Photo Credits: Babylist
Muhammad is a male name that is very popular among Muslims as an act of devotion to honor Islam's founder, the Prophet Muhammad. Now, for the first time, this name has entered the top 10 of the most popular baby names in United States. This year, the name Muhammad climbed from 14th to 10th place, knocking Mason from the number 10 spot. "Muhammad's been rising on Baby Center top baby name lists around the world, so we knew it would soon break into the U.S. top 10," Linda Murray, Baby Center's global editor in chief, said in a statement, as The Religion News Service reports. "Muslim families often choose Muhammad for firstborn sons to honor the prophet and bring blessings to the child."
Baby Center is a parenting website that tracks the popularity of names among its users and they created this list based on nearly 600,000 parents who shared their newborn's name with the site this year. The list combines names with multiple spellings so Muhammad, meaning "one who is praised," is spelled in many different ways around the world, including Mohammad, Mohammed, Mohamed, Mahomet and Mahmet. Religiously inspired names are often very popular and besides Muhammad some top names are also those that are inspired by the Bible: like Noah, Elijah and Lucas.
As for the newborn baby girls the 10th most popular name is also an Arabic name Aaliyah and it replaced another Arabic name Layla. The girl's name Aaliyah means “exalted” in Arabic and “rising” in Hebrew and is also differently spelled around the world as Aliya, Alia, or Aliyah. One of the reasons for the rise in popularity of this name was the death of the iconic singer Aaliyah in 2001, the name has seen an upward trajectory since.
According to The Religion News Service, Social Security data also shows the rise in popularity of the name Muhammad. It has climbed from 345 in 2000 to 620 in 2019, but the government agency does not combine different spellings as Baby Center does, it treats them as separate names. This is also the case in UK where data from the Office for National Statistics has shown that Oliver has been the most popular name among baby boys born in England and Wales. On the other hand, when different spellings of the name Muhammad are combined with this name, in all its variations, it is well ahead of Oliver. According to The Voice of America News, Muhammad has been the most popular boy’s name in Britain for the last three years when it comes to Baby Center data.