Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific
Issue 30, November 2012

Cadari of Wahdah Islamiyah:
Women as Dedicated Actors of Ultra-conservatism

Eva F. Nisa

  1. During my research in Makassar, South Sulawesi,[2] I was amazed by the strong and positive spirit of Muslim women who were followers of religious revivalist movements, in particular Tablighi Jamā‘at[3] and diverse Salafi movements.[4] Support for the latter by the younger generation is particularly interesting. Thousands of young Muslim women from a variety of backgrounds have been attracted to the ideology of Wahdah Islamiyah ((WI) the Unity of Islam), a Makassar-based Salafi movement. WI is more than a large pesantren (Islamic boarding school) with various educational levels; it is also a big 'company' that gradually and intensely has coloured Islam in Indonesia—particularly in Makassar—with its Salafi ideology.[5]
  2. On 21 June 2008 in Makassar, I attended a WI event—a combined Islamic study circle (tarbiyah gabungan, often abbreviated to targab). Targab is religious study among followers from different levels of apprenticeship (marhalah or marḥala). The program, attended by 1,256 WI women, consisted of a series of speeches. One of these, on women and crime, was delivered by Ustādh Muhammad Zaitun Rasmin, who is also known as Ustādh Zaitun, the leader of WI. Ustādh Zaitun asked his female followers to strengthen their solidarity in order to combat all types of crime. He referred to a recent incident (4 May 2008) in which a man wore the cadar (face-veil) to disguise his identity and tried to break into al-Hidayah (a female boarding house at Hasanuddin University (UNHAS)) whose occupants mostly wear the cadar. Not long after the targab, on 29 June 2008, WI held another event which included religious lectures (muhāḍara) and which attracted more than 2000 Muslim women. When I attended WI women's activities, which included targab, ta’līm (Islamic teaching), and dawra (religious training), as well as larger events such as nadwa (seminars), I realised that WI pays great attention to its female members and that the female members in turn have been very active in maintaining support for WI. This support is especially evident in the activities of the women's wing, known as the Lembaga Muslimah (LM) (Women's Institution).
  3. LM was officially established on the basis of a decree (Surat Keputusan) from the WI central board in 2005. Its headquarters are in Makassar but branches have been established elsewhere in Indonesia. The purpose of the central LM was to assist its branches and affiliates by providing supervision, consultation and coordination. It has the authority to activate LM branch committees. By 2009, WI had thirty-five branches and forty-three affiliates in eleven provinces in Indonesia.[6] Central LM plays an important role as a motivator, a creator of the da'wa (proselytisation) concept, and manager of all activities including sending cadres to run the activities in its branches.[7] There are 5000 LM cadres in Makassar, with 25,000 across Indonesia as a whole.[8] Mostly they are young university students from well-known state universities, and this is especially marked in Makassar.
  4. This article focuses on the role of cadari (face-veiled women) in this ultra-conservative movement and the activities of LM women in sustaining the future of the movement.[9] Conservative and ultra-conservative movements are widely regarded as 'unfriendly' to women and are often perceived as positioning them as second class citizens.[10] I found that WI, however, strives to position women as important agents in its development. The lively presence of women in the group might seem remarkable to an outsider, as all female cadres wear cadar. Their active involvement in the movement underscores the important but often neglected part that women play in supporting ultra-conservative groups, where their choice of the face veil is assumed to signal invisibility, including in regard to group activities. A core element of this article involves exploring the commitment of the cadari to LM which is embedded in their performance of public piety. Public piety is a concept developed by Lara Deeb which refers to the expression of religious commitment that relies on visibility.[11] The roles that have been played by these women in the movement demonstrate how WI through its LM has brought these 'invisible' women to visibility, albeit in a gendered space.[12]
  5. Studies on Muslim women in Indonesia have often focused on how both moderate and liberal Muslim women as well as Muslim feminists have criticised patriarchal interpretations of Islamic texts upheld by the ultra-conservative groups.[13] It is also noteworthy that despite multiple studies of Salafism and radical Muslim organisations which draw attention to the harsh treatment of women,[14] there are no studies on women inside these movements with the exception of the work of Farish A. Noor.[15] Noor explores women's involvement in the jihadi Salafi groups in Indonesia, but he does not elucidate the actual contribution these women make to the quotidian practices of the movement and how these women prepare themselves to contribute to the movement. This article affords importance to the voices of women, especially those of the cadari, whose mobility cannot be seen by most Indonesians and who are often dismissed as terrorists and followers of a radical or deviant Islam.[16] Susan Blackburn has studied the role of Muslim women within Islamic radical organisations in the struggle against colonialism in Indonesia.[17] While politically active in the colonial period, following Indonesian independence she argues that their organisations kept women in the background and that 'radical Islamic women leaders disappeared.'[18] Blackburn argues that this phenomenon is different from moderate Muslim organisations in which women indeed became more active after independence. However, my research is focused on women in Salafi organisations who are affiliated to organisations that are more radical than the groups mentioned by Blackburn, however, my research demonstrates a different contemporary trend. The cadari in these contemporary Salafi groups are not kept in the background. They are active in the development of the movement, especially in the recruitment of newcomers, exemplifying what Asef Bayat terms 'active piety,'[19] in which they not only actively practise their faith, but they also experience pleasure in inviting other sisters to follow their path. Their pleasure can be seen as a sign of their achievement in embodying their virtuous habitus.[20] Aristotle points out; 'Pleasure in doing virtuous acts is a sign that the virtuous disposition has been acquired.'[21]
  6. This pleasure is expressed through their self-transformation and other virtuous practices within their new true Islamic communities. As Janine A. Clark found in women's social networks in Yemen,[22] being active in the recruitment process gives them a strong sense of worth and self-satisfaction. The same could be said for Salafi women. In addition, they are also active in engaging with diverse issues related to broader Islamic discourses, such as women and globalisation, terrorism, politics, women and reproductive health and gender issues. They are not only busy with their movements' domestic issues, such as arranging their religious study groups but, their involvement in global discussion is evident from the themes they deal with in their seminars and in articles on their website.

    WI in Indonesia
  7. WI was established on 18 June 1988, under the name of the Yayasan Fathul Muin (YFM) (Fathul Muin Foundation). The name was taken from KH Fathul Mu’in Daeng Mangading, a charismatic religious scholar in Ujung Pandang (now Makassar) who was also the leader of Ta’mirul Mu’minin, the Makassar centre of activities of the Islamic organisation Muhammadiyah (see below).[23] On 19 February 1998 the name of the movement was changed to Yayasan Wahdah Islamiyah (YWI) (Wahdah Islamiyah Foundation), and in order to provide an umbrella for their higher education institution, Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Islam dan Bahasa Arab (STIBA) (College of Islamic Studies and Arabic Language), YWI transformed into Yayasan Pesantren Wahdah Islamiyah (YPWI) (Wahdah Islamiyah Islamic Boarding School Foundation) on 25 May 2000. The final transformation occurred on 14 April 2002 when WI became an ormas/organisasi massa (mass organisation). The main goal for this transformation is to fulfil the need to spread and develop their da'wa not only in South Sulawesi but throughout the Indonesian Archipelago. It is also part of their strategy to establish WI branches all over Indonesia by 2015.[24]
  8. WI can be regarded as a splinter of Muhammadiyah, an Indonesian Islamic reform organisation founded in 1912. The founding fathers of WI, Ustādh Zaitun, Ustādh Muhammad Qasim Saguni, and Ustādh Haris Abdurrahman were all members of one of the Muhammadiyah youth organisations called Ikatan Pelajar Muhammadiyah (IPM) whose membership encompasses youth between the ages of fifteen and twenty-three. KH Fathul Mu’in was the mentor for WI's founding fathers and other members of the Muhammadiyah youth organisations, for example Ikatan Mahasiswa Muhammadiyah (IMM) (the University Student's Association of Muhammadiyah, who were aged between eighteen and thirty) and Pemuda Muhammadiyah (PM) (Muhammadiyah Youth Activists, aged from thirty to forty). Through the figure of KH Fathul Mu’in, WI had a close ideological relationship with the Darul Islam (DI) (Islamic Abode) movement.[25] The main reason for WI's founding fathers' withdrawal from Muhammadiyah was due to their opposition to the New Order directive that all organisations use the asas tunggal (sole foundation) of state ideology, Pancasila as their guiding ideology.[26]
  9. Upon the return of the current leader, Ustādh Zaitun in 1995 from four years of study at the Islamic University in Medina (al-Jāmi‘a al-Islāmiyya bī al-Madīna al-Munawwara), WI's commitment to purifying Islamic teachings by following the steps of al-salaf al- ṣāliḥ (lit. the righteous or pious predecessors) became stronger, including their opposition to Sufism.[27] Some Middle Eastern charity organisations, such as al-Mu’assasat al- Ḥaramayn al-Khayriyya, Jam‘iyya Ihyā’ al-Turāth and Jam‘iyya Dar al-Birr, assisted him in establishing WI.[28] Besides this financial assistance, Syarifuddin Jurdi, a scholar whose research focus includes WI, has pointed out the ability of the WI founding fathers to use the political situation in post-authoritarian Indonesia to introduce WI and to strengthen its influence.[29]
  10. WI has successfully built a close relationship with the local government in Makassar. WI does not incite hatred against politicians, even though in their view the government does not properly implement God's law. As long as the government does not prevent them from being better Muslims and from performing their da'wa, they do not fight against it. This is significantly different from the position of some Salafi groups in Indonesia. Consequently, WI does not pose any threat to the local government.
  11. Government officials are invited to almost all their major events. Indeed, the local government believes that WI has played a significant role in spreading da'wa and Islamic education.[30] WI's good reputation is also acknowledged nationally. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) praised the spirit of WI in performing their da'wa.[31] WI does not hesitate to participate in Indonesian political activities. For example, WI asks its members to exercise their political rights in the general elections by choosing a party that they believe can listen to their aspirations or at least the party that has the ideology closest to them. Before the general election in February 2004, WI published an article on Pemilu / Pemilihan Umum (general election) through its Dewan Syari'ah (Sharī’a Board) to give guidance to its members.[32] Although WI never publishes its preference for a political party,[33] according to some of my informants WI has strong connection with an Islamist party PKS.[34] Umm 'Afifah, a university student with two children, says, 'I think WI likes PKS a lot. Our collaboration in many aspects is very good.'[35] LM also often invites speakers from PKS for its ummahat programs (programs for women).[36] Umm Rahmah, a twenty-three-year-old cadre, explains, 'It is true that from the aspect of the organisational system we tend to be very similar to PKS.'[37]
  12. WI's close relationship with PKS can also be understood from the similarity of some of their visions, particularly related to the implementation of Sharī’ah Law.[38] However, WI takes a harder line on some issues than does the PKS: for example they do not support religious pluralism. WI also supports the fatwā (a collective non-binding religious ruling or opinion from religious scholars on questions related to Islam and Muslims) released by the MUI/Majelis Ulama Indonesia (Indonesian Council of Ulama) No. 7 in July 2005 on the opposition to pluralism, secularism and liberalism.[39] Their position on MUI fatwā and their close relationship to PKS therefore can also explain WI's antagonistic position towards more traditionalist Islamic organisations in Indonesia, especially the largest organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) which has a more moderate approach and tolerates localised expressions of Islam. WI, on the other hand, has received a positive response from the other biggest mass organisation in Indonesia, Muhammadiyah.[40]

    Cadari in Lembaga Muslimah/LM (Ar. Lajna al-Muslima)
  13. The participation of women in LM differs from that in other Muslim organisations in Indonesia, such as NU, Muhammadiyah, and PKS/Tarbiyah. The primary and most obvious difference can be seen in the presence of the cadari. The cadari are often stigmatised as fanatical women who are oppressed and invisible, hidden within their community. However, the cadari of LM are visible, and are not only visible, but active agents in the organisation. WI elites believe that wearing the cadar is part of Muslim women's effort to revive sunna (the practices of the Prophet and his companions).
  14. For WI women, wearing the cadar is their effort to be taat (obedient),[41] which in turn can lead them to be true Muslim women. Wearing it also relates to their effort to embody taqwa, which, in this context, refers to righteousness or obedience to Allah and is part of their effort to own the field of reward (ladang pahala). By wearing the cadar women believe they are able to collect God's rewards; they have striven to adjust their attitude and to wear decent dress so that they are blessed by God. Therefore, WI women assume that it is impossible for a cadari to go out alone at night without her maḥram (non-marriageable male kin). Wearing the cadar is believed to be a tool to train the women to behave respectfully. By wearing the cadar, they feel responsible for keeping their public surroundings more Islamic by presenting themselves as respectable women.[42]
  15. Every LM event is flooded by cadari. The cadar can be regarded as the WI female cadres' 'uniform'. But WI men are also subject to strictures on outward appearance, as indicated on LM's website. It says,

      Ketahuilah! Jenggot, cadar, celana ngatung adalah ajaran Islam, ajaran Rosulullah dan para sahabatnya, bukan ciri-ciri teroris!!! Tidak layak seorang muslim mengolok-oloknya. (Bear in mind! Beard, cadar, men's trousers above the ankles, are Islamic teachings, the teaching of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions, not the characteristics of terrorists!!! It is inappropriate for Muslims to disgrace these outward appearances.)[43]

  16. All LM cadres are considered dā’iya (female preachers or religious scholars).[44] Therefore, they have to be committed to train themselves to be good dā’iya. As soon as they start to learn about Islam then they have to share their knowledge with other Muslims. This is quite different from the position of women in other Muslim organisations where only those few members with special talents can be regarded as dā’iya. However, it is noteworthy that although LM women are very active in da'wa, they never get a chance to gain positions in the highest level of the WI structure, Dewan Syura. One of the characteristics of LM which also can be seen in other Salafi groups and which distinguishes it from conservative movements in Indonesia—like PKS—is that members always strive to strictly avoid any mixing of the sexes (ikhtilāṭ). Therefore LM cadres isolate all their activities from the presence of men. According to Umm Rahmah,

      This kind of very strict attitude was actually upheld by many conservative organisations in their early existence. For example, this situation could be felt within PKS milieu. However, nowadays PKS women seem slightly more relaxed in preventing any ikhtilāṭ in their activities.[45]

  17. LM cadres are active in public works, especially for their own communities' common good. However, their public activities do not fit into western liberal conceptions of the distinction between the public and private spheres.[46] Deeb and Stacey Philbrick Yadav, who worked with Muslim women, have discussed this issue.[47] Deeb points out, '"Public" here is broadly defined to include not only activities located in the public sphere but also the many types of work that are viewed as contributing to the common good, often, although not exclusively, through the institutional framework of a social-welfare or community-development organisation.'[48]
  18. The activities of LM cadres are also consistent with Deeb's argument about public piety,[49] in the sense that they demonstrate endless efforts to be true Muslim women. This involves visible virtuous practices, in order to internalise 'a total obedience' (ketaatan yang kaffa) towards God. Rachel Rinaldo in her study of women activists,[50] says that two Islamic groups Rahima and PKS in Indonesia also emphasise the nature of Islamic piety as public practice that can empower the women involved.[51] For LM cadres, to be true Muslim women means to be able to practise Islam totally (kaffa) and this includes their ability to make their commitment to Islam visible in public.
  19. There is a difference between public visibility of the Lebanese Shi'i women in Deeb's account and that of the cadari in this study. Deeb emphasises that her Lebanese informants feel that 'public piety' provides an opening that allows women to participate more in public life.[52] In contrast, the WI cadari's public piety refers to their efforts to create a more public version of Salafi practices or Islamic practices based on their Salafi manhaj (lit. a methodology that refers to way of life of the early Muslims). A public version of Salafi manhaj means that the presence of these women should be in the domain of strictly gendered public spaces and there should be no violation against the teachings related to women's dignity in Islam. This is discussed in the next section.
  20. LM cadres' activities in the public spaces challenge assumptions of the visibility of 'invisible' women. What I mean by 'invisible' in this regard is that their bodies are covered with the cadar. Noorhaidi Hasan, for example, points out how among Salafi 'the public sphere belongs only to men'.[53] The association of 'public' with 'visibility' is widespread.[54] Pekka Rantanen has also pointed out how the visibility of women's bodies wearing the burqa (the Afghanistan style of face-covering) in drawings has troubled western representations of bodily ideals and discourses.[55] Although the visibility of the cadari from LM does not refer to the visibility of their bodies or their faces, their public presence still challenges the Indonesian public.

    LM da'wa and the embodiment of public piety
  21. Adapting the insight of Deeb,[56] in this section I analyse how the public version of Salafism is embodied by LM cadres in their participation in WI da'wa activities at both personal and communal levels. In employing Deeb's concept of public piety, I do not mean to say that the visible virtuous activities of these cadari are their expression of piety, understood by most Indonesians as kesalehan which refers to the highest standard of one's spiritual state. For WI women the effort to create a more public version of Salafi practices or Salafi piety is part of their effort to embody ketaatan (obedience) and commitment to God and the Prophet Muḥammad. In their understanding, kesalehan is an unattainable goal. Their creation of a public version of Salafi piety relates to the way they embody their duty to perform da'wa. Da'wa (pl. da’wāt) literally means a call or invitation. In the Qur’ānic verse (XIV: 46) da'wa is 'the invitation, addressed to men by God and the prophets, to believe in the true religion, Islam.'[57] It has a wide range of meanings. In the context of LM activities, da'wa refers to women members' commitment to invite others to understand and adhere to the true Islam as practised by al-salaf al- ṣāliḥ.
  22. At the personal level, LM cadres' public piety is especially manifested in their commitment to be role models for other Muslim women, particularly those to whom their da'wa is directed. Wearing the cadar is one of the most important aspects of their da'wa, because one of the criteria to be dā’iya is to follow all sunna, which includes wearing the cadar. At the personal level, therefore, their da'wa is also resonant with Charles Hirschkind's insight on how da'wa can be described as 'a particular way of linking public activism with moral reform'.[58] For LM women, wearing the cadar makes their virtuous practice visible and is part of the embodiment of their new religious habitus to acquire ketaatan (obedience) and be taat (obedient). It is also part of their true commitment to religion and their community. For example, the WI branch in Bulukumba sets additional requirements for women to pass from one level to another level of religious training (tarbiya) by wearing proper Muslim dress.[59] This means that they cannot advance unless they adopt the WI 'dress code'. It is noteworthy that the training levels discussed below do not always incorporate formal requirements for dress style. However, there is a consensus among members that mostly the higher level members more strictly adhere to Muslim dress codes. For example, they wear a longer cadar than novices.
  23. At the communal level, the public piety of cadari is embodied in the way they embrace their responsibilities for educating Muslim women who seek Islamic knowledge and who are eager to return to the true Islam. This visibility can be seen through their tarbiya (religious training) activities (both as mentor or murabbiya and disciple or mutarabbiya) and ta’līm (Islamic teaching), which is more open to all Muslims. Today, in almost all universities in Makassar there are LM activities in nearby mosques or rented houses.
  24. What is unique about WI in comparison to other Salafi groups is that they have a special method of learning Islamic knowledge, namely through the creation of levels of apprenticeship (marhalah). Other Salafi groups in Makasar often consider the WI's method of learning as bid'a (an innovation which is forbidden in the religion). The WI's reponse to this accusation can be seen from the explanation of one of the LM cadres, Umm Yunus, on the reason for the creation of this method of learning:

      Why do we need marhalah? This is because in every type of learning we need a specific tool and a method. This is done to assist the students and the teachers in organising the most suitable learning environment. This is just a method of da'wa. Like a baby. A baby cannot eat rice directly. It takes time and practice, until she/he can eat by her/himself.[60]

  25. Through the marhalah method of learning, all WI members are classified into three levels or marhalah: ta’rifiyah (beginner), takwiniyah (intermediate), and tanfidziyah (advanced). The training for ta’rifiyah marhalah is sometimes held in high schools where LM has its disciples. Each level has a female mentor, who is responsible not only for teaching Islamic knowledge but also for making sure that the disciples can live according to the proper Islamic way of life. To pass from one level to another is quite demanding. Ukht Faizah, for example, says, 'I am still in the ta’rifiyah marhalah (level for beginners). Actually I have been in this marhalah (level) for quite a while. My murabbiya (mentor) has asked me to repeat this marhalah, because I was often absent. She said that I have missed out on so many lessons.'[61]
  26. Discipline is important in this training. Regular attendance, memorisation of passages in the Qur’ān and hadith (authoritative record of the Prophet's speeches and actions), and their notes are strictly controlled not only by their mentor but also by the staff of the Departemen Dakwah dan Kaderisasi (Department of da'wa and Caderisation) once every three months. Besides being successful in the final written and oral tests, and receiving a recommendation from their mentor, their excellent performance in tarbiya is also used as an indicator to let them pass from a lower level to a higher level. These assessments are aimed at monitoring and evaluating the disciple's progress and understanding of Islam. During my research among these cadari women, they confessed that joining the tarbiya is demanding, but they enjoy it because it is part of their struggle to be good Muslim women and to be truly committed to Islam. Umm Radiya, a thirty-five-year-old woman, says, 'If what it takes to be a good Muslim woman means to obey all these rules and to master Islamic knowledge, I am happy to do them. It is hard, but there is no success without hardship.'[62]
  27. LM is also active in organising special events that can help members to strengthen their influence among Muslim women around their neighbourhood. Their activities directed to outsiders for the purpose of recruitment can be regarded as the most visible aspect of their agency as well as their public piety. Members are actively involved in organising dawra (training) and workshops in journalism, Arabic, babysitting and mastering rules in reading the Qur’ān (tajwīd). Besides these training activities, currently they have started to focus their recruitment on older women who are active in majelis ta’līm (a meeting place for learning Islam).[63] When The LM cadres realised that the number of the female cadres in WI had increased greatly, they tried to reach out to other social segments not attached to universities. Today, LM has established a Corps of Female Preachers (Korps Muballighot) who are responsible for supervising and educating women in majelis ta’līm around their own neighbourhoods. In 2007, they had successfully supervised forty majelis ta’līm in Makassar, and some of the women who had been educated by LM had established new majelis ta’līm.[64]
  28. One of the strategies for bringing new recruits closer to LM and WI is to invite them to major events. For example, in 2008 in an event called Tabligh Akbar Muslimah (lit. Big Sermon for Muslim Women), they successfully attracted the attention of women from nineteen majelis ta’līm who came to the event and subsequently asked LM to teach them Islam more intensively. LM impressed these women through its unique approaches. One such approach was to legitimise LM's teachings as belonging to the true Islam originating from its main source—a position reinforced through their efforts to invite female Muslim scholars from Saudi Arabia. In 2008, for example, they invited Dr. Muna Fahed Alnasser, a lecturer in the Arabic Language at the College of Arts for Girls in King Faisal University in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and in July 2010, they invited Ustādha Hannan Saad Ad Dautsariy, a Saudi Arabian preacher. For many lay Muslim women in Indonesia, the presence of female scholars from Saudi Arabia, who justify what they bring as true Islam, is a sign that WI is propagating truth. Ibu Ardani, a fifty-one-year-old woman, says, 'The Islamic knowledge that I gain from WI is the true one. This is because they received it directly from 'ulamā' (religious scholars) from Arab countries. I am very glad to have the opportunity to listen to the speech from Arab female scholars. It is a rare chance in Indonesia.'[65] By inviting these Middle Eastern preachers, WI sends the message that Islamic teachings brought by LM are the same as those known in bilad al-Haramayn (refering to the two holy shrines, Mecca and Medina). That it is not deviant teaching.
  29. Positive responses in Makassar from the broader community have also made LM cadres confident enough to organise their major events in the main community gathering places, even in luxury venues. In July 2010, an event called Semarak al-Qur’ān (The Majesty of the Qur’ān), was held in the Celebes Convention Centre (CCC) (Sulawesi). The event was organised and managed purely by women, especially cadari. Although activities in LM are gendered, the women involved enjoy great freedom to exercise their agency, to do what they think best for their lives.
  30. For the prospective new recruits, the other important appeal of WI women's da'wa is their generous charity services to the poor. This is also an aspect of WI's special methods of recruitment. The WI's strong commitment to community service and public welfare is similar to the case of the Lebanese Shi‘i that was studied by Deeb.[66] WI has special sections and programs for its social activities, such as the Tim Penanggulangan Musibah (Disaster Recovery Team), the Program Dana Bantuan Kesehatan (Health Funding Assistance Program), the Program Sumbangan Baju Bekas Berkualitas (3B) (Quality Second Hand Clothes Donation Program), the Program Sumbangan Beras dan Sembako (BS) (Food Staples and Rice Donation Program) and the Program Sumbangan Buka Puasa Sahur (BPS) (Donation for Breaking and Starting the Fast's Program). In November 2009, during their Mukernas/Musyawarah Kerja Nasional (National Work Conference), WI created a special program for collecting charity donations called Program S3 (Nasional Shadaqah Seribu Sehari)(The National Program For Donating One Thousand Each Day) which was launched by Lembaga Amil Zakat, Infaq dan Shadaqah (LAZIS) (Zakat, Infaq and Shadaqah Collection Agency).[67] These programs are created to support da'wa needs, such as scholarships for the poor, donations for dā’i/dā’iya (male and female Muslim scholars) and the memorisers of the Qur’ān. They also support natural disaster victims, expectant mothers from deprived family backgrounds, and other programs including women's programs, as well as providing free medical treatment.
  31. This charity program has been successful in sustaining WI development, in particular because charity is always an important aspect of Muslim life. Whenever there is a call to spend money in the path of God, Muslims, especially those who have internalised deep affection for any gestures in the name of God, will compete with each other to give whatever they have without considering whether they come from the same religious ideology. One of the interesting methods of WI's donation gathering is to announce during the event, the name of the donation providers or the people who give alms. In such special events the attendees are not just WI cadres and members but also non-WI Muslims from the neighbourhood. One of my informants, a young mother with two children, who knew WI because of her visit to a WI-affiliated pharmacy the day before she joined a WI special event, said, 'I do not feel good if I do not chip in. When they started to announce the donors' names, female attendees also became busy taking out money from their purses. Although I am not really sure about this group, if the donation is for the sake of Islam then I think I should participate in it.'[68]
  32. Based on the amount of money received during WI events, women are very active in donating their money. For example, in December 2007 when WI elites wanted to pay for the land that they bought for the Centre of Educational da'wa (Pusat Dakwah Pendidikan) they were able to collect 27.5 million rupiah (AUD$294.92) from the male congregation and 37.5 million rupiah (AUD$402.16) from the female congregation. In addition to this, most of the female congregation was more willing to donate valuable goods. For example, in this event, WI received sixty-two gold rings, fifty-four gold earrings, two gold bracelets and thirty-two wristwatches.[69] Despite their strict outward appearance with the cadar and ‘abāya and their secretiveness, LM tries to show most Muslims in Makassar that they are not a terrorist group; they are part of a da'wa group.
  33. The difference from the pious women Deeb describes among Lebanese Shi‘i is that the cadari of LM create their own public version of Salafi piety by carefully maintaining their public presence and in a way that does not violate their strict understanding of Islam. The cadar should be worn at all times and men should be absent from their public activities. The public activities of WI cadari follow the same principle as Lebanese Shi‘i, that they are not necessarily visible. However, the participation of some Lebanese Shi‘i women in their public volunteerism, such as maintaining orphanages and schools, may not conform to religious conviction but it can be their strategy to get out of their houses.[70] This kind of intention for passionate cadari in Indonesia is regarded as a serious violation of their Salafi ideology.

    Concluding remarks
  34. Muslim women's visibility in public life in Indonesia is not something new; women in Indonesian Muslim mass organisations, such as NU and Muhammadiyah, have always been active in public life.[71] However, in the early years of the Salafi movement (especially in the 1970s and 1980s) this phenomenon was barely evident in Salafi factions, especially among women who wear the cadar. The Salafi cadari are becoming more visible, particularly since the number of the wearers has increased (from the 2000s onwards) and the establishment of women's institutions within their Salafi groups has grown (from 2005 onwards). Their visibility can be seen through the embodiment of active and public piety which is manifested in da'wa activities on both personal and communal levels (da'wa for themselves and da'wa for others). Despite the stigma attached to their appearance and chosen lifestyles, the constant effort of the cadari to make themselves visible in public through displays of religious public activities has contributed to growing positive perceptions of them. The activities of LM cadari in da'wa, especially for the development of their own institutions, express their pleasure in doing virtuous acts. This phenomenon demonstrates the agency of cadari. Being active in da'wa for others is also related to self-satisfaction because it embodies their religious habitus and maintains their commitment to their religion.
  35. LM women are the most prominent exemplars of the proposition that membership of Salafi movements that emphasise sex segregation and strict religious dress does not hinder women from performing religious activities outside their domestic domain. Although LM has brought these women out of their domestic sphere into public activities, their activities still occur in a separate sphere from that of men. Their social actions are still gendered. The public visibility of these women is in conformity with the ideal of Salafi teachings and so does not conform to western liberal notions of 'public'. The main rule they are expected to uphold is that their public activities must be associated with their commitment to live as true Muslim women and to their dedication to preserve the dignity of their groups. The cadari themselves are active in creating their own public version of Salafi piety which does not violate the Salafi teaching that they uphold. Their presence in public life means they are able to create their own version of public 'secure' space and public action.


    [1] I am grateful to two the anonymous reviewers, as well as Kathryn Robinson, Andrew McWilliam, Greg Fealy, Rachel Rinaldo, Phillip Winn, Stephen Milnes, Piers Kelly, and Faried F. Saenong for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this article. Errors if any are solely mine.

    [2] Data for this ethnographic study was collected between 2008 and 2010. It involved a combined total of fifty-three informants including female and male Wahdah Islamiya cadres and members, as well as non-members.

    [3] Tablighi Jamā‘at is one of the transnational Islamic reform movements founded in the 1920s which came to Indonesia in 1952. See Abdul Aziz, 'The Jamaah Tabligh movement in Indonesia: peaceful fundamentalism,' in Studia Islamika, vol. 11, no. 3 (2004): 467–517, p. 477. For interesting studies on the Tablighi Jamā’at, see M. Anwarul Haq, The Faith Movement of Mawlana Muhammad Ilyas, London: Allen and Unwin, 1972; Muhammad Khalid Masud, ed., Travellers in Faith: Studies of the Jemaat Tabligh as a Transnational Islamic Movement for Faith Revewal, Leiden: Brill, 2000; Barbara D. Metcalf, Traditionalist Islamic Activism: Deoband, Tablighis and Talibs, ISIM Paper IV, Leiden: International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM), 2002; Eva F. Amrullah, 'Seeking sanctuary in "the age of disorder": women in contemporary Tablighi Jamā’at,' in Contemporary Islam, vol. 5, no. 2 (2011): 135–60.

    [4] The term Salafi means the follower of al-salaf al- ṣāliḥ (lit. the righteous or pious predecessors). The Salafi movement is a purification movement which tries to emulate the practice of Islam performed by al-salaf al- ṣāliḥ, the first three generations of Islam. The first, the Prophet and his ṣahāba (companions); the second, the tābi'een (the followers of the companions); the third, the tābi’u al-tābi‘een (the followers of the followers of the companions). However, this term should not be confused with the reformist Salafism promoted by Jamāl al-Dīn al-Afghānī (1839–1897), Muḥammad ʿAbdū (1849–1905) and Muḥammad Rašīd Riḍā (1865–1935) in Egypt. They share the same name but have a different ideological lineage. See Assaf Moghadam, The Globalization of Martyrdom, Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 2008, pp. 94–95. For more discussions on Salafism, see Roel Meijer, 'Introduction,' in Global Salafism: Islam's New Religious Movement, ed. Roel Meijer, New York: Columbia University Press, 2009, pp. 1–32.

    [5] Some of WI's businesses include a maternal care clinic (Makassar), a pharmacy (Makassar), bookshops (Makassar), a health clinic (Gowa), chocolate and clove plantations (Kolaka and Bulukumba) and a gold mine (Enrekang).

    [6] Hadiati, 'Komunikasi dakwah dan dinamika kelompok Wahdah Islamiyah di Sulawesi Selatan,' unpublished thesis, Makassar: Universitas Hasanuddin, 2009, p. 8.

    [7] Wahdah Administrator, 'Kiprah lembaga Muslimah Wahdah Islamiyah pusat,' Wahdah Islamiyah, 21 May 2006, URL:, site accessed 27 January 2011.

    [8] Hadiati, 'Komunikasi dakwah,' p. 119.

    [9] I use the term ultra-conservative here to distinguish this movement from other conservative Islamic groups in Indonesia, such as Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, Jamaah Tarbiyah and its political vehicle PKS/Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (Prosperous Justice Party). Salafi's Islamic understandings are stricter than those of conservative Islamic groups. Therefore, I prefer to add the term 'ultra' to define them. Other scholars prefer the term 'conservative' to identify Salafi groups. See, for instance, Angel Rabasa, 'Islamic education in Southeast Asia,' in Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, vol. 2 (September 2005): 97–108, p. 98.

    [10] See Jasmin Zine, 'Muslim women and the politics of representation,' in the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, vol. 19, no. 4 (2002): 1–22, p. 12; Rachel Rinaldo, 'Envisioning the nation: women activists, religion and the public sphere in Indonesia,' in Social Force, vol. 86, no. 4 (June 2008): 1781–804, p. 1784.

    [11] Lara Deeb, An Enchanted Modern: Gender and Public Piety in Shi‘i Lebanon, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006.

    [12] The 'invisibility' of cadari refers to the assumption by outsiders regarding the presence of these women in the Indonesian public sphere.

    [13] See Kathryn Robinson, 'Islamic influences on Indonesian feminism,' in Social Analysis, vol. 50, no. 1 (2006): 171–77; 'Islamic cosmopolitics, human rights and anti-violence strategies,' in Anthropology and the New Cosmopolitanism, ed. P. Werbner, Oxford, New York: Berg, 2008, pp. 111–34; Gender, Islam and Democracy in Indonesia, London and New York: Routledge, 2009; Rinaldo, 'Envisioning the nation,' p. 1791; Susan Blackburn, 'Indonesian women and political Islam,' in Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, vol. 39, no. 1 (February 2008): 83–105, p. 95; Saskia E. Wieringa, 'Women resisting creeping Islamic fundamentalism in Indonesia,' in Asian Journal of Women's Studies, (2009), URL:, accessed 9 December 2011. See also Alimatul Qibtiyah's article in this issue.

    [14] Noorhaidi Hasan, Laskar Jihad: Islam, Militancy, and the Quest for Identity in Post-New Order Indonesia, New York: Cornell Southeast Asia Program, 2006, p. 26; Norani Othman, 'Muslim women and the challenge of Islamic fundamentalism/extremism: an overview of Southeast Asian Muslim women's struggle for human rights and gender equality,' in Women's Studies International Forum, vol. 29, no. 4 (July – August 2006): 339–53, p. 339; Mark Woodward, Inayah Rohmaniya, Ali Amin, Hasan Davulvu and Diana Coleman, 'Modeling Muslim social movements: a case study of Indonesian Salafism,' paper presented at the 10th Annual Conference on Islamic Studies, Banjarmasin Indonesia, 1–4 November 2010, p. 15.

    [15] Farish A. Noor, 'Women in the service of the jundullah: the case of women supporters of the Jama'ah Islamiyah of Indonesia,' paper presented at the workshop on Female Suicide Bombers and Europe, London: International Institute for Strategic Studies, 12 March 2007.

    [16] Studies on the existence of WI and the presence of cadari within the movement have also mentioned these prejudices. See Hadiati, 'Komunikasi dakwah,' pp. 6–7; Moh. Salim Aldjufri, 'Wahdah Islamiyah di Gorontalo: Studi tentang corak pemikiran dan respons masyarakat,' unpublished thesis, Makassar: Universitas Islam Negeri Alauddin, 2010, pp. 242–43.

    [17] Blackburn, 'Indonesian women and political Islam,' pp. 83–105. Blackburn differentiates between the use of the terms 'Islamic' and 'Muslim' Indonesians. Islamic Indonesian refers to those 'for whom their religious identity takes precedence and the latter to refer more generally to religious affiliation.' See Blackburn, 'Indonesian women and political Islam,' p. 84. Although the women in Blackburn's studies were different from those women in my study, referring to her classification in general, the affiliation of Salafi women leans not towards the moderate group but to the radical one.

    [18] Blackburn, 'Indonesian women and political Islam,' p. 90.

    [19] Asef Bayat, Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn, Stanford, CA.: Stanford University Press, 2007. The same spirit of active piety can also be seen among Tablighi followers. See Amrullah, 'Seeking sanctuary in "the age of disorder",' p. 151.

    [20] Following Saba Mahmood, virtuous habitus in this context refers to the Aristotelian formulation of habitus that emphasises the role of ethical pedagogy or 'conscious training in the habituation of virtues.' See Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2005, p. 139. See also Eva F. Nisa, 'Marriage and divorce for the sake of religion: the marital life of cadari in Indonesia,' in Asian Journal of Social Science, vol. 39 (2011): 797–820.

    [21] Aristotle, The Basic Works of Aristotle, ed. R. McKeon, New York: Random House, 1941, p. 929.

    [22] Janine A. Clark, Islam, Charity, and Activism: Middle-Class Networks and Social Welfare in Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen, Bloomington, Ind: Indiana University Press, 2004.

    [23] Hamdan Juhannis, 'The struggle for formalist Islam in South Sulawesi: from Darul Islam (DI) to Komite Persiapan Penegakkan Syariat Islam (KPPSI),' unpublished thesis, Canberra: the Australian National University, July 2006, p. 153.

    [24] Syarifuddin Jurdi, Sejarah Wahdah Islamiyah: Sebuah Geliat Ormas Islam di Era Transisi, Yogyakarta: Kreasi Wacana, 2007, p. 131.

    [25] Aldjufri, 'Wahdah Islamiyah di Gorontalo,' p. 142; see Juhannis, 'The struggle for formalist Islam in South Sulawesi,' p. 153. On the Darul Islam Movement, see C. Van Dijk, Rebellion under the Banner of Islam: The Darul Islam in Indonesia, the Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1981.

    [26] Asas tungal (sole foundation) was the Suharto policy on the ideological basis of political organisations. Islamic organisations that wanted to be active in politics had to formally adopt Pancasila, the state ideology and could not use religion as their ideological foundation. This was part of Suharto's policy to depoliticise Islam, which heightened in the mid-1980s. See Martin van Bruinessen, 'Genealogies of Islamic radicalism in post-Suharto Indonesia,' in South East Asia Research, vol. 10, no. 2 (2002): 117–54, p. 132. Muhammadiyah accepted the asas tunggal and declared it at Muhammadiyah's Forty-first National Congress in Surakarta from 7–11 December 1985. It is noteworthy that the rejection of Pancasila as the sole foundation also came from other groups, such as from some Himpunan Mahasiswa Islam (HMI) (Islamic Students Association) members. See Faisal Ismail, 'Pancasila as the sole basis for all political parties and for all mass organizations: an account of Muslims' responses,' in Studia Islamika, vol. 3, no. 4 (1996): 1–92.

    [27] Aldjufri, 'Wahdah Islamiyah di Gorontalo,' p. 167.

    [28] Hasan, Laskar Jihad, p. 57.

    [29] Jurdi, Sejarah Wahdah Islamiyah, p. 128. ICG reports have connected the history of WI with the Jama'ah Islamiyah or Jemaah Islamiyya/JI network—Muslim extremist groups which strive to forge an Islamic nation (al-dawla al-Islamiyya) in Southeast Asia. One of the reports argues that there are 'personal, historical, ideological and religious bonds linking Wahdah to JI but it is a separate organisation.' See ICG, 'Jemaah Islamiyah in South East Asia: damaged but still dangerous,' in ICG Asia Report, no. 63 (26 August 2003), p. 13, URL:, accessed 27 September 2008. According to ICG, one of the most important moments in the history of WI was the conflict in Ambon in January 1999. WI elites split into two groups, one led by Ustādh Zaitun and the other by Agus Dwikarna. The latter group felt obliged to help their Muslim brothers in Ambon and then established Laskar Jundullah (see ICG, 'Jemaah Islamiyah in South East Asia,' pp. 14–15; see also Noorhaidi Hasan, Laskar Jihad, p. 21). Laskar Jundullah is a regional militia in South Sulawesi which was formerly the paramilitary wing of KPPSI/Komite Persiapan Penegakan Syari'at Islam (Preparatory Committee for the Implementation of Islamic Law), an umbrella organisation that proposes the holistic implementation of Shari'ah Law, (see Farish A. Noor, 'Mapping the religious and secular parties in South Sulawesi and Tanah Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia,' in RSIS Working Paper S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, no. 213, (12 November 2010): 1–46, p. 9). Agus Dwikarna, who was arrested in the Philippines in March 2002 for illegal possession of explosives, was head of Laskar Jundullah. However, ICG reports on WI have been criticised by Syarifuddin Jurdi. Jurdi argues that the reports are very subjective and full of flaws, such as the assertion that WI was one of the organisations which the US argued had to be closley watched (see Syarifuddin Jurdi, Islam dan Politik Lokal: Studi Kritis atas Nalar Politik Wahdah Islamiyah, Yogyakarta: Pustaka Cendekia, 2006).

    At an international seminar on terrorism and conflict in Southeast Asia organised by the Department of International Relations, Universitas Hasanuddin, 18 June 2010, Ustādh Rahmat Abdurrahman from WI complained about ICG reports on WI—in particular allegations of WI's involvement in terrorist networks in Indonesia. He asked Sidney Jones, the Southeast Asia Project Director of ICG in Jakarta, to make a new report to clarify the misleading assessments of WI (see Wahdah Administrator, 'Sidney Jones: Wahdah Islamiyah bukan organisasi teroris,' in WI, 29 June 2010, URL:, accessed 17 August 2010.

    [30] Administrator, 'Testimoni tokoh,' Wahdah Islamiyah, 27 May 2007, URL:, site accessed 12 June 2011.

    [31] Muhammad Nurhidayat Kaban, 'Resensi Buku: Wahdah Islamiyah, ormas lokal yang diperhitungkan dunia internasional,' Wahdah Islamiyah, 18 July 2006, URL:, site accessed 14 June 2011.

    [32] Wahdah Administrator, 'Penjelasan Dewan Syari'ah Wahdah Islamiyah tentang Pemulihan Umum,' Wahdah Islamiyah, 23 March 2009, URL:, site accessed 3 August 2010. See also Masykur,'Pencetak dai dari Timur,' in Majalah Hidayatullah, no. 2 (25 July 2007), p. 40, URL:, site accessed 17 August 2009.

    [33] On WI's position towards political parties in Indonesia, see Jurdi, Islam dan Politik Lokal. Besides PKS, other parties that gained support from WI are Partai Bulan Bintang (PBB) (the Crescent Moon and Star Party) and Partai Bintang Reformasi (PBR) (The Reform Star Party). Aldjufri, 'Wahdah Islamiyah di Gorontalo,' pp. 236–37.

    [34] WI was also very disappointed with PKS President Tifatul Sembiring's statement on the jilbab. This statement related to the critique made by those who opposed SBY and his vice-president who raised the issue regarding the appearance of SBY's and his vice-president's wives who do not wear the jilbab. Tifatul says, 'Will economic problems be solved if their wives wear the veil? Will the education and health sector get better? Do not make such a fuss only about a piece of cloth.' For more detail see Wahdah Administrator, 'Wahdah minta klarifikasi Presiden PKS tentang "Selembar kain saja kok dirisaukan",' Wahdah Islamiyah, 03 June 2009, URL:, site accessed 6 January 2011. On the position of PKS as the Indonesian version of the new Islamist parties see Saiful Mujani and R. William Liddle, 'Muslim Indonesia's secular democracy,' in Asian Survey, vol. 49, no. 4 (2009): 575–90, p. 581.

    [35] With the exceptions of prominent figures and quotations from the internet, all names of the informants have been altered to preserve confidentiality. The term Umm in front of all female informants' names is an Arabic term meaning ibu (mother).

    [36] Interview with Umm 'Afifah, Makassar, 8 June 2008.

    [37] Interview with Ummu Rahmah, Jakarta, 22 December 2009.

    [38] Rohaiza Ahmad Asi, 'Sulawesi: aspirations of local Muslims,' in IDSS Working Paper Series S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, no. 142 (22 October 2007): 1–14, p. 3.

    [39] Aldjufri, 'Wahdah Islamiyah di Gorontalo,' p. 169. On MUI fatwa No. 7 see Piers Gillespie, 'Current issues in Indonesian Islam: analysing the 2005 council of Indonesian ulama fatwa no. 7 opposing pluralism, liberalism and secularism,' in Journal of Islamic Studies, vol. 18, no. 2 (2007): 202–40.

    [40] It is noteworthy, however, that although WI has a different understanding of Islam from other Islamic organisations in Indonesia, this does not prevent WI from collaborating with these organisations on some issues such as their efforts to outlaw Jamaah Ahmadiyah Indonesia (JAI), and their position on strengthening solidarity amongst Muslims. WI is also a member of Forum Umat Islam (FUI) in South Sulawesi, which was founded on 15 June 2008, together with other Muslim organisations, such as Nahdlatul Ulama, Muhammadiyah, Darul Da'wa wal Irsyad (DDI), HTI, and KPPSI. See Administrator, 'FUI: umat Islam harus solid,' Wahdah Islamiyah, 1 March 2009, URL:, site accessed 15 June 2011; Administrator, 'FUI Sulsel: presiden harus bubarkan JAI,' Wahdah Islamiyah, 5 July 2008, URL:, site accessed 15 June 2011.

    [41] On the importance of the notion of ketaatan for cadari in Indonesia see Eva F. Nisa, 'Embodied faith: agency and obedience among face-veiled university students in Indonesia,' in The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, vol. 13, no. 4 (27 July 2012): 366–81.

    [42] See Annelies Moors, 'Fashionable Muslims: notions of self, religion, and society in San'a,' in Fashion Theory, vol. 11, nos 2/3 (2007): 319–46, pp. 341–42.

    [43] A quotation from running texts in Lembaga Muslimah/Wahdah Islamiyah’s website. See Wahdah Islamiyah, URL:, accessed 28 August 2010.

    [44] Hadiati, 'Komunikasi dakwah,' p. 118.

    [45] Interview with Ummu Rahmah, Jakarta, 22 December 2009.

    [46] This is especially related to criticisms of Habermasian notions of the public sphere. See Birgit Meyer and Annelies Moors, 'Introduction,' in Religion, Media, and the Public Sphere, ed. Birgit Meyer and Annelies Moors, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2006, pp. 1–28; Dale F. Eickelman and Jon W. Anderson, 'Redefining Muslim publics,' in New Media in the Muslim World: The Emerging Public Sphere, ed. Dale F. Eickelman and Jon W. Anderson, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1999, pp. 1–18; Lara Deeb, '"Doing good, like Sayyida Zaynab": Lebanese Shi‘i women's participation in the public sphere,' in Religion, Social Practice, and Contested Hegemonies: Reconstructing the Public Sphere in Muslim Majority Societies, ed. Armando Salvatore and Mark Le Vine, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005, pp. 85–107; Mark LeVine and Armando Salvatore, 'Socio-religious movements and the transformation of "common sense" into a politics of "common good",' in Religion, Social Practice, and Contested Hegemonies, ed. Armando Salvatore and Mark LeVine, 2005, pp. 29–56.

    [47] Lara Deeb, An Enchanted Modern; Stacey Philbrick Yadav, 'Segmented publics and Islamist women in Yemen: rethinking space and activism,' in Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, vol. 6, no. 2 (2010): 1–30.

    [48] Lara Deeb, 'Emulating and/or embodying the ideal: the gendering of temporal frameworks and Islamic role models in Shi‘i Lebanon,' in American Ethnologist, vol. 36, no. 2 (2009): 242–57, p. 249.

    [49] Deeb, An Enchanted Modern, pp. 34–35.

    [50] Rachel Rinaldo, 'The Islamic revival and women's political subjectivity in Indonesia,' in Women's Studies International Forum, vol. 33 (2010): 422–31.

    [51] See also Suzanne Brenner, 'Islam and gender politics in late New Order Indonesia,' in Spirited Politics: Religion and Public Live in Contemporary Southeast Asia, ed. A.C. Willford and K.M. George, Ithaca, NY: Cornell Southeast Asia Program Publications, 2006, pp. 93–118; Pieternella van Doorn-Harder, Women Shaping Islam: Reading the Qur'an in Indonesia, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2006.

    [52] Deeb, An Enchanted Modern.

    [53] Noorhaidi Hasan, Laskar Jihad, p. 180.

    [54] Deeb, An Enchanted Modern, pp. 34–35.

    [55] Pekka Rantanen, 'Non-documentary burqa pictures on the internet: ambivalence and the politics of representation,' in International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 8, no. 3 (2005): 329–51, p. 338.

    [56] Deeb, An Enchanted Modern.

    [57] M. Canard, 'Da'wa,' in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, ed. P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs, Brill, 2011, URL:, site accessed 18 July 2011.

    [58] Charles Hirschkind, 'Cassette ethics: public piety and popular media in Egypt,' in Religion, Media, and the Public Sphere, ed. Birgit Meyer and Annelies Moors, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2006, pp. 29–51, p. 32.

    [59] Hadiati, 'Komunikasi dakwah,' p. 127.

    [60] Interview with Umm Yunus, Makassar, 1 June 2008.

    [61] Interview with Ukht Faizah, Makassar, 17 June 2008.

    [62] Interview with Ummu Radiya, Makassar, 25 August 2008.

    [63] For an interesting discussion of majelis ta’līm or majlis ta'lim see Mona Abaza, 'Markets of faith: Jakartan da'wa and Islamic gentrification,' in Archipel, vol. 67 (2004): 173–202.

    [64] Ariyanti Rasmin, 'Peran Majelis Taklim,' Wahdah Islamiyah, 23 May 2007, URL:, site accessed 27 January 2011.

    [65] Interview with Ibu Ardani, Makassar, 10 August 2008.

    [66] Deeb, '"Doing good, like Sayyida Zaynab",' pp. 85–107.

    [67] Most of the WI programs have catchy acronyms, such as S3 (Shadaqah Seribu Sehari) and SKS (Satu Kader Satu).

    [68] Interview with an informant, Makassar, 21 June 2008.

    [69] Wahdah Administrator, 'Targab kumpulkan lebih 65 Juta, 62 cincin sampai Mp4,' Wahdah Islamiyah, 2 December 2007, URL:, site accessed 10 January 2011.

    [70] Deeb, '"Doing good, like Sayyida Zaynab",' p. 96.

    [71] For an interesting discussion on Indonesian women in the public sphere, see Kathryn Robinson, Gender, Islam and Democracy in Indonesia, London and New York: Routledge, 2009.


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