“O you who believed, who has disposed of you, fasts as it was ordained over those before you, so that you may be righteous.” – Quran 1: 183
Fasting is one of the special rituals of Islam. It encourages and teaches patience and delays gratification, both of which are essential to the Bitcoin philosophy. What does Bitcoin have to do with Ramadan?
Arabic etymology of fasting and Ramadan
Ṣawm (Arabic for fasting) means abstinence, this includes potential abstention from eating, drinking, sexual intercourse and / or speaking. Fasting in the Islamic sense means abstaining from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse during the day. Ramadan is the month when Muslims are required to fast.
The etymology and meaning of Ramaḍan is controversial in the sources. Some say it means “hot weather” and it is called that because when they chose the name it was hot. Others say it is “the rain at the end of summer and the beginning of autumn” or “the rain that burns the land when it falls” from the word “Ramaḍi”. However, the resolution of this dispute is beyond the subject of this article.
If you ask Muslims about Ṣawm’s morality, many will say, “It’s about sympathy for the poor and disadvantaged.” However, many Muslim philosophers and philologists believe that it is about patience, delaying gratification, and self-actualization. We read in the old Arabic dictionary Lisan Al-Arab: “Fasting is patience.” This brings us to the next idea: HODLing is Ṣawm.
HODLing as fasting
The philosophy of HODLing, which is mainly represented by Bitcoin maximalists, is based on a principle rooted in the Austrian economy, namely time preference. In economics, time preference is the current relative valuation made for receiving a good or cash earlier versus receiving it at a later date. HODLing is an action with a low time preference, as it refrains from spending Bitcoin on useful goods, services or products. Trading, on the other hand, is a high time preference as it focuses on quick profits or interest.
Ṣawm has the same principle as HODLing, that is, to delay gratification. Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse during the day so that they can receive God’s blessings by being more righteous. Fasting and Bitcoin, each in its own unique way, encourage low time preference and delayed gratification, which in turn initiate self-actualization.
You can think of the effect of low time preference as anti-consumerism. Solid money (i.e. bitcoin) is always incompatible with consumerism. How is that?
Bitcoin as Ramadi
As we said earlier, Ramaḍi means the rain that falls and the land burns. The word is related to the word Ramaḍan itself.
In our world of hyperinflation, consumerism is stimulated by inflating the money supply (i.e. printing more money). “How is that?” You might ask. If your purchasing power continues to decline, it is best for you to buy things now, not later. In contrast, in a healthy money (i.e. Bitcoin) system, holding money is encouraged as the purchasing power of each unit continuously increases rather than decreases, thus promoting HODLing and low time preference.
Bitcoin is the ramaḍi for our hyperinflated world, it is the antidote to its inefficient currency system, which is unfairly stealing purchasing power from the poor, making it more and more difficult for them to literally buy anything. Bitcoin extinguishes the hyperinflation fire while the Ramaḍi rains extinguish the burning land It heralds a new world with low time preferences, high productivity and low consumption.
From the idea to the expression: The night of power and healthy money
The night of power is the night the Quran was revealed. Most Muslims believe that the night was in late Ramadan. However, some scientists believe that it can be any day of the year.
On the Night of Power, Ismaili Muslims believe that “the Holy Spirit inspired the book (kitāb) in spiritual form into the heart and soul of the Prophet”. Then the Prophet used his soul and imagination to express divine inspiration. Eventually this phrase was recorded and distributed among the Muslims.
The process of creating Bitcoin was similar: first the idea of healthy money with limited supply popped into Satoshi’s mind, then he used his imaginary ability to express it in code. Eventually, this code was released so that everyone could execute Bitcoin and make the first healthy money in human history.
One Ismaili commentator said, “In the universal sense, the night of power is the spiritual state of receptivity to the Holy Spirit.” Now we might ask, is healthy money what God wants for us?
The only legitimate money
“O you who believed, do not unjustly consume the wealth of the other, just consume [in lawful] Trade by mutual agreement … ”- Quran 4:29
“Inflation as a fraudulent invasion of property could not take place in the free market.” – Murray Rothbard
Fiat money is continuously printed by the central banks and is a system of continuously devouring other people’s money and time without consent. Therefore it is not allowed. Central banks and governments in general are the first and foremost privileged party in this process where other people have no choice due to regulations preventing the use of other currencies. This control over free choice in the market is also a thing incompatible with Islam, although some Muslim countries have no problem implementing it. Let’s see this hadith: “When the prices were high in the time of the Prophet, the people asked him to fix the prices for them, but he replied, ‘God is the one who fixes the prices, the one who sets the prices, the one who withholds, gives and delivers wastefully and I hope that when I meet my Lord, none of you will be entitled to any injustice of blood or property. “The setting of prices, including the setting of minimum wages, is therefore an injustice. How is it different in setting the currency?
Ramadan is also about being pure and focusing on the more meaningful things in life. Leaving the godless fiat system is a moral obligation for each of us, and we cannot do that without Bitcoin.
Fast and HODL
The bitcoin translator
This is a guest post by Bitcoin Translator. The opinions expressed are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.