106 Arabic Last Names With Meanings And History

Arabic surnames are rich in cultural history and collective memories.

Looking for a suitable last name for your new Arab fictional character?

Last names carry with them a lot of history and ancestral culture. That is why it is very important to have a good understanding of the true meaning behind a surname before bestowing it on your character.

Arabic surnames are usually based on the tribes, habitation, or occupation of the ancestral families. Many a time, the last name is an honorific title that had been gifted to one of the ancestors. Another common practice with Arabic last names is the addition of the prefix "Al" before the surname. The prefix "Al" basically means "The" which essentially defines the meaning of the surname more firmly; for example, the surname "Al-Amin," meaning "The Trustworthy".

If you are searching for some nice Arabic surnames to suit the personality of the character you have in mind, to make your job easier, we have assembled a list of various last names from different Arabic speaking regions across the globe.

For more last name inspiration, take a look at Greek Last Names and Thai Last Names.

Most Popular Arabic Last Names

Looking for some most common Arabic last names? Each Arab-speaking region usually has a different set of last names that are the most popular. However, here is a list of some generic Arabic last names that are usually quite common, mostly in Arabic-speaking regions.

1. Abadi meaning "eternal". This surname implies being the descendants of the Abbad tribe.

2. Abdullah meaning "servant of God".

3. Ahmad meaning "the praised one". Its variant, Ahmed is among the most popular Syrian last names.

4. Ali meaning "exalted" or "elevated".

5. Allah meaning "God". This surname happens to be topping the charts when it comes to Jordanian surnames. It also is one of the most common Lebanese last names.

6. (Al) Amin meaning "the trustworthy". This was an honorific title that belonged to Prophet Muhammad.

7. Asghar meaning "smallest".

8. Ayad meaning "blessing, powerful".

9. (Al) Baghdadi meaning "from Baghdad".

10. Bakir meaning "dawn".

11. Bilal meaning "the victorious" or "water's glow". This name comes from Bilal ibn Rabah, the first Muezzin in Islam who was also one of the Companions of Prophet Muhammad.

12. Daher meaning "clear, evident".

13. Darwish meaning "exploring, wandering".

14. Dawoud meaning "beloved". This family name is the Arabic variant of the Christian name, David.

15. Fadel meaning "virtuous, generous".

16. Faheem meaning "understanding, intelligent".

17. Gaddafi meaning "the archer" or "thrower". This Arabic surname can be linked to the Libyan politician and revolutionary, Muammar Gaddafi, popularly known as Colonel Gaddafi.

18. Ghulam meaning "servant of God".

19. Habib meaning "beloved". It is also sometimes given as a title to someone who is very respectable and honorable.

20. (Al) Hadid meaning "iron". Two really famous namesakes of this Arabic last name would be the supermodel sisters, Gigi and Bella Hadid.

21. Hafeez meaning "guardian".

22. Hasan meaning "handsome, manly, benefactor". Hasan was the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. Its variant, Hassan is also one of the very popular Arabic last names.

23. Hussain meaning "beautiful, handsome".

24. Ibrahim meaning "father of many".

25. Iqbal meaning "good fortune, prosperity". This last name can be associated with Allama Iqbal, a highly renowned Indian poet and philosopher of the Modern Era.

26. Irfan meaning "knowledge, awareness".

27. Jalal meaning "majesty, glory". Often used to describe the attributes of God in the Holy Bible and the Quran.

28. Karim meaning "honorable".

29. Khalid meaning "eternal". Another popular variant of this family name is Khaled and it can be linked with the popular American music producer, DJ Khaled.

30. Khan meaning "king". Out of all other family names, Khan is the most common one in Saudi Arabia.

31. Khoury meaning "priest".

32. Malik meaning "king". One of the most famous personalities bearing this last name is British singer, Zayn Malik.

33. Mohammad meaning "praised". There are various variants of this surname such as Mohamed and Muhammad. This name originates from Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam.

34. Noor meaning "the light".

35. Qadir meaning "Almighty". Other common variants of this last name include Kadir, Qadir, Kader or Ghader.

36. Qureshi meaning "member of the Quraysh Tribe of Mecca".

37. Rafiq meaning "intimate friend, companion".

38. (Al) Rashid meaning "the right minded". It is believed, al-Rashid is one of the ninety-nine names of God (Allah).

39. Sultan meaning "ruler".

40. Syed meaning respectful man". This name was used as an honorific title for those who were believed to be the direct descendants of Prophet Muhammad.

41. Wahid meaning "absolute one".

42. Yusuf meaning "he will". This is an Islamic variant of the Biblical name, Joseph.

43. Zaman meaning "time, era".

Most Common Egyptian Surnames

There are several surnames that are unique to Egypt.

Most Middle Eastern names are very common to Arab last names, such as Egyptian names. Here are last names that are really popular in Egypt and have Arabic origin.

44. Adel meaning "just".

45. Amer meaning "one who has a long and prosperous life".

46. Ashraf meaning "most honorable one".

47. Awad meaning "lute maker" or "lute player". This name as a first name would mean "kindness" or "reverence".

48. Elsayed meaning "the master". This Arabic last name can be linked with the Egyptian documentary filmmaker, Emadeldin Elsayed.

49. Magdy meaning "glorious, praiseworthy".

50. Mostafa meaning "the chosen one". Its other variant that is also popular in Egypt is Mustafa.

51. Osman meaning "the chosen one".

52. Ramadan meaning "period of Ramadan". The literal meaning is "scorched, parchedness".

53. Saad meaning "good luck".

54. Said meaning "happy".

55. Salem meaning "safe, secure, complete".

56. Samir meaning "a holy, jovial or loyal companion".

57. Soliman meaning "the peaceful one". It originates from the Biblical name, Solomon.

58. Youssef meaning "He Will". Ramy Youseff is a famous American stand up comedian and actor.

Most Common Moroccan Last Names

The most common Moroccan surnames are quite similar to the last name in Arabic which is largely common in the Middle Eastern region. Here is a diverse list of surnames that are most commonly found in Morocco along with their meanings.

59. Ait meaning "people of" or "family of".

60. Alami. This refers to the people who had migrated from Arabia to Morocco and then had adopted the name Alami from Mount Alam.

61. Amine meaning "faithful, trustworthy" This surname can be linked to the Moroccan scientist and Global Energy Prize awardee, Khalil Amine.

62. Alaoui. This name comes from the ruling Royal family, the Alaouite Dynasty of Morocco. A noteworthy namesake is Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoui who is the Ambassador of Morocco to the US.

63. Aziz meaning "strong, powerful" or "to be cherished".

64. Cherkaoui meaning "from the East".

65. Hajji meaning "one who has completed the Hajj to Mecca".

66. Idrissi meaning "studious".

67. Khalil meaning "friend".

68. Lahlou meaning "sweet".

69. Mansouri. This last name has been derived from the Sufi Saint, Khwaja Mansour al Hallaj.

70. Mehdi meaning "rightly guided".

71. Naciri meaning "the helper".

72. Naji meaning "survivor".

73. Rachid meaning "the high one".

74. Sbai meaning "affectionate" or "one who longs for something".

75. Slimani meaning "peaceful". It is based on the Biblical name, Solomon.

76. Tazi meaning "From Tayyi Tribe".

Less Common Arabic Last Names

Lesser-known Arabic names can be a really good option for your characters.

If you are looking for some rare and unique Arabic last names, here is a list for you. Take a look at some less commonly found Arabic last names and meanings that they possess, from various Arab speaking regions.

77. Abed meaning "worshiper, devout".

78. Anouar meaning "light".

79. Aqeel meaning "knowledgeable, wise".

80. Bachir meaning "the one who brings good news".

81. Bayoumi meaning "blueness of river Nile". It was also used for someone who was respected by others. It got its name from the Bayoum village in Egypt.

82. Boutros meaning "rock". This is the Arabic version of the name Peter.

83. Essa meaning "Jesus". It is the less commonly found variant of the Arabic surname name Isa.

84. Faraj meaning "joy after sadness".

85. (Al) Ghazzawi derived from Gaza, Palestine.

86. Hajjar meaning "stone".

87. Halawa (Egyptian Origin) meaning "sweets".

88. (Al) Harbi meaning "from the Harb Tribe". The Saudi Arabian scholar, Abdul Aziz-al-Harbi is one of the noteworthy namesakes.

89. (Al) Homsi meaning "From Homs, Syria".

90. Ihsan meaning "perfection, beauty, excellence".

91. Jaafar meaning "small stream, creek".

92. Jubran meaning "to help the Poor" or "to make good change".

93. Karam meaning "generosity, supportive".

94. (Al) Khaldi meaning "member of the Tribe, Bani Khalid". This tribe descends from the Arab commander, Khalid ibn al-Walid who was also the senior companion of Prophet Muhammad.

95. Latif meaning "gentle, kind".

96. Mukhtair meaning "chosen".

97. Mustapha meaning "chosen, selected". A variant of the more common surname in this region, Mustafa.

98. (El) Ouazzani meaning "from the town of Ouazzane, Morocco".

99. Rabah meaning "winner".

100. Sarkis meaning "protector". This name comes from the martyred Christian saint, Sergius.

101. Shehab meaning "meteor, shooting star".

102. (Al) Shishani meaning "the Chechen". It is commonly found in Chechen diasporic families.

103. Tawil meaning "tall".

104. Wahba meaning "gift, present".

105. Yacoub meaning "to follow". The name comes from Prophet Ya'qub, who is the Islamic variant of the Biblical patriarch, Jacob.

106. Ziadeh meaning "overabundance, surplus". This family name is mostly seen in Lebanon. This family name can be linked with the early twentieth-century Lebanese-Palestinian poet, May Ziadeh.

Kidadl has lots of great names articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for Arabic Last Names then why not take a look at Arabic Boy Names, or for something different take a look at Boys Names Beginning With Q.


Written By

Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

Share this article




Get The Kidadl Newsletter
1,000 of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

By joining Kidadl you agree to Kidadl’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receiving marketing communications from Kidadl.