Council of Islamic Scholars issues final ruling on new bid’ah
After spending the last 3 months in deliberation, the Council of Islamic Scholars (CIS) has finally issued their findings on the latest technological innovation to hit the Islamic world. VR, or virtual reality, is a sophisticated piece of technology that allows the user to live in, and move around, an artificial world. Often the abode of gamers, a recent group has released an open-source 3D rendering of the Ka’ba, complete with real time representative images displaying the movement, actions and sounds of Hajjis.
This new development has led to the growth of e-Salat, where by individuals have attempted to join the Jamat to perform their Salat, whilst still in their home and workplace. Recently, the growth of live-steaming Hajj communities has grown whereby individuals from around the world meet online to perform what they’ve termed e-Hajj together.
Unfortunately, the rapid access and adoption of VR by many Muslims around the world has led to the unfortunate rise of these e-Hajjis who believe they can perform the sacred duty whilst in the confines of their own homes.
Rageh Mutasim, spokesperson for the CIS was asked to clarify about todays ruling and said:
This latest ruling was particularly complex to settle due to a number of technological issues that leading Islamic scholars had to understand. While we respect peoples displeasure over the duration of our deliberations, we ask that they recognise the difficulies we faced. This ruling could not have been possible without collaboration with the Computer Science faculty at the Baghdad Institute for Computational Engineering. Once again we want to reiterate in the strongest words the importance of following the Sunnah of our Prophet (saw). We understand the important place technology has in our personal and spiritual lives but we hope people recognise their are limits to what we should and should not do.
While this ruling may come as a blow to many e-hajjis, the leading members of two of the largest VR groups have already indicated their acknowledgement of the ruling and decision to move away from hosting future e-pilgrimages.
This is the third technology focused ruling that the CIS has released this year indicating a growth in the number of people incorporating technology into their daily religious duties.