Owings' sore left shoulder has not responded to treatment, and he will undergo an MRI in Phoenix on Monday. The DL stint is retroactive to June 26.
"I just couldn't take an aggressive start like I usually do," Owings said.
Ahmed was acquired from the Braves prior to last season in the trade that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta.
The 24-year-old struggled at the plate for Double-A Mobile in 2013, hitting .236 with a .613 on-base plus slugging mark. He turned that around this year and was batting .324 with an .822 OPS at the time of his promotion.
"He seems like he's improved a lot," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "If you look at the reports, he's really changed his hitting a little bit. He's become a better hitter. I've heard exceptional things about him. He's got a great attitude. He's got a great work ethic."
Ahmed has always been regarded as an elite defender at short.
"Obviously excitement," Ahmed said when asked how he was feeling. "A little nerves, obviously. Didn't sleep a lot last night, as expected. I feel good today. Just want to get out and get going and help the team win today."
Gibson said both Ahmed and Didi Gregorius will see playing time at short while Owings is out.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.