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ISLAMIC REVIVAL IN INDONESIA: FROM PURIFICATION OF RELIGION TO SOCIAL INNOVATIONS

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15 November 2018 23:04 WIB
Dibaca: 73
Penulis : Muhammad Rahman

 

We are living in a very unique period of history, when all of these technologies are still in their absolute infancy. We have an opportunity to embrace, understand, and actively design how these technologies are used. Impressive technology does not mean progress, of course, sometimes it can be the opposite, so we have an important role in shaping it for a positive impact and meaningful change.

Peter ‘Yaseen’ Gould

 

 

Introduction

 

Our world is facing unprecedented economic, environmental, social and cultural challenges due to globalization. This process of trans-border exchange without distance1 has affected negatively the lives of people in many ways: lack of security, financial and ecological crises, and breakdown of social trust, to mention but a few examples. Our primary institutions, such as state, market and even religious organizations, have not dealt with those challenges adequately. For this reason, people around the world, including Muslims, are striving to find alternative ways by creating new ideas (products, services, models) to improve the communities and the planet. These ideas 169 range from a meal train for new moms, online matrimonial platform, crowdfunding for social projects, Snapchat sermons, inner city farmers market to halal marketplace, designed to meet social needs and simultaneously re-create social relationships or collaborations2 . This collaborative feature of social innovations is well matched with interconnectedness and complexity of globalization.

 

This paper analyses social innovations as an instance of Islamic Revival in Indonesia. It studies the recent development of the Indonesian Muslim modernist movement, Muhammadiyah (established in 1912), especially in responding to the current global modernity - to the extension of nation-state system and the development of world capitalist economy. There have been many researchers studying Islamic Revival, but they not necessarily addressed the experiences of the contemporary Muslims and how the character of today’s highly developed global societies affects the formulation of the revivalism. For instance, there is an increasingly popular phenomenon of young Muslims leaving established Muslim organizations or mosques. They are called ‘Unmosqued’3 . Many of them prefer working in NGOs, joining secular political parties or creating their own start-ups to joining the existing organizations. However, this does not mean that they are leaving Islam and not contributing to the society. Muslims around the world, enabled by the advancement of technology, are creating new solutions to tackle the new social problems.

 

This paper is a general survey and exploratory work on the socio-technical articulation of Islamic Revival in Indonesia. The main argument is that social innovations serve as a channel for the young Muslim generation to be proactive in solving problems and, at the same time, enable them to re-institute their Islamic teaching. Moreover, as we can see from the study case of Muhammadiyah4 movement of Indonesia, social innovations are a result of 170 dialectical change5 of the insufficiency of previous articulations of Islamic Revival and the increasing complexity of the social world.

 

In order to support this argument, the paper is divided into two main parts. The first part contains theoretical discussion of social innovations and how it fits into the discourse of Islamic revival. This part captures the phenomenon of the increasing number of young Muslim innovators in Indonesia. It provides three instances of social innovations: Baitul Maal Wat Tamwil (BMT), innovative approach to the Qur’an by Pelangi Mizan, and the Garbage Clinical Insurance. These three examples help us understand the characteristics and mindset of this new Muslim generation in relation to the Islamic Revival. Those social innovations were not produced by Muhammadiyah directly, but these young minds were a by-product of the modern Islamic education system and movement in general. The next part focuses on Muhammadiyah as the Islamic Revivalist movement in Indonesia in order to understand the above mentioned dialectical processes. This case study provides us with a three dimensional aspects of Indonesian Islamic Revivalism which includes social innovations as the latest form of revivalism. Social innovation is neither a liberal nor an Islamist approach, but it is a type of hybridization, defined by Cevik as Muslimism. Finally, the conclusion contains an overall assessment of the implication of social innovations to our understanding of Islamic Revival in general and a trajectory for future research. This study confirms the insufficiency of traditional sociological approach to the studying of Islam and modernity or Islamic revival in general, and suggests a new framework of studying Islamic revival in the global age.

 

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Tags: ISLAMICREVIVALININDONESIA , MuhammadRahman

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