “grace” for your son’s boyish good looks. It’s become popular among black Muslims in France and can keep the good times rolling for the little boy in your life.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Beauty
  • Pronunciation: Jhaa-MAAL
  • Variations: Jamale
  • Namesakes: Jamal Adams, an American football player for the Seattle Seahawks. Jamal Edwards, a British entrepreneur and founder of the online R&B/Hip-Hop platform SB.TV.
  • Popularity: Jamal ranked 694th worldwide, is most popular in Morocco and ranked 18th in Libya.
Masculine, Popular
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Janiya

Janiya also means “the Lord is gracious” in Hebrew and originally meant a “woman from Jana.” It’s a variation of the very common Jane. There won’t be any plain Jane names for your little girl when you call her Janiya instead.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Pronunciation: Yaa-NIY-aa
  • Variations: Jania
  • Popularity: Janiya is very rare worldwide but used mostly in India.
Pretty, Rare

Jasper

Jasper is a variation of the Latin name Gaspar, which came from the Persian “ganzabara,” meaning “bringer of treasure.” Jasper can name your little boy or girl adorably, whether they bring wealth, prosperity, luck, or a charming personality.

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: Treasurer
  • Pronunciation: JHAES-Pahr
  • Variations: Jaspir, Jazper
  • Namesakes: Jasper Smith, Jr., an American politician in the Louisiana House of Representatives. Jasper White, a cookbook author and expert on New England food.
  • Popularity: Jasper is uncommon worldwide and used most in the Netherlands, ranked 166th.
Cute, Uncommon

Kabira

Kabira has many Arabic meanings, including “leader,” “mighty,” “powerful,” and “elder.” Whichever noble attribute you choose for your little girl, she’s sure to find success in anything she sets her mind to.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Noble, great
  • Pronunciation: Kae-BIY-rah
  • Variations: Kabeera, Kabirah, Kabyra
  • Popularity: Kabira is rare worldwide and used most in Morocco, ranked 752nd.
Feminine, Rare

Khadija

Khadija is the wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Over time, it has been among the three most popular Arabic girl names in the Muslim world. Khadija also means “early baby,” whether she arrives early or late.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Trustworthy, respected
  • Pronunciation: Kaa-DIY-JHaa
  • Variations: Kadeeja, Kadija, Kadijah
  • Namesakes: Khadija Sultana, regent of the Bijapur Sultanate between 1656 and 1661. Khadija Ismayilova, an Azerbaijani radio host with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
  • Popularity: Khadija ranked 375th worldwide and is most popular in Morocco, where it’s ranked 5th.
Traditional, Popular

Khalid

Khalid also means “everlasting” and “immortal.” It’s derived from the Arabic “khalada,” meaning “to last forever.” This long-lasting name can keep your young boy company no matter where life takes him.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Eternal
  • Pronunciation: KAA-Liyd
  • Variations: Khaled, Khalyd
  • Namesakes: Khalid Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2005 until 2020. Khalid Abdalla, an Egyptian-British actor, known for the 2006 Academy Award-nominated film United 93.
  • Popularity: Khalid ranked 264th worldwide, is most popular in Pakistan, and 4th in Sudan.
Unique, Popular

Khalil

Khalil originally meant “friend of Allah” in Arabic and is used worldwide, from populations in the Middle East to Muslims in South Asia and African Americans. Khalil can be a friend to your little guy no matter what life brings.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Friend
  • Pronunciation: Kaa-LIYL
  • Variations: Kahlil, Kalil, Khaleel
  • Namesakes: Khalil Hamad, a Lebanese lawyer and minister of foreign affairs from 1970 to 1973. Kahlil Gibran, the Lebanese-American author of The Prophet, one of the best-selling books of all time
  • Popularity: Khalil is ranked 1,147th worldwide, is most popular in Pakistan, and 16th in Oman.
Traditional, Popular

Laila

Laila means “of the night” or “dark” and was often given to girls born during the night, referring to a “daughter of the night.” No matter what time of day your baby girl arrives, Laila will make a lovely way to name her.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Night
  • Pronunciation: LAY-Lah
  • Variations: Lailah, Layla, Laylah
  • Namesakes: Laila Bjurling, a Swedish politician and member of the Riksdag since 1995. Laila Stien, a Norwegian novelist who won the Norwegian Critics Prize for Best children’s book in 1993.
  • Popularity: Laila ranked 839th worldwide, is most popular in Morocco and ranked 16th in Lebanon.
Pretty, Popular

Leith

In Arabic, Leith or Laith means “brave strength.” It’s also the name of a Scottish port town, hence why it means “wet” in Scottish. As one of many strong Middle Eastern boy names, Leith marches on for the little man you know.

  • Origin: Arabic, Latin
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Pronunciation: LIYTH
  • Variations: Laith, Layth
  • Namesakes: Leith Stevens, an American music composer, and conductor of radio and film scores.
  • Popularity: Leith is very rare worldwide, mostly used in the U.S., and ranked 1,238th in New Zealand.
Rare, Unusual

Levi

In Hebrew, Levi means “united” or “joined in harmony,” with the Levites being one of the 12 tribes of Israel. It also means “lion” in Russian. Levi doesn’t need a bunch of nicknames since it’s the perfect pet name for your little boy or girl.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Heart
  • Pronunciation: LIY-Vay
  • Variations: Levy
  • Namesakes: Levi Eshkol, the third Prime Minister of Israel from 1963 to 1969. Levi Celerio, a Filipino composer and National Artist of the Philippines for Music and Literature.
  • Popularity: Levi is uncommon worldwide, is used most in Brazil, and ranked 493rd in Uganda.
Cute, Traditional

Lina

Lina also means “small palm tree” or “beautiful girl” in Persian, while in Kurdish, it means “cascade falls.” This cute name with natural connotations can arrive on a beautiful breeze into your little girl’s life.

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: Ray of light
  • Pronunciation: LIY-Naa
  • Variations: Leena
  • Namesakes: Lina Tsaldari, the first female minister in Greece in 1956. Lina Bejjani, a Lebanese sprinter who competed at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Lina ranked 731st worldwide and is most popular in Indonesia, where it’s ranked 86th.
Pretty, Popular
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Mansour

Mansour comes from the Arabic root “naṣr,” meaning “victory.” It also means “one helped by God.” The strong, religious Mansour isn’t as popular outside of the Middle East, so snatch it up right away for the young general you’re rearing.

  • Origin: Arabic, Turkish
  • Meaning: He who is victorious
  • Pronunciation: Maen-SUHR
  • Variations: Mansur, Mansoor
  • Namesakes: Mansour Rouhani, an Iranian politician during the reign of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Mansour Rahbani, a Lebanese composer and one of the Rahbani brothers.
  • Popularity: Mansour ranked 2,126th worldwide, is most popular in Iran, and ranked 37th in Kuwait.
Unique, Common

Mareek

Mareek is an unusual Arabic name synonymous with murdasanj, a chemical used in alchemy during the Medieval period. Alchemists unite with this cool, one-of-a-kind name for boys and girls to enjoy.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Alchemical
  • Pronunciation: Mah-REEK
  • Variations: Mareekh
  • Popularity: In 2014, 13 people were named Mareek worldwide, mostly in England.
Rare, Masculine

Maruf

Maruf represents anyone “well-known,” “universally accepted,” “good,” “beneficial,” and “equity.” It’s used 38 times in the Islamic Quran. Maruf has an old-world charm for the sweet man in your life.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Renowned
  • Pronunciation: Maa-ROOF
  • Variations: Maroof
  • Namesakes: Ma’ruf al Rusafi, an Iraqi poet known as a poet of freedom. Maruf Khaznadar, a Kurdish writer and editor of the journal Defteri Kurdewari from 1970 to 1974.
  • Popularity: Maruf ranked 4,232nd worldwide, is most popular in Bangladesh and ranked 66th in Tajikistan.
Common, Traditional

Marwa

Marwa comes from “maruw,” meaning “minerals,” “quartz,” or “hard stone.” Marwa becomes Marva in Persian. It may also mean “a mountain in Mecca,” so its meanings are many, yet all written in stone for the little girl you love most.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Flint
  • Pronunciation: MAAR-Waa
  • Variations: Marva
  • Namesakes: Marwa Abidi, a Tunisian footballer for the women’s national team. Marwa Zein, an Afro-Arab director, known for the 2019 documentary Khartoum Offside.
  • Popularity: Marwa ranked 764th worldwide and is most popular in Egypt, where it’s ranked 13th.
Cool, Popular

Maryam

Maryam is the Aramaic form of the Hebrew and Greek Miriam, the name of Mary, the mother of Jesus. It may also have Egyptian origins too. Maryam is a distinct version of a classic, ancient name for the baby girl you’re expecting.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Pronunciation: MAARY-ahm
  • Variations: Miriam
  • Namesakes: Maryam Nemazee, an Iranian-British broadcast journalist with Al Jazeera. Maryam Babangida, the wife of General Ibrahim Babangida, Nigeria’s head of state from 1985 to 1993.
  • Popularity: Maryam ranked 131st worldwide and is most popular in Iran, where it’s ranked 5th.
Feminine, Popular

Maya

Maya also means “illusion” or “magic” and may refer to the Hindu goddess Lakshmi or the Greek Maia, mother of Hermes in Greek and Roman mythology. Your little Maya has every chance to be awesome with friends like these named Maya.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Princess
  • Pronunciation: MAA-Yaa
  • Variations: Miya, Mya, Maia
  • Namesakes: Maya Rudolph, an American actress and cast member on Saturday Night Live from 2000 to 2007. Maya Diab, a Lebanese pop singer and member of the Lebanese girl group The 4 Cats.
  • Popularity: Maya ranked 372nd worldwide, is most popular in India, and ranked 52nd in Nepal.
Pretty, Popular

Muhammad

Muhammad is the name of the primary prophet in Islam and is derived from the Arabic “ḥammada,” meaning “to praise.” Muhammad has various spellings but is always in the top few names in the Muslim world.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Praiseworthy
  • Pronunciation: Muw-HHAA-mehd
  • Variations: Mohamed, Mohammed, Muhamed, Muhammed
  • Namesakes: Muhammad Al Muqrin, the founder of the First Saudi State. Muhammad Iqbal, a South Asian writer whose poetry is some of the greatest of the 20th-century.
  • Popularity: Muhammad ranked 5th worldwide and is most popular in Pakistan, where it’s ranked #1.
Popular, Traditional

Mustafa

Mustafa is one of the names of the prophet Muhammad, also meaning “selected,” “appointed,” and “preferred.” It’s built upon the Arabic “mụṣtafā,” meaning “chosen.” Make your little guy the chosen one for all time with this charming name.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Chosen
  • Pronunciation: Muw-STAA-faa
  • Variations: Moustafa, Mustafah, Mustapha
  • Namesakes: Mustafa Atatürk, the founding father of the Republic of Turkey. Mustafa Arslanović, a Bosnian footballer for SFR Yugoslavia.
  • Popularity: Mustafa ranked 166th worldwide and is most popular in Turkey, where it’s ranked 3rd.
Masculine, Popular

Nabila

Nabila is the female version of the Arabic Nabil, also meaning “happiness,” “generosity,” and “intelligence.” Nabila is one of the most royal-sounding Middle Eastern girl names out there, so lay the red carpet for your beautiful little queen.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Noble
  • Pronunciation: Naa-BIY-Laa
  • Variations: Nabeela, Nabeelah, Nabilah
  • Namesakes: Nabila Ebeid, an Egyptian actress known for the 1965 film The Mamluks. Nabila Jamshed, an Indian writer, known for the fantasy novel Wish Upon A Time – The Legendary Scimitar.
  • Popularity: Nabila ranked 3,112nd worldwide and is most popular in Algeria, where it’s ranked 96th.
Feminine, Common

Nadia

Nadia is better known as a Slavic name meaning “hope.” It can also be a diminutive for the Arabic Nadiyyah. Nadia is a classic among nations and can be part of a terrific full name for your little angel.

  • Origin: Arabic, Slavic
  • Meaning: Tender, delicate
  • Pronunciation: NAY-diy-Ah
  • Variations: Nadiya, Nadiah
  • Namesakes: Nadia Comăneci, a Romanian gymnast and the first to be awarded a perfect 10.0 at the Olympic Games. Nadia Zakhary, the Egyptian Minister of Scientific Research since 2012.
  • Popularity: Nadia ranked 251st worldwide, is most popular in Pakistan, and ranked 16th in Morocco.
Pretty, Popular
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Naila

Naila is derived from the Arabic “naayela,” meaning “the attainer” or “the achiever.” Nā’ila was a worshiped goddess in pre-Islamic Arabia. Naila is a unique yet familiar name for girls who have their eyes set on the prize in life.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Successful
  • Pronunciation: NAAIY-Laa
  • Variations: Naylah
  • Namesakes: Naila Al Faran, the first Saudi female doctor to specialize in nuclear medicine. Naila Munir, a Pakistani Member of the Provincial Assembly of Sindh from 2013 to 2018.
  • Popularity: Naila is uncommon worldwide but used most in Pakistan, where it’s ranked 251st.
Cute, Uncommon

Naomi

In Hebrew, Naomi means “pleasantness” and was also a biblical name. Its Arabic origins are also joined by Japanese ones, making Naomi an attractive choice for the darling girl you’re soon to meet.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Enjoyment, pleasure
  • Pronunciation: Ney-OW-miy
  • Variations: Naomie, Naomy
  • Namesakes: Naomi Long, the Minister of Justice in the Northern Ireland Executive since 2020. Naomi Campbell, an English model and one of few called supermodels.
  • Popularity: Naomi ranked 1,335th worldwide and is most popular in Kenya, where it’s ranked 66th.
Traditional, Popular

Nasir

Nasir also means “one who gives victory” and was used in the Quran to indicate “divine support.” It’s continued to be used in the Arabic world today and can bring some enlightenment to your little boy.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Helper
  • Pronunciation: NAA-Ser
  • Variations: Naasir, Naser, Nassir
  • Namesakes: Nasir Jones (known as Nas), an American rapper considered one of the most influential rappers of all time. Nasir Adderley, an American football player for the Los Angeles Chargers.
  • Popularity: Nasir ranked 649th worldwide and is most popular in Pakistan, where it’s ranked 37th.
Unique, Popular

Neda

Neda refers to an Arabic “call to prayer” or “voice of God.” In the Slavic world, Neda means “born on Sunday.” Neda is a jewel in the crown for your little girl, whichever meaning you like best.

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: Voice, call
  • Pronunciation: NEH-Dah
  • Variations: Nedah, Nedaa
  • Namesakes: Neda Alijani, an Iranian physician and winner of the International Prof Yalda Award. Neda Bahi, a Tunisian Paralympic athlete and gold medalist at the 2012 Summer Paralympics.
  • Popularity: Neda ranked 3,988th worldwide and is most popular in Iran, where it’s ranked 79th.
Feminine, Common

Noor

Noor also refers to “the divine light” as “An-Nur.” In Norse mythology, Nór was the name of the founding king of Norway. Whatever the culture, Noor seems to revolve around the idea of illumination as the perfect unisex name for your little one.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Light
  • Pronunciation: NUHR
  • Variations: Nor, Nur
  • Namesakes: Noor bint Asem, a Jordanian princess and member of the Jordanian Royal Family. Noor Hassanali, the president of Trinidad and Tobago between 1987 and 1997.
  • Popularity: Noor ranked 109th worldwide and is most popular in Pakistan, ranking 6th.
Cool, Popular

Nuha

Nuha means “the elevated sun” and stands for a sun goddess worshiped by Northern Arabian tribes in pre-Islamic Arabia. This ancient mythological name can let the sun shine on the sweetest girl you know.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: The sun, mind
  • Pronunciation: Nuw-HHaa
  • Variations: Nuhah
  • Namesakes: Nuha Al-Radi, an Iraqi writer best known for the book Baghdad Diaries about the first Gulf War.
  • Popularity: Nuha is uncommon worldwide, but it is used most in Sudan, where it ranks 125th.
Unique, Uncommon

Omar

Omar was connected to the Arabic “āmir,” meaning “prosperous,” “full of life,” and “substantial.” It’s one of the few Middle Eastern names for boys more popular now than 80 years ago.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Flourishing, long-lived
  • Pronunciation: OW-Maar
  • Variations: Umar
  • Namesakes: Omar Samra, the first Egyptian to climb Mount Everest. Omar Sy, a French actor known for the TV series Service après-vente des émissions (2005 to 2012).
  • Popularity: Omar ranked 126th worldwide, is most popular in Egypt, and ranked 15th in Morocco.
Masculine, Popular

Rabia

By symbolizing spring, Rabia represents “the beginning of life,” “hope,” and the time after “a dark winter.” The first female Sufi saint was also called Rabia. It’s more popular in the Middle East, so should be resurrected for a girl of all seasons.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Spring, fourth-born
  • Pronunciation: RAA-Biy-aa
  • Variations: Rabiah, Rabya
  • Namesakes: Rabia Kazan, a Turkish-Persian women’s rights activist and president of the Middle Eastern Women’s Coalition. Rabia Ashiq, a Pakistani track and field athlete who placed 6th at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Rabia ranked 904th worldwide and is most popular in Pakistan, where it’s ranked 48th.
Ancient, Common

Rafiq

Rafiq is derived from the Arabic “rafīq,” meaning “intimate friend” and “comrade” in Arabic. It can also mean “gentle” and “kind” for the special little guy in your life.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Companion
  • Pronunciation: Raa-FIYK
  • Variations: Rafeeq, Rafik
  • Namesakes: Rafiq Tağı, an Azerbaijani journalist who worked for Sanat newspaper. Rafiq Sabir, a Kurdish poet and part of the modernist movement in Kurdish poetry.
  • Popularity: Rafiq ranked 4,392nd worldwide, is most popular in India and ranked 79th in Azerbaijan.
Common, Unique

Rahim

Rahim is one of the names given to Allah in Islam and comes from the Arabic root “R-h-m.” It’s also used as part of a larger name, Abdu r-Raḥīm, meaning “servant of the merciful.” Rahim is the tradition that keeps giving for your guy.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Merciful
  • Pronunciation: Raa-HHIYM
  • Variations: Raheem, Rahiim
  • Namesakes: Rahim Jaffer, a Canadian politician in the House of Commons from 1997 to 2008. Rahim Zafer, a Turkish footballer with the Turkey national football team at the 1996 UEFA European Championship.
  • Popularity: Rahim ranked 1,624th worldwide, is most popular in Pakistan, and ranked 118th in Iran.
Traditional, Common
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Raja

Raja is a unique name with many meanings, from “king” in Sanskrit to “paradise” in Russian. Raja is unisex but pronounced differently for girls (rah-JHAH) and boys (RAH-jhah). Choose your favorite and let it be known that a Raja is in the house.

  • Origin: Arabic, Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Hope
  • Pronunciation: Raa-JHAA, RAA-JHah
  • Variations: Raj
  • Namesakes: Raja Toumi, the captain of the Tunisian national team at the 2009 World Women’s Handball Championship. Raja, an Indian actor, known for the Telugu movie Anand.
  • Popularity: Raja ranked 552nd worldwide, is most popular in India and ranked 17th in Nepal.
Unique, Popular

Rana

Rana also means “eye-catching,” “glittering,” and “mesmerizing.” It comes from the Arabic word ”yarnū,” meaning “to gaze at longingly.” It’s ready to take on the memorable little girl you know with style.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Graceful
  • Variations: Ra’naa, Ranah, Ranna
  • Namesakes: Rana Hussein, daughter of the former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein. Rana Bokhari, leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party from 2013 until 2016.
  • Popularity: Rana ranked 758th worldwide, is most popular in India, and 31st in Azerbaijan.
Modern, Unique

Rasheedah

Rasheedah also means “righteous” and connotes a woman who “knows her way” and is “of true faith.” It’s the perfect girl’s name for the gifted young lady you’re expecting.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Wise
  • Pronunciation: Rae-SHIY-dah
  • Variations: Rashida, Rasheda, Raashidah
  • Namesakes: Rasheeda Buckner-Frost (known as Rasheeda), an American rapper and member of the female hip hop trio Da Kaperz.
  • Popularity: Rasheedah is uncommon worldwide but used most in Pakistan, where it’s ranked in the top 1,000 names.
Traditional, Uncommon

Rihanna

Rihanna comes from the Arabic word for “basil,” which is why it sometimes means “sweet scent.” The Welsh Rhiannon might have descended from these original Arabic origins just in time for your little one to become queen.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Great queen
  • Pronunciation: Riy-AEN-Naa
  • Variations: Rhianna, Rihanna
  • Namesakes: Robyn Rihanna Fenty (known as Rihanna), a Barbadian singer who reached the top ten of the U.S. Billboard 200 chart twice. Rhianna Pratchett, an English video game writer, known for Tomb Raider (2013).
  • Popularity: Rihanna is rare worldwide but mostly used in Pakistan, where it’s ranked 1,531st.
Feminine, Rare

Rijaz

Rijaz is a unique spelling of the more popular Riyaz. It can also mean “meadow,” so it’s loaded with natural charm for the “outdoorsy” little guy you want to set free upon the world (or his back garden).

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Gardens
  • Pronunciation: Riy-AHZ
  • Variations: Riyaz
  • Popularity: In 2014, 104 people were named Rijaz worldwide, mostly in India, though it ranks 8,651st in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Masculine, Rare

Rowa

Little is known about Rowa besides its meaning of a “lovely woman.” It’s incredibly rare globally, but your little girl can thrive with this simple, gorgeous name she’ll make famous.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Lovely vision
  • Pronunciation: ROW-Ah
  • Variations: Rowah
  • Popularity: In 2014, only one person was named Rowa worldwide in Pakistan.
Rare, Modern

Sadiq

Sadiq comes from the Arabic root “sdk” meaning “honesty,” “sincerity,” “truth,” and “loyalty.” These admirable qualities all go into making a wonderful friend, which your little boy will be ready to be as Sadiq.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Friend
  • Pronunciation: Saa-DIYK
  • Variations: Sadeek, Sadeeq, Sadik
  • Namesakes: Sadiq Jaber, an Iraqi footballer at the 1982 Asian Games. Sadiq Abdulrahman, Libya’s first deputy prime minister between 2012 and 2014.
  • Popularity: Sadiq ranked 1,779th worldwide, is most popular in Nigeria and ranked 42nd in Yemen.
Traditional, Common

Safiyah

Safiyah also means “friend” in Arabic, along with “virtuous,” “untainted,” and “innocent.” It’s derived from the root “Sad-f-a.” Safiyah is one of the prettiest Middle Eastern girl names for the sweetest little girl you know.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Pure
  • Pronunciation: Saa-FIY-Yaa
  • Variations: Safia, Safiya, Safiyyah
  • Namesakes: Safiya Zaghloul, an Egyptian political activist and one of the leaders of the Wafd Party. Sharon “Safiya” Henderson-Holmes, an American poet who received the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.
  • Popularity: Safiyah is uncommon worldwide but primarily used in Pakistan, ranked 942nd.
Feminine, Uncommon

Said

Said also means “good luck,” “joy,” and “patient.” It’s derived from the Arabic “sa’īd,” meaning “happy” and “lucky.” Said is filled with sunshine for the little guy you know who wants to bask in it.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Blessed
  • Pronunciation: SEHD
  • Variations: Sa’id, Sayeed, Sayid
  • Namesakes: Said Pasha, the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to 1917. Said Seyam, the interior minister of the Palestinian government since 2006.
  • Popularity: Said ranked 439th worldwide and is most popular in Morocco.
Traditional, Masculine

Salah

In the Hebrew Bible, Salah means “mission” and “righteousness” in Arabic. Salah also refers to the daily ritual prayer of Muslims. This religious boy’s name will stand tall for the special guy you call your own.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Peace
  • Pronunciation: Saa-LAH
  • Variations: Sala, Sallah
  • Namesakes: Salah Mansour, an Egyptian actor known for the films Lan A’taref and Al-Zagwa Al-Thaneya. Salah Mejri, a Tunisian basketball player for Beirut Club.
  • Popularity: Salah is ranked 649th worldwide, is most popular in Algeria, and ranked 7th in Libya.
Traditional, Popular
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Salem

Salem also means “safe” and “secure.” In the Hebrew Bible, Salem is in Canaan while it’s also known as a Puritan settlement. The unisex Salem is pronounced differently in the Arab world but is fantastic, just the same.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Peaceful, complete
  • Pronunciation: Sah-LEHM
  • Variations: Saleem, Salim
  • Namesakes: Lars Salem Al Fakir, a Swedish record producer and part of the production duo Vargas and Lagola. Salem Chalabi, the first General Director of the Iraqi Special Tribunal in 2003.
  • Popularity: Salem ranked 1,737th worldwide and is most popular in the United Arab Emirates, where it’s ranked 3rd.
Traditional, Common

Salma

Salma is derived from the Arabic Salāma, meaning “safety” and “well-being.” It means “sweetheart” in Persian and became popular due to the Lebanese-Mexican actress Salma Hayak. Your little Salma can be as sweet as ever.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Peace
  • Pronunciation: SAAL-Maa
  • Variations: Salam
  • Namesakes: Salma Jayyusi, a Palestinian poet and founder and director of the Project of Translation from Arabic. Salma Kikwete, the First Lady of Tanzania from 2005 to 2015.
  • Popularity: Salma ranked 239th worldwide and is most popular in Bangladesh, where it’s ranked 10th.
Unique, Pretty

Samira

Samira is derived from the root “s-m-r,” meaning “to spend the night in talking” or “night-companion.” Your little girl can keep you company day or night with this popular girl’s name.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Lively conversation
  • Pronunciation: Saa-MIHR-aa
  • Variations: Samera, Samyra, Samirah
  • Namesakes: Samira Awad, a Lebanese footballer for the Lebanon national team. Samira Makhmalbaf, an Iranian filmmaker and part of the Iranian New Wave.
  • Popularity: Samira ranked 475th worldwide and is most popular in Iran, where it’s ranked 42nd.
Feminine, Popular

Sanaa

Sanaa also means “praise of God” and “piece of art” in Swahili. Sanaa has a unique spelling yet is still common in the Middle East. That’s enough proof that Sanaa is perfect for the shining little girl in your life.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Brightness, radiance
  • Pronunciation: Sae-NNAA
  • Variations: Sana
  • Namesakes: Sanaa Hamed, a beauty pageant contestant who represented Egypt in Miss World 2008. Sanaa Bhambri, an Indian tennis player who won titles on the ITF Circuit.
  • Popularity: Sanaa ranked 4,349th worldwide and is most popular in Morocco, where it’s ranked 72nd.
Traditional, Uncommon

Sarah

Sarah means “woman of high rank” in Hebrew. It’s also the female version of “minister.” Sarah was most famously the wife of Abraham in the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions. She is famous enough to make your girl’s name great.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Joy, delight
  • Pronunciation: SAER-ah
  • Variations: Sarah
  • Namesakes: Sarah Burrow, the Marine Corps’ first female aviator in 1995. Sarah Edmondson, a Canadian actress and former member of the NXIVM cult.
  • Popularity: Sarah ranked 72nd worldwide, is most popular in the U.S., and ranked 10th in South Sudan.
Ancient, Popular

Seyah

Seyah also means “place names” and refers to a suburb in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It’s a very rare name yet has a meaningful place in history. Seyah is a gem for the little boy or girl you want to imbue with spiritual strength.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Strength from God
  • Pronunciation: SIY-ah
  • Popularity: In 2014, 192 people were named Seyah worldwide, mostly in Israel.
Rare, Unusual

Shahid

Shahid also means “beloved” in Persian and refers to a martyr in Islam. It has a real gravity and is still used in the Muslim world.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Witness
  • Pronunciation: Shaa-HHIYD
  • Variations: Shaheed, Shaheede
  • Namesakes: Shahid Abbasi, the 21st prime minister of Pakistan from 2017 to 2018. Shahid Ahmed, a Pakistani footballer for the Pakistan national football team.
  • Popularity: Shahid ranked 885th worldwide, is most popular in Pakistan, and ranked 9th in Saudi Arabia.
Traditional, Popular

Shakira

Shakira also means “woman of grace” and became quite popular because of Colombian singer Shakira. It’s not as trendy as it once was, but Shakira is a heavenly name that deserves a resurgence for the girl of gratitude in your life.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Thankful
  • Pronunciation: Shaa-KIH-raa
  • Variations: Shakeera, Shakeerah, Shakirah
  • Namesakes: Shakira Ripoll, a Colombian singer known as the “Queen of Latin Music.” Shakira Austin, an American basketball player for the Washington Mystics of the Women’s National Basketball Association.
  • Popularity: Shakira is mildly uncommon worldwide, used mostly in India, and ranked 306th in Afghanistan.
Pretty, Uncommon

Sharif

Sharif means “highborn” and “honorable” and is a title given to the descendants of the prophet Muhammad through his daughter Fatima. It’s also given to Muslim rulers or religious leaders. Sharif is a surname and a classic among Middle Eastern boy names for the special boy you love.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Noble
  • Pronunciation: Shaa-RIYF
  • Variations: Shareef, Shareif
  • Namesakes: Sharif Finch, an American football player for the New York Jets. Sharif Nashashibi, the English co-founder of Arab Media Watch.
  • Popularity: Sharif ranked 2,718th worldwide, is most popular in Bangladesh, and ranked 87th in Tajikistan.
Masculine, Common

Shukri

Shukri comes from the Arabic verb “šukr,” meaning “to be thankful.” It also means “grateful” and becomes Shukriyya as a girl’s name. Shukri is a very unique Arabic name you can use to give thanks for the little man you know.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Thankful
  • Pronunciation: SHUK-Riy
  • Namesakes: Shukri Toefy, an English entrepreneur and CEOat Fort. Shukri al-Quwatli, the Syrian president from 1943 and 1949 and 1955 to 1958.
  • Popularity: Shukri is mildly uncommon worldwide but is used most in Somalia, where it’s ranked 28th.
Unique, Uncommon
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Sultan

Sultan became synonymous with “strength” and “rulership,” from “sulṭah,” meaning “authority” or “power.” It’s a very popular name in much of the Arabic world and could be the ideal way to give a title to your beautiful boy.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Ruler
  • Pronunciation: Sahl-TAEN
  • Variations: Sultaan, Sulten
  • Namesakes: Sultan Ibragimov, a Russian boxer and WBO world heavyweight title holder from 2007 to 2008. Sultan Rahi, a Pakistani actor known as Pakistan’s “Clint Eastwood.”
  • Popularity: Sultan ranked 555th worldwide, is most popular in Pakistan, and ranked 3rd in Oman.
Popular, Masculine

Tahira

Tahira was used in the Quran and also means “chaste” and “free from sin.” This religious-minded name for girls is also a pretty one to give to the baby girl you’re soon to meet.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Pure
  • Pronunciation: Taa-HHIY-Raa
  • Variations: Taheera, Tahirah
  • Namesakes: Tahira Sansawi, the mayor of Lantawan in the Philippines from 2001 to 2010. Tahira Tahirova, the Foreign Minister of the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic from 1959 to 1983.
  • Popularity: Tahira ranked 1,594th worldwide and is most popular in Pakistan, where it’s ranked 42nd.
Feminine, Common

Taj

Taj doesn’t just mean “crown” in Arabic, but also in Persian and Sanskrit, as proven by the grand Taj Mahal in India. Taj is a fun, cool name for boys and girls to use as their royal title.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Crown
  • Pronunciation: TAHJH
  • Variations: Tahj, Taje
  • Namesakes: Taj Matthews, an American journalist and author of Grandpa was a Preacher: A Letter to my Grandson. Taj Forer, an American photographer, and co-founder of Fabl, a storytelling platform.
  • Popularity: Taj ranked 1,820th worldwide, is most popular in Pakistan, and ranked 78th in Afghanistan.
Unique, Modern

Talib

Talib is also known as a North African name. It was given to Abu Talib, the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad who raised him. Talib also means “student,” so it’s a great idea to give to the young man learning everything he can.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Seeker of knowledge
  • Pronunciation: TAA-Lihb
  • Variations: Taleb, Taleeb, Talibe
  • Namesakes: Talib Zanna, a Nigerian basketball player for the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA G League. Talib Greene, an American rapper known for the group Black Star.
  • Popularity: Talib is mildly uncommon worldwide, while it’s used most in Pakistan and ranked 226th in Oman.
Uncommon, Masculine

Tamara

Tamara comes from “Tamar” in the Hebrew Bible and “Tamra” in Arabic. Tamara refers to the “date” and “palm tree.” Let your little Tamara outside and see what new trees and plants she can explore.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Date palm
  • Pronunciation: Tah-MAAR-ah
  • Variations: Tamarah, Tamarra
  • Namesakes: Tamara Karsavina, a Russian prima ballerina with the Imperial Russian Ballet. Tamara Adrián, the first transgender person elected to office in Venezuela.
  • Popularity: Tamara ranked 619th worldwide, is most popular in Ukraine, and ranked 25th in Moldova.
Feminine, Popular

Tariq

Tariq comes from the Arabic “ṭaraqa,” meaning “to strike.” In the Quran, “tariq,” refers to the “star at night.” This poetic unisex name has all the power of the night sky to give to the little one in your life.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Visitor, morning star
  • Pronunciation: TAA-Rihk
  • Variations: Tarik, Taariq
  • Namesakes: Tariq Hanna, an American Executive Pastry Chef at the Sucré dessert restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tariq Trotter (known as Black Thought), an American rapper and member of the hip-hop group The Roots.
  • Popularity: Tariq ranked 1,308th worldwide, is most popular in Pakistan, and ranked 30th in Oman.
Masculine, Traditional

Waleed

Waleed is sometimes used as Waliullah, meaning “friend of Allah.” It’s a popular name for Muslim boys, so don’t feel funny about naming your newborn boy Waleed. Being literal is sometimes the best choice.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Newborn child
  • Pronunciation: Waa-LIYD
  • Variations: Waled, Walid
  • Namesakes: Waleed Aly, an Australian co-host of Network Ten’s news program The Project. Waleed Ali, a Kuwaiti footballer for the Kuwait Premier League club Al Kuwait.
  • Popularity: Waleed ranked 1,546th worldwide, is most popular in Egypt, and ranked 34th in Lebanon.
Unusual, Common

Wasim

Wasim also means “graceful” and “good-looking” in Arabic. It’s a unique way to name the best-looking little boy you know and let him run with it all his life.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Handsome
  • Pronunciation: Waa-SIYM
  • Variations: Waseem, Wassim
  • Namesakes: Wasim Akram, the captain of the Pakistan national cricket team. Wasim Sajjad, the Chairman of the Senate in Pakistan between 1988 and 1999.
  • Popularity: Wasim is mildly uncommon worldwide, used mostly in India, and ranked 212th in Saudi Arabia.
Unusual, Uncommon

Yasmin

Yasmin is a Persian girl’s name for the Jasmine flower, where the English name Jasmine comes from. Yasmin has remained a popular girl’s name in the Mediterranean and Arabic worlds, so she can be your little flower’s name from now on.

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: Jasmine flower
  • Pronunciation: YAEZ-Mihn
  • Variations: Yasmine, Yazmin, Yasmeen
  • Namesakes: Yasmin Qureshi, a British politician heading the criminal legal section of the UN Mission in Kosovo. Yasmin Abbasey, a Pakistani Judge and one of two women serving on the court.
  • Popularity: Yasmin ranked 527th worldwide and is most popular in Pakistan, where it’s ranked 32nd.
Feminine, Popular

Yusuf

Yusuf originally meant “God increases” in Arabic. It also means “a charming prince,” “a leader,” and “commander.” Yusuf is the Arabic form of the Hebrew Yosef and English Joseph, so it’s more familiar as a boy’s name than you might think.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Leader
  • Pronunciation: YUW-Sahf
  • Variations: Yosef
  • Namesakes: Yusuf Halaçoğlu, a member of the Turkish Parliament from 2011 to 2017. Yusuf Şimşek, a Turkish football manager of Balıkesirspor.
  • Popularity: Yusuf ranked 344th worldwide and is most popular in Nigeria, where it’s ranked 21st.
Masculine, Popular
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Zain

Zain is one of those rare Arabic names that brings beauty to a boy when it means “graceful boy.” Zain feels modern and is used commonly in the Middle East, while it’s not elsewhere, so you can make Zain truly popular again.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Beauty, grace
  • Pronunciation: ZEYN
  • Variations: Zaine, Zane, Zayn
  • Namesakes: Zain Al Rafeea, a Syrian-Norwegian actor known for the 2018 Lebanese film Capernaum. Zain Verjee, a Kenyanjournalist and former CNN anchor and correspondent.
  • Popularity: Zain ranked 3,232nd worldwide and is most popular in Yemen, where it’s ranked 37th.
Cool, Common

Zaire

Zaire is derived from the name of the Congo River, from the Kikongo “nzere,” meaning “’river that swallows all rivers.” The country of Zaire came from these origins, while your little Zaire can be the everlasting boy or girl in your life.

  • Origin: Powerful
  • Meaning: Powerful
  • Pronunciation: Ziy-IHR
  • Namesakes: Zaire Anderson, an American football player for the Denver Broncos. Zaire Bartley, a Jamaican footballer for New Amsterdam FC in the National Independent Soccer Association.
  • Popularity: Zaire is very rare worldwide and used most in DR Congo.
Rare, Unique

Zameer

In Hebrew, Zameer means “singer” or “nightingale.” In Arabic, Zameer also means “conscience.” Zameer can make the little boy you know a great singer, or at least help him sing like a bird every chance he can.

  • Origin: Arabic, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Heart
  • Pronunciation: Zah-MIHR
  • Variations: Zamyr, Zamir
  • Namesakes: Zameer Rizvi (known as Zameer), a Canadian singer-songwriter whose song “Win or Defeat” became a theme song for the 2010 Paralympic Games. Zameer Sattaur, an Islamic scholar and former Imam of Masjid Al-Abdin in New York.
  • Popularity: Zameer is somewhat uncommon worldwide and used most in Pakistan where it’s ranked 581st.
Traditional, Ancient

Zeina

Zeina is both a Muslim and Greek name, meaning “leader.” It’s not used as much as it should be, but offers power, strength, femininity, and beauty for the very special baby girl you’re expecting.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Beautiful woman inside and out
  • Pronunciation: ZIY-nah
  • Variations: Zena
  • Namesakes: Zeina Beck, a Lebanese poet who won the Frederick Bock Prize in 2017. Zeina Shaban, a member of the Jordanian royal family.
  • Popularity: Zeina is uncommon worldwide, and used most in Iraq where it’s ranked 46th.
Pretty, Uncommon

Zuleyma

Zuleyma is a variation of the Arabic Salome. It’s quite rare globally but has found popularity in Central and South American countries. Zuleyma is the Arabic choice you’ve been looking for to give to your peaceful little angel.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Peace
  • Pronunciation: ZUWL-iy-Mah
  • Variations: Zulima
  • Namesakes: Elvia Alonso (known as Zuleyma), a Mexican wrestler and one of the most famous luchadoras during the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Popularity: Zuleyma is rare worldwide, used mostly in Mexico, and ranked 534th in El Salvador.
Feminine, Rare
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About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.
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