The decision of a prominent religious body in Ingushetia to ban the use of cryptocurrency has sparked controversy in the predominantly Muslim Russian republic. Critics have voiced their opposition to the ban on social media, pointing out that the treatment of Bitcoin in Islamic jurisdictions is not one-sided.
Islamic cleric explains the reasons for the crypto ban
At a meeting in mid-April, the Ingush Council of the Alims passed a ban on the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies by Muslims in the country. Islamic clergy at the time said they made the decision after studying Islamic sources and concluding that religion forbids trading in electronic money.
The deputy chairman Mufti Magomed Hashtyrov has since had to explain the position of the council. This week, he told the local newspaper Ingushetia that cryptocurrencies as a means of payment have no physical representation and their exchange is different from trading in goods on a physical marketplace. The latter is not forbidden for Muslims. Revealing that the council had already intervened to resolve disputes over the cryptocurrency, even between clerics in one case, the theologian stated:
Only honest work brings people together, and virtual easy money bickers them.
Hashtyrov then insisted that “for the time being, cryptocurrency is neither money nor a commodity. If it becomes publicly available, legally accepted means of payment with a state guarantee, then we can talk about money, but not today, ”Ingushetia quoted him as saying.
Instagram users react to unfounded ban on crypto trading in Ingushetia
The newspaper shared the article with Hashtyrov’s comments on Instagram and judging by the reactions, not everyone agrees with his interpretations. As reported by the Caucasian Node portal, Ingushetes have commented that their country has more pressing problems to solve than banning crypto transactions. “There are many problems in the republic. But the clergy and the authorities are ‘fixated’ on cryptocurrency, ”wrote a user with the handle ‘tumgoev_111_06’.
“Ban the sale of alcohol, condemn corrupt officials,” suggested someone named “Kaddafi”. “They just found something to talk about and sort it out,” added a user named ‘eva_mango’. Others have questioned the validity of the ban: “I’ve been trading cryptocurrency for two years! Before I started, I read a few articles on Islamic forums that clearly stated that nothing is forbidden here if you don’t trade futures, ”remarked ‘tsoro.1.’ Then ‘dzurdzuk666’ wrote:
Not money, not goods, in what sense ??? If you can exchange it for money and goods at any time … Paper money is rubbish too. But we use it.
“I wouldn’t say that this is ‘easy’ money right now. Knowledge and skills are required to use it. It seems to me that this topic has not been fully explored by theologians, ”suggests a commenter with the Instagram handle“ angry_hare_4 ”, quoted by Caucasian Knot. The portal has also published another, more qualified opinion on the subject, that of Gapur Oziev, Associate Professor of Economics at the International Islamic University in Kuala Lumpur. Oziev, who has been teaching Islamic banking and finance since 2008, was surprised by the decision of the Ingush clergy on the matter.
“You announced a very old version of the fatwa. At the moment there are many scholars who do not directly ban it, even though they condemn everything to do with cryptocurrency, ”he told the online edition. “There are more questions than answers. There are many dubious things and the hadiths say that one should avoid the dubious. However, since there is no explicit text in the Sharia under which it would be possible to ban cryptocurrencies, it is not worth saying that it is haram, ”emphasized Oziev.
What do you think of the crypto ban imposed by the Islamic clergy in Ingushetia? Do share your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.
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