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July 16, 2018

UK’s First Crypto-Friendly Mosque Gets 14,000 Pounds in Crypto Donations

UK’s First Crypto-Friendly Mosque Gets 14,000 Pounds in Crypto Donations
UK’s First Crypto-Friendly Mosque Gets 14,000 Pounds in Crypto Donations

The first UK mosque to start accepting cryptocurrency donations raked in 14,000 pounds in Bitcoin and Ether during the month of Ramadan. In contrast, regular cash donations generated a mere 3,500 pounds for Masjid Ramadan, or Shacklewell Lane Mosque, as reported by iNews.

“It’s new money. It’s moving with the times. It’s no different from transferring money from the bank,” Masjid Ramadan chairman Erkin Guney told iNews back in May, when the mosque first announced plans to accept Bitcoin and Ethereum Sadaqah (Islamic voluntary charity).

Islamic teachings oblige Muslims to make annual charity donations (known as Zakat) during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Only the poorest are exempt, with the rest having to contribute 2.5% of their personal wealth.

The Shacklewell Lane Mosque received over 24 individual crypto donations from around the world, the largest being worth 5,200 pounds. The mosque authorities managed to raise almost 40% over their original goal of 10,000 pounds, which is still four times the usual donations received during the month of Ramadan. Most of the crypto collections will go towards essential repairs at the mosque, soup kitchens and shelters, and funeral costs for low-income Muslim families.

Guney said:

“Many people at the mosque were initially skeptical about us accepting this new money…When the donations started to flow in, we were blown away. We received four times more in cryptocurrency donations than in cash from our local worshippers during Ramadan, and we are still receiving cryptocurrency Sadaqah [donations]. It is amazing!”

The mosque received advice on handling the crypto donations from Combo Innovation, a London-based startup with a focus on blockchain and Islamic finance.

“I hope other mosques and charities will now follow Masjid Ramadan’s lead to take advantage of this important new revenue stream,” commented Combo Innovation founder Gurmit Singh.

Whether cryptocurrencies are halal according to Islamic study is still up for debate. The Mufti of Egypt has emerged as a critic, slamming the anonymity of crypto users as well as the lack of regulations. However, Guney believes cryptocurrencies to be fully compatible with Muslim teachings.

“Any money or currency is neither halal – permissible – nor haram – impermissible. Guidance is about the value which it represents,” he told the news outlet in May.

Zayd al Khair, who advises the mosque on religious matters, added at the time:

“Cryptocurrency is new, but its usage is growing. In these circumstances, someone needs to lead. We’ve started this ground-breaking campaign. If it’s successful, I am sure many more mosques and [Islamic] charities will embrace crypto-currencies too.”

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