Acts of Worship in the Digital Age

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Acts of Worship in the Digital Age


What is the ruling on utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques such as the Metaverse to virtually perform the rites of Hajj and 'Umrah without physical presence in Mecca?


It is not permissible to perform the rites of Hajj and 'Umrah utilizing certain Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques since they do not suffice for one's physical presence in the Holy city of Mecca.

However, it is permissible, and even recommended, to benefit from these digitized techniques in providing a virtual space for the public at exhibitions and museums dedicated to showcasing the Prophet’s relics and biography (sirah).

It is essential to recognize that AI is a double-edged weapon that can be used for either good or evil potentials. This necessitates engaging in Ijtihad to articulate the legal mechanisms through which jurists and muftis can address these novel issues and apply the rulings to the reality of times.

Moreover, the concept of Ijtihad, denoting independent reasoning, is a cornerstone of Islamic intellectualism. It signifies the dynamic and adaptable nature of Islamic jurisprudence, emphasizing the importance of critical thought and intellectual rigor in legal and theological interpretations.

Based on this, and in reference to the question, it is not permissible to depend on AI techniques in performing acts of worship, including Hajj and ‘Umrah. It is necessary to maintain a rational perspective in utilizing and engaging the realm of this technological revolution. Islam's perspectives on technology and innovation are dynamic and evolving, reflecting a balance between embracing the benefits of technological advancements and upholding ethical standards and principles.

As technology continues to shape the future, Islamic teachings provide a valuable ethical compass, guiding the use of these innovations in ways that are beneficial for humanity and in alignment with Islamic values.

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