Arabic last names are a window into the rich and diverse culture of the Arab world. Some Arabs use their father’s first name as their last name, while others take on a family title that is passed down through generations. A recent study found that there are over 3,000 Arabic surnames in use today, with each one telling its own story about an individual’s history and society.
Here is a list of Arab last names that we compiled along with their meanings:
Al’shArabaty means that the family is originally from Iraq.
Alsabhan is related to the Sabah ruling family, with whom they share their last name.
Al-Hajri is a common Arab last name in modern times, but it originates from when an ancestor: Al-Hajj – one who has completed the pilgrimage to Mecca (the Hajj)
Al-Sulaimani is another Arabic name that has roots in the Arab history of Iraq and Iran, although it can also be traced to more recent political movements.
Al-Balushi means that this family belongs to Bahrain.
Al-Asfoor means that they are from Saudi Arabia’s Asir region.
Al-Otaibi means that they are from Saudi Arabia’s oil-producing region of Al-Hasa.
Al-Musa is a surname that has its origins in the prophet Muhammad, who was named Musa in Arab
Al-Ansary is a family name that reflects the great antiquity of its lineage.
Al-Shammari means that they are from the Shammar tribe, which is found in both Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Al-Aziz – the powerful, the strong
Al-Hasan – handsome, good looking; often used in Arabic poems and songs
Al-Hayek – means the wise
Al-Hisham – means generous
Ala’a – the rising dawn
Alaweed – one who is noble
Ali – high, lofty; the most excellent
Ameer – prince, ruler
Anwar – light, bright
Arafat – Arabian desert
As’ad – lion
Aziz – a deity, a powerful ruler
Azmi – has determination and stamina
Bahaa’ – good, blessed
Bashaar – Arabian prophet
Bashar – living, alive; to continue or renew
Bawab – doorkeeper
Bilal – Arabian orator, name of the first muezzin
Bouziane – handsome
Surnames like Al-Hamad (Arab for “the generous one”) and Al-Nasser (Arab for “the victor”) provide insight into Arab history.
Al-Qassimy is a family name that can be traced to Arab tribes of Qahtan and Kahlan, who were early settlers of Saudi Arabia.
Al-Mulla is a surname that reflects the Arab custom of adding “Mullah” or “al-Mulla” to the name of a learned man.
Al-Zaidy means that family members are from Saudi Arabia’s Zaid tribe, which was one of the Arabs’ first tribes in history.
Al-Hathloul means that the family belongs to the Arab tribe of Hathlool.
Al-Rashid is the last name that reflects the Arab custom of adding “al-Rashid” or “ar-Rashid” to denote sons of famous fathers.
The name ‘bin’ means son. Bin could be a man’s first name, but if it is mixed with a second Arab word or Arab letter, the meaning of this name changes. For instance, Hussein bin Abdullah means “Hussein, the son of Abdullah”.
Another Arab last name which consists of two Arab words is Maktoum . A man who bears the name Maktoum is the son of someone named Toum. Maktoum means “the one who possesses.”
Al-Fulan consists of two Arab words which together mean completion or perfection, therefore a man with this name can be named after his father as well as a grandfather – Ahmad al-Fulan.
If there is a name that consists of three Arab words, it is Al-Nasser. The Arabic word “Al” means “the”, the Arabic letter “nun” means water and the Arabic word “sser” means to flow. Having this name means that your ancestor was a soldier who watched water sources.
Al-Nayef, which means “the beneficent” or “the generous.”
If Arabic letters come after “lam”, the name means “the one” or “the man”. For instance, the Arabic word Al-Hakim, which means legislator, is stressed on the Arabic word “hamzah”.
Check out also these last names and their meanings:
Abu Bakr – means one who is close to God
Ali – means high, lofty or sublime
Al-Mansour – the victorious one
Ata Allah – slave of God
Azizi – strong, sturdy
Haddad/Haddadi – blacksmith
Hamoudi/Hamodi/Homosi – love
Hanna – grace, beauty and generosity
Hashim – noble; generous; aggrandizing
Hassouna – calmness and peace of mind, serenity
Hendawi/Handawi/Hamdawi – Arabicized word for German or descendant from Germany
Kareem means generous as well as the one who gives the gift of generosity
Malak – angel
Mansour/Mansoor/Munsif/Manouar – a noun meaning a man, a good and nobleman, an Arabicized word for “comrade” or “man”
Matloub – Arabicized word from german “Mein Glück” “meaning my luck, happiness
Mubarak – Arabicized word for ‘Blessed’, meaning well-spoken or cultured, cultured
Nasif/Nasef/Nassif – An Arabicized form of the Turkish name “nesip” meaning offer, proposal
Osman – An Arabicized form of the Turkish name “Uthman”
Qasem – An Arabicized form of the Persian word ‘khadim’ which means servant
Sabet/Sabeti/Sabet – An Arabicized form of the Persian word ‘sabi’ which means ‘one who has wisdom, intelligent’
Salem – An Arabicized form of the Arabic word for peace, Salam
In this blog post, we have discussed Arabic last names and their meanings. We hope it has been informative for you to read about the different types of surnames in the Arab culture. If there is anything else that you would like to know about a specific Arab surname, please feel free to contact us and read more articles from this blog to learn some interesting facts about last names.