Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman Barker (born November 3, 1930 as Philip Barker) is a retired professor of Urdu and South Asian Studies who has written several fantasy novels under the pen name M. A. R. Barker. He still frequently signs himself as "Phil" in correspondence.
 Early life and education
Born in Idaho he studied at University of Washington under Melville Jacobs. At the age of 21 he received a Fulbright Scholarship to study Indian languages. He attended the University of California, Berkeley for graduate studies and wrote a dissertation on Klamath language.
 Career as writer
In his youth, he created the world of Tékumel, a fantasy world based on ancient India, the Middle East, the Aztecs and Maya, and other non-European sources.
Tékumel has spawned four professionally-published roleplaying games over the course of the years:
- Empire of the Petal Throne, published in 1975 by TSR, Inc.
- Swords & Glory, published in 1983 by Gamescience.
- Gardasiyal: Adventures in Tékumel, published in 1994 by Theater of the Mind.
- Tékumel: Empire of the Petal Throne, published in 2005 by Guardians of Order.
Barker has also written five novels set in the world of Tékumel: Man of Gold and Flamesong were published by Daw Books in the 1984 and 1985, respectively. In the 2000s, three more books were published by Zottola Publishing and are available on Amazon.Com: Prince of Skulls (2002), Lords of Tsámra (2003), and Death of Kings (2003). Unlike the Daw Books the Zottola Publishing Books are still in-print.
Due to a publishing irregularity, Lords of Tsámra comes before Prince of Skulls in chronological reading order.