A Netnography Analysis of Thematic ­Hadith Memes Distribution on ­­ Social Media

Ermawati Usman, Nurdin Nurdin, Ashir Ahmed, Miftachul Huda


Instead, the use of hadith memes among Muslim communities is rampant, and the study of hadith memes is scarce. This study, therefore, aims to examine the use of hadith memes by millennial Ulama and the types and content of hadith memes disseminated and exchanged in the virtual world by millennial Ulama. This study built thematic hadith memes based on their contents and formats on social media platforms using Rajan's (2015) theory of religious memes. This study employed a netnography method, collecting data from the social media sites Facebook and WhatsApp of Islamic millennial Ulama. We used a thematic approach in analyzing the data. Our results show that hadith memes disseminated on social media sites fall into four themes. The first theme is prayer hadith memes that present the traditions of prayers in Islam. The second theme is hadith memes related to sacrifice, which depict messages of Muslims' willingness to practice gratitude and to sacrifice to do things according to Allah's will. The third theme of the hadith memes is that they present messages about the afterlife, which tells about the end of life, such as life in the grave, hell, and heaven. The last theme is hadith memes about tolerance, which tell about the importance of living in tolerance and respecting each other. We conclude that our study contributed to understanding the distribution of hadith meme themes in the virtual world to enhance the sharing and exchange of Islamic teachings.


Hadith Memes; Social Media; Online Hadith; Thematic Analysis; Netnography

Full Text:



Aguilar, G. K., Campbell, H. A., Stanley, M., & Taylor, E. (2017). Communicating mixed messages about religion through internet memes. Information, Communication & Society, 20(10), 1498-1520. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2016.1229004

Ascarya, A. (2022). The role of Islamic social finance during Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia’s economic recovery. International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management, 15(2), 386-405. doi:10.1108/IMEFM-07-2020-0351

Bellar, W., Campbell, H. A., Cho, K. J., Terry, A., Tsuria, R., Yadlin-Segal, A., & Ziemer, J. (2013). Reading Religion in Internet Memes. Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture, 2(2), 1-39. doi:https://doi.org/10.1163/21659214-90000031

Beskow, D. M., Kumar, S., & Carley, K. M. (2020). The evolution of political memes: Detecting and characterizing internet memes with multi-modal deep learning. Information Processing & Management, 57(2), 102170. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ipm.2019.102170

Bowle, G. M. (2010). Netnography: A Method Specifically Designed to Study Cultures and Communities Online and Communities Online. The Qualitative Report, 15(5), 1270-1275.

Brantner, C., Lobinger, K., & Stehling, M. (2020). Memes against sexism? A multi-method analysis of the feminist protest hashtag #distractinglysexy and its resonance in the mainstream news media. Convergence, 26(3), 674-696. doi:10.1177/1354856519827804

Brubaker, P., Boyle, K., & Stephan, D. (2017). The Shared Cultural Experience: A Comparison of Religious Memes Created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Religious Media, and Church Members. Journal of Media and Religion, 16(2), 67-79. doi:10.1080/15348423.2017.1311127

Burroughs, B., & Feller, G. (2015). Religious Memetics:Institutional Authority in Digital/Lived Religion. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 39(4), 357-377. doi:10.1177/0196859915603096

Caliandro, A. (2014). Ethnography in Digital Spaces: Ethnography of Virtual Worlds, Netnography, & Digital Ethnography In R. M. Denny & P. L. Sunderland (Eds.), Handbook of Anthropology in Business (pp. 22). London: Routledge

Campbell, H. A. (2017). Religious communication and technology. Annals of the International Communication Association, 41(3-4), 228-234. doi:10.1080/23808985.2017.1374200

Campbell, H. A., & Sheldon, Z. (2021). Religious Responses to Social Distancing Revealed through Memes during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Religions, 12(9), 787.

Cook, D. (1997). Moral Apocalyptic in Islam. Studia Islamica(86), 37-69. doi:10.2307/1595805

Dangubić, M., Verkuyten, M., & Stark, T. H. (2021). Understanding (in)tolerance of Muslim minority practices: a latent profile analysis. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 47(7), 1517-1538. doi:10.1080/1369183X.2020.1808450

Haden Church, S., & Feller, G. (2020). Synecdoche, Aesthetics, and the Sublime Online: Or, What’s a Religious Internet Meme? Journal of Media and Religion, 19(1), 12-23. doi:10.1080/15348423.2020.1728188

Halimatusa’diyah, I. (2021). Launching Hasil Penelitian PPIM UIN Jakarta “Beragama ala Anak Muda: Ritual No, Konservatif Yes”. Retrieved 10 Desember 2023, from PPIM UIN Jakarta https://ppim.uinjkt.ac.id/2021/12/09/launching-hasil-penelitian-ppim-uin-jakarta-beragama-ala-anak-muda-ritual-no-konservatif-yes/

Hefner, C.-M. (2016). Models of Achievement: Muslim Girls and Religious Authority in a Modernist Islamic Boarding School in Indonesia. Asian Studies Review, 40(4), 564-582. doi:10.1080/10357823.2016.1229266

Hefner, R. W. (2021). Islam and Institutional Religious Freedom in Indonesia. Religions, 12(6), 415.

Hjarvard, S. (2008). The mediatization of religion: A theory of the media as agents of religious change. Northern Lights: Film & Media Studies Yearbook, 6(1), 9-26. doi:https://doi.org/10.1386/nl.6.1.9_1

Jeacle, I. (2021). Navigating netnography: A guide for the accounting researcher. Financial Accountability & Management, 37(1), 88-101. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/faam.12237

Kalin, M., & Siddiqui, N. (2014). Religious Authority and the Promotion of Sectarian Tolerance in Pakistan. Retrieved from Washington:

Kulavuz-Onal, D. (2015). Using Netnography to Explore the Culture of Online Language Teaching Communities. CALICO Journal, 32(3), 426-448

Latchem, C. (2014). Musing on the memes of open and distance education. Distance Education, 35(3), 400-409. doi:10.1080/01587919.2015.955266

Lizzo, R., & Liechty, T. (2022). The Hogwarts Running Club and Sense of Community: A Netnography of a Virtual Community. Leisure Sciences, 44(7), 959-976. doi:10.1080/01490400.2020.1755751

Mielczarek, N. (2018). The “Pepper-Spraying Cop” Icon and Its Internet Memes: Social Justice and Public Shaming Through Rhetorical Transformation in Digital Culture. Visual Communication Quarterly, 25(2), 67-81. doi:10.1080/15551393.2018.1456929

Morais, G. M., Santos, V. F., & Gonçalves, C. A. (2020). Netnography: Origins, Foundations, Evolution and Axiological and Methodological Developments and TrendsMethodological Developments and Tre. The Qualitative Report, 25(2), 441-455.

O’Donohoe, S. (2010). Netnography: Doing Ethnographic Research Online. International Journal of Advertising, 29(2), 328-330. doi:10.2501/S026504871020118X

Obadă, D.-R., & Dabija, D.-C. (2022). “In Flow”! Why Do Users Share Fake News about Environmentally Friendly Brands on Social Media? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(8), 4861.

Rajan, B. (2015). Faith Memes: An Analysis of Authority as Reflected in the Social Media of Churches in New Delhi. Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, 11, 1-23.

Ratkiewicz, J., Conover, M., Meiss, M., Gonçalves, B., Patil, S., Flammini, A., & Menczer, F. (2011). Detecting and Tracking the Spread of Astroturf Memes in Microblog Streams. Paper presented at the Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 20th international conference companion on World wide web, Hyderabad, Hyderabad.

Rogers, R. (2021). Visual media analysis for Instagram and other online platforms. Big Data & Society, 8(1), 20539517211022370. doi:10.1177/20539517211022370

Schreurs, L., & Vandenbosch, L. (2021). Introducing the Social Media Literacy (SMILE) model with the case of the positivity bias on social media. Journal of Children and Media, 15(3), 320-337. doi:10.1080/17482798.2020.1809481

Seiffert-Brockmann, J., Diehl, T., & Dobusch, L. (2018). Memes as games: The evolution of a digital discourse online. New Media & Society, 20(8), 2862-2879. doi:10.1177/1461444817735334

Silvestri, L. E. (2015). Friended at the Front

Social Media in the American War Zone: University Press of Kansas.

Su, L. Y.-F., Cacciatore, M. A., Liang, X., Brossard, D., Scheufele, D. A., & Xenos, M. A. (2017). Analyzing public sentiments online: combining human- and computer-based content analysis. Information, Communication & Society, 20(3), 406-427. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2016.1182197

Susan Blackmore, & Blackmore, S. J. (2000). The Meme Machine. London: Oxford University Press.

Syahridawaty, S., & Qudsy, S. Z. (2019). The Contestation of Hadith Memes on the Prohibition of Music Journal of Hadith Studies, 2(1), 23-36.

Tawadros, A. S. N. (2020). A Network Analysis Approach to the Diffusion of Tolerance Memes. Nile Valley Journal for Humanitarian, Social and Educational Studies and Research. 24-1, (26).26

Truszkowski, W., Rouff, C., Akhavannik, M., & Tunstel, E. (2020). Memes, Culture, the Internet, and Intelligence. London: Springer.

Widayati, S., & Maulidiyah, E. C. (2018). Religious Tolerance In Indonesia. Paper presented at the 2nd International Conference on Education Innovation (ICEI 2018).

Wiggins, B. E., & Bowers, G. B. (2015). Memes as genre: A structurational analysis of the memescape. New Media & Society, 17(11), 1886-1906. doi:10.1177/1461444814535194

Wood, M. A. (2020). Policing's ‘meme strategy’: understanding the rise of police social media engagement work. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 32(1), 40-58. doi:10.1080/10345329.2019.1658695

Zhang, B., & Pinto, J. (2021). Changing the World One Meme at a Time: The Effects of Climate Change Memes on Civic Engagement Intentions. Environmental Communication, 15(6), 749-764. doi:10.1080/17524032.2021.1894197

Zulli, D., & Zulli, D. J. (2022). Extending the Internet meme: Conceptualizing technological mimesis and imitation publics on the TikTok platform. New Media & Society, 24(8), 1872-1890. doi:10.1177/1461444820983603

Article Metrics

Abstract views: 294 PDF views: 164