Abd (Arabic)

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For the village in Lorestan Province, Iran, see Ab Bid.

ʿAbd (Arabic: عبد‎) is an Arabic word meaning one who is subordinated as a slave or a servant. [1][2][3] The word can also be transliterated into English as 'Abd, where the apostrophe indicates the ayin, denoting a voiced pharyngeal fricative consonant or some reflex of it. In Western ears, it may be perceived as a guttural 'a' sound.

It appears in many common Arab names followed by Al (the) in form of "Abd ul", "Abd ul-", etc.; this is also commonly translitated as "el-," in the form "Abd el-", meaning "servant of the-". This is always followed by one of the names for God. These names are given in List of Arabic theophoric names and 99 Names of God.

A widespread name Abdullah (name) (or ʿAbd Allah) means "servant of God" or "worshipper of God".

  • Abd Rabbuh (“slave of his Lord” or “servant of his Lord”)
  • Abduh (“His slave” or “His servant”)

It can also refer to humans, such as:

  • Abdul Nabi (“slave of the Prophet” or “servant of the Prophet”)
  • Abdul Zahra (slave of Fatimah Zahra - daughter of Muhammad)
  • Abdul Hussein (slave of Hussein - grandson of Muhammad)

It can also be used by Arab Christians and Arabic-speaking Christians, just as long as it is associated to their religion:

  • Abdul Masih (“slave of the Messiah” or “servant of the Messiah”)
  • Abdul Salib (“slave of the Cross” or “servant of the Cross”)
  • Abdul Shahid (“slave of the Martyr [i.e. Jesus Christ]” or “servant of the Martyr”)
  • Abd Yasu ("slave of Jesus" or "servant of Jesus")
  • Abida
  • Abidi

Abdullah can be also used by Arab Christians, as they refer to God as Allah.

Further notes[edit]

ʿĀbid (Arabic: عابد ‎) is a given name meaning "worshipper". It is based on the Arabic word "ʿIbādah", i.e. worship. The female version of the name is ʿĀbidah.

The word ʿAbd is a cognate with the Hebrew word "ʻEved" (עבד), meaning slave.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ J. M. Cowan (editor) (1994). The Hans Wehr Dictionary of modern Written Arabic. 
  2. ^ Salahuddin Ahmed (1999). A Dictionary of Muslim Names. London: Hurst & Company. 
  3. ^ S. A. Rahman (2001). A Dictionary of Muslim Names. New Delhi: Goodword Books.