The Arabic ابن is used in names, for example Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, to mean "son of". (See also Wiktionary.) It's common to see it used in Arabic names, and I'm wondering if this is just an Arabic thing or if it's a Muslim thing.

Question: Does using "ibn" meaning "son of" in names have Islamic significance?

I suspect there's no additional significance in Islam; it is (or was) simply common in Arab culture and Islam propagated from such areas. However, I'm unsure about this.

  • There's a bit of Islam in it see for example my answer on whom should name a child and the fact that a child should have the name of the father.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 14:10

3 Answers 3


The Quran itself in Surah Al-Azhab tells us to be called by our fathers name for example Ibn Kathir which means 'son of Kathir'.

Allah says in the Qu'ran:

Call them by [the names of] their fathers; it is more just in the sight of Allah . But if you do not know their fathers - then they are [still] your brothers in religion and those entrusted to you. And there is no blame upon you for that in which you have erred but [only for] what your hearts intended. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. (33:5)

This verse clearly states the importance of being named after our fathers. Instead of being called our father's name, people include our father's name in our name hence why people are called Ibn meaning 'son of' or can be called Bint ( if they are a female) which means 'daughter of'. For example, instead of calling 'Ibn Kathir', 'Kathir', you would say 'Ibn Kathir'.

It was also in the Pre-Islamic Arab culture to name one after their father and their father etc.

  • You should probably take the context of the verse into consideration. Its talking about naming adopted sons after their real fathers instead of their adoptive fathers ... specifically it was revealed about Zayed being called Zayed ibn Harith instead of Zayed ibn Muhammad. A large number of Sahabah were called Abu X (Abu Bakr, Abu Hurarirah, Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri). Hadith are filled with the Prophet and Sahabah using first names only to refer to others e.g this one
    – UmH
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 13:41

Question: Does using "ibn" meaning "son of" in names have Islamic significance?

Answer: NO.

Two cents from me - "Ibn" has no significance but a nice meaningful arabic name has certainly a good deal of significance in Islam.


Yes,Ibn in surah 66 tahreem verse11 Ibn means to build بناء means building To build a strong building u need a good foundation In the same way a child should have a strong foundation of character and values based on Quran and Sunnah so ابن

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