You will see the name “Alexander” no matter on which culture group you are in. Alexander, Iskender or Sikandar are all relatives if you feel like me.
I always wandered why this name is so popular. Is it because of the Alexander the Great? Or is it because of some other relation to the name?
Three “Alexander”s in three cultures I can count for now:
Alexander the Great was a multicultural person. His good behaviour, even to his enemies, made him popular in the regions he conquered. For example, after the Battle of Issus (currently the place is in Hatay/Turkey – ask for Issus Ruins for the city. The place where the war was made is still under debate but should be near to Issus ruins, for, the battle was named after her) Darius III even left his household and fled from the battle field. Alexander treated them as if they still are royal.
Wherever he conquered, he conducted marriages between his soldiers and the locals. Even he married to a local princes.
I think this alone made him successful in his conquest. Hellenistic civilisation was the result of this manners.
This is the great legacy of Alexander the Great.
In Judaic (for some) and Islamic culture, you will come up with the name Dhul-Qarnayn. Many will call him “Iskandar-i Dhul-Qarnayn”. In the Old Testament (in the Book of Daniel 8:20, as being said by some) and in the Qur’an, we will find references to him. In Qur’an, the incredible journey he took is told much like the ones Alexander the Great had taken. He is famous with the name “Iskandar”. This is also interesting. Because of this, many believed the two are the same: Alexander the Great and Dhul-Qarnayn. You can join on this debate on the web.
Skanda (Murugan) is also of interest in the Indian subcontinent.
The identity of the first Alexander is obvious, the others are in debate.
From these notes what I can deduce is if we think out of the pronunciation, the meaning will give us hints: “The Protector of Men”. With this, all three (many more may exist) can make sense. It was the meaning they had in common, not the Greek word itself. And we know, Hellenistic culture once ruled over the known world and this may be the reason why the word itself is used for.