Africa’s Contribution to Computers
Africans who had converted to Islam brought a variation of an indigenous divination system that can be found throughout the continent of Africa. It was spread into Europe by way of Africans (the Moors) who were Muslims. The Europeans call it geomancy. The binary system is based upon geomancy; a divination practice by alchemist in Europe that was brought there from North Africa via Spain by Hugo Santalla. Santalla had received it from Islamic mystics in the 12 century. This is the origin of the binary code, the language used in the processor of computers. Understanding that the Moors ruled Spain for hundreds of years sheds light on a divination system that has been documented of being used by North African Muslims since the 9th century. They called it ilm al raml, “the science of sand”. The modern binary code was introduced by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, a 17th century German mathematician and philosopher who is credited for inventing Calculus. Leibniz in his dissertation discussed geomancy and proposed to take the single line marks and change them to 1’s and take the double line marks and change them to 0’s. This eventually turned into what we call the binary code, base 2 mathematics.
In computer science and telecommunication, the standard unit of digit information is called a byte. A byte is made up of 8 bits, a bit being the basic unit of information. A bit has a value of 1 or 0, the 1 representing “on” and 0 representing “off”. In the Ifa Oracle, each Odu is made up of 8 marks (single or double) representing” light” and “dark”, like each byte is made up 8 bits (1’s or 0’s) representing “on” or “off”. In the Ifa Oracle there are 256 odus and in a byte there are 256 different values.
Gottfried Leibniz brought this concept of geomancy into his dissertation called “dissertation de arte combinatoria”. It served as the foundation of what became known as the binary system. Gottfried Leibniz was a German mathematician, who studied Chinese philosophy and the I Ching; a divination system of 64 hexagrams that is based upon binary counting. Leibniz was not only a Mathematician and philosopher, but a member of a Rosicrucian society, an esoteric society that studies metaphysics and mysticism and claim that their origins go back to ancient Egypt. Leibniz was innovator and a thinker ahead of his time. He had been inspired by Raymond Lull’s binary logic machine, an invention that came about four centuries prior.
In the 13th century, Raymon Llull, a writer, logician, and philosopher, had been introduced to this concept by Moorish astrologers. He invented a binary logic machine called Arsa Magna. Llull’s machine was inspired by Zairja, a device that the Moorish astrologers used to foretell the future and receive answers to their questions. The Muslims mystics claimed that this was ancient knowledge that was given to them by Prophet Idris, who is known to the Western World as the Prophet Enoch.
It is told in their legends that Idris was taught Ilm al-Raml (geomancy) divination by the angel Gabriel. It is told that one day, Idris was drawing figures in the sand because of boredom, when a surprising visitor approached him and asked him what he was doing? He explained to him that he was just trying to keep himself entertained. The visitor quickly told him that he was during a very serious thing. Idris, not understanding at the time, denied this claim by the visitor. The visitor instructed him to draw another figure. This continued until there was a total of 16 figures. The visitor then gave him the proper order and meaning of each of the 16 figures.
All throughout Africa the 16 figures are known. The divination practices in Africa might have not been monolithic, but in principle and in essence it was the same;16 markings and the laws of oppositesThis divination system is called Sikidy amongst the Malagasy people of Madagascar, Ifa by the Yoruba people of Southwest Nigeria, and Fa in Benin by the Fon people. The Ewe people of Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria call it Afa. The Igbo of Nigeria also call it Afa. These African systems existed prior to the genesis of Islam. In Yoruba land the name that encompasses all the indigenous systems (Ifa, Orisa, etc.) is called Isese Lagba, which is the traditional spiritual practices before Islam and Christianity were introduced into Nigeria and other parts of West Africa. Isese Lagba translates to tradition is the best way.
Moreover the traditions of West Africa were not written down and are not based on the Quran nor Allah. The teachings and traditions were passed down from mouth to ear, from guru to apprentice. It is only in the last 120 or 130 years or so that these teaching began to be written down. In the teachings of Isese Lagba, there are thousands upon thousands of verses in the Ifa corpus in sections or books called odu. No one knows all the verses and there isn’t a standardized version.It also must be noted that the Almoravid Dynasty in Al-Andalus (Moorish Spain) came from Mauritania, West Africa.
Ṣàngódaré Fágbèmí Epega, Oloye Alatunṣe (Christopher W. Brown)
Ifa Priest & Astro-Numerologist