Next week the Office of National Statistics (ONS) will publish the most popular boys and girls names in Britain in 2013. Last year Harry was the most popular boys name but only by 29 children, over the traditional Muslim name Muhammad.
The name of the Islamic prophet is already the most popular boys name in London, and there are rumours that next week it will be crowned the biggest name right across the country. But Muhammad does not appear on the official top ten list of popular names because it has various different spellings.
Instead of grouping the spellings together and admitting how popular Muhammad is, the ONS chooses not to. Also they do not publicise the top twenty list – which features the most popular spelling of Muhammad in 19th place – leaving just the top ten, which is dominated by old favourites like Thomas, James and Charlie.
So on the official statistics Muhammad is 19th, Mohammed is 26th and Mohammad is 60th. These three added to the other even more obscure spellings came to a total of 7139 babies in 2012, compared to 7168 for Harry.
Muhammad is so popular as a name because the three million Muslims in Britain tend to like to name at least one of their sons after the prophet. This makes the name much more popular amongst Muslim families than any name is amongst Christians.
Whilst the ONS have refused to comment on the list they have been the subject of rumours heard by Breitbart London that Muhammad has topped the 2013 list. The official announcement will be made next Friday. If Muhammad tops the poll it will be further evidence to some that Islam is becoming dominant in Britain.
In 2002 the Muhammad spelling of the name was the 61st most popular boys name in Britain. In the same period the number of Muslims in Britain has doubled.