Minor Mystery Solved

I’ve been doing some research on Tékumel languages and will soon post something on that topic.  In the meantime, let me quickly note that I received a message clarifying something that had confused me in a previous post.

I had previously wondered why Professor Barker had written “786” in Urdu above his name in his copy of Dungeons & Dragons.  Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad, Editor of the Islam and Science Fiction Project, wrote to tell me that “786” in Urdu, as in Arabic, signifies “In the name of God the most Merciful, the most Beneficent.”

A fuller explanation is here.

Barker had converted to Islam as a young man after hearing a recitation of the 99 names of God.  It makes sense that he’d make this religious gesture.

Thanks to Muhammad for pointing this out.

One thought on “Minor Mystery Solved

  1. Deep in the deserts of Arabia, the Bedouin “Guards of the Nation” (Harras el Watani) told me something that is vaguely relevant to the discussion above. it is said that a camel always has a slightly arrogant look about it as it peers downward at humans. This is because all camels know the hundredth name of God, and they will never tell anyone.

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