“Sedekaholics” and Islamic In(Equalities) in Indonesia

Fatimah Husein (Universitas Islam Negeri Yogyakarta)

Abstract

In today’s digital age, Indonesian Muslims utilize social media to express their piety. One way of expressing their Islamic piety is through charity called sedekah. There emerged various sedekah institutions, including Simpul Sedekah, Laskar Sedekah, Sedekah Rombongan, Warung Ikhlas, and people who regularly donate to these institutions are informally called “sedekaholics”. These sedekah activities are mainly organized online; people are mainly contacted through social media to give their donations, they communicate their money transfer online, and the sedekah organizers report the use of the donation online as well. This presentation will look at how the Islamic uses of social media influence sedekah practices, especially around Yogyakarta area. It will specifically discuss how access to social media might reinforce religious in(equalities) between the have and the have-nots among Indonesian Muslims, while at the same time sedekah is meant for reducing material inequalities, or other inequalities resulting from poverty.