STF, UIN NEWS Online – The practice of philanthropy of Islamic social justice in Indonesia today shows high development potential following the strengthening spirit of the philanthropy movement based on the basis of Islamic teachings, the creativity of practice, government support, and the fulfillment of social justice philanthropic criteria. This can be found in various philanthropic practices at the rapidly growing level of individual individuals, programs, institutions, and associations in the country in the last two decades.

Similarly, the red thread of the findings of Social Trust Fund (STF) UIN Jakarta research titled “Phenomenon of Philanthropy Practice of Muslim Community in Social Justice Framework in Indonesia”. The research findings will be presented in a national seminar in Jakarta, Tuesday (03/27/2018). The speakers who will be present in the dissemination of research results are the Director of Zakat Empowerment and Endowments Ministry of Religious Affairs, HM Fuad Nasar MSc, Chairman of the Board of Philanthropy Indonesia Association Ir Erna Witoelar, Committee of National Amil Zakat Board KH Masdar F Mas’udi, Professor and Board of Trustees of STF UIN Jakarta Prof. Dr. Azyumardi Azra CBE, and Director of Dompet Dhuafa Program M. Sabeth Abilawa SEI ME.

In the press release received by UIN NEWS Online, Monday (03/26/2018), STF Director, Dr. Amelia Fauzia, said the dissemination of research conducted by the Research Division of STF UIN Jakarta is utilizing qualitative methods to read and map the phenomenon of philanthropic practice of Muslim society. This method is combined with an interdisciplinary approach both from the point of view of philanthropy studies, contemporary social history, religious sociology, and Islamic studies to see the comprehensive profile of Islamic philanthropy.

“This research is a preliminary mapping of the latest developments of Muslim philanthropy community practices to find out whether philanthropic practices of social justice have developed in Indonesia, and what are the driving forces, opportunities and challenges,” Amelia said.

The research data were sampled in eight provinces, namely DI Aceh, Banten, DKI Jakarta, West Java, East Java, Bali, East Kalimantan, and East Nusa Tenggara. The eight provinces were chosen based on the consideration of the existence of Islamic philanthropic activity, whether based on government or society, majority areas and Muslim minorities, as well as the socio-political context of communities and local government.

In addition, a number of Islamic philanthropic institutions such as Amil Zakat Institute (LAZ),  Amil Zakat (BAZ) Agency, humanitarian agencies, CSR, waqf institutions, academics and activists were involved in this study through focus group discussions (FGDs) in four provinces Aceh, East Kalimantan, Jakarta and East Java). Observations, case studies of institutions / programs, and indepth interviews are also conducted. While the search data conducted since September 2017 to March 2018.

Amelia explains, the results of the study note that in the last two decades, the practice of Muslim philanthropy in the country continues to increase.

This increase can be seen from a number of indicators, such as the increasing number of both community-based and government organizations, the amount of donations spent in the form of alms, zakat, and waqf, and the distribution of aid to target communities outside Indonesia.

Meanwhile, from the aspect of philanthropy organization, the number of registered zakat authorized institutions continues to increase in the 200’s. Likewise zakat and waqf, each recorded an increase in value and object to the range of Rp 30 trillion and Rp 400 of land waqf objects.

“The distribution of aid to target communities outside Indonesia is also increasing. All of it proves the tendency to strengthen Muslim philanthropy in Indonesia,” she said.

Amelia, also explained that the reality of such philanthropic practices provides a space for the development of philanthropic forms of social justice. According to her, social justice philanthropy is a more advanced form of philanthropy than charity charity practices that are limited to short-term or philanthropic services that are both empowering and long-term.

In contrast to the previous two forms of philanthropic movement, charity and philanthropy, social justice philanthropy goes a step further by encouraging the growth of justice or social change (social justice philanthropy or social change philanthropy).

“The social justice philanthropy that becomes the pressure in this research is the charitable practice which aims to solve the fundamental problems causing social injustice including poverty,” said Amelia.

Referring to the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and Social Justice Philanthropy, a philanthropic practice is called social justice philanthropy if it meets four criteria. First, it has a goal of eliminating the root causes of poverty, inequality, and social injustice. Second, it has a long-term, empowering and sustainable program. Third, using a non-discriminatory and inclusive humanitarian approach. Fourth, has a transparent management, accountable and responsive in doing grant making.

As for the program level, Amelia pointed out, some programs have shown philanthropic tendency with social justice. Among them are Environmental Empowerment Program by LAZ Harfa, Village Empowerment Program by Rumah Zakat, Strengthening Program of Interfaith Humanitarian Cooperation by PKPU Human Initiative, and Peace Scholarship by STF UIN Jakarta.

The majority of LAZ has non-discriminatory disaster response activities. At the institutional level, for example, a strong enough institution of social justice has already existed in Dompet Dhuafa with various empowerment activities, including strengthening democracy, such as the Anti-Corruption Learning Center and Lazismu, such as the Floating Clinic Program in Ambon and Indonesia Terang in NTT. In the Muslim minority area, the Madani Social Wallet in Bali also provides examples of inclusiveness and tolerance of Hindu-Islam, for example in medical staff, assistance to Ovani’s sister, and Nyepi parcels.

Amelia added that the development of social justice philanthropy itself is a positive thing for the creation of a prosperous society, free from the roots of poverty and social injustice through an inclusive approach. Because, in contrast to philanthropy type of charity over philanthropy solely focused to respond to the consequences or impact, philanthropy social justice tries to unravel the root problem of poverty itself.

“Social justice philanthropy has a goal of eliminating the root causes of poverty and social injustice, having an empowering long-term program, using a non-discriminatory and inclusive approach to humanity, and implementing transparent and accountable management,” she said.

Despite the tendency of strengthening, Amelia continued, research has found many challenges to be faced in accommodating the development of philanthropic practices of social justice, from government regulatory and policy levels to the formal religious foundation. From the first side, government regulations and policies that are poorly integrated and well synergized make the impetus towards philanthropy with social justice not so optimal. From the second side, the development of social awareness to help the wider community also requires more conventional philanthropic fiqh that is more accommodative, especially the meaning of eight ashnaf concepts (beneficiaries).

Therefore, according to Amelia, based on the results of research as presented by the Research Division of STF UIN Jakarta, presented a number of recommendations for improvements as well as strengthening the direction of Islamic philanthropy in the country. Among these recommendations is the need for the formulation of government regulations in favor of Islamic philanthropy practices to move toward social justice philanthropy, the need for the involvement of religious authorities in the formulation of a contextual and inclusive jurisprudence and interpretation so that the practice of Islamic philanthropy can actually contribute to change of society effectively, which strengthens the pillars of nationality and humanity, and the necessity of authoritative authorities such as ministries / state institutions and international agencies undertake a program of mainstreaming to Islamic philanthropic institutions to introduce philanthropic concepts of social justice.

STF is a humanitarian (non-structural) social institution under UIN Jakarta. Institutions established since 2012 are working on a basis of non-profit, transparent, and accountable. The four major pillars of activity are the focus, namely charity, advocacy, research and endowment. These four main pillars are all run in harmony with the vision of STF UIN Jakarta who want to realize the philanthropy activities in order to create a better world for humanitarian mission.

With such a focus, STF UIN Jakarta has sought to capture public philanthropy funds and channel them to target priority societies such as underachieving but underprivileged student scholarships, microinsurance for lower-middle-class social groups, endowments, and literacy development for rural and underdeveloped children. In addition, STF UIN Jakarta also bridges the distribution of community development aid for conflict affected people, such as in Rakhine State, Myanmar, through the Indonesian Humanitarian Alliance for Myanmar (AKIM) and conducts research on Islamic philanthropy activities in Indonesia. (usa)

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