The Name Muhammad

The name Muhammad (may peace be upon him) is the passive participle of the second form of the verb hamada (to praise or laud), and means “(he who is) worthy of praise” or “(one who is) often praised.” Muhammad is the passive participle of the first form of the same verbal root, “(he who is) praised, to whom praised is due.”

In addition, the mystics discovered by applying the method of ishtiqaq kabir (the derivation of a certain meaning from each letter of a word) that his name consists of the m of majd (glory), the h of rahma (mercy), the m of mulk (kingdom) and d of dawam (everlastingness).

The Prophet himself is credited with the saying: “Do you not wonder how God averts from me the abuse and the curse of the Qoraish? They insult me as blameworthy (mudhammam) and curse me as the blameworthy one, but I am a praiseworthy one (muhammad),” vide Dala’il an-Nubuwwat (Medina, 1969, p. 121) by Baihaqi. In another hadith, the Prophet mentions as his names, besides Muhammad, Ahmad (derived from the same root, hamd), al-mahi or he through whom God effaces (mahw) infidelity, al-hashir or he at whose feet mankind will gather at judgment day, and finally al-aqib or the last (because there will be no prophet after him).

Among these names, Ahmad has gained a very special importance in Islamic theology. The Koran (61:5) states that God “will send a Prophet by the name of Ahmad” or “of highly praiseworthy name.”

The Prophet was called during his early youth al-Amin (the faithful) for his people were impressed by his noble qualities and reliability.

Besides Muhammad and Ahmad, we also find Abdallah (God’s servant) or Abduhu (His servant), vide Koranic verses 17:1 and 53:10