Art Portfolio Item 1

Amirah Sackett’s presentation emphasized the importance of geometry in Islam. She discussed its role in Islamic art and the development of a tradition of mathematics. This work builds upon the Islamic attitude towards science and discovery. The pursuit of scientific knowledge is seen as a path that brings Muslims closer to God. It is clear how this is true for the natural sciences. A deeper understanding of the world’s biological, chemical, and physical behaviors create a deeper appreciation for the beauty of creation. In this item, I wanted to extend religious appreciation for non-natural sciences. To convey this message, I focused on computer science as another method of academic scholarship. 

This project writes out the words بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم (Bismillah Alrahman Alraheem) “In the name of God, the Merciful, Compassionate.” I relied on the abjad system to use text boxes as my medium. The abjad system assigns a numerical value to every letter in the Arabic alphabet. I converted each letter in the words بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم to its numerical representation. For example, ب was turned into the number 2, and س was turned into the number 60. Then, each number was converted into its binary value. Since the largest number (200 [ر]) requires eight figures, each letter was represented in binary using eight figures to maintain consistency. 2 became 00000010 and 60 became 00001111. 

Computer science creates an indirect method for building a closer relationship with religion. The development of data science and computerized methods have made it possible for Muslims to produce significant positive impact. The ability to collect and process data improves our ability to explore our world. Computer science allows for new fields of scientific development including cosmic and microscopic systems. Without the development of computerized systems, we would be limited in our ability to have deep insight into the world around us to greater appreciate God. 

Admittedly, it is possible to use computer science for projects with a primarily secular purpose. The religious implications of scientific inquiry is contingent on the individual introducing a spiritual angle. For that purpose, I have chosen to highlight the importance of intention. Bismillah Alrahman Alraheem translates to “In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassion,” the focus is placed on creating a religious purpose for one’s actions. The individual’s ego is reduced and a higher Islamic motivation is made central. 

Sources:

 Sackett, Amirah. Gened 1087, 15 Oct. 2019, Harvard College. 

 Asani, Ali. “Calligraphy II” Gened 1087, 17 Sep. 2019, Harvard College. Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation.

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