In the city of Hackney in the UK, Turkish owned Shacklewell Lane Mosque started accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum for donations, The Telegraph reported yesterday.
Shacklewell Lane Mosque is called Masjid Ramadan and it’s religious advisors deem cryptocurrencies as “halal”, provided that all related processes are completed lawfully. On the donations section of the mosque’s website, Bitcoin (Bitcoin) and Ethereum (ETH/USD) are available to donate, although it is not clear yet how cryptocurrencies will be defined in religious perspective.
Is Cryptocurrency usage in Islam “Halal” or “Haram”, acceptable or forbidden?
There are numerous “fatwah”s — opinions of Islamic scholars, debating the status of cryptocurrencies. One common ground could be that both cryptocurrencies and the Islamic financial model work on the basis of risk sharing.
There are different views of this topic from the Presidency of Religious Affairs of Turkey (Diyanet).
In November 2017, after a question regarding Bitcoin use, Diyanet replied:
“...trading cryptocurrencies is not welcomed from the religious point of view at the moment due to it’s nature. These types of currencies are open for speculation and can easily be used for money laundering or funding illegal activities and are not under the monitoring of the government.”
However, the same authority recently published another milder opinion regarding this matter with the question, “what is the religious ruling for the usage of cryptocurrencies?” Diyanet explained in it’s answer that any currency which has value among people and is used for trade is permissible, however, each cryptocurrency should be assessed individually.
Cryptocurrency is not permissible if:
- The process of producing or distributing the currency is unclear and elusive.
- The currency is used for deception.
- It is the cause of the unjust and effortless enrichment of a certain group of people.
Shacklewell Lane Mosque started this initiative during the Holy month of Ramadan, when it is known Muslims are giving annual donations to people in need. At the moment, it seems this has ignited a debate that will last for many months to come.
By Nadya Astam