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?