Virtually Islamic Blog

Gary R. Bunt

AI Virtual Ifta Initiative

The 'Virtual Ifta' service launched in Dubai. I've collected some of the coverage, and made a few observations. I took a quick look, but didn't try the WhatsApp element. Android/Apple apps are planned for this service, which is still in the early stages, which will improve ease of use. Question options are restricted at the moment. At this point, it is very much in launch mode. I will continue to monitor developments.

Gulf News, Dubai launches ‘world’s first’ Artificial Intelligence fatwa service "In the first pilot phase, the AI service is available – in Arabic and English – through the IACAD website,, but the next phase will include WhatsApp and cover more topics, such as fasting, purity and ablution, and financial matters, among others, Al Emadi [Tariq Al Emadi, Head of Fatwa Section, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD)] said. More languages will also be added in the future."
The National also has a good article on this. The National, Virtual fatwas delivered in Dubai to better guide the faithful, "The virtual mufti is expected to take some of the load off the authority’s 16 flesh-and-blood muftis, who issue about 130,000 fatwas a year. “The previous methods required the presence of a mufti, but the virtual mufti analyses the questions and provides the answers itself,” Mr Al Kubaisi [Grand Mufti, Fatwa section] said."
Khaleej Times, Now, 'virtual mufti' to issue quick fatwas in Dubai "Talking about the accuracy of the fatwas issued, Alkobaisi said there are different levels for AI to understand the question. "For example, until the virtual assistant is not 85 per cent sure about the topic/question asked, it will not respond. In case it is below 85 per cent of its understanding, the AI-powered assistant will give the customer an option of the question it has understood and with options of similar questions. Or it may ask the customer to rephrase and ask the question again in another way so it can grasp it and reply accurately.""Screenshot 2019-10-30 at 11.11.32Screenshot 2019-10-30 at 11.15.30

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