An Open Plea to the Scholars Who Have Declared Cryptocurrency Haram
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When in the early 19th century the Ottoman governor of Egypt, Mehmet Ali Pasha, introduced water faucets at the Mehmet Ali Mosque in Cairo, the Egyptian ‘ulema debated whether this new fangled contraption was permissible in performing one’s ablutions before the prayer. The only scholars who ruled this innocent fixture to be permissible were from the Hanafi school, and hence taps came to be known as hanafiyah.

For centuries, the use of the printing press by Muslims in the Ottoman Empire was banned on penalty of death, perhaps partly because this form of mass communication clashed with the scholarly oral tradition of information dissemination. The first printing press in Istanbul allowed by Sultan Ahmet III in 1727 aroused so much suspicion...