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Author Topic: 2013-01-30 Is Bitcoin Sharia Compliant?  (Read 3589 times)
cho
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January 31, 2013, 09:20:56 PM
 #21

As far as I understand islamic banking, bitcoins would be a lot more Halal than dollars. The most important point of islamic law regarding money is the forbidding of applying interests (usury). That can be achieved with dollars, as much as with bitcoins.
But islamic banking seems to attach more importance to the "real value" of money than to the "face value". This means you can (as far as I understand) ask for interests if the rate matches inflation rate. If the focus is on "real value", wouldn't that make bitcoin a better currency than fiat ?

For a much better and deeper post on that topic, read Joise :
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=28374.0
"In addition, Islamic law forbids the use of a promise of payment, such as the US dollar, as a medium of exchange. There is growing dissention among religious fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia regarding the exchange of oil for US dollars."

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January 31, 2013, 09:47:14 PM
 #22

Interestingly (terrible pun intended), both Kosher and Islamic banking forbid usury. Though in both cases in practice its usually either ignored or sidestepped these days.
Now Im not a religious person nor do i claim to be too knowledgable about the subject, but it would seem to me that bitcoin might fit both religions better than most fiat currency.
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January 31, 2013, 10:20:40 PM
 #23

A cursory review of the article and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_banking would lead one to conclude that modern fiat currencies such as the USD are haraam since the creation of fiat money via fractional reserve banking is based entirely on debt (usuary), and that Bitcoin is a way better alternative for a Muslim wishing to be sharia compliant.

The implication of this over the long term for the Bitcoin price is huge when one considers that a very significant part of the worlds population is Muslim.


Concerned that blockchain bloat will lead to centralization? Storing less than 4 GB of data once required the budget of a superpower and a warehouse full of punched cards. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/IBM_card_storage.NARA.jpg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punched_card
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January 31, 2013, 10:22:09 PM
 #24

The better question would be: Is Bitcoin KosherGrin

Because if it is, there could be big money coming at us...

Lol ... coming at you in ways you could never imagine.

... someday you might want to notice who's sitting in the bull-pen of the opposition too.

Doesn't matter that there are some of them in the opposition.

If they would declare bitcoins kosher, that would mean the orthodox types would accept it as money.

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January 31, 2013, 10:25:32 PM
 #25

I think Bitcoin is in the interest of Sharia law because it lowers interest rates to zero, making the current system untenable. Thanks to the lack of inflation, Bitcoin's oft-negative paper inflation rates would make it impractical to continue charging interest.
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February 01, 2013, 08:37:12 PM
 #26

I'm not a fan of religion, particularly Islam, and I'm even less of a fan of technology (or anything) empowering the religious.  Yet traditionally the way it works is religious leaders make rules for their followers whilst doing whatever suits them.  In the case of Bitcoin what I envisage along those lines is for example, a priest who called Bitcoin evil and banned its use then as he had his religious police out there preventing the lay people using Bitcoin he would at the same time be quietly putting some money away in Bitcoin, or using it for his nefarious purchases!

For this reason I'd prefer it to be found to be compliant with Sharia so everybody gets to use it equally without threat. 

But just as Bitcoin is designed to be immune to government intervention and interference, there's also little in practical terms that could be done by religious leaders to control it either.  They might be better versed in the tools of guilt and shame to control people than governments (who haven't really needed to due to their use of guns) but I would hope the leaders would think better than to try and use it as yet another means of control.

The criteria as presented in the blog seem conveniently vague enough for 'scholars' to come to whatever decision suits their needs so let's hope they choose wisely Smiley

Please disregard Litecoin and Zcash badges to the left. I have just gathered they are an April fool's joke!
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February 01, 2013, 11:11:40 PM
 #27

Sorry, I did provoke this but seeing as you responded I'll go with this off topic flow.

Sound like you view religion as all bad and corrupt.
It's not the way I would put it but I can't be critical of someone drawing that conclusion from what I say.  I know many religious people whose core belief is that as humans we are inherently evil and that the good deeds they and other religious folk do (and their abstinence from evil deeds) are due to their faith.  This delusion is largely harmless but the corollary, the assumption that those who are not religious (or who are of a different religion) are also inherently evil but don't have faith to redeem themselves, is not necessarily as benign.  Mark Twain sums up where I am on the relationship between religion and human atrocities as follows: "With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion."

Religion doesn't go away and its frequently the system of government.
I think 'frequently' misses the immense progress on this over the last few centuries.  Historically, until relatively recently all systems of government had religious elements.  The separation of church and state, the concept of a secular government is phenomenally important.  Of course it doesn't prevent abusive rule but it takes out a whole raft of excuses for oppression. Recently, as I posted elsewhere, British secularists and Christians worked together to quash a crazy British law.  In the US I can't see this would have happened because the religious right seem to have forgotten secularism is a protector of all to practice whatever beliefs as long as they don't interfere with others.  Now they see secularism as an enemy,  as somehow an attack on their right to practice their faith.  They seem to fail to see that all the secularists want is that the religious don't get special privileges just from belonging to the dominant religion.

Revolutions and collapsing empires also don't go away and oppressive governments haven't lasted as long as some of our religions so I at guess there's good reasons for the faith many people have in them.
As for 'good reason' I'm not sure what you mean.  There are certainly fairly sound anthropological explanations (good reasons?) that explain the role of religion in human evolution and how religion persists even today.  Or are you suggesting it having been around for so long as being a good reason to believe in God? Isn't that as problematic as suggesting something must be right because a lot of people believe it?  Also the idea of someone contemplating the pros and cons, 'reasoning' out whether or not to have faith doesn't quite seem to fit my experience of how people come to believe.

Getting back to technology and the religious, in the extreme the argument is always that it's not guns that kill people but the people who shoot them.  It unfortunately takes very little imagination to envisage people who have bizarre world-views causing great harm with guns - or with planes, come to that.  Without intending to imply I have the right to prevent someone from owning guns I will admit to having a preference that some people didn't have them!  Likewise I would prefer militant Islamists didn't use internet forums to recruit, that they didn't use encrypted comms to plan and that they didn't use Bitcoin to fund their atrocities.  However, for me the overriding principle is that I neither have the right to deny, nor should I vote a representative to deny anybody other than convicted criminals the use of these technologies.

Maybe for the religiously oppressed, as for the politically oppressed, Bitcoin will be a tool that will have a part in their path to liberation (physical and mental) and for this reason I hope the imams will not deem Bitcoin to be in contravention of Sharia law.

Please disregard Litecoin and Zcash badges to the left. I have just gathered they are an April fool's joke!
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February 02, 2013, 06:16:44 PM
 #28

Actually no, it isn't exactly an important question  Cheesy

Maybe not to you, but the world is bigger than you.  It is a very important question to many millions of people.

Anti-religionists are just as hateful as the religionists they rail against.

There are many problems with any religious organization, but all of the sacred texts contain wisdom.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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February 02, 2013, 06:22:36 PM
 #29

Anti-religionists are just as hateful as the religionists they rail against.
One of the most hateful actions of all is to threaten a child into believing a lie. How long would religions survive if they couldn't bully children into compliance?

There are many problems with any religious organization, but all of the sacred texts contain wisdom.
Every scam surrounds the central lie with camouflaged truths, otherwise they aren't believable.
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February 02, 2013, 06:34:14 PM
 #30

Anti-religionists are just as hateful as the religionists they rail against.

Sounds like a clever comment but but I don't accept the presumption that either side are in essence hateful.  My impression from too many years following youtube theist v. atheist 'debates' is that where theists are angry they tend to talk of atheists as being evil, falsely (in almost all instances) accusing them of wanting to restrict their freedoms to practice religion.  Whereas atheist anger I think more generally is as a result of frustrations arising out of false accusations, of rewriting history and a failure to understand that demanding secular public institutions protects everyone equally.

There are many problems with any religious organization, but all of the sacred texts contain wisdom.
Indeed they do but the wisdom of the reader is a prerequisite to extracting the 'good bits'.  A religious leader/manipulator can also extract the bits that suit his needs just as a rose-tinted believer only sees the bits that support their world view.  More to the point a reader with the wisdom to spot the wise bits doesn't need the 'sacred texts' - I'd venture to say he/she is equally likely to enhance his/her wisdom from reading Shakespere than any sacred text!

Please disregard Litecoin and Zcash badges to the left. I have just gathered they are an April fool's joke!
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February 02, 2013, 06:36:46 PM
 #31

....... and for this reason I hope the imams will not deem Bitcoin to be in contravention of Sharia law.

arab/muslim countries are not united , even if one imam deems Bitcoin 'haram' , there might be other imams that deem bitcoin 'halal' , a fatwa is non-binding

if some imam says Bitcoin is OK/halal then that is good news , since more people will learn about Bitcoin and start using it so free advertisement

Thank you for the clarification.  I had understood that but I can see how the way I wrote it could look as if I meant they decided as a collective.

Please disregard Litecoin and Zcash badges to the left. I have just gathered they are an April fool's joke!
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February 02, 2013, 06:59:31 PM
 #32

Anti-religionists are just as hateful as the religionists they rail against.
One of the most hateful actions of all is to threaten a child into believing a lie. How long would religions survive if they couldn't bully children into compliance?

When I left home and went to college, I did not believe in God.  After I started practicing yoga, I had some extraordinary experiences that led me to gain faith.  Since then I have studied the majority of the world's religions very intensely out of my own desire for self improvement.  I have a much better life because of these experiences, and threats were not a part of it.  That said, you have to apply reason to the texts or you will fail to understand.  English texts especially are so far from the original that sometimes the original meaning is lost.

When I have children, they will be exposed to all religions and will be taught to read them critically in the context of how they came to us from prophet to writer to council of trent(at least for the christian bible), to translator, to translator, to translator, and finally in our hands.

Quote
There are many problems with any religious organization, but all of the sacred texts contain wisdom.
Every scam surrounds the central lie with camouflaged truths, otherwise they aren't believable.

I don't find scamming in the texts, just things that can be misinterpreted.  It is the organizations that tell you how to interpret it where the problem lies.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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February 02, 2013, 07:12:35 PM
 #33

Anti-religionists are just as hateful as the religionists they rail against.

Sounds like a clever comment but but I don't accept the presumption that either side are in essence hateful.  My impression from too many years following youtube theist v. atheist 'debates' is that where theists are angry they tend to talk of atheists as being evil, falsely (in almost all instances) accusing them of wanting to restrict their freedoms to practice religion.  Whereas atheist anger I think more generally is as a result of frustrations arising out of false accusations, of rewriting history and a failure to understand that demanding secular public institutions protects everyone equally.

Please don't lump all who claim to believe in God together.  People can call anything God and worship it.  That doesn't mean they have true religion or speak for all believers.  Don't take what the loudest say as what the majority thinks.

Quote
There are many problems with any religious organization, but all of the sacred texts contain wisdom.
Indeed they do but the wisdom of the reader is a prerequisite to extracting the 'good bits'.  A religious leader/manipulator can also extract the bits that suit his needs just as a rose-tinted believer only sees the bits that support their world view.  More to the point a reader with the wisdom to spot the wise bits doesn't need the 'sacred texts' - I'd venture to say he/she is equally likely to enhance his/her wisdom from reading Shakespere than any sacred text!

That's my point... The problem is not the texts or faith itself, it is the human controlled organizations that use if for their own benefit.

As for wisdom per page, you may be right comparing the bible to shakespere, but the yoga sutras will crush any text in wisdom per word (the entire text is roughly 196 sentences and even just the first chapter will provide you with plenty to ponder for the next 10 years).

DISCLAIMER: the link above is just one single translation to English of an ancient text originally passed orally in Sanskrit.  Please use reason and explore other translations before you take things too seriously.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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February 02, 2013, 07:54:28 PM
 #34

What is Sauron opinion about bitcoin???
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February 02, 2013, 10:17:19 PM
 #35

What is Sauron opinion about bitcoin???

He's all about centralized control, so I'd say not positive.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
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February 03, 2013, 12:22:44 AM
 #36

What is Sauron Megatron opinion about bitcoin???

ftfy

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February 03, 2013, 12:57:02 AM
 #37


No......
Women are not allowed to use enabling technology, so how would they use bit-coins?

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February 03, 2013, 04:43:25 AM
 #38

What is Sauron opinion about bitcoin???

He's all about centralized control, so I'd say not positive.

You know, the analogy of central banking as the Ring of Power has occurred to me before. The monopoly power to create money is simply too great to be wielded by any one person or group of people without corrupting them. Bitcoin, if it succeeds, will effectively cast that ring into Mount Doom. I guess that makes Satoshi Frodo.
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February 03, 2013, 12:53:18 PM
 #39

You know, the analogy of central banking as the Ring of Power has occurred to me before. The monopoly power to create money is simply too great to be wielded by any one person or group of people without corrupting them. Bitcoin, if it succeeds, will effectively cast that ring into Mount Doom. I guess that makes Satoshi Frodo.

I agree totally. All the calls for a more fair money system fail at the point where it has to be trusted to somebody.
Nobody should control the money, is the only way to go. That's why Gold and Silver worked because basically nobody could simply control the creation of it.

Regarding Sharia compliance IMHO it should be ok because Bitcoin does not imply or necessitate the payment of interest.


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February 03, 2013, 02:19:18 PM
 #40

I just want to add that the author of the article is a great artist/designer and I highly recommend him. He's done some of the card designs I sell, including







[Disclaimer: the profits on sales of these cards get split with Muslims4Liberty, which the artist is a principal in.]

Shire Silver, a better bullion that fits in your wallet. Get some, now accepting bitcoin!
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