Lots of people ask me questions about my name. So here’s a little insight…
My full name is Al-Taufiq Bin Zainal. It follows the Arabic naming customs. Break my name up into bite sized pieces and you’ll find that it consists of my personal name (Al-Taufiq), followed by a patronym (Bin Zainal), which consists of the word Bin (from Arabic بن, meaning ‘son of’) followed by my father’s personal name (Zainal).
In general practice however, I would omit the word ‘Al’ and ‘Bin’ (unless I’m being asked to write it in full) so it becomes Taufiq Zainal. As a rule of thumb, whenever you are referring to me, the first name (Taufiq) is always used, never the second (because you would be calling my father’s name). Thus, Taufiq Zainal is Mr Taufiq.
The word Taufiq is of Arabic origins. It means success or prosperity… somewhere along those lines. Even though my name’s an Arab name, I’m not of an Arab descent. But because of the importance of the Arabic language in Islam (my parents are Muslims), a large majority of the world’s Muslims use Arabic names.