The Meaning of Muawiyah’s Name

Hafez ibn Asaker has written in his historical book: ‘Jaryat ibn Ghodameh Saedi was with Muawiyah. Muawiyah asked him: ‘Who are you?’ He said: ‘Jaryat ibn Ghodameh.’ Muawiyah said: ‘Are you more than a bee?’ Jaryeh said: ‘You compared me with a sweet mouth, but I swear to God that Muawiyah does not mean anything except a bitch (a female dog) which barks and calls the male dogs toward itself, and Omye (Muawiyah’s ancestor) is the extended of Omeh (female slave).
(Ibn Asaker’s Short History of Damascus v.5, p.365/ Suyuti’s Caliphs’ History p.133/ Al-Aghad-ol-Farid v.2, p.143/ Al-Mostatref v.1, p. 73/ and Lesan-ol-Arab [has the same meaning for Muawiyah] v.15, p.108)
Sharik ibn Aevar went to Muawiyah’s court and said: ‘You are Muawiyah, and Muawiyah is a bitch that barks and calls male dogs toward itself.’
(Al-Mostatref v.1, p. 72)
Muawiyah heard all of the sarcasm and pungency and he did not have any chance to proscribe his name because of his mother named him Muawiyah. So he thought a trick and gave one million dirhams to Abdollah ibn Jaefar for naming his son Muawiyah, and he was hopeful to decrease this shame by having a person with the same name in one of the honorable and well-known clan, Bani Hashem.
(Taj-ol-Arus, v.10, p. 260)

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