This is a Muslim surname of several possible spellings. Like most such names it venerates the prophet Mohammed, through one of his associates, and at the sametime by the use of the prefix Al, it draws attention to a specific family heritage. This name is believed to derive its origin from the legendary prophet-saint Al-Khadir, who is also recorded in the Romanish spellings as Khidr, Khizir, Hizir, Hirzi and Hirsi. Al-Khadir is given by the Islamic Names Book as being (quote) "The original guide to wayfarers, and the genius of greenery and rivers", whilst at the sametime giving his name specifically to males. There seems some doubt as to the date of his birth and death. Surprisingly many more Islamic names are dual sex, than is to be found in the Christian name structure. Most Islamic names are hereditary, but until recently were not nessarily fixed in their spelling. Modern technology particularly the use of the telephone has demanded that the western style of hereditary spelling is now used almost everywhere. Islamic names are subject to a wide range of complexity. This is mainly because whilst the same format is used to create a name, with so many different spellings confused by the different languages and recorded in so many diverse areas and regions ranging from the former Yugoslavia and Turkey to the north, across to Algeria and Morocco in the west and down to Afganistan and Pakistan towards the south, it is very difficult to provide an accurate etymology. This will change over the next century as recording become more simplified with computers.
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