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UAE bans unlicensed digital platforms teaching Quran; imposes Dh50,000 fine, minimum 2-month jail penalties

The General Authority for Islamic Affairs, Endowments, and Zakat issued a cautionary advisory to citizens and residents on Sunday, emphasizing the risks associated with unapproved digital platforms offering Quranic instruction.

UAE bans unlicensed digital platforms teaching Quran; imposes Dh50,000 fine, minimum 2-month jail penalties snt
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First Published Jun 3, 2024, 10:35 AM IST

The UAE has implemented a ban on unlicensed digital platforms from teaching Quran. Proper authorization from authorities is now mandatory for any entity or individual intending to establish, manage, or provide Quranic teachings in any capacity within the Emirates. The General Authority for Islamic Affairs, Endowments, and Zakat issued a cautionary advisory on Sunday to citizens and residents, underlining the associated risks of utilizing unapproved digital platforms for Quranic instruction.

The Islamic Affairs body emphasizes the critical importance of ensuring the accuracy and appropriateness of religious education to safeguard the younger generation.

Numerous individuals providing Quran teaching services through digital platforms lack the necessary qualifications and credentials in religious education. This deficiency can result in incorrect teachings, misinterpretations of the holy book, and potentially foster misunderstandings about Islamic teachings and principles.

The authority has observed many unlicensed individuals conducting classes, enticing participants with promotional advertisements, and is urging parents to exercise caution. They are encouraged to promptly report any suspicious or unlicensed teaching activities to the relevant authorities to help combat the proliferation of unqualified religious educators.

Engaging with unlicensed religious educators not only exposes them to severe legal repercussions but also places parents at risk. State laws strictly prohibit unlicensed religious education activities, and the penalties for non-compliance are significant.

Penalties for teaching Quran without a proper license or permit in the UAE are severe. Offenders may face imprisonment for a minimum of two months, a fine not exceeding Dh50,000, or both.

These penalties are imposed without prejudice to any more severe penalties stipulated in other laws.

Only individuals who meet specific criteria are allowed to teach Quran:

  • They must be at least 21 years old.
  • They must possess good conduct and not have a prior conviction for a felony or misdemeanor that violates honor or trust unless rehabilitated.
  • They must demonstrate physical fitness for the job.
  • Those applying to manage a center must have practical experience, while teaching or managing applicants must hold appropriate qualifications.
  • They must pass a test and personal interview.
  • If not sponsored by the center, they must obtain approval from competent authorities to work.

To establish a Quran teaching center or branch, the following conditions must be met:

  • Obtaining a license as per the law.
  • The building must meet technical and health requirements specified by executive regulations.
  • Gender-segregated classrooms must be provided.
  • Halls and arenas for specified activities must be available.
  • Necessary equipment for the licensed activity must be provided as per executive regulations.
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