Jonathan Benthall
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Islamic philanthropy in Indonesia
in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times
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This chapter republishes a review of Amelia Fauzia’s book Faith and the State: Islamic philanthropy in Indonesia, originally published in the Asian Journal of Social Science in 2014. Most research published in English since 2000 on Islamic philanthropy and humanitarianism has concentrated on the Middle East, South and Central Asia, and Europe and the USA. Fauzia’s impressive monograph on Indonesia bears comparison with any of this research. She explores how zakat (the Islamic tithe) and sadaqa (optional charity) have been implemented in various ways in Indonesia. Her guiding theme is the tension between the private or personal imperatives of the Islamic revelation and public conduct where persuasion or coercion can be effective, including that exerted by the modern state. She gives special attention to the "modernist" Muhammadiyah, founded in 1912. The Chapter proposes an angle for historical research: to what extent did Christian institutions introduced by colonial powers affect the development of Islamic charities in Indonesia and elsewhere?

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