Gamal al-Zubi was a professor of early Islamic mysticism at Al-Azhar University in Cairo. In 2017, the Islamic State (ISIS) devised a scheme to obtain a copy of the Necronomicon. ISIS was aware that a copy in the original Arabic was located in the Special Collections of the library of Miskatonic University, in Arkham, Massachusetts. ISIS took advantage of the interlibrary loan system by coercing Professor al-Zubi to request Miskatonic's copy by threatening his family. Al-Zubi signed a letter of introduction for Hafez ibn Abd-al-Rahim, who, under the false identity of graduate student "Ahma Goma", traveled to Arkham on a fake Egyptian passport and obtained the Necronomicon.