So, as you probably know by now, when the variant spellings of the name Muhammad are combined, it rises from 22nd place to become the second most popular name for baby boys in Britain.
This is, of course, not a matter of sheer numbers. Muslims only make up 3 per cent of the British population. It is also not wholly explainable by the fact that Muslims have a higher birthrate than non-Muslims. After all, the most popular girl’s name among Muslim parents, Aisha (Aisha was one of Muhammad’s wives) is in 110th place, outside of the top 100 — although the Times don’t seem to have looked for variant spellings for that name. Instead, it is because, while non-Muslims choose a variety of names (and often actively look for less popular ones), a huge number of Muslims choose to call their sons after the Prophet.
What I want to know is, what percentage of Muslim baby boys are called Muhammad? And is this only such a strong trend among Muslim parents in Western countries, or, in Islamic countries, is every Tom, Dick or Harry called Muhammad?