A Study in the Name of Raheel

Raheel -meaning of raheel - meaning of the name raheel

Meaning of the Name:

Raheel (راحیل) is a name found in both males and females in different cultures and regions around the world. The first person with this name in the known history is a woman who was wife of Prophet Jacob (حضرت یعقوب علیہ السلام), and mother of Prophet Joseph (حضرت یوسف علیہ السلام) and Benjamin (جناب بنیامین). Now, let’s explore meaning of Raheel. In Hebrew, it was a female name which meant the following:
  1. a female sheep: ewe: little lamb
  2. one with purity: innocent

Meaning of Raheel in Arabic:

Arabic dictionaries tell the meaning of Raheel as follows:
  1. traveler
  2. one who shows the way: guide
  3. brave: fearless
I had come across an American lady named Raheel on the internet some time ago who ascribed an Egyptian origin to the word. I am not sure if her speculation has much bearing on truth, however it is interesting enough to deserve a mention.  According to her, the Sun God in the ancient Egyptian mythology was called “Rah.” Raheel is derived from the name of this same God, and means daughter of “Rah.”

Variations of the Name:

English speakers know her as Rachel. According to scholars, Rachael, Racheal, Rachelanne,Rachelce, Rachele, Racheli, Rachell, Rachelle, Rachil, Rae, Raechel, Raechell, Rahel, Rahil, Rakel,Raquel, Raquela, Raquella, Raquelle, Ray, Raychel, Raychelle, Rashell, Rashelle, Raychel, Rechell,Shell, Shelley, Shellie and Shelly are all variants of the same name. These names are commonly found among Christian and Jew females.
Among Muslims, the name comes from Arabic, in which it had arrived from the Hebrew prophetic tradition. In Arabic, Raheel is a noun derived from the stem word رحلwhich means “to travel.” Arabic words like رحلت, رحیل, مرحلہ,ارتحال have all meanings with denotations of travel and its relevant phenomena. Muslims also agree that Raheel was name of the mother of Prophet Joseph and Benjamin. However, it is mostly found as a male name in the Islamic world.

Occult Side of the Name:

The name has a value of 249 in the Muslim and Hebrew numerological tradition (counted on Abjad), whereas modern numerology tells its value to be 21, with the given English spelling. It has an Expression or Destiny number 4 and Soul Urge number 11.
Various occult readings have much to say about the people with this name. But in my personal opinion, perhaps the most important and agreed upon characteristics that the name may inspire in its holders are following:
  • Having spiritual, Utopian and abstract interests
  • Courteous, down-to-earth
  • Responsible, sincere and faithful
  • Highly rational and ordered
  • Technical, meticulous and precise
  • Organizational and administrative skills

Pronunciation of the Name:

Raheel is a disyllabic word in which the stress falls on the second syllable. That is, the name is pronounced in two parts: “Ra” and “heel”, and the “Ra” part of the name is pronounced with less emphasis and in a lower pitch of the voice than the second “heel” part. Having a Hebrew origin and coming down to us through Arabic language have necessitated an accentuated utterance of “H”  as well.
The IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) and Pronunciation Respelling formulae for pronunciation of the name are given below.

IPA Notation:


Pronunciation Respelling Notation:


An Interesting Coincidence:

My full name is Raheel Farooq. Leeli is my nickname. When my father migrated from Karachi to Abdul Hakim, our home in Punjab, I got admission in a government primary school here. As time passed, my schoolmates also came to know of my nickname, but, somehow, they could not accept it as such. I am not sure if it was some linguistic shift, frankness or mere mischief, but they started calling me “Layli.” Since I was always irritated by the distortion of so cute a name, my siblings also used this expression whenever they needed to deal with any misbehavior on my part.
And if you are not familiar with Punjabi language, you will be surprised to know that Layli exactly means a little female lamb!

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