Monday, July 5, 2010

Mary, Jesus, Abraham, Real Mathematics and a head-ache

There are occasions in life that we simply could not erase from our memory and one of that occasions was the time when I have discussions with my close buddy scientist in our "search for truth" back in my early working days.

Note: Non-Muslim readers are much-welcomed to read but may find the content is a tad too "Islamic". For your easy reading the words/paragraphs in italics are from Yusof Abdullah Ali's interpretation of Al-Quranic verses.

Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee- chosen thee above the women of all nations. 3.42

“O Mary! worship Thy Lord devoutly: Prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down.” 3.43.

This is part of the tidings of the things unseen, which We reveal unto thee (O Messenger!) by inspiration: Thou wast not with them when they cast lots with arrows, as to which of them should be charged with the care of Mary: Nor wast thou with them when they disputed (the point). 3.44

Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah; 3. 45

“He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.” 3. 46.

She said: “O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?” He said: “Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, ‘Be,’ and it is! 3.47

“‘And Allah will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law(Torah) and the Gospel, 3.48

“‘And (appoint him) a messenger to the Children of Israel, (with this message): “‘I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah’s leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe; 3.49

“‘(I have come to you), to attest the Law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was (Before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear Allah, and obey me. 3.50

“‘It is Allah Who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him. This is a Way that is straight.’” 3.51

When Jesus found Unbelief on their part He said: “Who will be My helpers to (the work of) Allah?” Said the disciples: “We are Allah’s helpers: We believe in Allah, and do thou bear witness that we are Muslims. 3.52

“Our Lord! we believe in what Thou hast revealed, and we follow the Messenger; then write us down among those who bear witness.” 3. 53

And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah. 3.54

Behold! Allah said: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute. 3.55

“As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.” 3.56

“As to those who believe and work righteousness, Allah will pay them (in full) their reward; but Allah loveth not those who do wrong.” 3.57

“This is what we rehearse unto thee of the Signs and the Message of Wisdom.” 3.58

The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: “Be”. And he was. 3.59

The Truth (comes) from Allah alone; so be not of those who doubt. 3.60

Ye People of the Book! Why dispute ye about Abraham, when the Law (Torah) and the Gospel Were not revealed Till after him? Have ye no understanding? 3. 65

Ah! Ye are those who fell to disputing (Even) in matters of which ye had some knowledge! but why dispute ye in matters of which ye have no knowledge? It is Allah Who knows, and ye who know not! 3. 66

Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but he was true in Faith, and bowed his will to Allah’s (Which is Islam), and he joined not gods with Allah. 3.67


In Real Mathematics, there is such thing as “complete set” and it goes on to say that a null set i.e. a set that contain nothing is a complete set. For those who are keen on history of mathematics, they may remember that the early mathematicians have problem with the concept of “nothingness” hence the allure attached to null set. I was told that the Arabs are the one who came and add the number “zero”.

So again talking about real mathematics
Thus a total set of two objects A and B is exactly four sets.
1. A set containing both A and B i.e.{A, B}
2. A set containing only A, no B i.e.{A, 0}
3. A set containing only B, no A i.e.{0, B}
4. A set containing nothing, neither A nor B i.e.{0, 0}.

Back in early 1980, there was a devout Christian worker who preached the Chinese ladies in my department. I used to have a lot of religious discussion on the subject of Jesus with him. I remembered using the concept of real mathematics similar to the above: replacing A as father and B as mother to explain a complete set of mankind to him:-

1. A set containing both father and mother i.e. {F, M} -> most human
2. A set containing only father, no mother i.e. {F, 0} ->Eve
3. A set containing only mother, no father i.e. {0, M} ->Jesus
4. A set containing neither father nor mother i.e. {0, 0} ->Adam.

Using the concept of real mathematics thus results in:
A complete set of human being that has the elements of father and mother is exactly four sets.

The above also hold that the creation of Jesus from a mother, without a father is similar to the creation of Eve from Adam without a mother.

Going along the same argument, the creation of Adam from neither father nor mother is more miraculous than that of Jesus and Eve.

Unfortunately, although the scientist in him made him believed that mathematics, since time immemorial, has been used by human being to solve all their daily problem, he insisted that the same rationale has no bearing on theology. My argument “that religions should also be logical to human mind” holds no water to him.

The other argument that used to give my preaching friend a “head-ache” was a question on what happened to those Prophets (such Abraham, Noah, Job and Moses for examples) who did not know Jesus as such does not pray through/to Jesus. He normally answered that those Prophets should know as it was in “Genesis” and I did not normally able to ask him on book of Genesis to add more head-ache to that friend of mine or perhaps to give a head-ache to myself as well.

Have a sound “real mathematical” week and please take good care of yourself.


Cat-in-Sydney said...

Ayoh Wang,
You also give a headache to this cat. It's bad enough that Mama (who was a Maths major) taught me that all numbers have the same value, therefore 2 + 2 = 4 or 5 or even 10 is not entirely wrong. It's all about perception she said. Makes any sense to you? har har har *evil laughs*

Wan Sharif said...

Dear CiS,
If that the case (all numbers have the same value), I will stick to my original suggestion or plan.. to learn how to make Poffertjes from your mama.. then I am sure I will get less headache..He..he *cheeky laugh*

Martin Lee said...

En Sharif,

This is great message written indeed! We are all so used to the decimal(base 10)instead of the hex (base 16) or digital (0 or 1) whereas the computer industry uses the latter two the most. It is just a question of different interpretation and application in their respective fields.

Religion is something MOSTLY logical and comprehensible by our mind while the rest of it is to experience on your own. No mathematical or scientific explanation could tell us all.

I think there are many common and similarities between Christians and Muslims.Unfortunately the conflicts amongst them seems to be also more,which I feel sad!

By the way, since Abraham moved from Ur in Iraq to Palestine, he was actually ethnically Palestinian or Jew but his race is Iraqi or Arab? If that is the case, all Jews as descendants of Abraham are also Arabs too?

Siti Roffini said...

Very, very interesting. Never really liked the set theory, though.Too abstract for me.But I like the way you relate it to Adam, Eve and Jesus.

Wan Sharif said...

Puan Siti,
Thank you for your appreciative comments.. coming from an experienced teacher.. it make my day
Yours is the second for the entry.. the first comment and my answer does not appear here.. for whatever reasons
For the whole day yesterday I was wondering whether my entry was a step too far or something.. should revert to writing on life experience only or something.. he,he

Siti Roffini said...

En. Wan,
There's nothing wrong with your write-up. Apparently there was some disruptions with Blogger yesterday. Our comments didn't get published.

yohteh said...

...salam Ayoh Wang... I'm totally failed to catch-up with those mathematical magics, it's complicated and makes me mad... I got 8, 9 and 8 again in Modern Maths, Add Maths and Physics respectively in my MCE... hehe...

Wan Sharif said...

Wa'alaikumussalam Yohteh,
Sebenarnya kalau kita cari dua benda dan kita letak depan kita..kita buat lah apa yang patut..macam kita ajar anak mengira dengan anak batu.. InsyaAllah boleh faham.. tapi fasal dinamakan set,subset, complete set, null set..pah tu panggil pulok "real mathematics" terus jadi pening.. dan dan tak boh doh.. gamoknya gitu lah hok jadi panik rasa susoh berdooh.. tapi dah baca banyak entry yohteh, yohwang rasa yohteh lebih cerdik dari yang dinyatakan.. dok gittu?

Al-Manar said...

If I were to pass this post to Form 5 pupils as their revision in Add Maths, they would wonder if I had turned a preacher!

Martin Lee said...

En Sharif,

I was double maths student in form 6 but never been taught the set theory. But when I entered the 1st and 2nd year of my engineering course, the lecturers from Math faculty of the same university taught us the common syllabus on all mathematics inclusive of those matrices and sets. I could not comprehend and grasp the concept that well too!

By the way, the period after Jesus Christ was recorded as the New Testament and also implied the new covenant of living sacrifice for the Christians. All people and also the prophets before that period went to temples to offer unblemished animals as sacrifice for the atonement of sin. Only God knows why the difference and why this line need to be drawn in this manner to differentiate the "Old" and the "New" and even the "Last"!

ninotaziz said...

I always felt that religion would make sense from any point of view or science if you just open your mind. I guess I inherited this from my late Grandfather - an old school headmaster and thinker.

And here, I am proven right!

Thank you for taking us down this road.

anak si-hamid said...

Yes, I remembered asking my late Abah about the logic behind religion when I was in my teens - as teenagers are wont to do.
He said the wonders that God created like night and day, like the clouds in the sky, and the water that sustains us and the air that we breathe defies logic and reason. 'Just appreciate it,' he said.
But I love your mathematical logic in explaining Adam, Eve etc.
Set mathematics was not done during out times - only elementary and additional mathematics.

Still, thank you for a posting that makes this mathematically - challenged OAP think.

Wan Sharif said...

Dera Mr Lee.
Sorry for the late reply,
I believe there has been some glitch somewhere that your comments did not appeared when it should be..
Somehow, Ninotaziz's view on religion is what I currently hold.
From Our book we believe that the Jews are descendants of Abraham, They are from Jacobs who was son of Isaac. Isaac was a son of Abraham and Sarah. The Arabs are also descendants of Abraham from Ismael line (Ismael was a son of Abraham and Hegira(Hajar)).

Wan Sharif said...

Salam Siti Roffini,
Thank you for the encouragement.. I do not have many mathematical entries to be put up/forward and maybe this might be the first and the last on the "real mathematics" he..he

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Al-Manar (Abang Hassan),
Somehow.. a few times I think I did not catch your joke.. although I did get it this time.. poor me..
Well that was, I think one of a few times I used mathematics to preach or to counter the Christian preacher's arguments..
I used it only because it is the core different between our belief and the Christian's belief..
there is more however.. on the ground that
Christian start as sinners.. negative
Muslim start as sinless.. from zero, but that would be another story.. he..he

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Mr Lee,
Real Mathematics was taught to us in year 2 or 3 in USM depending whether we are on 3 year or 4 years degree course.. As I took Physics, Maths and Education , a four year degree course, I got to learn the subject in my year 3.
since you took double maths in form Six.. it would not be so incomprehensible for you.. A total set related to 2 objects are 4, as explained. However it involved the core difference between your belief and our belief..
If there is not much difference between the creation of Eve and Jesus..
The words new testament and old testament may not come from Jesus himself, Non?

Wan Sharif said...

Thank you for the visit.. I loved your comments as you can see in my answer to Mr Lee's comment above.. obviously your late grandpa was a good and learned thinker.

Wan Sharif said...

Kak AsH,
I believe your late father has a good way to handle your inquisitiveness.. your question was a very difficult one, if not properly handled can lead to dangerous route/conclusion..
Thinking about Allah creation " like night and day, like the clouds in the sky, and the water that sustains us and the air that we breathe" is what has been asked of us to do umpteen times in Al-Quran.. so that we will reach HIM..or know him better..
The theory I put up was taught to me in year three at USM in my Physics, Maths and Education course.
Somehow, I missed the part where you explain the term OAP .. he,he.
Thank you for the comments especially the one that goes "that makes this mathematically - challenged OAP think" it make my weekend..

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Wan Sharif, Wow! I am impressed with your Religious knowledge.....
I am not a religious person, though I did study the Bible in Form 5....because it was the easiest subject to pass. Especially as Maths was, still is not my cup of kopi oh. Never exceeded above 55%, ha ha.

One reason my wife does all the purchasing and paying at Supermarkets....what with my poor maths, a pretty cashier, habis cherita!

And the funny thing was, my kind of work old days was business and contract negations involving lots of money....nasib baik ta'bankrupt, ha ha.
Have a nice day, Lee.

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Lee,
Terima kasih seribu kerana sudi menjengok ke teratak saya.
I believed you do not have to worry too much about your maths .. I figured that you only deal with one or two numbers.. the final cost of contract or project.
With your reputation as good and trustworthy contract negotiator that havs many consigliori(from The Godfather)who will not hesitate to risk their lives for you, who dares to fool you around.. but then you always make an offer they cannot refuse *wink..
Yeah Spain 1 - Holland 0

Martin Lee said...

En Sharif,

It was recorded exactly the same in the Old Testament as in the Books that Jews are the descendants of Abraham and Sarah while the Arabs are those of Abraham and Hagar!

Since Abraham came from Iraq and we generally define our race with reference to, from the father side. We could perhaps regard both Arabs and Jews are Iraqi by race in that sense!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Dear Ayoh Wang,
Phew! See what you have led all your readers to. This is not mere mathematics, see? However, my Mama said, she read some old kitabs that tell the story of Noah (of the Ark fame) explaining the origin of the term "semite". Apparently, both Bani Israel (jews) and Bani Hashim (arabs) came from Noah's son by the name of Sam - hence the term "semite". Thus, the term is not exclusive to the Bani Israel, as they wont to claim nowadays. So, basically, they are one and the same. And this goes back to my Mama's learning that all numbers have the value. The difference is because of perception. har har har *evil laughs*

2sen worth of a cat,

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Mr Lee,
It is not really very important whether Abraham was an Iraqi(Persian) or Iranian.. What was more important was his religion.. He came into picture because the Jews claimed he was one of them and the Christian claimed he was one of them.. whereas he came long before Moses(Torah) and Jesus (Gospel)

In our Book:-
we have a lot of mention on People of the Book (the people who receive/read Torah and who received/read Gospel)

And remember Allah took a covenant from the People of the Book, to make it known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it; but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And vile was the bargain they made! 003.187

The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!009.030

They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah, and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary; yet they were commanded to worship but One Allah: there is no god but He. Praise and glory to Him: (Far is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him)009.031.
Hope I clear something..

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Brad,
I believed I am as confused as you are.. har, har..
Now we, the Muslim are semite as well.. can we now say that the American, British and European are "anti-semite" because of their Islamphobia attitudes..
That will be...blasphemous? Non?
Thank you for visits..

Anonymous said...

Adding some to the discussion, Ayah wang,correction, Abraham 2 anak, Issac And Ishmael. From Issac dapat Jacob than anak dia Josepth.

Sematic from Sam Bin Noh - something new for me , before I thought it is from the Arab /Hebrew word Sama' which means 'langit' cause these are religions with source from atas sana.


Cat-in-Sydney said...

Ayoh Wang,
Don't get confused. Not all Muslims are semites. Only the Arabs. History shows that the Arabs and the Jews come from the same stock/origin of Sam anak Noh. There are evidence saying the Ark is somewhere in present day Turkey or Asia Minor. So, instead of them being Iraqi or Persian or whatever, could it be safer to say that they are all of Turkish blood? Goodness...the cat can write a thesis on this subject alone. har har har *evil laughs*

Anonymous said...

Dengan izin, Ayah Wang

Cat in Sydney

Turkish came from central asia to todays Turkey.Turkey was inhibited by greeks in ancient time. The current turkish of Turkey is a mix of Central asian turks and the original greeks.

Martin Lee said...

Solely for the sake of discussion and better understanding about Christianity, God created Adam from ash and breathed life into his nostrils, and took a rib from him to create Eve. Jesus was from virgin Mary without a father. God's creatures big and small created are all equally miraculous. God must have His reason why He created and put Adam, Eve and Jesus into this world by different methods.

To the Christians, while Adam and Eve and all humans are not immortals whereas Jesus's greatest miracle was, he was raised from death. If Jesus was not lifted from death as a sign to His disciples, a event that signfied He had overcome death, all teachings the Christian believers base on will simply collapse!

Wan Sharif said...

The reason why I put the concept of complete set from "Real Mathematics' is because I believe
God is Perfect and Complete.
His creation is perfect, complete and logical.
To separate a human without father (Jesus), from a human without mother (Eve), a human without father and mother (Adam) and human with father and mother(all other human beings) is mathematically unsound as the four sets /subsets would make a complete set.
If one believe that God has lifted Jesus from death.. it would be logical to acknowledge that the power belong to God.. as such God is to be worship not the one whom God has lifted from dead..Then again I will quote

"and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary; yet they were commanded to worship but One Allah: there is no god but He" ...part of verses 31 surah 9

Martin Lee said...

En Sharif,

It is going to the very deep part of Christianity and only those who studied theologies wil delve into the very details and core of the same related topic. It is equally confusing to majority of Christians as well. They even had a crisis amongst themselves over this.

If you care to explore further, you could google search the topic on "Nicene Creed" to get a better understanding on this, SOLELY from the Christian scholars' perspective!

ninotaziz said...

It is a wonderful thing you have here...a discourse among many - including a learned cat - that is courteous, informative and witty too.

Congratulations on the excellent handling of a difficult subject.

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Ninot,
Thank you for the visit and putting up a great comments..
I realized I did not answer CiS comments.. All this while I got the feeling the said felines friends are much more informative or should I say cleverer than yours truly..

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Mr Lee,
Religion, as I understand it, is a way of life..
As such MAYBE:-
1. it should be simple enough for everybody to understand it.
2. It should be practical enough for everybody to practice it.
3. It should not leave anyone out of it
4. It should...

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Anonymous(MFT),
Thank you very much for the visits and for putting up enlightening comments..
From you and CiS .. I get to understand the term semite better.. I guess I should make every effort to understand terms and words (which at times I thought I know..)before answering comments..
My apologies .... A lessons learnt/learned, I supposed.
Thank you again..

ninotaziz said...

Saudara Wan Sharif,

As you know CiS's mom and I go a l-o-o-o-n-n-g-g-g-g way back. And where we were, we had an endless stream of information, general knowledge and facts & figures drummed into our heads by a full-fledged faculty of mind-shapers.

It was tough but we got through it. So that's why, sometimes the facts and figures just spew forth.

Wan Sharif said...

Puan Ninot,
Full-fledges faculty of mind-shapers? Honestly I do do know/delve deeper.. Sincerely I shall be forever grateful to be so kindly corrected..
Two of you from same varsity or from Jalan Kolam Air?

ninotaziz said...

Oh, we were merely young teenagers...idealistic and fun-loving. Loving Physics for all the wrong and right reasons 'har har har "evil laugh"!

Aishah said...

Assalamualaikum Wan Sharif. May I join in the camaraderie :)

Thank you for the ayat Qur'an on your blog template. It is a constant reminder to me to do everything and be charitable for the sake of Allah.

Nice meeting you, come visit sometime.

emilio said...

Dear En. Wan,

I liked your comment on religion as a way of life, therefore MAYBE it should be simple, understandable,unambiguos. I think for a thinking person, what you have said is like "light shining upon light.." . However we should concede it is not easy to release our hold on a dogma, whereas others' dogmas are releaseable, ours is not.

It has come to my attention of a blog called Mistisfiles which explored the origins of the Malays and why we are going to be instrumental in the fight against Dajjal and his army. We are supposedly descendants of Ibrahim from his marriage with Keturah, a lady from the Mala race which coincidentally is also connected to Himalaya (a high place)such as where Noah's ark might be stranded, Mala then translated from Sanskrit becomes Funan or Phnom which still means mountain..Gleaning from other people's knowledge, as Ur from the Chaldees is Abraham's place of origin, Selangor means Tanah Selang as Ur means Tanah..well it is so mind-boggling I think it is better if you and other dear readers could read it themselves..

emilio said...

Sorry for commenting again, I would like to ask Mr. Martin Lee, when was Jesus raised from death? Did he not, with God's permission, raise, as the Christian believed, Lazarus from death, so was Lazarus' resurrection a miracle as great as Jesus'?

Wan Sharif said...

Wa'alaikumussalam Aisyah,
Selamat datang ke teratak saya.. please visit again although my entries are only few and far in between.

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Emilio,
Thank you for the visits and comments..
I believed that the biggest/longest surah in the Albaqarah or the Heifer..AlQuran..

And remember ye said: “O Moses! We shall never believe in thee until we see Allah manifestly,” but ye were dazed with thunder and lighting even as ye looked on.002.055

Then We raised you up after your death: Ye had the chance to be grateful.002.056

Then the toungue of the heifer was used to raise a dead man (with Allah's will) so that the truth about his killer can be made known..
so when Allah will it.. having peoples raised from the death is not that it seems

Martin Lee said...

To answer question from Emilio - It was stated in the Books that Lazarus was raised from death by Jesus, it was one of the many miracles that He performed.

The death of Jesus and raised again signifies death was overcome. The wage of sin is death! From the Christians' perspective, His death was a redeeming act, making it easier for ALL sinners. This is analgous to when a person committed some offence, get caught and locked up in a police station. Someone only with a clean record (sinless) only could "tanggung" or bail him/her out!

This is a simple analogy for easier understanding on the concept of Christianity!

VersedAnggerik said...


This is HEAVY stuff man! I have always had a great big phobia for numbers (sbb tu I jadi loyar jer)

Read the whole post, but understood about 30% of it only! Hehehe....

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Mr Martin Lee..
It is getting heavier as .. less it get unruly.. I would be concluding this discourse by refering to what has been written somewhere.. "to each his own"
and I would be putting another post (immediately), a peace offering of some sort..

Wan Sharif said...

Dear VersedAnggerik,
Delightful to have your visit.. I though lawyers also need to have a good foundation of Mathematics..

And I do not remember numbers other than 1,2,3 and 4 being discussed.. he, he

You have a good day with your loved one.. yeah

Wan Sharif said...

To all those who has contributed and commented, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.. for making the discussion(discourse) a rather lively one..

Ida Athanazir said...

just want to share.. i am proud to have a daughter who's good at calculus. me & her dad are good at maths but i was surprised she's so good at it, and also very happy.

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Puan Ida,
Oh those Calculus thing.. I was told the other day by my classmate. that I was one of those who seriously studied calculus when we were in form 4 ( others sort of doing "honeymoon" then)..
Ladies, normally found Calculus to be difficult.. and to know your daughter is good at it..Ah, Ayah Wan would like to(tumpang berbangga)feel very proud too for her.. must be the genes.. from you and your sayang.. I am very glad for both of you..
Take good care..

Ida Athanazir said...