The Shacklewell Lane Mosque, also referred to as Masjid Ramadan, has reported that it will henceforth start accepting cryptocurrency donations. The move would make the Hackney mosque the first in the entire U.K. to accept donations in digital currencies.
Shacklewell Lane Mosque’s administrator disclosed the move to accept both Bitcoin and Ether gifts while speaking to British media. The 51-year-old Administrator, Erkin Guney, said the contributions would be spent on basic repair work at the mosque, helping poor individuals from the community with burial service expenses, and providing assistance to under-privileged Muslim families within the community.
Mr. Guney pointed out that digital currencies were new forms of money, and accepting them is moving with the times. He further noted that accepting cryptos is the same as exchanging cash from the bank.
Guney went further to discuss the financial commitments that well-to-do Muslims have to fulfill towards their fellow Muslims, namely Zakat. He pointed out that “the total market cap on cryptocurrencies is £290bn, with Bitcoin accounting for £104bn. If Muslims, who make up a quarter of the world’s population, hold just 1% of Bitcoin [holdings], or £1.04bn, then £26 million in Zakat contributions is due… It’s likely the actual figure is much higher. Currently hardly any mosques or Islamic charities accept Zakat in cryptocurrency. They are potentially losing out on millions of pounds.”
NewsBTC had previously reported that different Islamic countries were considering whether digital currencies were halal (permissible) or not. Late last year, the Grand Mufti of Egypt made a fatwa (religious injunction) that cryptocurrencies were haram (forbidden) in Islam. The Sheikh was of the view that digital currencies were both obscure and a safe haven to criminals.
In spite of that ruling, a religious guide at this London mosque expressed that those claims were unwarranted. Zayd al Khair said that such was the view among many individuals at the dawn of paper money when people were first moving away from a gold-based economy. He went ahead to state in a gathering held Monday that he felt different mosques would soon open up to accepting digital currency payments as well.
“Any money or currency is neither halal – permissible – nor haram – impermissible. Guidance is about the value which it represents. If money is transacted in a lawful manner then it is halal. We do not always know the source of cash donations, but we take these in good faith too,” Zayd al Khair told the gathering.