I would ask your indulgence in considering “786” from another perspective. Especially since we have to be very careful as Muslims when speaking about what is and is not the truth.
To say that “786” has “nothing” to do with Islam is certainly confusing to say the least, and also somewhat misleading. The numerical notation of the Arabic alphabet was certainly part and parcel of Arabic culture for many centuries, going back to early Arabic development, and there is a long history of that usage by recognized and devout Muslim scholars, both Arab and non-Arab. It was well known at the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.s) and He never condemned it, nor did He recommend. He did not sanction it either way. Would it not be better to say that it is not sanctioned, neither recommended nor condemned.
The practice can not be called bida, because it was and to this day continues to be part and parcel of the culture so it is not a novelty. If the Resullullah (s.a.w.s.) was inclined to condemn it, He would have. Since he did not, no one else has that authority to do so. Creating legislation where the Prophet (s.a.w.s) did not is bida, and we have no authority to do so.
Therefore, since there is a tradition of using the numerical valuations of letters in connection with writing, to say that it has nothing to do with Islam, is inaccurate, because it creates legislation where there is none, and hence should be left alone, as Mohammed (s.a.w.s) left it. Neither condemned nor recommended. Not sanctioned.
It certainly does have a history in Islam. That history is very well documented.
I hope this is taken in the spirit it was written not as a contention, but as another believer’s perspective. You can think about it and consider it, if you wish.
In our previous response to the question, Mr. Amar Ellahi Lone had written:
The number 786 has nothing to do with Islam. It is actually the numerical calculation of the verse “Bismillahirrahamaanirraheem“.
Then again, at the end of his response, Mr. Lone wrote:
Thus, 786 is the numerical representation of “Bismillahirrahamaanirraheem” which has no religious or Islamic significance.
This does not mean that we consider the use of ‘786’ to represent ‘bismillahirrahmaanirraheem’ to be a bid`ah (innovation in the corpus of Islam). It only implies that the use of ‘786’ for such representation has no Islamic significance, or as you would like to put it, it is neither recommended nor condemned by the Prophet (pbuh). One may or may not use it. This is precisely what we imply by ‘nothing to do with Islam’ or ‘has no religious or Islamic significance’.
I really do not think that your opinion is any different from what Mr. Lone has stipulated in his response.
February 19, 2001