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Gender-neutral Muslim name
phyrbyrd wrote in little_details
I need a name for my female OC that is either gender-neutral, or has a male equivalent which would have the same diminuitive. She's mixed race and I was calling her Mike, short for Michaela, but then I realised her Pakistani Muslim father would probably not allow a western name.

But at some point she's got to go to an alternate universe and meet her alt self, who is male, and I don't want her - or the reader - to realise this till she meets him, so their friends need to be calling them the same name.

I went through this community's ~names tag, and also searched 'muslim baby names' and 'gender-neutral muslim baby names' and found a couple I kind of like, but I want a relatively common, normal name. I don't want to name my character the Muslim equivalent of Iodine or Continence or Grizelda.

I did a quick google search and came up with this.

It's not a lot but at least something to start with. The poster (at least the first poster) gives back up links too.

I grew up in an area with a large Muslim community. Based on the above list, I'd use Jamal, Ikram, or Noor. I actually went to class with people who had those names.

I had a student named Tasneem - her nickname was Nini. Her brother - also a student of mine - was named Ameen. I also had an Ibrahim (Abraham) and a Nouhom (again siblings - brothers). I'm thinking a nicknam for Tasneen could be Taz which is gender neutral. And the meaning is gender neutral as well - TASNEEM: Name of a fountain in Jannahh (Paradise) whose drink is superior to the purest of wines. Its nectar will only be drunk by those nearest to Allah Ta'ala. Literally means "rich and elevated". See Holy Qur'an, Al-Al-Mutafifeen (83):27-28:

My name is Noor which is gender neutral :) Also look into Zayn/Zain and Toseef/Tosief. Tasnim is technically gender neutral but usually it's a girls name. Maybe if you come across something you really like but is not gender neutral, adding an a turns it into a female name, just like in Western terms (Georg/ia) for example Saleem/a, Arif/a, Nafees/a, Shameem/a, Naeem/a etc. Hope that helps.

Maybe the name could Jamila (male version: Jamil), which are both very common names. The nickname could be Jami, Jay, something like that.

If you want one name that's gender-neutral as opposed to names that can be converted by adding -a, I'd say go with Noor.

This. Noor is also a common enough name to be unremarkable, as you want.

Thirded. Known both men and women named that.

Thanks for all the help, everyone - based on the list and also after asking a Muslim friend of mine, I think I'm gonna go with Qamar, although if I decide that the male and female versions of my character need to just have the same nickname and start referring to one another by their full names to stop confusing things, I might go with Jamila/Jamil and have them both be called Jami by their friends.
Thanks a lot!

Muslim here. Noor is common and a good choice -it sounds much better pronounced properly with an Arabic accent than an English/American one; the 'r' is rolled, try saying it like a Frenchman- maybe Rihan. Just as in many languages where every noun has a "gender," Arabic names are naturally gender-modified. If a name has grown popular, it will only be seen gender-modified (e.g. Jamal will never be a female name), but some names are more obscure and remain concepts more than names. These would be gender-neutral. Also, be aware that Arab culture =/= Pakistani culture, and a name doesn't have to be Arabic to belong to a Muslim. Persian names are also common among Pakistanis, such as Bahar.

The trouble with Noor is that - no offence to anyone called that - I just don't really like it. Part of it is admittedly me and the fact that the word itself sounds a little, I don't know, clunky, but there's also the fact that I don't think it suits my character well and also the fact that since I'm naming a comic character, I need a name that has as few pronunciation issues as possible. I was going to go with Qamar, which is a name a friend of mine suggested, but I think I'll actually call her Jami - short for Jamelia - and have her alter ego be called Jamal, known to his friends as Jami.

Thanks very much for the help, though!

No prob! (Btw, I think this was a typo, but it would be Jamila, not Jamelia. Just a nit-pick!) Good luck with your story! :)


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