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The Institute for a Just Socio-Economic Order

Idiot's Guide to Code 19

Home | Social Philosophy and Theory | Laws and Societal Behaviors | Social Justice | "Hadith" and "Bible" | Allegory, Symbolism, and "Miracles" | Philosophy | Science | The "5 Pillars"

written by Ayman

Although the title of this article may sound strange for some, it is based on a popular series of best-selling educational books. Those books teach disciplines like computer programming to people who don't know much about computer programming. The reason for the books' popularity despite their rude title is that they use laymen terms and simplify information so that people without much knowledge in the subject matter can quickly learn it. Thus, those Idiot's Guide books try to efficiently bridge the gap between the subject matter experts and people who know little about the subject.

In the case of the so-called Code 19, the claim is made by its promoters that it is a "mathematical miracle". However, what is noticeable is that mathematicians who are the subject matter experts have not been flocking in droves to believe in and promote this "mathematical miracle". I personally, haven't heard of any mathematician or statistician who has declared his or her belief in this "mathematical" miracle. On the other hand, it is people who are not subject matter experts in mathematics who have been making such "miraculous mathematical" findings and promoting them. One would have expected the converse. Thus, it can be observed that there seems to be a gap between the subject matter experts and people who know little about the subject and this is what this "idiot's guide" will try to bridge, if The God willed.

Now one may argue that just because someone is an expert, this doesn’t mean that they will recognize an alleged “miracle”. However, by labeling Code 19 as “mathematical” and “scientific” then it must undergo the same peer review process that any mundane non-miraculous “mathematical” and “scientific” research undergoes, otherwise it should not be called “mathematical” and “scientific”.

Let's start with the most common misconception. Most people who believe and promote a "mathematical" miracle think that mathematics is an objective science that can't be wrong. In keeping with the spirit of this article's emphasis on ease, I will try to use terms and examples that can be understood even by people who don't know anything about mathematics to dispel this major misconception.

Let us take a simple example:

1 + 1 = 2

Is this basic mathematical calculation never wrong?

No, it can be wrong. For example, incorrectly applying the above mathematical tool might lead to wrong answers such as the following:

1 apple + 1 orange = 2 apples

To correctly apply mathematics, the first thing we need to define is the data set that we are counting. Are we counting apples, oranges or something else?

If we decide that we are counting apples, then we have to count just apples.

Once we define our data set then we need to apply a consistent standard methodology to perform the count. For example, what do we do about rotten apples? Do we count them, do we throw them away or do we count each as half an apple?

Once we decide on a methodology then we can't change it for different apple baskets. For example, we cannot disregard the rotten apples in some baskets and count them in others. This would lead to wrong results.

Surprisingly, this is all we really need to understand about mathematics to evaluate Code 19. So let's recap those two simple yet important principles:

1. Clearly define the data set.
2. Use a standard methodology consistently.

Although those well known principles are simple and straightforward, they are often the first to be violated by phony "mathematicians". They are also the first principles to be overlooked by those who the phony "mathematicians" deceive. Thus, you will seldom find a real mathematician amongst those two groups.

CLEAR DEFINITION OF THE DATA SET

As far as the so-called Code 19, defining the data set is very simple. If the data set the Hafs version of the great reading, then only the Hafs version should be used. Hafs is one of several versions of the great reading that mainly have minor differences in the spelling of some words (see http://www.free-minds.org/articles/science/WhichQuran.pdf ). One cannot go back and forth and use another version when the counts that he or she is looking for don't add up. If one uses another version, then that version must be used for all the counts and the Hafs version must be disregarded. One cannot mix and match as he or she pleases because this would be forcing a fit on the data into a preconceived result. Hence, if proponents of Code 19 decide to use the Tashkent copy for something, they must use it for all the counts and not just for fixing the count of the letter "Sin" to match a result that they want. They also can't make any modification to the data set to reach the count that they want.

STANDARD METHODOLOGY

Here again, proponents of Code 19 constantly violate the basic requirement for using one standard methodology. The basis of the entire Code 19 is the counting of the letters in allegedly "initialed" chapters. Here are some of the various inconsistent methodologies that they use a mixture of in order to get the result that they want:

1. (a) Count each "initial" individually in each chapter where it occurs, (b) add up the count for each initial for all chapters where it occurs and (c) divide the total by 19.
2. (a) Count the occurrences of all "initial(s)" in the chapter where they occur, (b) add up the count for the chapter and (c) divide the total by 19.
3. (a) Count only the initials in chapters with exactly the same set of initials, (b) add up the count for each set of initials for all chapters where they occur and (c) divide the total by 19.
4. (a) Count all the initials in chapters with at least one common intersecting letter, (b) add up the count for all the chapters and (c) divide the total by 19.

The above are the basic methods described in the article 19-Fact of Fiction (see http://www.free-minds.org/articles/science/19.pdf ). In the article, brother Layth attempted to verify some of the claims of Dr. Rashad Khalifa, the original promoter of Code 19. Brother Layth concluded that 15 out of 29 chapters are confirmed as having initial counts divisible by 19 but that there is no basis for the remaining chapters or other Code 19 claims. However, brother Layth’s article fell short in that it did not consider the above basic mathematical principles and hence even his approximately 50% match is likely to have been grossly overestimated. In the present article, we will apply the above two principles to get an objective estimate. In addition to the above four methods described in brother Layth’s article, there are a variety of other methods that are more complex and hence more prone to disregard of the above two principles. Brother Layth did well by not treading these murky waters. Essentially, if promoters of Code 19 can't respect the above two principles for even simple counting of initials, which is the basis of their claims, then we can be sure that they won't respect them for more complicated and hence more manipulation-prone methods.

APPLYING A STANDARD METHODOLOGY TO THE DATA SET

Application is where the two principles must be integrated. Hence, any tampering with the data set automatically invalidates the results. Now applying each of the above methods consistently and without mixing and matching between them to get a desired result, what do we get?

I will use Dr. Khalifa's own counts as verified in the article 19-Fact of Fiction for all the methods and give the result with and without tampering with the data set.

METHOD 1

(a) Count each "initial" individually in each chapter where it occurs, (b) add up the count for each initial for all chapters where it occurs and (c) divide the total by 19.


Even using Dr. Khalifa's own numbers, we get only 3 out of the 14 initials having a 19 divisible total according to the above method. They are Qaf, Sad, and Noon.

However, Code 19 promoters had to tamper with the data set to get at the count of the Sad. They changed from the Hafs data set to the Tashkent data set for just one letter and not for all of them. They also had to tamper with the data set and changed the Noon by spelling it out. Hence, this invalidates the "Sad" and "Noon" results and we actually get only 1 out of the 14 initials as divisible by 19. Given that 1 out of every 19 numbers is divisible by 19 anyway, certainly 1 out of 14 is within the bounds of reasonable random occurrence.

As an interesting side note, the promoters of Code-19 never consider that by spelling the Noun out as "Noon Waw Noon" they now have 15 and not 14 initials because of the added Waw. They are conveniently silent on what they are doing with the Waw because it messes up many of their other counts.

METHOD 2

(a) Count the occurrences of all "initial(s)" in the chapter where they occur, (b) add up the count for each chapter and (c) divide the total by 19.


Using Dr. Khalifa's numbers, we get 17 out of 29 Chapters that have 19 divisible totals.

However, this is misleading because, for example, as mentioned in the article 19-Fact of Fiction, it was impossible to verify the "Alif" counts. This is not due to any lack of effort on the part of brother Layth but even people who used Dr. Khalifa’s own version of the great reading were not able to get a match of his Alif count. Moreover, inconsistent method of counting of the letter “hamza” seems to be confounded with counting errors. This automatically invalidates any results involving the "Alif". Out of the 17 Chapters, 13 have "Alif". Also, the tampering with the "Noon" invalidates Chapter 68. Thus, we are left with 3 out of 29 chapters that have a 19 divisible total. Those are Chapters 19, 36, and 50. Although 3 out of 29 is slightly better than the 1 out of 14 we got with Method 1, it is still within the realm of reasonable random occurrence, certainly nothing that would suggest a "miracle" by any measure.

METHOD 3

(a) Count only the initials in multiple chapters with exactly the same set of initials, (b) add up the count for each set of initials for all chapters where they occur and (c) divide the total by 19.


Using this method with Dr. Khalifa's counts, the "Alif Lam Ra" and "Alif Lam Mim" results are divisible by 19.

However, as we saw earlier, the count of "Alif" has been tampered with to get the desired results and hence "Alif Lam Ra" and "Alif Lam Mim" results are invalid.

As for "7a Mim", promoters of Code 19 had to change the method to allow the counting of Chapter 42 with the other "7a Mim" "initialed" Chapters. This despite Chapter 42 having "7a Mim" and "3in Sin Qaf" and hence doesn't have exactly the same set of initials but has an intersecting set that intersects in the two letters "7a" and "Mim". This means that they had to switch from method 3 to a variation of method 4 in the middle of the process in order to get the desired count. Thus, they violated the second basic principle.

METHOD 4

(a) Count all the initials in chapters with at least one common intersecting letter, (b) add up the count for all the chapters and (c) divide the total by 19.


Using this method and even using Dr. Khalifa's own numbers, none of the results are divisible by 19.

In order to get a 19 divisible count, promoters of Code 19 had to tweak method #4 above as follows, let's call it method #4.1:

METHOD 4.1 (a) Count all the initials in chapters with at least one common denominator but leave out all the chapters that mess up the result that we are trying to get, (b) add up the count for all the chapters we selected and (c) divide the total by 19.

Thus, in their counts for initials "Ta", "Ha", "Sin" and "Mim", they count Chapters 19, 20, 26, 27, and 28 but leave out most of the chapters that have intersection with "Mim" (2, 3, 7, 13, etc.) and they leave out some of the chapters that have an intersection with "Sin" (36 and 42).

SUMMARY OF RESULTS

As we saw, even for those basic simple counts promoters of Code 19 make extensive use of manipulation of the data set and constant shifting of the method of counting. Method 2 gives the best result for Code 19 promoters. Using this method, 3 out of the 29 Chapters have 19 divisible counts. Of course, as we saw, given the natural probability of 1 out of every 19 numbers being divisible by 19 anyway, 3 out of 29 is within the realm of reasonable random occurrence. Certainly, there is nothing there that even remotely suggests a precise "mathematical miracle".

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, very briefly and without any fancy calculations one can easily dismiss the Code-19 so-called "mathematical miracle" based on the most fundamental principles of mathematics. This is why there is nothing that the unjust people would like more than to have The God alone promoters placed in the same basket as 19ers. This would make us much easier to dismiss.

That is all that needed to be said about Code-19 promoters' mathematical prowess. Now, let's focus on the great reading and the interpretation of 74:31.

Here is Dr. Khalifa's translation of 74:31:

KHALIFA:
74: 31. We appointed angels to be guardians of Hell, and we assigned their number (19) (1) to disturb the disbelievers, (2) to convince the Christians and Jews (that this is a divine scripture), (3) to strengthen the faith of the faithful, (4) to remove all traces of doubt from the hearts of Christians, Jews, as well as the believers, and (5) to expose those who harbor doubt in their hearts, and the disbelievers; they will say, "What did GOD mean by this allegory?" GOD thus sends astray whomever He wills, and guides whomever He wills. None knows the soldiers of your Lord except He. This is a reminder for the people.


There are at least three problems with the above translation:

Firstly, the noun "fitna" describing the count of 19 was neglected and left out of the translation and instead the verb "disturb", which doesn't occur at all in the sentence, is inserted.

It is ironic that the promoters of Code-19 present their "miracle" as scientific mathematical proof. Seeing how they subtly manipulate the data set and quickly switch between methods, it didn't feel like a scientific endeavor and it felt more and more like being in the circus watching a magician do tricks. However, in this case, Code-19 promoters accepted the tricks and believed in them. This reminded me of 2:101-102:

2:101-102. And when there came to them a messenger from The God, confirming what was with them, a party of the people of the book threw away the book of The God behind their backs, as if they did not know. And they followed what the devils recite regarding Solomon's kingship. Solomon did not reject, but the devils rejected by teaching people eye trickery and what was descended on the two kings Harut and Marut at Babylon. They do not teach anyone until they say: "We are but a "fitna"/trial/affliction, so do not reject". So they learn from them what they separate with between the person and his mate, and they are not harming with it anyone except with The God's permission. And they learn what harms them and does not benefit them, and they have known that for who accepted it, there is no share of happiness in the ending, and miserable indeed is what they exchanged with themselves, had they knew.

Those who teach eye trickery are described as a "fitna"/test/affliction exactly like the count of 19 is described as a "fitna"/trial/affliction in 74:31. It is not surprising that promoters of Code 19 rely on number "tricks" exactly like those who teach eye trickery ("si7r"). It is also not surprising that followers of Code 19 are obsessed with it and seek to explain everything according to it exactly like those who are obsessed with eye trickery/"si7r" seek to explain everything that happens to them as either a result of evil "magic" or good protection from evil "magic". Both groups seek to know the unseen future using their "fitna"/test/affliction. Hence, you will find those obsessed with eye trickery/"si7r" visit "psychics" to know about the future exactly like Code 19 followers seek to know the future, for example, about when the world will end or world war III will take place. Those obsessed with eye trickery/'si7r" use the great reading in their spells and counter-spells just like those obsessed with counting 19.

Interestingly, magic/eye trickery ("si7r") is talked about in Chapter 74. In 74:24-25 the rejecters say this is magic that the prophet copied from someone and it is the saying of a human. If we think about it, how do we know if a saying is that of The God or not?

According to 4:82, we are told that had the reading been from someone other than The God then we would have found in it many inconsistencies. What we see in fact is that Code 19 contains many inconsistencies that had to be "fixed" by Code 19 promoters through manipulation of the data and use of inconsistent methods. Since it contains many inconsistencies, it cannot be from The God. Certainly, The God did not give us this inconsistent Code 19 and had to wait for humans to come around and fix it.

Due to the inconsistency of Code 19 and the tricks that its promoters had to do to make it appear as if it is consistent, if it is taken as part of the great reading and not a man-made falsehood then it actually inadvertently supports the rejecters' statement in 74:24-25.

The second problem with Dr. Khalifa's translation is that the word "3ida(t)" doesn't mean "number", it means "count".

33:49 makes it clear that the meaning of "3D(t)" is clearly not "number" since the divorced women do not owe a "number" but they owe a "count". They have to count three menstrual cycles. This doesn't mean that women only have three menstrual cycles or that they only get three in a year. What this means is that out of the number/3DD/عَدَدَ of menstrual cycles from the time of divorce, they only owe the count/3D(t)/ عِدَّةَ of three.

65:1 talks about being accurate with the count/3D(t)/ عِدَّةَ. There is nothing accurate or inaccurate about any number. Accuracy becomes an issue only when there is measurement (i.e. counting). So once again, we see that 3D(t)/ عِدَّةَ is what we measure/count out of a larger population (see 9:36-37, 65:1-4) or estimate from possible alternatives (see 18:22).

Notice the same word used in 9:46 to indicate what we count in preparation for battle. For example, we prepare by counting supplies based on the military objective. We don't just get any absolute number of supplies. On the other hand, the Arabic word that is used in the great reading to mean "number" is the word "3adad"/عَدَدَ.

Therefore, the "fitna"/trial/affliction is in counting 19 and not in the number 19 itself.

The third problem is that the structure of the sentence was changed so that now "disturb the believers" is one of the objectives instead of being part of what accomplishes the objectives that follow.

The list of objectives is not related just to "assigning their number" as Dr. Khalifa claimed, it is related to "making their count as a "fitna"/trial/affliction for those who have rejected."

Thus, it is not the "number" that accomplishes the following purposes but the "count being a "fitna"/trial/affliction for those who have rejected" that accomplishes the following purposes:

(1) Result in certainty and elimination of doubt of those who were given the book and those who had faith and increase in faith those who already had faith.
(2) Result in those in whose hearts there is sickness (they are the hypocrites as per 2:10) and the rejecters asking: "What did The God want with this example?"

How does the "count being a "fitna"/trial/affliction for those who have rejected" accomplish the above objectives?

The sign in 3:7 has many parallels with that in 74:31, perhaps when we consider them together we can better understand how the above objectives are achieved.

3:7. He is the one who descended on you the book. From it are judging signs that are the origin of the book, and others that are allegorical. So in the case of:
(1) Those in whose hearts there is blurriness, they pursue what is allegorical from it (the book) desiring the "fitna"/trial/affliction and desiring its (the book's) original interpretation.
And none knows its (the book's) original interpretation except The God. And,
(2) Those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We have faith in it (the book), both (types of signs) are from our Lord."
And none remembers other than those with intellects.

74:31. And we didn't make the owners/companions of the Fire except controllers; and we didn't make their count except as a "fitna"/trial/affliction for those who have rejected;
(1) so that those who were given the book realize for themselves, those who had faith increase in faith and those who were given the book and those who had faith do not have doubt. And,
(2) so that those in whose hearts there is sickness and the rejecters say: "What did The God want with this example?" Like this The God misguides whom He wills and guides whom He wills.
And none knows your Lord's soldiers except Him.
And it is nothing except a reminder for the humans.


One can immediately see that both 3:7 and 74:31 talk about "fitna"/trial/affliction and about those in whose hearts there is sickness/blurriness.

In 3:7 we hear "none knows its (the book's) original interpretation except The God" and similarly in 74:31 we hear "none knows your Lord's soldiers except Him".

In 74:31 we hear "and it is nothing except a reminder for the humans" and in 3:7 we hear "and none remembers other than those with intellects".

We also hear in 3:7 those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We have faith in it (the book)". In 74:31, those who have faith increase in faith.

What makes anyone achieve certainty and eliminate doubt? It is when what they believed in is verified through empirical observation/realization. This is confirmed by the use of the verb "yatayqin"/"realize for oneself" in 74:31. The concept of “yaqin” involves empirical realization/observation (for example see 102:5-7, 27:22, 6:75, 51:20, and 74:47).

74:31 provides the practical empirical observation of the principles in 3:7 in action that we can observe for ourselves.

We see that the sequence in Chapter 74 is one of those "mutashabihat"/allegorical signs. It talks about the unseen hell and is calling it "saqar". Since no human ever saw or can even imagine this "saqar", it is natural that this allegorical sign is one of the "mutashabihat".

We see that those who ask: "What did The God want with this example?" actually pursue the "fitna"/trial/affliction and get answers that they claim provide the book's original true interpretation ("ta'awil") as described in 3:7. Based on their imagined (since none knows it except The God) original true interpretation ("ta'awil") they confidently make prophecies and give exact dates of future events and remove parts of the great reading that they are sure "didn't originally belong in the book".

We see that those who pursue the "fitna"/trial/affliction of counting 19 actually reject parts of the great reading and we see the hypocrites pursue the allegorical signs while wrongly believing to be reformers (2:10-12).

We can see that the majority of those who follow Code 19 actually still rely on Hadith despite denying it (for example to reject 9:128-129) and are likely to be found next to the Sunnis and Shias spinning seven times around their pagan black cube idol and performing other similar mindless rituals such as stoning some stone pillars.

When those who were given the book and those who had faith actually see the application of 3:7 as demonstrated in front of our eyes through "making the count of 19 as a "fitna"/trial/affliction for those who have rejected", this results in their realization of the truth of the book as described in 3:7, elimination of doubt and increase in faith. The sign in 3:7 is crucial to how we properly approach the book. Thus, realizing it through a clear demonstration of its application has profound implications on increasing our faith and eliminating any doubts. It is amazing how The God accomplishes a positive objective from something negative. We see this pattern in all of His creation.

For some of those who are too deep into the "fitna"/trial/affliction of counting 19 it might be too late. For others, it may not be too late. My only advice to all is to seek the mercy of The God. At the end, we are not saved by anything except His mercy.

On The God we rely, our Lord, do not make us a "fitna"/trial for the unjust people.


IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:

2:2. This is the book no doubt in it, a guidance for the forethoughtful.


This article reflects my personal interpretation of the signs of the great reading as of March 17, 2005. I will try to improve my understanding of the great reading and the universe, except if The God wills and perhaps my Lord guides me to what is nearer in rationality. Please verify all information within for yourself as commanded in 17:36, and remember that simply "none" is the forethoughtful answer to 45:6. If The God willed, the outcome of this article will be beneficial.

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