I just had an idea for a story based on Islamic Spain and Barbary pirates. But after doing some research I found some kind of chaos and randomness in last names. The people's last names are either:
- the father's name (Ibrahim ibn Mustafa)
- a surname based on accomplishments or failure for sultans (Ahmed Almanzor - Ahmed the Victorious or Boabdil az-Zughbî - Boabdil the Unfortunate)
- finally and that's the most confusing part, people with actual family names (Ibrahim Vargas)
So unlike medieval England or France, where nobles have family names and low-borns don't. In Islamic Spain, a Chamberlain is named after his father's name even if he is noble, and the Vizir (another noble) have a family name. Chaos!
I need noble families with names and legacy, so I can't use the father's name for everyone. And I don't want to copy the European standard system (not so original now with the success of Game of Thrones).
The question: Is there any organized way to have the actual Andalus system make sense by having people buying a family name or being granted one after some accomplishments for example?