Saturday, December 7, 2013

Number crunching | The value of zero and one


This post is written on 1.12.13. That's 1st of December 2013. Thought it'd be interesting to record the date and say something about numbers. 

Number crunching as defined by Merriam Webster is the act of performing mathematical operations to find a value. Value in this context is a number. But generally when we say the word value, well at least to me, I tend to think about values as in traits or qualities of a person. What is the value of a person? A person who has no values is like a persona non grata in the eyes of the citizen of the world. 

When I noticed the nice looking date 1.12.13, I remembered one tausiyah given by Shaykh Nazim which I happened to watch on Sufilive in 2009. He said: "One divided by infinity equals zero. Everything in front of 1 is nothing. That is tawheed. You must understand the unity of the Lord. So be nothing."

Indeed, zero comes before 1. What Shaykh Nazim meant, as I understood it, we must be nothing (zero) as we stand before the One [before Allah]. Subhanallah. So that's the meaning of zero. We are zero. We are nothing.

If you've been reading this blog religiously, you might remember a lesson by Habib Salim Ba'abad in January this year about the number 1 as a representation of one's akhlak. He quoted Imam al Khawarizmi the maths genius who said in response to a question on the value of man: 'If a man has akhlak then he has a number/value which is 1. If the man is blessed with some property then he can add a zero after 1, so his value is 10. And a zero is further added if he is blessed with good looks, good family background etc. increasing his value to 100, 1000 and so on. But all those additional zeroes would mean nothing if he doesn't have akhlak (i.e. figure 1) in the first place.' How clever! And how true!

Akhlak is a big word. But to my small brain, it's simple things like talking straight, not telling lies, not scheming to harm people, not putting people in a difficult situation, not humiliating people etcetera. But some people still insist: 'Oh, the tongue may have lied but the heart meant well.' 

Oh well, let's repeat for the umpteenth time what the shuyukh have said about the correlation between the heart and the tongue. To put it simply, the heart is like a reservoir, if the tank is rusty then the water (i.e. the words that pour forth) will also be rusty.

Astaghfirullah. Astaghfirullah. Astaghfirullah.
Let's do some soul crunching.

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