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Go to the Arabic Program

June 2, 2006

This isn’t a new post. I’m too lazy to make a new post…

In fact, I need ideas for new posts, so if you have a topic for a post (besides asking me to do a post on you… you bunch of glory hounds), send it over.

Anyway, go to the Arabic Program. I was told to spread the word that the first week is free. So you can come for 4 (FOUR!) classes for free to see how you like it and if you can hang.

Oh yeah, and go visit Alti’s site:

Finally, I read something that only made my ruminations about the universe even more confusing and mind-boggling:

If the universe is expanding, then what is it expanding into? If it is said that is expanding into space, how can it expand into space when it is, in and of itself, space that is simply folded (remnant shards from higher dimensions as per the new superstring theories). So then if it is said that it is expanding into a vacuum, that is, it is expanding into nothingness, then that raises another problem: if the vacuum is, literally, nothing, how can it be said to exist? Aristotle pointed this out in critiquing Democritus’s teacher, Leucippues, who, he writes, “granted that there could not be movement without void, that the void was ‘not being,’ and nothing of what is is not being; for what, strictly speaking, is, is completely fully.” In short, to argue that the void “exists”, while also arguing that the void is nothing, is to make the contradictory claim that there exists something which does not exist…

Then there’s the issue of subatomic particles… heck, even things like the electron. Because due to what is called wave-particle duality–that is that a thing like an electron exists both as a particle and as a wave, quantum physics sees nature with two eyes: one beholds things as particles, the other views things as waves. Look through the particle eye and we find that for every “real” (meaning long-lived) electron there are countless “virtual” electons and positrons. Look through the wave eye and we find quantum fields roiling the vacuum like winds across water. Asking which is really true–particles or fields–is like asking with which eye you are really seeing with when you have both eyes open….

As for how big the universe might really be: a Stanford cosmologist, Andrei Linde, recently was working on a theory of how big the radius of the universe might be, in terms of chaotic inflation (ie, exponential inflation) and other expansion theories. He gives the number as 10, then an exponent of 10, and then raised THAT by another factor of 12. It beggared the term astronomical. It is equal to one followed by a trillion zeros. If this number were to be written on ticker tape, it would circle the earth 24 times. And what units is that? Linde had centimeters in mind, but when you’re working with such a big number, do units even matter? “With power and skill did We construct the Firmament: for it is We Who create the vastness of pace (51:47)”. The word used is “musi`oon“, from the af`ala form of wasu`a, which means “to make wider, roomier, expand; to widen interlinear space“. What’s beautiful about this is the use of inna (for ta’kid, or emphasis) plus the laam added to “musi`oon” which gives even more emphasis… perhaps explaining this reality of an emphasis + emphasis equaling a sort, if you will, chaotic or exponential emphasis to the role of the expander.

Finally, if the history of the universe is a tale of a fall from perfect symmetry (no matter how many dimensions we assume, the most common and modest estimate being 10 dimensions initially… and even that, what does that mean? It is believed that 6 of these folded up in the initial 10^-34 second of space-time and left behind the 4 dimensions we have today…), this would have a number of implications. It would mean that much of the way things are today results from chance rather than necessity (or Divine Will, through the Muslim’s eyes). the standard example of symmetry breaking illustrates this nicely. If you take a bar magnet that has a north and south magnetic pole and heat it above 770 degrees C, it loses its magnetic properties and is magnetically symmetrical. Now, if you then let it cool–just as the universe cooled, during cosmic expansion–and when it’s temperature falls below 770 degrees, it will regain its bipolar magnetism. However, the question of which pole will become magnetic north and south is dictated by pure chance. In other words, everything that happened in the wake of the big bang had an alternative and equally plausible reality (hence the theories of matter and anti-matter). Yet, Allah (the Creator, the Fashioner, and the Perfector) chose specific realities for all things from the possibility that opposite and alternative realities existed. In other words, Allah didn’t only create, if we hold this theory, but also chose what to create from at least two possibilities. And then of course, that raises the notion that Allah not only knows all things, but also knows the possibilities of all things… perhaps this may help us to better appreciated “And God is the Knower of all things” better since the word used is “`aleem“, which is the fa`eel form indicating the doer’s doing of an action that is intrinsic and perpetual, as opposed to “`aalim“, which implies that there is imperfection, non-continuity, and a time when the knowledge was not there. Hence the former used for God, the latter being used for the scholars of the sacred sciences.

Hmm, interesting stuff one learns from classical Arabic (hint hint).

Not sure what the point of this post was… oh well. If I’ve confused anyone, then I’ve succeeded in my task.

Either way, go to the Arabic Program =)


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  1. Anonymous permalink

    haha you and your stupid physics book!

  2. i gave up reading after the 7th paragraph after which i had to take some tylenol. just kidding

  3. Anonymous permalink

    Who are the teachers for both of the intensives?

  4. there will be 4 separate teachers for each of the 4 days (through the week) of the intensive. the instructors include a PhD and two PhD candidates.the intensive weekend program, the introduction to the islamic sciences, will be taught by Shaykh Amin .

  5. KR, you need to quit posting these questions on your xanga and sit down with Junaid Mansuri and Shahab. They might help you in your discussions. Feel free to invite me too. I’d look smart just sitting with you guys.

  6. Anonymous permalink

    so…what is this arabic program you speak of?  i think you kinda forgot to mention the link to it or something…anyhooo interesting random speculation of the universe….def. made my head hurt.

  7. Assalamu’alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
    Do a post on NUH!!!  Or do some dumb post like that sajdah for 14 hours post, i really enjoyed reading that!

  8. Man, now Dr. Nafe wants me to read a physics textbook. He thinks I’ll be stimulated by it, lol.But seriously, why are you asking questions about the nature of vacuum? The universe which we speak of is full of random spots of vacuum, which is any space not occupied by any molecules or atoms. When the universe is expanding, we mean to say that its dimensions, whether occupied by molecules or not, are expanding. If it was expanding into vacuum, wouldn’t that vacuum would have counted as part of the universe already? Also, what of that which is sucked into a black hole? Do those infinately compressed molecules still count as part of the universe? The inside of a black hole, or the outside of the universe are like locked doors to our conscious minds. If we could think of them then we would be negating the nature of their existence by treating them as if they exist..I don’t understand how paramagnetism is totally random. How could anything be totally random? A coin toss is random by statistics, but isn’t it dependent on a bunch of other factors? (eg: how it was tossed, what face of the coin weighs more, how much bounce the table has with the coin, any external force or condition, etc) How is it different with a purely symmetrical magnetism? It’s like the graph of a coin toss. At infinity, it’s purely equal between heads and tails, but each coin tossed had its own factors commanding it. Just like each electron of each iron molecule fell into place when you cooled the iron bar.I think physics is scary. Physicists often see other human beings the way Jane Goodall saw chimps. If I start asking these questions they never end, and I just might forget about Allah. Anyway, inshallah I’ll get to come to these Darul Qasim courses sometime over the summer. Too busy in New Jersey right now though. Pray for my cousin’s barakah in her wedding.assalamualaykum.Fahim.PS: That ayah is amazing.

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