The Myth of 786
The history of numerology, complex as it is, can be traced to the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Greece and India. This ancient art of numerology went hand in hand with the development of mathematics, geometry and trigonometry. One man who contributed most to this art was Pythagoras. In his view, all things can be expressed in numerical terms because all the science of Gematria. The Qabalist Gemetria is based on the combination of magic and philosophy which centred on twenty two letters of the Hebrew alphabet and its corresponding numbers to discover hidden meaning in the Scripture by interchanging Hebrew words whose letters have the same numerical value when added.

Some Muslim theological adventurers who called it ABJAD borrowed this science of Gemetria. Thomas Patrick Hughes, in his Dictionary of Islaam, explains ABJAD as "The name of an arithmetical arrangement of the alphabets; the letters of which have different powers from one to one thousand. It is in order of the alphabets as used by the Jews as far as 400 AD, then six remaining letters being added by Arabians."

Numerical Values
Arabic Letters
Arabic Words









The above group of letters spell the words: ABJAD, HAWWAZ, HUTTI, KALAMAN, SA’FAS, QASHAT, SAKHAZ AND ZAZIGH. The author of the Arabic lexicon, Al-Qamoos, is of the opinion that the first six words are the names of celebrated kings of Madyan (Midian) and the last two were added by the Arabians. Some scholars believe that they are the names of the eight sons of the inventor of the Arabic character, Muramir Ibn Murra.

Having borrowed the Qabalist science of Gematria, the Muslim theological adventurers, who had nothing else to do, got down to reducing the Qur’anic verses, and even the Soorahs, to numbers. The most commonly used number is 786, which is a normally found letterhead beginning of books, pamphlets, letters, etc. We are made to believe that 786 stands for BISMILLAAHIR RAHMAANIR RAHEEM which is the very first verse of the Qur’an. It is my contention that 786 does NOT mean for BISMILLAAHIR RAHMAANIR RAHEEM, for it has no meaning other than seven hundred and eighty-six units of anything.

Symbolic Numbers

The Qur’an is not a book of mathematics or a book of symbolic numbers. The absurdity of ABJAD numbers becomes clear if you reflect upon the following numbers 66, 92, 352, 296 and 62. What do these numbers stand for? What do they mean? They are the numerical values of Allah, Muhammad, Qur’an, Rasool, and Nabi respectively. We all know that prisoners have numbers and those numbers normally call them, but can we dare to allocate similar numbers to Allah and His Messenger? The users of 786 have the arrogance to do so, but a God conscious Muslim (a Muslim with Taqwa) will not even dream of using such numbers!

Imagine if the beautiful names like Muhammad, Mahmood, Mustapha, Abdullah, Zahid, Sajid, Rahmaan, Ahmad, Shahid, Zainab, Fatimah, Khadijah and Aishah are transformed into numbers, 92, 98, 199, 142, 17, 68, 299, 56, 305, 69, 135, 622 and 376 respectively! How ridiculous these numbers sound does not require any imagination. Is it not and insult to call people by numbers, is it not, then, the height of arrogance to reduce the Qur’anic verses and Soorahs to meaningless numbers?

BISMILLAAHIR RAHMAANIR RAHEEM, the first verse of the Qur’an has a message and a meaning, but the number 786 has no significance. Strange as it may appear, the numerical value of BISMILLAAHIR RAHMAANIR RAHEEM is not 786 as is widely and positively believed but 787 as is apparent from the following:

The total is 787 and NOT 786, as we are made to believe! Someone from among the number theologians has erred badly on this simple arithmetic!

It may interest readers that I have not taken into consideration the Alif in ISM (from BISMILLAAHIR) and the Alif in Allah, nor have I taken into consideration the shaddah on Allah, Ar-Rahmaan and Ar-Raheem. With these, the numerical value would be even greater than 787!

There may be some who say that I should not have counted the Alif in Rahmaan. Why not? Rahmaan is actually written as corresponding to the matter of . Even if we accept that the correct value of BISMILLAAHIR RAHMAANIR RAHEEM IS 786, the number 786
remains MEANINGLESS! It could stand for or represent anything. With a little imagination, various alphabets can be grouped together to form a sensible or meaningless phrase containing a numerical value of 786. For example the following words have a numerical value of 786:

The total value is 786. It is an examinable evidence. So WHAT does it prove? This is but one example. Many others can be found! Even if the numerical value of BISMILLAAH was accurate (which is NOT the case), 786 is not exclusive for BISMILLAAH. The example above should be more than sufficient for this purpose.


Allah revealed the Qur’an in Arabic. Let the Qur’an speak for itself, for it requires no advocates: "A book of verses of which are well expounded, a discourse in Arabic for people who understand..."(41:3); "We have revealed the Qur’an in Arabic so that you may understand."(43:3); "The speech of a man they imply is alien, while this is purest Arabic." (16:103) "And the (Qur’an) is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds ... in plain Arabic." (26:192-195); "We have revealed a discourse in Arabic so that you may understand." (12:2).

It is a matter of FACT that Allah has revealed the Qur’an in Arabic, as stated in the above selection and in many other verses. Why was the Qur’an NOT revealed in mathematical figures? WHY ARE WE THEN, CONVERTING IT INTO NUMBERS??? Did Allah, perhaps, commit an error, which our scholars are trying to rectify? (Na’oozubillah). What message would mankind have received if the pages of the Qur’an had filled with numbers and nothing else? It would have been unintelligible and a mystifying conundrum!

We are instructed to recite the Qur’an Majeed, as can be seen from the following verses: "And (it is) a Qur’an that we have divided, that you may RECITE it unto mankind ate interval, and We have revealed it by (successive) revelation." (17:106); "RECITE then, of the Qur’an that is easy for you..." (73:20).

Now would one recite the Qur’an if it is reduced to numbers? As an example, we shall reduce the Soorah Fatiha to numerical figures for the benefit of the reader.
Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem............................................
Al-humdolillaahir rub-ul alamin................................................
Malikay yawm-midh deen.......................................................
Eeyya ka Na’ bo-du Wa eeyya ka nastha’een.......................
Ah’daynas-sira thal mustaqeem..............................................
Sirat-ul a th(z)eena unamtha alay-him.....................................
Ghayril magh dhubay alayhim waludh ‘aleen..........................
Total numerical value...............................................................

Does this mean that merely reading 10189 we have read the whole of Soorah al-Fatiha? How easy it is to gain reward by just repeating the numbers! For example, to recite Soorah al-Fatiha ten times, we only have to multiply by ten, i.e. 10189 ´ 10 = 101890, and just recite that number. Similarly the whole of the Qur’an can be reduced to numbers. Meaningless and of NO significance, the numbers will NOT have a message for the whole mankind!

Those who invented the "786", are GUILTY of tampering with the text of the Holy Qur’an. Muslims are invited to give up this EVIL and disgusting practice of using 786. It is, I repeat, an innovation, evil and in NO WAY sacred. It is a conspiracy against the kitaab (book) of Allah.

This old game of numbers was practised by the ancient Egyptians, as did many other civilisations. Islaam came to ELIMINATE ALL such superstitions, mysteries and numerological mumbo-jumbo. However, Muslims are still enslaved to the number game, and think that 786 represents BISMILLAAHIR RAHMAANIR RAHEEM.

May ALLAH give us all the guidance to practice what is most Pleasing to Him!

Article taken from Al-Balaagh magazine


"786" - Does it stand for 'Bismillah Hirahmaan niraaheem' ?

We are meant to understand that '786' stands for 'Bismillah Hirahmaan Niraaheem'. How did it come about, and who started it? The numerals 786 in no way represent 'Bismillah Hirahmaan Niraaheem' and is not the Sunnat way. If one fears abuse of the letter, etc. 'Bismillah Hirahmaan Niraaheem' should be recited verbally at the beginning of the letter which will suffice for the written script. Refer below.

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai

CAN NUMBER 786 REPLACE THE HOLY NAME OF GOD? The innovation of writing '786' replacing 'Bismillah Hirahmaan Niraaheem' has been adopted for a long time and the majority of the Ummah is still indulged in it advertently.

Apart from the common folk, the scholars also heed no attention towards it and to avoid disrespect to the Holy Words they use it in their letters and documents. They adopt it as 'correct' and 'better' way to invite Allah's blessings and have also started replacing the Holy Words by this number on their houses, offices, buildings, etc. Unfortunately, this tendency is gradually gaining momentum. But, do we see this number instead of the Holy Words in the Holy Qur'aan? Or, can we write it there as well? can we remove 'Bismillah Hirahmaan Niraaheem' from the top of Surah al-Faatiha and replace it with the number 786? Obviously not. If we study the Qur'aan, we see it carries the holy words in a letter from Prophet Solomon (pbuh) to the Queen of Sheeba -Bilqis - who was an infidel at that time. Even Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) in his letters to different heads of states and governments, used the holy words at the top.

Therefore, whosoever uses 786 with the intention to obtain Allah's blessings, is a misguided person and any attempt to justify it, is ignorance. More astonishing is that fact that '786' is an aggregation of the numbers of Hindu 'Lord Hari Krishna'. H(a)iri Kr(i)shna

h-5, r-200, r-10, k-20, r-200, sh-300, n-50, a-1 =Aggregate of 786

Thus, the aggregate number of these letters (Hari Krishna) equals 786. This is also the case of 'Bismillah Hirahmaan Niraaheem'. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid using this number to avoid the danger of being indulging in infidelity. Islam's foundation is laid on the belief in Tawheed (oneness of God). If we associate anyone with Allah's exalted names orally or practically, we would be committing infidelity that is an unpardonable sin.

The Qur'aan warns us, one who finds a rival against Allah, Allah will never allow him to enter paradise, and his abode is the hell. The letters by the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) to non-Muslim Kings and chiefs bear the holy words 'Bismillah Hirahmaan Niraaheem'. This was also the case of his noble companions. Did the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) and his companions respect the Holy Words less than we do? Was the verse, 'Today I completed your religion for you', revealed to the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) or to the socalled scholars of our age who are all bent to amend the Divine principles.

Now, when it became known that '786' is written in place of Hindu, 'Lord Krishna', and has no significance in the Holy Qur'aan and Sunnah, it is obviously an innovation and goes against the Divine doctrine of 'Obey Allah and His Prophet'. Similarly, some Muslims replace Allah's name by the number '66' and the Prophet's name by '92'. But if one ask, the number '420' is used against somebody's name and he is called '420'.Can he bear such an insult? Calling someone by a nick name is a sin. Allah Ta'ala says, 'Don't call one another by nick names'. If Allah prohibits the use of nicknames for fellow human beings, how can He allow the use of such insulting replacement number for Himself and His Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam).

'Bismillah Hirahmaan Niraaheem' has great significance in the Qur'aan and Muslims are ordered to begin any work but in the names Allah, not in the number of '786' or any other substitution.


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