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This project explores Muslim perspectives on wellbeing, contributing to a more inclusive and nuanced understanding of how wellbeing is experienced and conceptualized globally. The core theme is Muslim perspectives on wellbeing. Specifically, we will address two main questions:

(1) How is wellbeing experienced and conceptualized in Muslim contexts?
(2) To what extent are these perspectives prevalent across different Muslim contexts?

The project is needed because current academic theories of wellbeing are predominantly Western-centric. Even though wellbeing has been measured globally (e.g., by Gallup), the constructs and scales for doing so mostly reflect Western values and biases (e.g., towards individualism). Exploring Muslim perspectives will enhance our understanding of this vital topic. The project helps answer many of the Big Questions of interest to Templeton. Most directly, it addresses the role of religion and spirituality – specifically Islam – in human experience. Secondarily, it also touches upon questions of love, life, and virtue, the nature and potential of the mind, and the nature of the divine.

Regarding activities, the first question above will be answered by surveying conceptions of wellbeing in Muslim cultures (in both the general public and expert scholars). Qualitative thematic analysis will lead to the construction of a Scale of Muslim Wellbeing, which will be tested in these cultures. Concrete deliverables include: qualitative and quantitative psychometric analysis of Muslim perspectives (each with an accompanying scientific paper); a strategic dissemination event (an extension to a global wellbeing summit we convene annually); and recommendations to Gallup for their new wellbeing module in the World Poll. In terms of impact, the project will change how we think about and measure wellbeing, not only with respect to Muslim cultures, but in general, influencing policy makers and thought leaders.