Muhammad: Meaningful Islamic Baby Names

The names Muhammad and Ahmad both come from the root word “hamd” which means praise. The very first verse of the Quran begins with praise to Allah who is the Lord over everything that exists. 1

The name Aḥmad means someone who is highly praised and deserving of much praise and Muhammad means someone whose beautiful qualities and attributes outweigh all others. In other words, he has praiseworthy attributes.

Both Ahmad and Muhammad are from the names of our beloved Prophet ﷺ. He narrated in the following hadeeth:

‏ لِي خَمْسَةُ أَسْمَاءٍ أَنَا مُحَمَّدٌ، وَأَحْمَدُ، وَأَنَا الْمَاحِي الَّذِي يَمْحُو اللَّهُ بِي الْكُفْرَ، وَأَنَا الْحَاشِرُ الَّذِي يُحْشَرُ النَّاسُ عَلَى قَدَمِي، وَأَنَا الْعَاقِبُ ‏

“I have five names: I am Muhammad, I am Ahmad, I am al-Mahi (the eraser) by means of whom Allah erases disbelief, I am al-Ḥashir – people will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment after me, and I am al-‘Aqib, (the last) Prophet and Messenger of Allah.’ (Ṣaḥiḥ Muslim)

These names truly embody the personality of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. He had praiseworthy attributes like kindness, generosity, fairness, and trustworthiness to name a few. These characteristics were with him throughout his life and not just after his prophethood.

Childhood Characteristics

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ endured a lot of pain and loss during his childhood. His father died before he was born and by the age of 10, he lost his mother, grandfather, and uncle. Despite all this losses, he was a kind and respectful child.

His grandfather was a very influential man and used to conduct meetings at the Ka’bah. The men of the Quraysh would come to these meetings to discuss political and other matters. 

The Prophet’s grandfather would sit down under the shade of the Ka’bah and lay out his garment. He would allow Muhammad to sit on his garment, a luxury he did not allow his own children. Instead of wanting to run and play like the other children, Muhammad would sit quietly, attentively, and listen to the discussions much to his grandfather’s delight.

Adulthood Before Prophethood

As a young adult, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ did trade as a living. He was so honest and upstanding, that many prefer doing business with him than other traders. He was given the nickname Al-Amin, which means “the trustworthy”.

He was often called on to assist with settling disputes because the people trusted his judgment and his word. During his early adulthood, Makkah had many tribes and they warred against each other.

Muhammad participated in a meeting called Hilf al-Fudul (The Alliance of the Virtuous). This league was created to prevent injustices that were being carried out against the defenseless and the weak who traveled to Makkah for business and religious obligations. The league also aspired to prevent the tribal wars that frequently broke out .

Those who joined this league promised to protect the people of Makkah, whether they were native or foreign, against any injustice and to assist one another financially where needed.

Once there was a complaint against Abu Jahl from a trader. Abu Jahl refused to give him the money he owed him. When this was explained to the messenger of Allah, he personally went to Abu Jahl and retrieved the money without confrontation.

After Prophethood

Through his honesty in trade and other societal issues, he attracted the attention of Khadijah, a wealthy trader. When she heard of his noble character and his skills as a trader, she sent for him and made him an offer that he accepted. He took her merchandise to Sham and, on his return, he gave her double the money they had agreed on.

This was impressive, to say the least. Again, his praiseworthy attributes were brought to the forefront and this time she considered him for marriage and sent him a proposal. After their union was approved of by his uncle, Abu Talib, the two were married.

Each year during Ramadan, Muhammad would go up to the cave of Hira to reflect and contemplate. It was here that he received revelation from Allah through the angel Jibreel and his prophecy began.

Once he began to call people to Allah openly, the people of Makkah began to abuse him and the people who believed in his call. The Muslims were tortured extensively. But Muhammad never treated anyone badly and was always kind, well-mannered, and patient.

There is no one, Muslim or non-Muslim, that could say that Prophet Muhammad had ever treated them badly or unjustly. He was dedicated to his call, faithful to his followers, and merciful to those less fortunate than he.

During his Prophecy, Islam spread to many nations and people quickly. Many people accepted Islam, never having seen his face nor having met him. But rather, they had heard of his praiseworthy qualities and believed in his message.

People who want to name their child this name do so because they want their child to have the praiseworthy qualities that the Prophet had.

Variations of the Name: Muhammad

Islamic Baby Boy Names

This is one of Allah’s beautiful names and it means someone who has been praised in every state, decision, and action.

Someone who has been praised immensely.

This name means praise, admiration, commendation, and complementation.

Someone of who has been praised for his beautiful characteristics.

Someone who has been praised with a lot of emphasis.

Islamic Baby Girl Names

This is the female version of Mahmud.

This is the female version of Hamud.

This is the female version of Hamid.

Notable Muslims with Variations of the Name: Muhammad

Ahmad ibn al-Hanbal
Aḥmad ibn al-Ḥanbal (d. 855AD) is the eponym of the Hanbali school of fiqh. He was a great scholar of hadith and fiqh. He was titled Imam ahl al-sunnah, the leader of the people of the sunnah.

Hammad bin Salamah
Ḥammād bin Salamah (d. 783AD) was a major scholar of hadith and fiqh.


1.       Surah 1:1


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