Bitcoin can be halal, mosque declares as it becomes the first in the UK to accept cryptocurrency donations
Bitcoin is acceptable in the eyes of Allah, a mosque has declared, as it becomes the first in the UK to accept cryptocurrency donations.
Religious advisers at the Masjid Ramadan in Dalston, east London, have said the currency is halal if it is "transacted in a lawful manner".
There has been significant debate about cryptocurrency in the Muslim world, with figures including the Mufti of Egypt suggesting it is haram, or forbidden, because it is used by some for illegal activity.
Because of its anonymous nature bitcoin has become associated with buying drugs and other unlawful items online.
But the mosque has declared that Muslims can use it for their Ramadan donation, known as zakat.
Muslims are meant to give away 2.5 per cent of their wealth to charity during Ramadan, an annual donation which is compulsory for all but the poorest Muslims.
The mosque, also known as Shacklewell Lane Mosque, will accept donations in two different cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum.
It has received advice from Shoreditch startup Combo Innovation, a blockchain company which focuses on Islamic finance.
The money is used to carry out repairs at the mosque, offer help to families who are struggling to pay funeral costs and shelter and feed the poor.
Zayd al Khair, a religious adviser at the mosque, said: "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."