In the name of God, most Gracious, most, Merciful
When two or more individuals open a joint account at a bank in USA, they have an option of opening an OR account or an AND account. When they open an OR account either party can withdraw funds by one person’s signature. However, when an AND account is opened, both parties must sign before funds can be withdrawn. In other words for the AND account approval of all parties is required for funds withdrawal or to make any changes to the account.
The Quran commands us to obey God AND His messenger. It commands us in 49:1 not to place our opinion above God AND His messenger. The Quran does not give us the luxury of obeying God OR His messenger. In other words we don’t have the choice of obeying God OR obeying His messenger. Thus, obeying God and His messenger boils down to obeying God as it requires God’s endorsement. God’s endorsement is in the words of the Quran. We obey God by following God’s words in the Quran. We don’t place our opinion above God and His messenger by not placing our opinion outside the confines of the words of the Quran. We cannot obey God and His messenger until and unless what the messenger says coincides with the words of the Quran.
It is: obey God and His messenger.
It is not: obey God or His messenger.
God has given the example of the use of word OR to mean EITHER. The word OR suggests option.
[23:6] Only with their spouses, or those who are rightfully theirs, do they have sexual relations; they are not to be blamed.
[70:30] (They have relations) only with their spouses, or what is legally theirs –
[70:31] anyone who transgresses these limits is a sinner.
God specifies in this category that sexual relations are allowed with EITHER their spouses OR what is legally theirs, but not both.
God has blessed us with all the words we need in the Glorious Quran.
As submitters to God alone, our discussions and advocacy on any topic should be based on verses of the Quran.
For those interested here is a mathematical explanation for AND & OR for the mathematically structured book – the Quran
Date: 01/23/2008 at 11:59:54
My son had a question that was marked wrong on his paper. He pointed out to me that by the way it was worded, he felt as though he were correct. Here is the question: There are 3 knives, 4 spoons, 4 forks. What fraction of the utensils are spoons OR forks? He answered 4/11 and was told the teachers edition says 8/11. I understand the way he read it to be OR meaning one or the other. If it’s 8/11, shouldn’t it be worded spoons AND forks? If the answer is 8/11, I want my son to understand why.
Date: 01/23/2008 at 12:24:17
From: Doctor Peterson
Subject: Re: and/or
The words “and” and “or” can be ambiguous in English, so in math we give them precise meanings. We have to teach those meanings, but often forget to, which may have happened here.
When we talk about the set of things that are A AND B, we mean that EACH of those things must be BOTH A and B. Nothing is both a spoon and a fork! (At least not in this problem.) So “and” would have been inappropriate. There are no utensils that are spoons and forks.
When we talk about the set of things that are A OR B, we mean that EACH of them may be EITHER A or B. That is, we are including in the set BOTH those that are A, AND those that are B. This is where the confusion and ambiguity come in! There are 8 utensils that are spoons or forks.
Your son read it in a way that is commonly used in nontechnical English, taking “How many are A or B” to mean two separate questions combined: “How many are A, how many are B”. I can see how that could be tempting in this case; the two numbers happen to be the same, so he could take the question to mean “How many are A (which is also the same as the number that are B”. If there had been 3 spoons and 4 forks, that interpretation would not have made as much sense; the best answer he could give would be “3, or 4”. We don’t combine questions like that in math, to avoid confusion.
So the book was right, but the question is ambiguous if the teacher has not taught (or does not know) the standard mathematical usage. (This usage is important in some later topics, such as probability, so it’s definitely worth teaching.)
If you have any further questions, feel free to write back.
– Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum
Date: 01/23/2008 at 12:47:17
From: Doctor Riz
Subject: Re: and/or
Hi Mikki –
I’d like to add one piece to what Dr. Peterson wrote. While this is a slightly different application of the idea, my students always found this particular example of the logical difference between AND and OR helpful.
In logic, an AND statement is only true if both parts of it are true. If I say, “I am in Vermont AND I am in New Hampshire” the only way that can be true is if I am standing on the border with one foot in each state.
An OR statement is true if either part is true. If I say, “I am in Vermont OR I am in New Hampshire” that statement is true as long as I am in either state (it’s also true if I’m straddling the border). The only way an OR statement is not true is if both parts are false, such as if I were standing in Massachusetts when I made my statement about being in Vermont or New Hampshire.
With your question about utensils being spoons OR forks, I count every utensil that is either a spoon or a fork, giving 8 of the 11. If I were asked what fraction of the utensils were spoons AND forks, there would be zero since the utensil would have to be both things. There IS a utensil you sometimes see in fast food places which is a spoon shape with teeth on the front edge, and it’s generally referred to as a “spork”, a combination of spoon and fork. That’s what I’d need for a utensil to be considered a spoon AND a fork.
Does that help? Write back if you have questions on any of this.
– Doctor Riz, The Math Forum
Date: 01/23/2008 at 13:33:11
Subject: Thank you (and/or)
Thank you both for your prompt responses. You have taught me something and definitely given me something to think about.