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Encyclopedia > Muad'Dib

Muad'Dib is the name of two fictional entities within the realm of Frank Herbert's Dune. Frank Herbert (1920 - 1986) Frank Patrick Herbert (October 8, 1920 – February 11, 1986) was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful American science fiction author. ... Dune is a science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert and published in 1965. ...

The definition, found in the Terminology of the Imperium section of the Appendixes of Dune, defines muad'dib thus:

The adapted kangaroo mouse of Arrakis, a creature associated in the Fremen earth-spirit mythology with a design visible on the planet's second moon. This creature is admired by Fremen for its ability to survive in the open desert.

In addition to the markings on the second moon, there is also a constellation called Muad'Dib in the sky of Arrakis; its tail points to the north. Species Microdipodops megacephalus Microdipodops palllidus A kangaroo mouse is either one of the two species of jumping mouse (genus Microdipodops) native to the deserts of the Southwestern United States, predominately found in the state of Nevada. ... Arrakis, (derived from the Arabic name ar-rāqiṣ, the dancer, originally a star-name for Mu Draconis) later Rakis (known colloquially as Dune) is a fictional desert planet featured in the Dune novels by Frank Herbert, where it is the home of the Fremen (Zensunni wanderers) and later, the... Spoiler warning: The Fremen are a group of people in the Dune series of science fiction novels by Frank Herbert. ...


The symbolic definition is broader in complexity.

It is part the chosen name of manhood that Paul Atreides selects when he is accepted into the Fremen. It is one of two names that Paul maintains within the tribe. Stilgar explains that the first, Usul, means "strength of the base of the pillar". That it is his secret name, his troop name, that only Sietch Tabr may use and none other may presume. Paul Atreides, as portrayed by Kyle MacLachlan in David Lynchs Dune (1985), wielding the infamous Weirding Module. Paul Orestes Atreides is a fictional character in the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert. ... Stilgar is a fictional character featured in Frank Herberts Dune universe. ...

The second, Muad'Dib, is that by which he is known openly. Stilgar explains that the choice pleases them and then goes on to explain:

Muad'Dib is wise in the ways of the desert. Muad'Dib creates his own water. Muad'Dib hides from the sun and travels in the cool night. Muad'Dib is fruitful and multiplies over the land. Muad'Dib we call 'instructor-of-boys.' That is a powerful base on which to build your life, Paul-Muad'Dib.

Paul is reluctant to throw away his full past and get rid of the full name his father gave him, which is why he first wished to be called Paul-Muad'Dib. Unfortunately, this name was soon forgotten and became simply "Muad'dib". Also, it was hoped that by keeping the name his father gave him, he could prevent the mass slaughter that would occur later in his name. Sadly, it was not.

The meanings of both Usul and Muad'Dib have powerful ramifications and a great deal of foreshadowing for the purpose Paul has on Arrakis.


Muad'dib is derived from Arabic. The word is a participle active. This fictional word could be derived two from probable Arabic-Semitic roots. The root ’db is frequently suggested, meaning as participle active mu’addib, a teacher, who brings cultivated manners and might be the author of fine literature. The root consonants ‘dhb allow for a mu‘adhdhib, the 'punisher' or the 'torturer'. F. Herbert might especially be attracted by the combination of both meanings. Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ...

For the Fremen language meaning of 'jumping mouse' muad'dib, the Near Eastern jerboa might have been used as model, although Frank Herbert wants to direct the immediate attention to the Northern American jumping mouse. F. Herbert's style likes to direct readers in his universe into different directions. The jerboa is at home in the Arabian desert. It has a strong meaning in Arab mythology. One of the most important is that in pre-Islamic times the jerboa, a small animal, destroyed the centuries old monumental stone-built dam of Marib in Yemen. The stream (sail al-arim) tamed by the dam watered the two desert gardens (oases) of Marib and was its vital life stream. The jumping mouse, jerboa dug a hole underneath until it collapsed. After the historical destruction of the dam about 580 AD, life was not anymore possible in Marib. It became deserted. The destruction of this famous dam is even noticed in the Qur'an in the Surat Marib. In the context of Herbert's Arabic-Islamic symbolism, this connection - 'the small destroys the monumental', water, desert, changing of ecology by Muad'dib - offers a further meaning. Genera 10 genera in 5 subfamilies A jerboa is a small jumping desert rodent of Asia and northern Africa that resembles a mouse with a long tufted tail and very long hind legs. ... Marib (Arabic: مأرب) is a capital town of Marib Governorate, Yemen. ... The Qurān [1] (Arabic: ‎ , literally the recitation; also called The Noble Quran; also transliterated as Quran, Koran, and Al-Quran), is the central religious text of Islam. ...

Other meanings

Muad'Dib is a metal-band from Munster/Germany. You can visit Muad'Dib at http://www.muaddibmetal.com or http://www.myspace.com/muaddibmetalupyourass

  Results from FactBites:
Muad'Dib, Muad'Dib Work, Character of Muad'Dib. (345 words)
Muad'Dib is the name of two fictional entities within the realm of Frank Herbert's Dune.
In addition to the markings on the second moon, there is also a constellation called Muad'Dib in the sky of Arrakis; its tail points to the north.
Muad'Dib we call 'instructor-of-boys.' That is a powerful base on which to build your life, Paul-Muad'Dib.
Aalynor's Nexus unofficial homepage (805 words)
After Muaddib heard the name of the city he kneeled and prayed.
While sitting in Trista's tavern, the adventurers started talking to Muaddib, asking him about his past and where he came from.
Muaddib sat back, rubbing his sore fists, and started his story: "I lived in a desert all my life.
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