AI and Religion

Dubai launched world’s first AI fatwa service

Yesterday, on October 29, Dubai became the first country in the world to use AI technology to “issue fatwas, or Islamic rulings on religious matters”, per the report by Gulf News. The project named as “Virtual Ifta” is aimed at eliminating the need for an Islamic scholar to address questions pertaining to religion. It is part of ‘Dubai 10X’ initiative that aims to keep Dubai at least 10 years ahead of other cities.

AI seems to be taking over the role of religious scholars who used to mediate between people and religious sources. At the moment, the scope of this task is very limited, for technology is only concerned with providing specific and unambiguous religious information to the public. Will it ever happen that AI starts interpreting religious sources in order to afford more detailed and tailored information to the public? If it does happen, what will be the consequences for the conventional traditional religious structures that prevail in today’s world?

Last year, Dubai became the world’s first country to launch a virtual charity service that allowed direct flow of charity from the donor to the beneficiary using advanced technologies like AI and blockchain, per the report by Arabian Business. The project named as ‘Virtual Charity Foundation’ was aimed at eliminating the need for irrelevant parties to any charity transaction and making the service more efficient in terms of time taken.  

Paramjeet Singh Berwal

Paramjeet, a lawyer, an invited lecturer, and AI research and policy consultant, is the Director of the Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Technology Law at Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University, Georgia. He is a Global Panelist with MIT Technology Review. He is frequently invited to deliver talks and presentations on various topics pertaining to AI. His research includes how AI will influence human existence, especially in the context of economy, work, law, society and its institutions, business management, social behaviour and policy making. He may be contacted at

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