Abd (transliteration: ʿAbd) is an Arabic name for boys that means “slave” or “servant”1. In the Quran and religious literature, it is used to refer to all humans, since all humans are slaves or servants of God in Islam.2
Due to the name’s association with slavery, the word is no longer commonly used by Arabs as a name. In ancient Arabia negative meanings were preferred due to the belief that they warded off harm from the person. There are nine Companions of the Prophet Muhammad named Abad:
- Abd al-Aslami عبد الأسلمي
- Abd bin Jahsh bin Ri’ab عبد بن جحش بن رئاب
- Abd bin Zam`ah bin Qais عبد بن زمعة بن قيس
- Abd bin Abd al-Thumali عبد بن عبد الثمالي
- Abd bin Abd Ghanam عبد بن عبد غنم
- Abd bin Amr bin Rufai` عبد بن عمرو بن رفيع
- Abd bin Qawal bin Qais al-Ansari عبد بن قوال بن قيس الأنصاري
- Abd al-Arki عبد العركي
- Abd bin Qais عبد بن قيس
The word ‘abd’ is used at least fives in the Quran, as in verse 19:30:
He said, “I am the servant of God. He has given me the Scripture, and made me a prophet.
Another example is verse 34:9:
Do they not reflect upon what lies before them and behind them, of the heaven and the earth? If We will, We can make the earth cave in beneath them, or make pieces of the sky fall down on them. In that is a sign for every devout servant.
Below is the name Abd written in Arabic naskh script:
Below is the name Abd written in Arabic kufi script:
- Lisaan al-Arab by Ibn Manzur (d. 1311 CE), entry for عبد.
- Al-Misbaah al-Muneer by al-Fayyumi (d. 1368 CE), entry for عبد.