by Mohamedarif Mohamed Suleman (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
Mohamedarif Mohamed Suleman (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) is a digital marketing specialist and an Educator-cum-Trainer. He has involved himself in community organisations and matters from a young age, and through his writings, continues to speak of social and cultural reform to this day. He is also the founding moderator of this forum.
This question has fascinated many people, from ancient philosophers to modern scientists. Some may think of God’s algorithms as the optimal solutions to any problem, the divine plan that guides the universe, or the mathematical laws that govern nature. Others may see God’s algorithms as a metaphor for the human quest for meaning, purpose, and wisdom. What if we explore some of the perspectives and implications of God’s algorithms of life, drawing from various sources of knowledge and inspiration?
One way to approach God’s algorithms of life is to look at the puzzles and games that humans have invented and enjoyed throughout history. These models of complex systems challenge our intelligence, creativity, and intuition. Examples include Rubik’s Cube, the Tower of Hanoi, the 15 puzzles, and peg solitaire. These puzzles can be solved by finding the shortest sequence of moves leading to the desired configuration, known as God’s algorithm. The term was coined by Rubik’s Cube enthusiasts, who imagined that an omniscient being would know the best move from any given state.
God’s algorithm for a puzzle is not always easy to find and may require extraordinary amounts of time and memory. For instance, God’s number for Rubik’s Cube, which is the maximum number of moves needed to solve any configuration, is 20, but it took decades of research and computation to prove it. Some puzzles, such as the Tower of Hanoi, have simple and elegant solutions, while others, such as the 15 puzzle, have surprising and counterintuitive properties.
Games and puzzles can be compared to the chances and challenges life throws at us. They can impart to us important knowledge about reasoning, planning, endurance, and patience. They may also be a reflection of our values, tastes, and personalities. While some people enjoy games that are stochastic, dynamic, and open-ended, others prefer puzzles that are deterministic, organised, and solvable. While some might look for the best answer, others might consider different options. While some people play for enjoyment, others may play for fame.
Examining the technologies that people have created and employed throughout history offers another perspective on how God might have created the algorithms of life. Technology is frequently an expression of our ambition, curiosity, and inventiveness. It is a tool that has the power to expand our potential, reach new heights, and change the way things are. The wheel, printing press, steam engine, phone, computer, and internet are a few examples. We can now connect, travel, learn, work, and entertain in previously unimaginable ways because of this technology.
Another way to view technology is as a competitor or replacement for God. Given that technology is more dependable, efficient, and accessible than the previous god, some could contend that it is a superior god. We may now access services, solutions, and answers that were previously unattainable because of technology. Additionally, technology can lead to new issues, dangers, and conundrums that put our morals, beliefs, and identities in jeopardy.
Technology can affect our free will, which is the ability to act and determine our actions. Free will is both a blessing and a burden, as it gives us responsibility and accountability for our choices and consequences. Technology can enhance our free will, by giving us more options, information, and resources. Technology can also diminish our free will, by influencing our behaviour, preferences, and beliefs. Technology can even replace our free will, by making decisions for us or controlling us.
Our relationship with God, or any other higher force, might be impacted by technology as well. Some people consider technology to be a gift from God or a means of prayer. Some can view technology as a means of disobeying God or as a threat to him. Technology may be viewed by some as a means of ignoring God or as unimportant to him.
A third way to approach God’s algorithms of life is to look at the spirituality that humans have expressed and practised throughout history. Spirituality is often a source of hope, comfort, and guidance. It is also a way to explore the mysteries, wonders, and questions that life poses us. Examples include the religions, philosophies, and cultures that have shaped our worldview, values, and rituals. These include Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Taoism, and many others. These traditions have offered us different ways to understand and relate to God, ourselves, and others.
In addition, spirituality can be understood as an individual’s subjective experience as opposed to a rigid, objective concept. Some people discover spirituality in art, music, nature, or meditation. Some people might look for spirituality in logic, reason, or science. Love, compassion, or service can be spiritual pursuits for some people. Some people discover spirituality in other people, in themselves, or something bigger.
Spirituality can help us to discover and fulfil God’s will for our life, or the purpose and meaning that we seek. God’s will can be seen as the ultimate algorithm of life, the perfect plan that leads to the best outcome. God’s will can also be seen as a dynamic and interactive process, rather than a static and predetermined outcome. God’s will can involve our cooperation, participation, and contribution, rather than only our submission, obedience, or compliance. God’s will can also vary depending on the context, situation, and person, rather than being universal, absolute, and uniform.
God’s life-algorithms are difficult to comprehend, use, or assess. They could call for reason, faith, or both. They could evoke wonder, thankfulness, or modesty. They might also arouse scepticism, perplexity, or annoyance. They might put us to the test to see how far we can advance. They could also ask us to celebrate, enjoy, or show gratitude. In the end, God’s life algorithms are a mirror of our search for the highest good, truth, and beauty.
The holy Quran says a lot about God’s will, which is also called His decree, His plan, or His destiny. God’s will is His absolute and perfect knowledge of everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen. Nothing can happen without His permission, and nothing can escape His control. God’s will is also His wisdom, justice, and mercy, which He manifests in His creation and His legislation.
One of the verses that mentions God’s will is Surah Al-Qasas, verse 56, which says: “You surely cannot guide whoever you like ?O Prophet?, but it is Allah Who guides whoever He wills, and He knows best who are fit to be? guided.” 1 This verse shows that God’s will is the ultimate factor in determining who will be guided to the truth and who will remain astray. God’s will is based on His infinite knowledge of the hearts and minds of His servants, and His perfect justice and mercy towards them.
Another verse that relates to God’s will is Surah Al-A’raf, verses 11-25, which narrates the story of Adam and Eve, and their temptation by Satan. These verses show that God’s will is not incompatible with human free will, which is a gift and a test from God. God created humans with the ability to choose between right and wrong, and He informed them of the consequences of their choices. God also allowed Satan to tempt them, as a trial for them and for their descendants. God’s will was to test them, not to force them to sin. When they sinned, God’s will was to forgive them, not to punish them, when they repented sincerely.
A third verse that touches on God’s will is Surah Al-Kahf, verse 39, which says: “And why did you not say, as you entered your garden, ‘Whatever Allah wills ?alone? will prevail. There is no power except with Allah.’ Although you see me less than you in wealth and children.” This verse teaches us to say “Whatever Allah wills” or “Masha Allah” when we see something good or bad, as a way of acknowledging God’s will and expressing our submission and gratitude to Him. This phrase also reminds us that God’s will is superior to our will, and that He can change any situation according to His wisdom and plan.
These are some of the verses that talk about God’s will in the holy Quran. Many more verses deal with this topic, as it is one of the core beliefs of Islam. God’s will is a source of comfort, guidance, and hope for the believers, who trust in Him and rely on Him in all matters. God’s will is also a challenge, a responsibility, and a motivation for the believers, who strive to do His will and seek His pleasure in everything they do.
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