Hilman Latief

Abstract: By exploring Islamic charitable clinics in Indonesia, this paper shows how community-based initiatives and zakat [Islamic charitable obligation] agencies have provided wider access to viable health services for destitute families in poor urban and rural areas. Zakat agencies, with their charitable clinics, have recently gained strong support from both society and the government. They have, for example, tried to bring a community response to the current social economic challenges through the revitalization of the zakat and Islamic charity practice. Low-priced, accessible and free medical assistance for poorer families and small economic enterprises provided by the zakat agencies reflect the endeavours of middle class Indonesian Muslims to translate Islamic discourse on social welfare in a more concrete way. The rise of Islamic charitable clinics, whose origins and motives can partly be linked to the Islamic discourse of the welfare of the ummah [the Islamic community], is without doubt a consequence of emerging interpretations of the meaning and function of Islamic aid in contemporary Indonesian Islam.

Hilman Latief, “Health provision for the poor: Islamic aid and the rise of charitable clinics in Indonesia,” Vol 18, No 3 (September 2010), 503-553