London, Oct 13: A bank in the United Arab Emirates has rolled out a new MasterCard that includes an embedded compass pointing the way to Mecca.
The card released by Gulf state-owned bank Al Hillal will allow the cardholders to orientate themselves towards prayers five times a day.
The card also complies with Islamic laws banning charging interest on loans in a bid to appeal to the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, the Daily Mail reports.
According to scholars, Islamic law or Shariah forbids ‘riba’, the charging of interest on loans, because it enables the rich to exploit the poor, creates social and economic crisis.
Cardholders will also have access to travel vouchers to pay for the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca, the report said.
According to NBCNEWS.com, MasterCard spokesman James Issokson said that ‘a percentage of the money spent using the card is donated to local charities.”
“We continue to see a growing demand, especially in the Middle East, for Islamic banking in general, and more specifically in our case, for cards that are Shariah-compliant in accordance with the tenets of the Islamic faith,” he added. (ANI)