# Episode 10: Zakat, Mathematics And The Computer Revolution

The Quran ties the giving of Charity with prayer for every able Muslim. In the words, 'establish prayer and give charity.' This is not an arbitrary amount that you can give to the poor; rather, it's a precise 2.5 percent of your savings per year if you are eligible.

The Quran also emphasizes the division of inheritance between heirs using precise fractions. For example, if someone has a hundred bucks, and you have a family, those hundred bucks will have to be fairly divided between family members. Somebody will get one-fourth, somebody one-sixth, someone one-eighth, and so on. Immediately, we see mathematics embedded within the text of the Quran.

We've seen how astronomy, geography, and geometry were all used in the service of Islam. Now, let's explore how the greatest mathematician the world has ever seen revolutionized mathematics in the service of Islam. I'm talking about the inventor of algebra, Al-Khwarizmi. He not only gave us algebra as a separate subject, which comes from the name of his book 'Al-Kitab al-Mukhtasar fi Hisab al-Jabr wal-Muqabala,' but he also introduced the algorithm for it. 'Algorithm' is the Latinized form of his name, 'al-Khwarizmi.'

For Al-Khwarizmi, the development of mathematics was an act of worship and service to God, a means that facilitated them. This is evident in the introduction to his book, where he starts by praising God and invoking God's salutations upon the Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him). He mentions that one primary reason for putting together this work was to help Muslims calculate their zakat or obligatory charity and inheritance amounts, both integral aspects of Islamic life.

Al-Khwarizmi's influence extended to the famous Italian mathematician Fibonacci. Algebra, with its roots in his work, underlies scientific foundations like Einstein's E equals MC squared and Newtonian physics. Even complex operations, such as flying a plane, rely on equations solved using algebra. On the other hand, the algorithm forms the basis for computer programming, revolutionizing our world. Consider that the algorithm running in your computer or smartphone as you work finds its origin in the Quranic verse, two words that have transformed our world entirely.