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My Friend Jamal - Somali names

Jamal’s name is Arabic - it means ‘beautiful’. It is a common name in Somalia and other Arabic-speaking and Muslim countries.

Other common boy’s names are:

Mohammed meaning ‘praiseworthy’ (the name was borne by the Prophet and is one of the most popular in the Muslim world)
Ahmad meaning ‘praiseworthy’ • Ali meaning ‘sublime’
Hakim meaning ‘judicious’ or ‘wise’ • Jabir meaning ‘comforter’
Hasan meaning ‘beautiful’ or ‘good’ - the name was borne by the Prophet’s grandson
Ibrahim meaning ‘father of many’ after the Old Testament prophet
Yusuf the Arabic form of Joseph Said meaning ‘lucky’ or ‘happy’

Many names combine the word ‘Abd’ (which means ‘servant’) with one of the names above so:
Abd-al-Ati means ‘servant of the Giving One’;
Abd-al-Hakim means ‘servant of the Wise One’

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Popular girls’ names include
Aisha meaning ‘alive and well’ (it is one of the most popular names in the Arab world
Amal meaning ‘hope’ • Awatif meaning ‘affection’ • Ibtisam meaning ‘smiling’
Jamilla meaning ‘beautiful’ • Muna meaning ‘wish’ or ‘desire’ • Iman meaning ‘to believe’
Sharifa meaning ‘noble’ or ‘distinguished’ • Hafsa - a very old name pre-dating Islamic times.
Sara from the hebrew Sarah meaning ‘princess’ • Zaynab a very popular name derived from the name of a fragrant plant.
Fatima meaning ‘she who abstains from forbidden things” (it’s a very popular name and was borne by the prophet’s daughter)

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When a Somali woman gets married, it is traditional for her to keep her own surname (her father’s name). Her children will use their father’s surname - so in Somali families, the children have different surnames to their mother.