The Grandfather of Computer Science
I thought since this is Ramadan- the Muslim sacred month for fasting and reflection, I would cover a bit about some incredible Muslims who helped shape our modern world. Over 1 billion Muslims across the world, many of them in lockdown dealing with covid19, as well as many who are living in impoverished war torn environments, will be observing the month of fasting. Which means no food or water. They do it every year, for 30 days. From sunrise to sunset, they do not drink or eat. It is a hard thing to do. To purposely starve and deprive yourself of water, all for the name of charity and in hopes to have your sins forgiven and a place in paradise secured.
The idea is the food and water you do not eat or drink while fasting, you give to the less fortunate. This is the highest level of feelings you can possible have- when you feel the pain of hunger and thirst, you realize, how fortunate you might really be.
It’s a month of discipline really. If you can control your hunger and thirst, for 30 days straight, you will have the discipline to do, anything.
You might be wondering, how? How are Muslims able to do this? Well you would be surprised how much the body can take and regenerate. The Chinese call it the ‘gi’, the spirit and energy that every person has. With sheer belief, Shaolin monks can do extreme feats mentally and physically, simply because of that sheer belief. Somehow they were able to alter their metabolism, body temperature and blood pressure. How are they able to do that? Fate. They have faith in what they’re doing and have faith that they can achieve this level of enlightenment. Same here for Muslims. They believe, so therefore they can achieve.
It’s not a cake walk- no puns intended, I’m just thinking about food right now. It’s difficult, on the mind and the body. When you feel those hunger pangs coming, the thirst in your mouth, you feel it. But that’s when you realize, you have the option to drink and eat. There are millions who don’t.
So with that little back history in mind. We now celebrate a man from the 9th century who invented the very core of Computer Science- so much that he’s called the Grandfather of Computer Science.
His name was Muhammad Ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, a Mathematician and Astronomer. He is known as the “father of Algebra”, a word derived from the title of his book, Kitab al-Jabr. His pioneering work offered practical solutions for land distribution, the rules on inheritance and the distribution of salaries to workers. He also laid the foundation and concept of algorithm in math, which is the reason why he’s called the Grandfather of Computer Science. Predating many other mathematicians by centuries.
He is often over looked in many history books, even though his contributions are the reason we have many of the modern technologies today. You’re facebook wouldn’t work, had it not been for Al-Khwarizimi. You’re youtube- nope. Your tiktok- NOPE. All of the internet and technologies come from the concept he first set.
I should also mention that he was a Persian, who traveled to Baghdad to to be a Scholar at the prestigious Bayt al-Hikma, the House of Wisdom. It was a intellectual powerhouse of its time, and was the center for studies in math, astronomy, medicine, chemistry, geography and astrology. The modern world would look vastly different, had it not been for the work Al-Khwarizimi set down.
The knowledge he had, was based on centuries of developed knowledge by Mesopotamian and Indian cultures. Our ancestors were incredibly educated and intelligent cultures from thousands of years ago.
I personally loved Algebra, I found it easier to do than many other math subjects.
What do you think of Algebra?