If you are a Muslim, sometimes you are worried that you will accidentally stumble across sinful material while surfing the Internet using Google and Yahoo. This is when Imhala comes in handy. Dubbed as the “world’s first Islamic search engine”, Imhalal is developed by a Dutch company with an aim to help protect the sensibilities of Muslim Web users from viewing content that is either haram or forbidden by the faith.
Imhalal works like any other search engines out there that allow users to search for webpages related to a particular keyword. The only difference is that it makes use of a two-layer filter system that either returns only clean results or prevents the search engine from displaying any search results at all. When potentially illicit words are entered, its filter will triggers the Haram rating system, which rates the search from one to three on its risk of generating forbidden material. For example, sex-related terms such as “gay”, “lesbian” or simply “sexy” merit a haram level of three. But “beer” and “pork” only merit one point, while “drugs” earns two.
According to the folks at AZS Media Group (the company behind Imhalal) said that the system is designed to facilitate several purposes such as functioning as a warning system, child protection system and to inform Muslims and or Non-Muslims what is supposed to be haram or not according to the Islamic Law.
For a test, I have punched in some queries such as alcohol or rape. Imhalal blocks the query and warns me that the results fetched by the system may contain haram content. Besides searching for webpages, users can also look for images, news and links to websites related to the keyword. Of course, its search technologies aren’t on par with search engine giants Google and Yahoo. It is just a censorship search engine to help Muslim users from encountering explicit content on the “dangerous” World Wide Web by accident.
Currently, our 100,000 users have tried out the service and the founder Reza Sardeha hopes to reach out to the world’s online Muslims, which stands at around 100 million.