A British mosque in London’s North East has begun accepting bitcoin and ethereum for obligatory charity payments to the mosque to undertake repairs.
They are hoping to raise around £10,000 in crypto during their holly fasting month of Ramadan, with Erkin Guney, Dalston’s mosque chairman of the board of trustees, stating:
“We are hoping to bring the attention to the Muslim world we need support. I’ve grown up around here and I have watched the community grow and the challenges it’s faced with – it’s a struggle, with housing, food, the cost of funerals and government changes.
We are trying to appeal to a wider audience with the new money. It’s big in the Islamic world, and we have set up a platform for wealthier Muslims outside our community to support and donate to our mosque.”
There was a debate in the muslim world over whether cryptos like bitcoin and ethereum comply with ancient laws set down around 1,600 years ago.
Clerics from unfree countries where dictators rule, such as Egypt, have tended to parrot their own government’s stance, but a muslim financial firm in Indonesia has very much closed the debate in an analysis which concludes:
“Blockchain proves ownership of the asset – it proves you actually have the money you’re sending in a transaction.
Conventional banking literally loans money into existence, and that is completely incompatible with the Shariah principles of money…
Blockchain gives you mathematical proof of ownership and that’s overall much more in line with the spirit of Islamic finance than any digital fiat money.”
The mosque’s acceptance of cryptos adds further legitimacy in the muslim world, with it being the first and only religious institution to accept cryptos as far as we are aware.
“Bitcoin is a new phenomenon so scholars are divided,” Zayd al Khair, a religious advisor at Masjid Ramadan, said before adding:
“Some have taken a practical approach and others have embraced it fully, and we have decided to take their position.”
Somewhat similar to the christian laws requiring around 10% of income as tithe for the church, muslim law requires 2.5% of one’s wealth to be given to charity.
“If Muslims, who make up a quarter of the world’s population, hold just 1pc of Bitcoins – or £1.04bn – then £26 million in Zakat contributions is due,” said the founder of Combo Innovation blockchain technology start-up that is advising the mosque, Gurmit Singh.
They are therefore hoping to tap into all that bitcoin and ethereum digital gold with this very ancient institution so trying a very new thing.