Pre-Islamic Arabic Names

By Edouard Aldahdah

Posted on June 21st, 2012 in Arabia

I am very fond of these, because Arabic names in the period before Islam did not yet have a religious connotation. One of my favorites is the masculine name Mu’awiyah. It’s the name of the first Ummayyad Caliph, Mu’awiyah Ibn Abi Sufyan (661-680 AD), as well as that one of the kings of the ancient South-Arabian kingdom of Kinda in the third century A.D, whose capital was Qaryat al-Faw, in south central Arabia.  It’s also my cousin’s name..

Interestingly, although a masculine name, it means something like “barking bitches”, or better still, “whining bitches”. By the way, the article I linked to above mentions a number of Arabic inscriptions from the collection of Sam Roach of ARAMCO. I wander if that’s the same as the importer of four Roach Blue Start horses to the USA.


3 Responses to “Pre-Islamic Arabic Names”

  1. By the way one of the most useful resources on the archaeological site of Qaryat al-Faw is the book of Abd al-Rahman al-Ansary on the subject: Qaryat al-Faw: Portrait of a Pre-Islamic Civilisation”. It is available for free online!

  2. Thanks for all these interesting little avenues, I am going to ride now not to waste daylight but look forward to some interesting reading tonight!

  3. I used to have a copy of Wentworth’s the Authentic Arabian Horse many many years ago. I recall she mentioned some pre Islamic poetry or other written stuff that named two strains that were called I think Lahik or something similar and another. I was wondering if there is any information about this that you know of, other than the standard strains, this was from before they developed? I suspect the whole breed may descend from some extremely popular stallion who later was credited to Solomon but was more recent. the zad el rakib story.

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