The Shacklewell Lane Mosque based in Dalston, London, may become the first Britain-based Mosque to adopt cryptocurrencies. Also known as Masjid Ramadan, the Shacklewell Lane Mosque is the first Turkish mosque built in the UK.
The project will be developed in collaboration with Erkin Guney, the chairman of the mosque; Zayd al Khair, the Islamic advisor, and Gurmit Singh, the founder of Combo Innovations. They have reached the agreement to accept cryptocurrencies, considering that Zakat is mandatory, and an impressive number of Muslims already use crypto assets.
“So that’s when the conversation at the mosque started. We soon realized this was relatively uncharted water,” told Guney.
“There were a couple of mosques abroad that also announced they were going to accept cryptocurrency. It looks like we may be the first in Britain to do so,” he added.
Asking for help from financial institutions, the mosque didn’t manage to get advice on what the three of those mentioned above want to do. For this reason, Gurmit Singh has offered to take the position of advisor. Muslims don’t have the right to make loans at a high-interest rate, the same rule applies to coins that are not accepted by society.
Gurmit Singh explained to CCN:
“Would we have had the sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2007-08, Black Wednesday in 1992, Black Monday in 1987, and the granddaddy of them all, the Wall Street Crash of 1929, if speculation was not standard practice in our conventional, Western banking system?
From a financial prospective, the ethical aspects of an Islamic blockchain-enabled economy can help bring it into the 21st Century. The technology can enable global penetration, reaching people that currently have limited access to traditional financing, yet have a smartphone. We believe the model will appeal to non-Muslims too.”
He added that crypto assets can be “accepted as a donation”. Taking this into account, the mosque has introduced Bitcoin and Ethereum public addresses to Masjid Ramadan’s website in order to accept Zakat and Sadaqab. Guney continued:
“The zakat will be used to feed the poor in our local community and help others in need. We will also put a portion aside to help with the urgent renovations needed at the mosque. Inshallah (God willing) the cryptocurrency campaign is a success and we do receive donations. If it works, I’m sure many other mosques and Islamic charities, not just in Britain but worldwide, will start doing the same.”
The principal advisor of the crypto project is Zayd al Khair. He has a Masters in History and is currently conducting his Ph.D. Interviewed by CCN, he told:
“With the growing usage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, there has been an upsurge in discussions among Islamic scholars about their permissibility. Initially, several voiced negative views due to the lack of regulation, and the speculation around their value and origin.
However, many scholars adopted a neutral stance, believing these digital currencies are too new to form a clear view on whether they violate fundamental Islamic principles or not. More recently, a few scholars have also started advocating the use of cryptocurrencies.”
Today, May 21, the Shacklewell Lane Mosque held a conference at 11 GMT in order to talk about the use of cryptocurrencies. Stay tuned to read more about.