ISTANBUL (RNS) — Mustafa Ergin, a shopkeeper, sits in the back of a crowded audience in Istanbul listening to a panel of economists speaking about cryptocurrencies.

Ergin, 42, who owns a corner store nearby, has spent the last few months agonizing over whether he should invest in bitcoin. “I have not bought anything yet, but I want to because it looks like someone could really make money this way,” Ergin said. “But first, I want to figure out if it’s permissible in Islam.”

With prohibitions on gambling and earning interest, Islamic teaching has a lot to say on what Muslims can

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