The Transformational Power of Barokah and Silaturahmi in Muslim Indonesia

In: International Journal of Islam in Asia
Claudia Seise PhD, Berlin Institute of Islamic Theology, Humboldt University Berlin Berlin Germany

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In the following article, I propose that there are localized Islamic concepts and practices that can be applied to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of Islam in Indonesia in general, and Islamic dynamics and movements in particular. I focus on two concepts: barokah, divine blessing power, and silaturahmi, keeping family and kinship ties. Both concepts are localized and add an additional nuance to the Islam found in the Indonesian Archipelago. By analyzing examples from my own ethnographic field research, I suggest that barokah and silaturahmi have transformational power attached to them that can change a person’s understanding of Islam. Therefore, they should be taken into account when analyzing Islamic movements and religious change in Indonesia.

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