Introduction to Names Collected from the Encyclopaedia of Islam
by Basil Dragonstrike

The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition (hereafter EI2) is widely considered one of the leading scholarly works on the subject of Islam; it covers the whole of Islam; religion, geography, culture, etc. Published in 13 volumes, from 1954 to 2005, it contains thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of entries. Obviously, it is a rich source of Muslim names; indeed, too rich a source. Anyone trying to collect all the names from EI2 would have an overwhelming task.

Tempted to collect names from EI2, but well aware of the size of the job, I decided to collect some of the names. How to choose? Simple, use the "random" function in a spreadsheet. How many to choose? Ten from each volume seemed like a reasonable number to me, especially as I'd only be taking from volumes 1-12; volume 13 contains only indexes and a glossary.

I decided I had to make sure the random selections fit certain requirements. These are:
EI2 "alphabetizes" its entries. That is, each person is listed by the part of his or her name he/she is best known by. Thus, a person may be listed by his/her ism, kunya, nasab, or byname; in the case of nasab or byname, he/she may be listed by one out of a number of nasabs/bynames. The rest of that person's names are set off by commas. This makes it difficult for me to be sure what the original name's proper order should be. Hence, I have made no attempt to list the name-element patterns found in this source. As well, I have not distinguished between isms per se and those from kunyas, etc., nor bynames per se and those found within nasabs, etc.

Note that EI2 does not use the LoC/ALA romanization scheme, which is the one most often used, esp. in the SCA, and is the one used in my other lists of names. The differences between EI2 and LoC/ALA are few and easily explained.
  1. EI2 romanizes jīm (ج) as dj, LoC/ALA as j.
  2. EI2 romanizes qāf (ق) as , LoC/ALA as q.
  3. Where a single letter in Arabic is romanized in two Latin letters, EI2 underlines the pair and LoC/ALA does not. Note this means that in EI2 jīm (ج) actually becomes dj. In those rare cases where tāʼ, dāl, sīn, or kāf is followed by hāʼ, ambiguity with thāʼ, dhāl, shīn, and khāʼ is prevented in EI2 by not underlining the pair, but in LoC/ALA by inserting a true vertical apostrophe. For example, in the name "اَدْهَم", pronounced "add ham", in EI2 is Adham but in LoC/ALA Ad'ham.
I have arranged the collected names into three lists: isms, bynames, and honorifics. Information on matters specific to each type of name will be found at the head of each page.

FURTHER NOTE: Since these pages were first written, I have learned more about Arabic onomastics. Thus, a few changes have been made. I have changed the lists to reflect all this; what is posted currently are the corrected lists.