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“Muhammad” becomes a top 10 name for American babies

For the first time in its history, the name “Muhammad” has made the list of the top 10 baby names in the U.S. [1]

The name has shown a steady climb in recent years, with social security data showing it went from #620 in the year 2000 to #345 in 2018. [2]

The annual list of the 100 most popular baby names was published by the parenting and pregnancy website BabyCenter, after compiling the names of babies born to approximately 600,00 registered U.S. users.

Though the name Muhammad ranked #10 on the 2019 list, different spellings of the same name (i.e. Mohammad, Mohammed, Muhammad, etc.) are counted as different names. However, if the variant spellings were counted, the overall ranking of the name would have been higher. [3]

Linda Murray, BabyCenter’s Global Editor in Chief, said: “Muhammad’s been rising on the BabyCenter top baby name lists around the world, so we knew it would soon break into the U.S. top 10.”

Muhammad has been the most popular boy’s name in the UK for the last three years. [4] A report released earlier this year showed Muhammad had entered the top 20 names list in France, with the French National Centre for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) saying the name’s popularity had doubled between 1998 and 2018. [5]

The news site Independent has estimated that it is the most popular name in the world, given to over 150 million men and boys. [6]

Murray added:

“Muslim families often choose Muhammad for firstborn sons to honour the prophet and bring blessings to the child.” [7]

“While non-Muslim families have a seemingly limitless range of possible names to choose from, tradition is still very important for Muslim families, including the custom of naming a son after the Prophet” [8]

A teaching of the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) says:

“Give your children the names of Prophets…” [9]

Furthermore, the name “Aaliyah”, meaning “high” and “exalted”, has mirrored Muhammad by attaining the #10 spot on the most popular name for girls list.

According to the list, there has been a significant rise in Arabic names this year, with names like “Muhammad” and “Aaliyah” having replaced “Mason” and “Layla”.


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[1] https://www.sfgate.com/living/article/Muhammed-top-baby-names-BabyCenter-2019-14878511.php

[2] https://www.voanews.com/arts-culture/muhammad-hits-list-top-10-baby-names-us

[3] https://www.sfgate.com/living/article/Muhammed-top-baby-names-BabyCenter-2019-14878511.php

[4] https://www.voanews.com/arts-culture/muhammad-hits-list-top-10-baby-names-us

[5] https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20191206-muhammad-makes-top-10-list-of-baby-names-in-us-for-first-time/

[6] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/most-popular-baby-names-the-top-20-boys-and-girls-names-in-england-and-wales-9671635.html

[7] https://thehollywoodunlocked.com/muhammad-becomes-one-of-the-top-ten-boy-names-in-the-united-states/


[9] Abu Dawud, classed as Sahih by al-Albāni

The views expressed on Islam21c and its connected channels do not necessarily represent the views of the organisation.


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