Promise of IRSHAD: The Intelligent Robo Shariah Advisor

In one of my earlier blogs, I had proposed a model on the use of artificial intelligence to undertake a valuation of waqf assets based on publicly available information. I am glad to note that IBF DigiLabs has now operationalized this model for India and plans to repeat the same for Indonesia. It is also…

Islamic DeFi: Back to Basics – III

In the current whirlpool of speculation at Digital Asset Exchanges, speculative cryptos will drive out non-speculative ones from circulation. Click here for Part 1 of this series | Click here for Part 2 of this series Paper money was introduced almost four Centuries after the birth of the first Islamic state in Madinah. I presume…

Islamic DeFi: Back to Basics – II

DeFi, we should. Disrupt, we must. (Click here for Part 1 of this series) The positive contribution of Islamic microfinance to Islamic finance in general was the dichotomy it presented. There were the Grameen-type Islamic replications. There were also the indigenously born Baitul Maals and Qard Funds. Islamic microfinance was also practiced by Islamic non-profit…

Islamic DeFi: Back to Basics – I

The trajectory of the mainstream Islamic financial services sector, as we understand, has never been smooth. The maiden experiments in Islamic banking and finance perhaps started with the birth of institutions like the Dubai Islamic Bank and the Islamic Development Bank in the mid-1970s. A new breed of scholars, known as Islamic economists, dominated all…

Identifying Waqf Assets with Development Potential Using AI

Introducing Project Deliverance, I try to demonstrate here how public and private data sources that are commonly available can be used to create artificial intelligence for classification of awqaf assets in terms of their potential for development and address the twin challenges of preservation and development. The term “deliverance” implies the act of rescue or…

Artificial Intelligence (AI) through the Lens of Islamic Economics – VI

We underline some data privacy related guidelines and principles that do not violate the basic beliefs and culture of Islamic societies. They merit serious consideration by zakat and Islamic non-profit organizations, especially that have gone digital, where the beneficiary is usually in a weak bargaining position. The narrative “data is new oil”, is frequently used…

Artificial Intelligence (AI) through the Lens of Islamic Economics – V

We can take comfort with the forecast that AI will firmly stay within human control and conveniently, trash the forecast of some that machines will become incomprehensibly smarter than humans with artificial super intelligence (ASI). However, in the event ASI materializes, it will be beyond our control. We can only hope that, before the inevitable…

Artificial Intelligence (AI) through the Lens of Islamic Economics – IV

Text analysis may be useful, for instance, for a waqf organization to know what the neighborhood feels about the public goods (education, healthcare, orphan care etc.) it provides. An association of zakat organizations in a country concerned about a high rate of “donor attrition” may feel the need for a “feel-good analysis” of donors. A…

Artificial Intelligence (AI) through the Lens of Islamic Economics – III

When a poor and needy individual (faqir/ miskeen) is wrongly classified as non-poor and deprived of zakat (a case of false-negative) or a rich is wrongly classified as poor and receives zakat (a case of false-positive), it involves ethical dilemmas of varying order. Of course, there are in-built mechanisms within the classification models to address…

Artificial Intelligence (AI) through the Lens of Islamic Economics – I

Intelligence, intellect, rationality may be subsumed under the notion of Aql in Islamic economics. However, when intelligence is artificial, it raises new issues and challenges. This is the first in a series of blogs that touches upon this issue and sets the stage for further discussion on application of AI in Islamic finance. Let me…

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