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The Role of Islamic Lifestyle in Student’s Purposefulness of Life in Qom

1 Psychology and Education Faculty, Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran, IR Iran
2 Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Department of Counseling, Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran, IR Iran
*Corresponding author: Mohammad Mohsen Mohtadi, Psychology and Education Faculty, Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran, IR Iran. Tel: +98-2537207051, E-mail:
Islamic Lifestyle Centered on Health. 2013 December; 1(4): e14960 , DOI: 10.5812/ilch.14960
Article Type: Research Article; Received: Sep 21, 2013; Accepted: Dec 3, 2013; epub: Dec 20, 2013; ppub: Dec 2013


Background: Lifestyle is a mutual concept in Islam and psychology and purposefulness of life is expressed to be under the influence of an individual’s lifestyle.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between Islamic lifestyle and purposefulness.

Patients and Materials: The method used in this research was correlational and statistical population was the students of the university of Qom in 2013. 118 students responded to Islamic lifestyle and purpose in life questionnaires. The Data had been analyzed with the use of descriptive indicators, t-test, Pearson and regression.

Results: Based on the results of the study, there is a direct and meaningful relationship between Islamic lifestyle and purposefulness of life.

Conclusions: Based on the results, the purposefulness of life can be increased with amplification of Islamic lifestyle.

Keywords: Adler; Individual Psychology; Lifestyle; Islamic Worldviews; Purpose in Life

1. Background

The concept of lifestyle is a specific concept of individual psychology which was coined by Alfred Adler and it was well developed by his followers. Adler (1) used the term “lifestyle” as an equivalent to character and personality and he used it to describe the totality of the personality that included a set of ideas, conscious and unconscious goals. His followers recognized lifestyle as a bridge for achieving personal goals (2). Sharf (3) believes that “lifestyle is a description of how a person deals with obstacles of life and how he finds solutions for them and achieves his goals”.

Based on these definitions of lifestyle, every person’s life is directed toward personal goals and his efforts is directed in a way for achieving those goals; and probably there will be obstacles on this path which he deals with them in a specific way. In fact, every lifestyle includes objectives, manners and methods for dealing with probable barriers and difficulties. So lifestyle can be defined as an integrated collection of a person’s goals and ways for achieving them and facing obstacles of these goals.

Adler’s followers believed that lifestyle is a guide and a map for life tasks; and by observing how a person deals with his life tasks, one can recognize the lifestyle of that person (2, 4). Life tasks are general tasks for everyone which all people are involved with them (5). Individual psychology recognizes these life tasks to be five tasks, Adler (6) specified three tasks of social, love-marriage and occupational tasks; and Dreikurs and Mosak (7) have expressed self-acceptance and spirituality tasks as well.

Based on the valuing orientation of Adler in Psychology (8) and the duty of psychology in explaining the meaning of life (1), it can be said that there is a relationship between values and lifestyles. Shulman and Mosak (9) believed that the lifestyle elements are in 3 categories: beliefs about what there is (self-image, world-views, the relationship between self and the world), Beliefs about what there should be (ethics, utopian world, and moral judgment) and a behavioral code of conduct (objectives and methods). Therefore, it can be said that religion has a pivotal role in the lifestyle of his followers since religious teachings and beliefs are sources of ideas and instructions for believers. One of the divine religions is Islam which has many followers around the world and studying the impact of Islam on their lives seems essential.

In this context, we can say, human nature in Adler’s psychology and Islamic philosophy in areas of soft determinism, striving for superiority, teleology, holism and social interest are harmonious (10). Holism and an emphasis on interpersonal conflicts in Adler’s theory had made it more useful among Muslims (11). Also, Islam with regards to individual psychology had dealt with life tasks in more details and it has set up various aspects of life in the form of Islamic laws Kavyani (12) has explained the aspects of Islamic lifestyle based on individual psychology. He believes that in Islamic lifestyle, all life tasks have been prescribed as normative (13).

Since lifestyle has a function of reaching life goals (3), life tasks should be known as the means for achieving those goals. Life goals have a specific relationship with lifestyle, so that important life goals such as the origin of life, the meaning of life, and the reality of life are affected by lifestyle (14). Also, purposefulness of life in Islam is very important and the lack of purposeful creation is rejected.

The degree of purposefulness of life is associated with multiple psychological variables. Purposefulness of life has a positive correlation with mental health and physical well-being (15), resilience (16), self-efficacy (17), and family relationships (18). Lack of purpose in life is correlated with depression, anxiety, addiction, suicidal ideation (19), suicidal behavior (20, 21), depression and anxiety caused by physical illnesses (22, 23) and criminal behavior (18).

Medical studies also show a specific attention toward purposefulness of life in the etiology and treatment of diseases. The low level of purpose in life is significantly related to low scores on cornell medical index and psychiatric/somatic symptoms (24). High levels of purpose in life decrease risks of brain and heart disease. In some medical models, the core treatment is the improvement of life’s purpose (25). In the treatment of a variety of mental and addictive disorders, the meaning of the purpose of life is very important (26-33). Purpose in life and spirituality is a model for the treatment of difficult diseases such as AIDS (34), and the treatment of addicts based on spirituality increases the purposefulness of life (30).

Several studies have investigated the relationship between spirituality and religion with the purposefulness of life. Faith has a positive correlation with purposefulness of life (35). Reading the holy books is associated with purposefulness of life (36). Also, in Iran the relationship between spirituality and purposefulness of life has been reported as positive (37). Spirituality in lifestyle is considered one of the life tasks (7); also, in Islamic lifestyle, spirituality is considered a part of the lifestyle (12, 38).

Islamic lifestyle has a positive correlation with life satisfaction and happiness (39), life satisfaction is also correlates with purposefulness of life (40-42) the degree of happiness is also has a positive correlation with the purposefulness of life (43); the relationship between happiness and religion is considered as a function of the degree of purposefulness of life (44).

Therefore, purpose in life (or purposefulness of life) should be considered to be influenced by the Islamic lifestyle. Lifestyle also in Islam and individual psychology has common aspects. Based on this, the interaction of the meaning of purpose in life and lifestyle concepts in Islam and in individual psychology have been shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.
Interaction Model of the Purpose of Life and Lifestyle in Islam and in Individual Psychology

Based on the model above, Islamic lifestyle is formed based on the philosophical and normative approaches in Islamic tasks. Islamic lifestyle also creates life goals, ways for achieving these goals and dealing with barriers and obstacles.

In this context, the present study explores the relationship between Islamic lifestyle and purposefulness of life.

2. Objectives

The main objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between Islamic lifestyle and purposefulness of life among engineering students. Also, the degree of Islamic lifestyle and Students’ purposefulness of life have been studied.

3. Patients and Materials

The method used in this research is correlational. Statistical population is students at the Technical University of Qom in 2013. The frequency of samples is 118 samples (72 females, 46 males) from undergraduate level and the age range is 25 to 18. To analyze the data, descriptive indicators, Independent Sample t-test, Pearson correlation and Stepwise regression methods have been used.

The tools of this study were the short form questionnaire of Islamic lifestyle testing (ILST) and purpose in life questionnaire (PIL). Islamic lifestyle testing was created by Kavyani (13) with 76 multiple choice (4 choices) questions; Cronbach’s alpha of this questionnaire is 0.71. In this study, 0.874 have been obtained as Cronbach’s alpha for this questionnaire. Purpose in Life questionnaire was created by Crumbauch and Maholick (45), which has 20 multiple choice (7 choices) questions. Its Cronbach’s alpha in different researches has been reported to be 0.91 (46) and 0.86 (47). In Iranian norm, there are 18 items, and its Cronbach’s alpha has been obtained as 0.92 (48). In this study, Cronbach’s alpha has been obtained as 0.878.

4. Results

According to Table 1, about 66% of male students and about 70% of female students have achieved scores of Islamic lifestyle. Also, about 65% of male students and 71% of female students have obtained scores of purpose in life questionnaire. These findings indicate that scores of students in Islamic lifestyle and purpose in life is relatively high. For comparing the scores of male and female students, Independent Samples t-test had been used.

Table 1.
Descriptive Data

Table 2.
Leuven and Independent Samples t-Test Results

According to Leuven test results, the condition for t-test is homogeneity of variances in male and female groups in scores of Islamic lifestyle and purpose in life which is established. According to t-test, it can be stated with 99% confidence that the differences in Islamic lifestyle and purpose of life between two groups are significant. According to the mean reported in Table 3, it can be said that female students had higher scores (about 5%) than male students in Islamic lifestyle and purpose in life.

Table 3.
The Correlational Coefficient of Islamic Lifestyle and Purpose in Life

Based on the results of the above table, it can be stated with 99% confidence that there is a positive and significant correlation between Islamic lifestyle and purpose in life. Due to the relationships between variables, stepwise regression can be used. Stepwise regression results are shown in Table 4.

Table 4.
Summary of Stepwise Regression of Purpose in Life and Islamic Lifestyle

According to the results in Table 4, the Islamic lifestyle can predict 39.8 of purpose in life which is significant.

5. Discussion

This study has described the impact of Islamic lifestyle. Purposefulness of life has been expressed to be affected by lifestyle. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the relationship between Islamic lifestyle and students’ purposefulness of life.

According to the results, Islamic lifestyle and purposefulness of life have a positive relationship; the Islamic lifestyle largely explains purposefulness of life. The impact of lifestyle on purposefulness of life is in line with the concept of reaching life goals by lifestyle (3) and the impact of lifestyle on life goals (14). High impact of Islamic lifestyle on purposefulness of life is also consistent with studies that have shown the role of faith and spirituality in purposefulness of life (35-37).

According to the relationship of the proposed model and researches of the introduction section, it can be said that since lifestyle creates life goals and ways for achieving them, and the increase of purposefulness of life is based on spirituality, and due to religious and spiritual attitude of Islamic lifestyle, life goals are created by Islamic lifestyle. In other words, a person not only performs his duties by completing life tasks based on Islamic views, but also makes his life purposeful.

Based on the results, the degree of the Islamic lifestyle in a group of students is high, and the reason for such results could be attributed to the suitable environment of the university. Accordingly, it is recommended that some research should be conducted on student groups, especially females, to assess and explain the reasons for this increase so the results of such studies could be used for the improvement of Islamic lifestyles of groups in the society. In the end, it should be noted that due to the youthfulness and being student of the samples, generalizing our results to other groups in society are limited; therefore it is recommended that this study should be conducted on other groups in society as well.


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Table 1.

Descriptive Data

Variable Mean Deviation of the Mean Mean (%) Variance Standard Deviation
Male Students Female Students Male Students Female Students Male Students Female Students Male Students Female Students Male Students Female Students
Islamic Lifestyle 372.26 393.96 0.71 4.52 66.95 70.85 1504.60 1471.07 38.78 38.35
Purpose in Life 82.72 89.50 2.46 2.13 65.65 71.03 278.82 329.02 16.69 18.13

Table 2.

Leuven and Independent Samples t-Test Results

Variables Leuven Test t-Test
F P Mean Difference Std. Error Difference DF t P
Islamic Lifestyle 0.432 0.512 -21.70 7.27 116 -2.985 0.003
Purpose in life 1.327 0.252 -6.77 3.32 116 -2.040 0.044

Table 3.

The Correlational Coefficient of Islamic Lifestyle and Purpose in Life

Variable Purpose in Life
Islamic Lifestyle 0.631 a
a P < 0.01

Table 4.

Summary of Stepwise Regression of Purpose in Life and Islamic Lifestyle

Predictive Variable Criterion Variable Index SS DF MS F P R R2 B SE β T P
Islamic Lifestyle Purpose in Life 76.787 0.000 0.631 0.398 0.283 0.032 0.631 8.763 0.000
Regression 14815.326 1 14815.326
Remainder 22381.180 116 192.941

Figure 1.

Interaction Model of the Purpose of Life and Lifestyle in Islam and in Individual Psychology