Mosque in London accepts Bitcoin and Ether

The Shacklewell Lane Mosque will accept donations in crypto currencies in the future. This makes it the first mosque in the UK to accept Bitcoin and the Ethereum crypto currency on a donation basis.

A late answer to the question: Is Bitcoin halal?

By 2015, there were an estimated 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, according to the Pew Research Center. That is almost a quarter of the world’s population. It is hardly surprising that Muslims are the fastest-growing members of religion. Although its total number is still behind Christianity, it is growing much faster and stronger.

Thus the question arose quickly whether Bitcoin is in conformity with religion – is Bitcoin haram (forbidden) or halal (allowed)? This question is also addressed to the Islamic law, the Sharia. It is aligned with the teachings of the Koran and thus offers a set of rules that Muslims can use to orient their lives. Here there are certain things in the financial area that are haram – i.e. forbidden – in any case. These include, for example, the demand for usurious interest (riba) or investment in companies that are perceived as haram. So the question arises again and again: Is Bitcoin halal?

Is Bitcoin halal?

The scientific answer is yes. And not only because a mosque in Shacklewell now accepts crypto currencies. In a paper, Charles W. Evans examined the relationship between Bitcoin as a “blockchain management system” (BMS) and Islam’s demands on banking and finance. He comes to the conclusion that Bitcoin as a BMS can comply with Riba’s ban and still observe the principles of the common good (Maslaha). He even points out that Bitcoin’s ownership structures could make it more compatible with Islam than the central banks’ fiat currencies. Among Islamist leaders, however, the question is still controversial – the argument is repeatedly put forward that it also depends on where the respective funds come from. The religious advisor to the mosque Zayd al Khai made the following statement to the British magazine iNews:

“Crypto currencies are new and their use is growing steadily. Under these circumstances, someone has to set the tone. We have now launched this campaign. If successful, many more mosques and Islamist charities will surely follow. Any kind of money or currency is neither halal – allowed – nor haram – forbidden. It is about the value that is represented. If money is transferred in a lawful manner, then it is also halal. With cash, we don’t always know where it comes from either, but we accept it in good faith.”

The Shacklewell Lane Mosque Masjid Ramadan in London finally announced that it would accept donations in Bitcoin and Ether in the future. The donations are to be used for repairs and to support families who cannot afford funerals. The campaign is expected to raise at least 10,000 pounds.