Ramadan mubarak to all our Muslim readers! Last week saw the beginning of the 9th month in the Islamic calendar, when a period is fasting is undertaken to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. Now, Muslims across the world will be paying zakat and sadaqah (donations to the poor in the community – zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, while sadaqah is an extra, voluntary payment). But one mosque in London has taken a revolutionary approach this year by allowing it worshippers to pay using crypto.
Shackwell Lane Mosque in London is the only Turkish-owned mosque in the UK, run by UK Turkish Islamic Trust – a charity. The mosque has added Bitcoin and Ethereum addresses to its websites for Muslims wishing to donate in this way. MOsque Chairman Erkin Guney told CCN:
From a financial perspective, the ethical aspects of an Islamic blockchain-enabled economy can help bring it into the 21st Century. The technology can enable global penetration, reaching people that currently have limited access to traditional financing, yet have a smartphone. We believe the model will appeal to non-Muslims too… Inshallah, the cryptocurrency campaign is a success and we do receive donations. If it works, I’m sure many other mosques and Islamic charities, not just in Britain but worldwide, will start doing the same.
Crypto and Islam
There is ongoing debate amongst Islamic scholars as to whether crypto should be allowed under Islamic law. The law of Usury dictates that a speculative, fluctuating currency, or one that allows for interest, is forbidden. However, commodities such as gold are “ribawi” – sharia law compliant as long as they are transferred fully and immediately, with no fluctuation in value. Clearly though, this mosque has decided that for the purposes of zakat, allowing crypto donations will only benefit the community in the short and long term.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos
Is crypto rabawi? Let us know your thoughts?