A mosque in London is hoping to double the amount of charity donations made during Ramadan month by accepting bitcoin payments.
LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (MAY 25, 2018) (REUTERS) – Most worshippers at an east London mosque may not be aware of how cryptocurrency works, but that has not dissuaded the mosque from enabling Ramadan donations in digital currency.
Masjid Ramadan says it is among a handful in the world to receive charity donations in bitcoin and ethereum cryptocurrencies, despite ambiguity over their use among Islamic scholars.
Cryptocurrencies sit uneasily with Islam because they are products of financial engineering and objects of speculation.
Sharia principles ban interest payments and frown on monetary speculation. That has triggered debate among Islamic scholars over whether cryptocurrencies are religiously permissible.
But an imam at Masjid Ramadan said they view “bitcoin like any other currency”.
The mosque launched its Ramadan appeal to widen its donor base to generate funds for a host of community services.
By accepting digital currency, it hopes to get funds from Muslims in other countries, as well as make it easy for those already dealing in cryptocurrencies to find a source that accepts such payments.
Blockchain technology consultant Lukasz Musial said the process helps both donors and the mosque, which says it’s on track to double its donations this year to more than £10,000 ($13,308).
Muslims are obliged to donate 2.5 percent of their wealth and many choose to do so during the holy month, a time when Muslim charities are most active.
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