An Islamic & Autonomous Metaverse Society
Abstract. A purely blockchain-based, Islamic metaverse would allow digital native Muslim generations to learn, socialize, earn, shop, and trade without going through a traditional web2 platform or financial institution. Decentralization provides part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if the metaverse economy is not self-sufficient. We propose a solution to the comparative advantage problem using metanomics & governance by designating physical mosques as the center of galaxies within the metaverse. Each mosque acts as a node for a specific speciality of services or goods; this attracts skilled individuals to virtually congregate & collaborate around respective mosques to fulfill the needs of the ecosystem. As long as metaverse needs are met from within the system through various metagalaxies, a sovereign economy emerges for the billions of Muslims worldwide and becomes an ever-lasting hub for Muslim youth & professionals, thereby igniting an exodus of Muslims from traditional web2 social, retail, and gig platforms to an autonomous, prosperous web3 metaverse.
A comprehensive blueprint for building the next generation metaverse society can be examined from the genesis and rise of the Islamic civilization. Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) made each mosque a beacon in society, and was fully realized later in the leadership of Ummar ibn Khattab ( رضي الله عنه). There are some key ingredients that can be examined from this era:
- Cities were build around mosques instead of being byproducts of cities
- Self-governance was established through new administrative institutions
- A thriving economy was facilitated through a shared treasury
In this paper, we will examine each of these points and how they can be used to build the Ummah metaverse.
The architecture of cities built under Ummar ibn Khattab’s rule was iconic and profoundly effective . The strategy was to create a mosque at the center of the city, then build homes, markets, schools, and agriculture around it. This template was used throughout his rule and was essential to its scaling. This is evident from the renderings below, which would serve as a foundation and inspiration for matagalaxies built within the Ummah metaverse. The mosque in the center would represent a counterpart to a true mosque in the physical world.
Since the mosques are the center of politics, education, and economy, the entrance gate of the city would lead to it, then interaction with the rest of the city proceeds from there. Each metagalaxy would follow the same structure and provide a unique flavor and contribution to the rest of the metaverse.
An organization or group creates a new metagalaxy by first reaching consensus of what speciality they would like to contribute, then designate a physical mosque to be its center. This mosque can be located anywhere in the physical world because its metaverse counterpart does not follow the same spatial constraints.
Virtual Land Plots
Virtual land plots will compose the metaverse. The plots will have actual utility: the deed to the land will be a membership to the metaverse. As a virtual citizen, the land owner can take part in voting and profits dispersed in the form of a universal basic income. In addition, each plot of land will have the possibility of containing natural resources, rare artifacts, and assets.
Another aspect is as the physical world causes individuals to forget their purpose and Creator, land in the metaverse will provide a multi-dimensional experience to remembering Allah by interweaving Quran verses, the 99 Names of Allah, and Hadith in its design throughout, from the sky, trees, rain, structures, particles, sounds, events, and transactions.
There will be a portion of land plots that are reserved for the DAO to give to mosques or generate income for its treasury. For example, there can be an Islamic museum that virtual citizens pay a small fee to enter. Or it may not generate income at all, such as an conservatory garden or library.
For the initial land construction, mosques will be commissioned to seed the metaverse in 3 phases:
- Al-Masjid an-Nabawi
These mosques are symbolically chosen to start; each mean something to every Muslim. Land plots around the mosque will be sold to businesses and residences to build its respective metagalaxy.
Phase 1: Kaaba
The Kaaba is where hajj unites the entire Ummah like no other gathering in humankind in its history. In the metaverse, we envision down-to-earth markets and residences by the people for the people. We will organically reconstruct the city around the Kaaba and scale it horizontally instead of vertically. This ensures the city is more like a village where you have to pass-by people to get to the Kaaba, as opposed to getting onto an elevator and bypass a 100+ floors.
Due to the ancient and sacred importance of the Kaaba, the speciality of this mosque will be Islamic knowledge. Most of the land around it will be reserved for libraries, schools, and scholars; all of which being elected by the DAO.
Phase 2: Al-Masjid an-Nabawi
Masjid An-Nabawi represents the governance piece in creating the Islamic metaverse civilization. Madinah was used as the center of decisions from the Prophet’s (ﷺ) time even after the conquest of Makkah and the rightly-guided Khilafah’s after. This mosque is where the DAO of the entire metaverse will take place, therefore making politics and governance being its specialty.
Phase 3: Al-Aqsa
Masjid Al-Aqsa is the last to be commissioned since it is one of the three holy sites in Islam. Because Jerusalem is currently occupied, many Muslims around the world are barred from going there. What the metaverse will offer is a way to connect with Masjid Al-Aqsa by exploring and discovering its history and beauty by providing a metaverse experience. It will match current events allowing Muslims to show support with Palestinians of the Ummah by partaking in virtual solidarity and communication with those on the ground there.
Jerusalem and Masjid Al-Aqsa is a unique intersection for the Ummah in which all agree upon; across all nations, cultures, and sects. This will always be a unifying point that can recenter the Ummah during divisions.
For these reasons, the speciality for Al-Aqsa metagalaxy could be marketing and outreach. It overlaps with major religions throughout history which would make it a great candidate for dawah. Also, with its successful struggles against the media and entertainment industries, it has made it well-versed to expose and overcome relentless campaigns against Islam and the Ummah. Through it, the Palestinians and supporters have been able to express, inspire, and mobilize people around the world for its cause even bringing millions to the streets in coordination.
The governance of the metaverse will be facilitated through a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). Islam provides extra checks and balances to its governance which will be taken into account.
To incorporate a shurah council, the voting power will be spread amongst the people through 6236 NFT Quran verses  and land deed owners. The leadership will be provided more weighted votes to men and women scholars through 99 Names of Allah NFTs. It’s only natural that scholars have a more weighted vote due to their knowledge and the people’s trust in their wisdom; as a starting point in the formula of their weight, two-thirds of scholars can overturn the decision of the rest of the DAO. Each scholar will be voted in by the DAO.
The metaverse society must be fully self-sustainable. Furthermore, it must provide prosperity to its virtual citizens to incentivize the society to invest its time, energy, and knowledge. A currency of the metaverse must be created to facilitate trade and growth in a circular ecosystem.
The gold dinar (Arabic: ﺩﻳﻨﺎﺭ ذهبي) is an undisputed Islamic gold coin issued throughout Islamic history. The weight of the dinar is 1 mithqal (4.25 grams or 0.137 troy ounces). The dinar is mentioned in the Quran, 3:75.
For these reasons, the metaverse currency will be dinar tokens that are backed by gold. The dinar coins will be issued starting at 15% gold pegging. By the year 2040, the goal is to issue these coins at 100% gold pegging. This ensures inflation will front the cost of investments in building value in the ecosystem in the beginning until gradually inflation reaches zero.
At the time of issuance the following formula will be used to mint a coin:
- (Gold price (per oz) x 0.137 dinar) / 1,000 units = metaverse dinar price
- E.g. ($1,950 per oz x 0.137 oz per dinar) / 1,000 = $0.26715 metaverse dinar price
A decentralized exchange or smart contract will be created to purchase the underlying stablecoin that is backed by physical gold, to be determined by the DAO. The asset peg rate will start at 15% and increase by 5% each year starting in 2024. This rate will reach 100% by 2040. At that time, the metaverse dinar will be issued at the full gold pegging. The currency will be considered as stablecoins backed by assets accounted for in the bait-ul-maal treasury of the metaverse. There won’t be a maximum supply for dinars. They will be minted and priced at the current price of gold and brought into circulation.
A vested period and exit tax on token sales will provide liquidity back into the pool and to be determined by the DAO. Also, a Zakat Al-Maal will be established to collect Zakat amounts on investments and distribute them to organizations that are zakat eligible and DAO voted.
The management of treasury will be conducted via the DAO tokens. These DAO tokens will have a maximum supply of 2B, which is symbolic to the current Muslim population. Financial and cryptocurrency advisors and scholars will be consulted to produce a fair and thriving economy.
Currently the metaverse economy has three main uses: trading, staking, and voting. The main purposes for this are to incentivise long-term commitments from liquidity providers of the metaverse platform, get as many users involved as possible in the governance of the protocol to ensure long-term-oriented decision-making, and create favourable supply and demand dynamics for a self-sufficient, circular trade economy.
It’s crucial that the economy is self-sufficient and provide a closed-loop of services and goods of the Ummah metaverse society for all its needs. This locks value in the system while encouraging mutual support of its virtual citizens and facilitate organic growth of the economy. The Ummah has all the resources and skills needed to provide for itself; what is needed is a decentralized, secure protocol to execute on this reality. A marketplace for virtual and physical goods will offer an arena to discover the Ummah’s potential for self-sustainability. Trade will be facilitated only by the metaverse dinar token. This way, the currency isn’t removed from circulation to do trades. Furthermore, a 10% transaction fee will be incorporate for removing any liquidity from the economy.
There are marketplaces & bazaars around each mosque within its metagalaxy. Trade between metagalaxies will occur to provide needs and growth to the entire metaverse society in a closed loop economy. This can represent physical or virtual goods and services.
Many tasks and jobs will be given out to virtual citizens to maintain the metaverse, such as engineering, legal, marketing, reporting, etc and will be compensated with metaverse tokens.
The metaverse dinar token can be staked (locked) to receive trading fees from the protocol. A community-lead proposals will be introduced to determine the admin fee on all trading fees. This enables passive income to liquidity providers by sharing profits the economy produces. In addition, a portion of the treasury funds will be used to stake on other protocols, such as Ethereum 2 (Proof of Stake), to generate more income where profits are also shared with stakers of the metaverse.
It’s worth noting that usury (interest) is not allowed anywhere in the economy. This does not mean the system and its virtual citizens cannot thrive and grow its wealth. Crypto has provided many halal mechanisms to generate wealth, with further research by financial and scholar experts to be consulted. The metaverse wallet will hold funds with staking and other optional passive income opportunities baked in.
Staking for longer periods, from weeks or years, are given a DAO token in exchange that allows the holder to start creating new proposals or vote on existing ones. This incentavises liquidity providers to lock value into the economy for longer-term.
Proof of Humanity
The Proof of Humanity protocol or fork will be considered to guard against bots and bad actors. Individuals will be “unverified” until a “verified” citizen vouches for them. This will provide a chain of verification and accountability.
The balance between transparency, privacy, and safety must be taken with care. Especially in an age where Muslims are especially targeted for surveillance.
The metaverse contains dystopian and escapism concerns we all share. Users can be hinted at if they are plugged in too long into the metaverse. Another mechanism could be the adhan sounds off 5 times a day for the metaverse to temporarily pause until prayer is complete.
Another concern is some virtual citizens may confuse obligatory rituals, such as prayer or hajj, to be performed in the metaverse. The UX must properly guard against these confusions such as a built-in qibla that is always on-screen, or motion sensors to let the user know they need to take off their gear and exit the metaverse to pray in the physical world.
And finally, bad actors are a concern since many will try to work against anything good the Ummah tries to build. Our struggles continue in the metaverse and the DAO will be integral to take proactive and reactive steps to keep the environment safe.
Below are key indicators in the industry and community that will act as catalysts to milestones of the Ummah metaverse. The following is a list of indicators that will accelerate the development and launch of the metaverse:
- Scholar approvals and endorsements
- Mosque signups for being a metagalaxy node
- Metanomics details and crowdfunding targets
- Hardware release of AR/VR gear
To facilitate rapid development, a metaverse SDK is envisioned to provide projects a turnkey metagalaxy on the interoperable and decentralized Ummah metaverse. The metaverse is a new technology and many things are moving fast. Currently, the best prospect to build the metaverse frontend is Unreal Engine 5. For decentralization and security, all data and assets will be stored on Ethereum and is decoupled from the frontend; in other words, the frontend can be replaced or thrown away anytime but the data and assets live indefinitely on the blockchain. For scalability, a layer 2 provider will be examined, such as Polygon, Loopring, or others.
From the topics discussed, we can extrapolate a roadmap to build the Ummah’s next generation metaverse:
- ✅ Create a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to facilitate governance. Decisions will be made collectively for building the metaverse, which involve the metanomics, tools, partnerships, and roadmap.
- Create a crypto wallet that captures the metanomics and facilitates prosperity of its virtual citizens. An Ummah token, DeFi mechanisms, and incentives will be devised to ensure self-sustainability and halal passive income.
- Create virtual plots of land to build mosques. The virtual construction of mosques will be commissioned, so that when finished, virtual plots of land can be sold to the public around it. Each mosque will represent a true mosque in the physical world to keep the metaverse grounded.
- Create decentralized exchange. A marketplace will be created to facilitate liquidity to the Ummah dinar currency, as well as a place to trade services and goods.
The Ummah has all the resources and skills it needs to succeed. However, it has been divided and spread thin for the last century. The Internet has provided the initial groundwork in reconstructing and reviving our civilization by repairing its communication channels. What was missing was a sovereign economy but was not possible before blockchain technology. Now, the metaverse perfectly blends these two essential ingredients to enable us to create a virtual model of the Ummah’s fullest potential in an autonomous, secure way.
IslamiCity will be a metagalaxy geared towards Islamic education to muslims & non-muslims and will designate a physical mosque that is conductive to its goals. We are also looking to partner and support other initiatives to join and create a metagalaxy in the Ummah metaverse, such as MetaKawn, Hijabi Queens & Bearded Kings, and Muslim3D to name a few [5-10].
IslamiCity was the first website to make the entire Quran available in audio and text online in 1995 during the beginning years of the public internet . As the new digital era of blockchains, IslamiCity has emerged as a leader and pioneer in the Ummah’s metaverse. It has led the efforts to create the whitepaper, tokenomics, DAO, associated NFTs and smart contracts, and will further create a metagalaxy which will then be used as a model. Below is part of a multi-phased roadmap for upgrading IslamiCity to web3 technologies and help create the metaverse ensuring Ummah maintains an important stake in the emerging digital landscapes.
- Comparative advantage, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage
- IslamiCity, the Global Muslim eCommunity, https://www.islamicity.org
- Mint the Entire Quran on the Blockchain, https://quranplus.app
- Quora, what were the main achievements of Umar ibn Khattab?, https://qr.ae/pvsqCf
- MetaKawn Huffaz Club, https://metakawn.com
- Hijabi Queens & Bearded Kings, https://hijabiqueens.io
- Muslim 3D, virtual reproduction of Makkah, https://muslim3d.io
- Muslim coins, a currency for the Ummah, https://muslimcoins-ico.com
- Islamic DAO, an Islamic Finance & Investment in crypto, http://islamicdao.com
- Marhaba, world’s first ethical halal DeFi ecosystem, https://mrhb.network
- Umar ibn Khattab’s administration, https://www.slideshare.net/UsmanShah7/hazrat-umar-bin-khattabsra-administration
- Developing Islamic City through Network-of-Mosque, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283568876_Developing_Islamic_City_through_Network-of-Mosque
- Islamic Coin / HAQQ network: https://islamiccoin.net