Muad'Dib (pronounced /ˌmuːɑːdˈdiːb/) is a desert mouse within Frank Herbert's Dune universe. It is also the name for a constellation of stars and is taken as a name by the first novel's hero, Paul Atreides.

Dune glossaryEdit


In Terminology of the Imperium, the glossary of the 1965 novel Dune, Herbert provides the following definition:

MUAD'DIB: 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 moon, there is also a constellation called Muad'Dib in the sky of Arrakis; its tail points to the north, resulting in it being known as "The One Who Points the Way."[1]

Herbert derived the Fremen messianic religion vocabulary from real-world Arabic.[2] In Arabic, مؤدّب mu’addib means 'educator'[3] "He who disciplines/teaches manners". Ad'dab or A'adaab أدب are 'manners' or 'literature'.[4] In Dune, Herbert writes that the Fremen call the Muad'Dib mouse "instructor-of-boys."[1]

Paul Muad'DibEdit

Main article: Paul Atreides

In Dune, when Paul is accepted into the Fremen, he is given the secret "sietch name" (known only to his tribe) Usul, the Fremen word meaning "the base of the pillar." Paul takes "Muad'Dib" as his chosen name of manhood, to be used openly:

Paul: What do you call the mouse shadow on the second moon?
Stilgar: We call that one Muad'Dib.
Paul: Could I be known as Paul Muad'Dib?
Stilgar: You are now Paul Muad'Dib![1]

Stilgar explains why the choice of "Muad'Dib" pleases the Fremen:

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, who is Usul among us.[1]
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 wishes to be called Paul Muad'Dib. Also, he hopes that by keeping the name his father gave him, he can prevent the mass slaughter that will occur later in his name. Unfortunately, this name is soon forgotten by the Fremen and becomes simply Muad'Dib, the messiah.[citation needed]

The choice of a small animal for this name is ostensibly modest but conveys a sense of hidden power, which is a recurring theme in the story.[5]

Politics and religionEdit

Between the events of Dune and Dune Messiah (1969), the name Muad'Dib becomes a battle cry on the lips of the Fremen army that sweeps across the universe in a jihad in the name of Muad'Dib's religion.[6] The population of the universe sees Muad'Dib as their god, whether they like it or not, and they can not deny his power religiously.[7] As Muad'Dib, Paul is the messiah and the Emperor (King of Kings) who gives himself to fate and becomes a martyr to his followers, later finding emancipation as a heretic of his own church as the Preacher.[8] The regency of Paul's sister Alia and the Qizarate priests continue to promote Muad'Dib's religion to help keep control of the universe, ensuring that others do not oppose them.[7]In his The Golden Path, Herbert presents an argument of how to create a healthy society, avoiding despotism and hero worship, a trap in which social groups can be caught:

To make a world where human kind can make its own future from moment to moment, free from one man's vision. Free from the perversion of the prophets words. And free of future pre-determined...[8]


Conspiracy theorist, John Hill, used the pseudonym Muad'Dib when making the film 7/7 Ripple Effect about the 7 July 2005 London bombings. The film conflated ideas and imagery from the Dune stories with the real-world Muslim ideology which inspired the bombers.[9]


es:Muad'Dib fr:Muad'Dib no:Muad'Dib pl:Muad'Dib pt:Muad'Dib ru:Муад'Диб

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