Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani on Cryptocurrency

Question from Mufti Muhammad Wasie, student of Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani:

“Today I visited the august office of my beloved teacher his Excellency Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani and raised a question about the Shariah permissibility of cryptocurrency trading since currently its use is trending for business purposes. So much so that it is becoming the basis for the creation of various financial institutions, and many countries are in the process of regulating it on a state level. So in the current scenario how should the Shariah scholars guide people who are continuously enquiring about its Shariah status?” (May 10, 2021)

Answered by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani:

“For now we are not satisfied with it. It is mostly being used for speculative purposes. Personally, I won’t recommend it; rather it seems to be impermissible in principle. However, it could happen that in future its use may expand for real trade and we might have to revisit the current decision.

There’s no doubt that this currency is speculative in nature. Even its mass use is not likable either from a Shariah perspective…Initially, paper currency was enforced and now the world is being pushed towards digital currency, which isn’t backed by an asset. The near future plan is maybe to make the economies dependent on these, and subsequently these money masters will financial enslave the weaker economies. Therefore, we cannot encourage it and, as per fiqh, there’s no sound ground devised till yet to grant its permissibility.”

Note from Mufti Muhammad Wasie: “I showed this transcript to his Excellency Mufti Sahab and he endorsed it for general dissemination.”

Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani is a leading scholar of hadith, jurisprudence, economics and finance, and spirituality, and is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on Islamic finance. He currently serves as the Chairman of the International Shariah Council for the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and as a permanent member of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy. Previously he was a Justice of the Shariah Appelate Bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He has authored over 60 books in Arabic, English, and Urdu on a range of topics.

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