Use of Charitable Alms (Zakat) by Incumbent Candidates in Regional Elections in Indonesia (Two Case Studies)

Zusiana Elly Triantini(1*), Masnun Masnun(2)

(1) Fakultas Syariah dan Hukum UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta
(2) UIN Mataram
(*) Corresponding Author


This article seeks to expose incumbents' tendencies and strategies in using charitable alms (zakat) in regional elections in two areas. Strategies identified include determining binding regulations regarding the use of zakat money, as well as the positioning of persons considered loyal and strategic to incumbents within the leadership structures of zakat institutions. Meanwhile, incumbents worked to integrate and interconnect government programmes with local zakat distribution agencies and attracting public sympathies through the sharing of zakat funds. Incumbents benefit from their power and legitimacy, and can thus easily use zakat funds as an economic resource for gathering the support of zakat recipients (mustahiq[1]). With their power and legitimacy, incumbents are able to claim credit and thus enjoy greater popularity in their re-election campaigns. This power and legitimacy, as well as its benefits, are managed strategically and intelligently to avoid giving the impression of illegality and ease social acceptance. The findings of this research are opposite to those of Samantha May; where May has found that state dominance and control of zakat has met widespread resistance, this research has found that state dominance and control of zakat has not only been well-received by society, but has also had implications for politicians' role in zakat management and distribution. This research, conducted through observation and interviews with zakat distributors/recipients, indicates how clientelism is formed through the government zakat distribution agency (Badan Amil Zakat, 'Zakat Distribution Agency'), the structural/instrumental approaches used by incumbents, and the response of zakat recipients. This article takes two elections in two regions as case studies: Kulon Progo in the 2017 regional election and Magelang Regency in the 2013 regional election.


Patronage, clientelism, incumbents, zakat, charity, strategies, regional elections

Full Text:



Aspinall, E. & Sukmajati, M. (Eds.). (2015) Politik uang di Indonesia, patronase dan klientalisme pada pemilu legislatif 2014. Yogyakarta: Polgov UGM.

Buehler, M. (2008). The rise of Shari’a by laws in Indonesian districts: An indication for changing patterns of power accumulation an political corruption, South East Asia Research Journal, 16(2), 255–285., (April, 17 2014).

Djani, L. (2013) Penggunaan dana publik untuk kampanye. Retrieved from

Effendy, B. (1998) Islam dan negara transformasi pemikiran dan praktik politik Islam di Indonesia. Jakarta: Paramadina.

Fauzia, A. (2016), Filantropi Islam sejarah masyarakat sipil dan negara di Indonesia. Yogyakarta: Gading.

Jawa Pos, Radar Kedu, 2016

Latief, H. (2013). The politics of benevolence: Political patronage of party-based charitable organizations in contemporary Indonesian Islam, Al jami’ah; Journal of Islamic Studies, 51(2). doi:

May, S. (2013). Political piety: The politicization of zakat, Middle East Critique Journal, 22(2), 149–164.

Schedler, A. & Schaffer, F.C. (2007). What is vote buying?. In Frederic Charles Schaffer (ed.). Elections for Sale: The Causes and Consequences of Vote Buying. Manila: Ateneo de Manila University Press.

Stokes, S.C. (2007). Is vote buying undemocratic? In Frederic Charles Schaffer (ed.), Elections for Sale: The Causes and Consequences of Vote Buying. Manila: Ateneo De Manila University Press.

Triantini, Z.E., with Hartatik, E. (n.d.) Efektifitas program dana zakat sebagai pengentas kemiskinan di Jawa Tengah, Jawa Timur, dan Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta.

Wahid, M., & Alim, H. (Eds.) (2016), Jihad Nahdlatul Ulama melawan korupsi, Jakarta: Lakspedam NU.


Article Metrics

Abstract views : 2439 | views : 1829


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 PCD Journal

analytics View My Stats

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.




                                © Faculty of Social and Political Sciences Gadjah Mada University Jl. Sosio-Yustisia Bulaksumur Yogyakarta 55281
                                                     Telp (0274) 563362 Ext. 150; +62 811 2515 863 - email: