Indonesian Islam: Social Change through Contemporary Fatawa
264pp. June 2003
Indonesian Islam: Social Change through Contemporary Fatawa
Author: Hooker, M. Barry;
Indonesian Islam is an important and timely book based on approximately 2,000 fatwâ (pl. fatâwâ)--an opinion on a point of law or dogma given by a person with recognized authority (ijâza)--demonstrating that classical Islamic reasoning is an alternative to state-defined Islam and is capable of dealing with contemporary challenges in ethics and morality in a consistent and rational way. The book provides a comprehensive survey of how modern Indonesian Islamic thinking has responded to changes in social practices since the 1920s, and how authorities have ruled on diverse subjects ranging from football pools to land sales and milk banks. The author examines in detail the development and nuances of Islamic thinking, both by reference to local tradition and comparatively, by reference to the classical Arabian texts, therefore providing an important contribution to deepening popular understanding of Islam in Indonesia.

The author's detailed analysis of fatwâ is unprecedented in the study of Indonesian Islam. To date there is no comparable analysis of modern fatwâ available in book form anywhere in the world, making this volume an invaluable resource for anyone who studies Indonesia. Professor Hooker describes the fatwâ as method and doctrine, religious duty, the status and obligation of women, Islam and medical science, offences against religion, and issues specific to Indonesian Islam. Responses to fatwâ cover such contemporary issues as abortion, organ transplants, insurance, and the status of women.

For sale in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand by NUS Press (Singapore)

ASAA Southeast Asia Publications Series
"Detailed, extensive, and provocative, this book presents and assesses twentieth-century Indonesian fatâwâ (legal rulings) on a range of issues." —American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (24:1, 2007)

"The book offers thoughtful summaries of scholarly commentaries on a range of important issues, and it has an intelligent and sympathetic sense of the reasoning used by Islamic scholars. From these two vantage points, this book is without peer in Southeast Asian studies of Islam; it is in select company, even among studies from the broader Muslim world. . . . [It provides] rich if sobering insights into the past and uncertain future of Indonesian Islam." —History of Religions (46:1, 2006)

"Could prove to be a valuable resource for classroom use in the study of Muslim systems in Asia as well as for the study of comparative Asian legal systems more widely; in addition, much of the material will provide an important perspective for the consideration of global systems of Islamic law." —Journal of Asian Studies (63, 2004)

Author: Hooker, M. Barry;
M. Barry Hooker is adjunct professor of law at Australian National University and Northern Territory University. He is the founding editor of the Australian Journal of Asian Law.