Friday, September 12, 2008

Barack Hussein Obama: The Origin of Obama's Names

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Is Barack Hussein Obama a Muslim Name?
What's in a Name?

More than a few inaccurate stories about the origins of Barack Obama's name have made their way into mainstream media, so I thought I'd do some research fo my own.

In an effort to allow voters and interested media to educate themselves, rather than relying on pre-conceived notions and partisan spin from both sides, I started without pre-established concepts or assumptions and attempted to avoid propaganda effects by using original sources from prior to Barack Obama even becoming a public figure and Illinois Senator in 1997.

Let's proceed, shall we?

Barack Obama's full name is Barack(1) Hussein(2) Obama (3).

(1) The name Barack is a form of the Arabic word Baraka or Barakah, meaning blessing (from the root "Brk"), specifically, the "meaning of Barakah in an Islamic sense" refers to "the presence of divine blessing in an object and increasing those blessing." (

So what contains Barakah? The Qur'an and The Prophets, according to the following site.

So where might find the name of a Qur'an prophet?

(2) Barack Obama's middle name Hussein is derived from the muslim prophet Muhammed's grandson, (son of Fatima), specifically:

""Husayn diminutive form of Hasan, which is derived from hasan (beautiful, handsome, good). Husayn, one of the most popular Muslim names, was borne by Al-Husayn (626-80), a son of the Prophet's daughter Fatima and Ali ibn-Abi-Talib. Husayn and his followers were massacred at Kerbela on October 10, 680, a day that is now celebrated as a Holy Day for the Shiites. The name is also borne by the king of Jordan, Husayn ibn-Talal (b. 1935). He ascended to the throne in 1953 after the abdication of his father in 1952. Var: Hisein, Husain, Hussain, Hussein (HOO-SANE)" p. 374

-A World of Baby Names, by Teresa Norman, 1996 p. 374 (images attached).

Norman also contends that "Arabic names can be put into two general categories: pre-Islamic and post-Islamic. Pre-Islamic names were mainly influenced by nature, occupations, personal characteristics and genealogy. Post-Islamic names were influenced by the Prophet Muhammad, the catalyst for the beginning of a vast cultural transformation in the Arab world". p. 369

So what does Obama mean?

(3) The name Obama is a family name three generations back, from Barack Obama's father "Barack Obama, Sr.", to his father, "Hussein Onyango Obama", and likely before, though earlier records will probably be found only in archives.

Those wishing to further research Hussein Onyango Obama's father might check a 1935 dental study done of the 190 boys and men at the Jalou
Maseno school in 1935.

For those curious about the name Onyango, it apparently means born in the morning in Jalou, the language of Obama's grandfather, from the Jalou Tribe in Kenya that occupied the shores along Lake Victoria and Kisumu Bay


The name Barack (blessing) prepended on the second name Hussein (grandson of Mohammed) modifies Hussein like an adjective, and Barack Hussein Obama literally means "Blessing of Al-Husayn" Obama.

Again, Al-Husayn was son of the muslim Prophet Mohammed's daughter Fatima (and Ali ibn-Abi-Talib,), who was massacred at Kerbela on October 10, 680.

The name Barack is Arabic in origin, and when isolated is not necessarily muslim. The name Hussein is muslim in origin, and when combined the name Barack Hussein Obama is muslim.

by C.R. Scholar
images: crscholar


  1. Barak is "Lightening" in both Hebrew and Greek. Baruch is "Blessing" in Hebrew and Arabic. I'm sorry, but I think you are wrong concerning Barak. Hussein does mean handsome. Obama means crooked in Kenyan. Barak Hussein Obama means Crooked (like a snake) Handsome Lightening. I think he's the antichrist. I really can't stand the mna!

    1. bârak in Hebrew, number 1288 from Strong's Concordance, means "to kneel". by implication to bless God.
      There is another word in Hebrew, "bârâq, which is number 1300 from Strong's, and that word means "lightning"... BUT, it is not the same as the name of Barak. Number 1300/bârak is not even pronounced the same as the name. It is pronounced as: baw-rawk'

    2. and by the way; Lightning in Greek is: astrapē

    3. Greek probably has some proper names of Semitic origin, like Hamilcar Barkas (or Hamilcar Barak).

      If Greeks and Romans were weak on distinguishing K from Q, and were anyway no great friends of that Carthaginian (for some good reasons, one being Carthage), well, a Hamilkar Barak (Hamilkar the Blessing) could very well be perceived as Hamilkar Baraq (Hamilcar the Lightning).

      So Barak in Greek lexicons for lightning is not a Greek noun, it is a Proper Name of a Semitic language of some character mentioned in Greek texts.

      Hamilkar Barkas is one educated guess, and Barkas without the Greek ending -as would be Bark or Barak.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The Jalou tribes were living in the 18th century in the south of what is today Sudan on the border with Uganda, they were chased by the arabs for enslavement , to escape they seeked refuge in Kenya by following the course of the river Kirumi driving the indigenes of the land, the Kissii, by force on the sorrounding mountains, these two tribes are always at war, while the Kissii are in majority Christians the Luos are mostly muslims

  3. Good morning from:
    Jojo.Project2013$, #Hello.


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