The increasing interest of Yogyakarta’s urban middle class in making the umrah gives birth to some important questions especially which relates to the meaning for people beyond the trip itself. Informants of this research are practicing umrah for a certain regular time, such as once or twice a year. Considering the amount spent for an umrah trip, which is around US$ 2,000 – US$ 3,000, this practice is obviously expensive, compared to the average income for the middle class society in Indonesia, starting for a minimum of US$ 3,000 per year.
This research suggests that the reason for practicing multiple umrah trips is the idea of “charging” the informants’ faith, by fulfilling the calling from Allah. Being regarded as an investment , umrah is considered as a strengthening factor for informants in order to ease them facing their daily lives, due to the feeling of closeness to Allah. Letting people in their surroundings know about their visits to Mecca and Medina is an essential part of their multiple journeys. In addition, some touristic practices such as shopping for souvenirs are also dominant in this practice. Taking these results into consideration we see that umrah is regarded as a meaningful investment in the people ‘s social status as well as their status before Allah. Nevertheless caring for others , taking part in social activities becomes relevant too.
Nuki Mayasari, MA
Is a graduate student from the Center of Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies, Gadjah Mada University. With a background of Anthropology during her bachelor, Mayasari did some researches related to religious tourism in Indonesia and Germany. Her research interests are consumption, class, and tourism. Beside being a researcher, she also actively engage in some community development projects, and founded a non-profit organization named “Waqia Foundation” which focuses on distributing donation to empower children in orphanages by providing scholarship and stimulating entrepreneurship.
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