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Traditional depiction of Bahamut

Bahamut or Bahamoot (Arabic: بهموت‎) is a vast fish and Marid Jinn that supports a landmass in Islamic lore. In some sources, Bahamut is described as having a monstrous head with large teeth, similar to that of a hippopotamus.

Overview

In Arabic myth,  the Bahamut is a giant fish that supports land. In Jorge Luis Borges' Book of Imaginary Beings, Bahamut is "altered and magnified" from Behemoth, and described as so immense that a human cannot bear its sight; "Edward William Lane cites two cosmological accounts from Ibn al-Wardi (d. 1348 CE) that feature Bahamut. One account describes Bahamut as a fish floating in water, supported by darkness. On the fish is a bull called Kujata, on the bull, a ruby mountain; on the mountain, an angel; the angel holds and supports the seven earths. In another account, Bahamut supports a bed of sand, on which stands a bull, on whose back rests a rock which holds the waters in which the earth is located. Beneath the fish are layers of suffocating wind, a veil of darkness, and mist. Other sources describe Behemoth as a layer in similar conceptions of Arabic cosmography.

Artist’s rendering

According to Borges, Bahamut is the giant fish that Isa beholds in the 496th night of the One Thousand and One Nights. Bahamut in this telling is a giant fish swimming in a vast ocean. It carries a bull on its head; the bull bears a rock, and above the rock is an angel who carries the seven stages of the earths. Beneath Bahamut is an abyss of air, then fire, and beneath that a giant serpent called Falak.

Upon seeing Bahamut, Isa passes into unconsciousness: At this sight Isa fell down aswoon, and when he came to himself, Allah spake to him by inspiration, saying, 'O Isa, hast thou seen the fish and comprehended its length and its breadth?' He replied, 'By Thy honour and glory, O Lord, I saw no fish; but there passed me by a great bull, whose length was three days' journey, and I know not what manner of thing this bull is.' Quoth Allah, 'O Isa, this that thou sawest and which was three days in passing by thee, was but the head of the fish; and know that every day I create forty fishes like unto this.'

Borges cites the idea of Bahamut as part of a layered cosmology as an illustration of the cosmological existence of God, which infers a first cause from the impossibility of infinite prior causes. He also draws parallels between Bahamut and the mythical Japanese fish Jinshin-Uwo.

In popular culture

  • In the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop role-playing game, Bahamut is the dragon god of justice, and is the first instance of the name being used for a dragon.
  • In Rage of Bahamut collectible card game and its anime adaptation, Bahamut is an ancient dragon with the capability to destroy the world. In the anime, preventing or aiding Bahamut's release is the goal of most of the story's factions.
  • In Shadowverse collectible card game, Bahamut is one of the Legendary follower cards, which upon being summoned, destroys all other cards. Both artwork and lore depict it as a dragon.
  • In the Final Fantasy video game series, Bahamut is one of the most prominent summons – monsters that can be brought into battle to fight for their summoner. It appears in almost all installments of the series, with the exception of Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy XII, where its name is used for the game's final dungeon, Sky Fortess Bahamut.
  • In Granblue Fantasy video game, the Bahamut Weapons are a set of extremely powerful weapons that boost character stats based on the character's species. These can be acquired from Bahamut himself, who is the same as Rage of Bahamut's incarnation.
  • In Megazone 23 original video animation, the central artificial intelligence is named Bahamut and is responsible for propping up a fake reality.
  • In Bahamut (album) of the New York based musical group Hazmat Modine, the third track named "Bahamut" too, gives a description of the Bahamut in spoken word at 2:34
  • In the popular toy line, Beyblade Burst Bahamut appears as dragon, originally being uses by Boa Alcazaba in Beyblade Burst God, Blindt DeVoy in Beyblade Burst GT, and Basara Suiryu in Beyblade Burst DB.
  • In the zombies mode of the 2015 Videogame, Call of Duty: Black Ops III. The Drakon sniper rifle can be "pack-a-punched" to become the Bahamut, gaining a higher ammo capacity and dealing increased damage to zombies.

Gallery

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