Q&As

Private client guide to understanding Islamic names

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Published on LexisPSL on 19/08/2016

The following Private Client Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Private client guide to understanding Islamic names
  • What's the issue?
  • Composition of Islamic names and derivative forms
  • How do Islamic names work?
  • Alphabetic vs abjad writing systems
  • Varying Romanisations
  • Anglophone vs Francophone
  • The 99 Names of Allah and the 'servant-of' name template
  • Articles and white-space
  • Lexis®PSL Private Client comment—what can you take from this?

Private client guide to understanding Islamic names

This guide, written in partnership with Dr Leonard Shaefer, a name-processing expert with Onomastic Resources LLC, explains the elements of Islamic names. The aim of this guide and others in the series is to enhance the lawyer-client relationship by improving the lawyer’s understanding of how names work in the client’s culture, as well as helping manage risk. The guide is part of a series exploring the challenges that names from different cultures can present. Other guides include: Russian names, Korean names, Hispanic names.

What's the issue?

Cultural competency is increasingly vital to business and social interaction. Lawyers are likely to interact with judges, co-counsel and clients who have surnames that are unfamiliar to them. You might have no idea how to correctly pronounce their last (or first) names. However, getting names right is particularly important for private client advisers, who often deal with important and wealthy clients in person. Inadvertently misspelling or mispronouncing the name of such a client can have dire consequences for the lawyer-client relationship.

An improved understanding of the way names work in certain key cultures can therefore have a significant impact both for client relationship management (CRM) policies—more effective client due diligence (CDD) is another benefit.

Developing basic skills for dealing with unfamiliar personal names begins with understanding how they work.

Composition of Islamic names and derivative forms

The terms 'Arabic'

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