DUBAI (Reuters) - Shares in Twitter Inc have been found eligible for investment by Islamic funds, according to IdealRatings, a company that screens stocks to determine whether they meet Muslim principles.
IdealRatings said it had vetted Twitter in response to requests from fund managers and individual investors around the world. The social media company's share price soared in last week's New York Stock Exchange debut after a $1.8 billion initial public offer.
Islamic fund managers follow guidelines such as bans on investment in firms involved with tobacco, alcohol and gambling. Since Islam frowns on monetary speculation, they also shun some companies that use interest payments or have high debt levels.
Twitter joins some other big U.S. technology firms, including Google and Microsoft, in being found compliant with Islamic or sharia principles by IdealRatings, a California-based firm which provides screening services to major fund managers and compilers of equity indexes.
Top stocks which have been found non-compliant include Citigroup, because of its use of interest, and luxury goods group LVMH, because it produces alcohol. IdealRatings has found about 15,000 of the 42,000 securities it has looked at globally to be sharia-compliant, it said.
There were a total of 786 Islamic mutual funds globally with $46 billion of assets under management in September, up from $41 billion at the end of 2012, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Twitter has political significance for many people in the Muslim world because it was used to coordinate mass protests against the autocratic governments toppled by the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.
Mohamed Donia, chief executive of IdealRatings, said his company had examined the material on Twitter and decided most was positive for users, including tweets from Islamic scholars.
"There is a lot of content but the majority of content is useful for the community," he said by email on Monday.
(Reporting by Andrew Torchia Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)
Surat Ad-Duhaa 93:8
"And He found you poor and made [you] self-sufficient."
Surat Luqman 31:4
"Who establish prayer and give zakah, and they, of the Hereafter, are certain [in faith]."
Surat Maryam 19:31
"And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive"
Surat Al-Isra 17:26
"And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully."
Surat Al-Baqarah 2:215
"They ask you, [O Muhammad], what they should spend. Say, 'Whatever you spend of good is [to be] for parents and relatives and orphans and the needy and the traveler. And whatever you do of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.'"
Surat An-Nisa 4:36
"Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful."
Surat Al-Baqarah 2:83
"And [recall] when We took the covenant from the Children of Israel, [enjoining upon them], "Do not worship except Allah ; and to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak to people good [words] and establish prayer and give zakah." Then you turned away, except a few of you, and you were refusing."
Surat An-Nisa 4:8
"And when [other] relatives and orphans and the needy are present at the [time of] division, then provide for them [something] out of the estate and speak to them words of appropriate kindness."
Surat Al-Baqarah 2:177
"Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous."
Surat Al-Baqarah 2:271
"If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah , with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted."
Surat Al-Baqarah 2:273
"[Charity is] for the poor who have been restricted for the cause of Allah , unable to move about in the land. An ignorant [person] would think them self-sufficient because of their restraint, but you will know them by their [characteristic] sign. They do not ask people persistently [or at all]. And whatever you spend of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it."
Surat An-Nisa 4:135
"O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah , even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted."