After many many years since sophomore years in the University, I opened a calculus textbook (Stewart’s book ‘Calculus: Early Transcendentals’, 8th edition). My freshman son is suffering in Calculus II, so out of curiosity I thought let me revisit and see what it has. Here I am recording some initial feelings, which tends to be more philosophical in nature, with a strong bent towards spirituality.
The beauty of calculus -it seemed to me- is the human consent of his weakness and ignorance in front of the Supreme and Majestic Divine knowledge of Allah. How is so?
Any book on calculs ought to start with
limit exemplifies and acknowledges the limitness of human knowledge in the road to seek ultimate truths. When we -as human- can not reach to where it seems infinite to us, we make our best approximation and surrender to some supreme Being and feel happy that we tried our best in reaching as far as possible to the current answer.
We can not place a zero in the denominator, so we roam around the zero and get as close as possible to avoid the catastrophe and reach to somehow close approximation.
Our physical world -as we view it- seems to work OK if we approximate
pi to be 3.14, and God is oft-forgiving if our physical (or for that matters our computer’s) power does not allow to go too much …
3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679 8214808651 3282306647 0938446095 5058223172 5359408128 4811174502 8410270193 8521105559 6446229489 5493038196 4428810975 6659334461 2847564823 3786783165 2712019091 4564856692 3460348610 4543266482 1339360726 0249141273 7245870066 0631558817 4881520920 9628292540 9171536436 7892590360 0113305305 4882046652 1384146951 9415116094 3305727036 5759591953 0921861173 8193261179 3105118548 0744623799 6274956735 1885752724 8912279381 8301194912 9833673362 4406566430 8602139494 6395224737 1907021798 6094370277 0539217176 2931767523 8467481846 7669405132 0005681271 4526356082 7785771342 7577896091 7363717872 1468440901 2249534301 4654958537 1050792279 6892589235 4201995611 2129021960 8640344181 5981362977 4771309960 5187072113 4999999837 2978049951 0597317328 1609631859 5024459455 3469083026 4252230825 3344685035 2619311881 7101000313 7838752886 5875332083 8142061717 7669147303 5982534904 2875546873 1159562863 8823537875 9375195778 1857780532 1712268066 1300192787 6611195909 2164201989
And God is oft-forgiving.
It is amazing how Allah embedded in the tool that manifests our weakness (i.e., Calculus) a full potential for myriad of useful applications. Professor Stewart mentions in conclusion of the introductory chapter:
Today calculus is used in calculating the orbits of satellites and spacecraft, in predicting population sizes, in estimating how fast oil prices rise or fall, in forecasting weather, in measuring the cardiac output of the heart, in calculating life insurance premiums, and in a great variety of other areas.
Now, here is a verse - a majestic verse- that tells us
limitless knowledge of Allah.
[6:59] With Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except He. And He knows everything on land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but He knows it; and there is not a single grain in the darkness of earth, nor is there anything wet or dry, but is in a clear record.
With such a great knowledge -and computational power- Allah does not need to approximate by getting closer to the exact figure, because he does not need to, He has the luxury to divide by zero, and He can reach to -what we human would call - infinity.
If you are not yet convinced, here is another one.
[31:27] If all the trees on earth were pens, filled by the ocean, with seven more oceans besides, the Words of God would not run out. God is Majestic and Wise.
You have heard a lot these days the buzz word
big data. After reading the above verse, re-think about the true
And here is a third verse:
[13:8] God knows what every female bears, and every increase and decrease of the wombs. With Him, everything is by measure.
EVERYTHING is by measure.
By measure, we mean no approximation, no limit, no calculus. It is exact measure to the trillionth decimal place and beyond.
I can not resist the temptation to bombard you with this consecutive verses from Surah no. 15, verses 19 - 22:
We spread the earth, and placed stabilizers in it, and in it We grew all things in
And in it We created livelihoods for you, and for those for whom you are not the providers.
There is not a thing but with Us are its stores, and We send it down only in
We send the fertilizing winds; and send down water from the sky, and give it to you to drink, and you are not the ones who store it.
This brings me to Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.
First of all, Artificial Intelligence’s utmost goal is to reach as much possible to Human intelligence (especially when it comes to some higher order functions like natural language understanding). As I demonstrated earlier, human power is very limited when compared to God’s. Through transitivity then, if AI dreams to reach to human capability, then no one should think of AI being god-like omniscient being.
Made by Allah is not comparable to something that is made by another human being. Man made robots then can never be close to God made human. The fear that Robots would taking over the earth remains just a science fiction. Let us read thoroughly verse 16 from chapter no. 13 ar-Ra’d:
.. Say, “Are the blind and the seeing equal? Or are darkness and light equal? Or have they assigned to God associates, who created the likes of His creation, so that the creations seemed to them alike? ..
No matter how many explanatory variable you bring to fit a real life model, you will always keep a margin of error that you can not explain, but God can.