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An Enhanced Islamic Index of Well-Being (IWI 2.0-2021) for Muslim Countries

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This is a revised version of an assessment of the Islamic Well-Being Index (IWI) of Muslim majority countries, first published by this author in 2013 (IWI 1.0). It uses an improved, updated methodology and reflects the essential maqasid al-shari‘ah (Higher Objectives of Islamic Law) developed by Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali. The IWI provides practical insights for countries that aspire to move to a higher state. Leading countries in the maqasid fields could serve as role models for lagging counties. More specifically, IWI indicators provide a way to spot problems, set targets, track trends, and identify best practice policies. This 2021 assessment adds four more countries to the 27 ranked previously. The method incorporates insights from leading Islamic scholars who have developed a ‘maqasid index of governance’ for Muslim countries. The top three countries listed in the Index are (first to third): Indonesia, Tunisia and Malaysia. Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country with a successful democracy, experienced an Islamic resurgence, which is reflected in its citizens’ moderate values and practices. Leading countries within the maqasid fields are (first, second): Religion – Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria; Life – UAE, Brunei; Intellect - Albania, Kyrgyzstan; Family – Morocco, Tunisia; and Wealth – Malaysia, UAE. Countries showing greatest improvement in IWI rankings are Lebanon and Turkey. Those that significantly worsened are Afghanistan, Nigeria, Chad and Iraq. To expand the applicability of this index, governments in Muslim majority countries need to facilitate assessment. In particular, religiosity surveys should be expanded and periodic surveys are required to fill other data gaps. The IWI Index and its highlights should be prepared and published annually.
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ICR 12.2 Produced and distributed by IAIS Malaysia
AN ENHANCED ISLAMIC WELL-BEING INDEX (IWI 2.0-
2021) FOR MUSLIM COUNTRIES
Daud Abdul-Fattah Batchelor*
Abstract: This is a revised version of an assessment of the Islamic Well-Being
Index (IWI) of Muslim majority countries, rst published by this author in 2013
(IWI 1.0). It uses an improved, updated methodology and reects the essential
maqasid al-shari‘ah (Higher Objectives of Islamic Law) developed by Imam Abu
Hamid al-Ghazali. The IWI provides practical insights for countries that aspire
to move to a higher state. Leading countries in the maqasid elds could serve as
role models for lagging counties. More specically, IWI indicators provide a way
to spot problems, set targets, track trends, and identify best practice policies.
This 2021 assessment adds four more countries to the 27 ranked previously. The
method incorporates insights from leading Islamic scholars who have developed
a ‘maqasid index of governance’ for Muslim countries. The top three countries
listed in the Index are (rst to third): Indonesia, Tunisia and Malaysia. Indonesia,
the world’s largest Muslim country with a successful democracy, experienced
an Islamic resurgence, which is reected in its citizens’ moderate values and
practices. Leading countries within the maqasid elds are (rst, second):
Religion – Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria; Life – UAE, Brunei; Intellect - Albania,
Kyrgyzstan; Family Morocco, Tunisia; and Wealth – Malaysia, UAE. Countries
showing greatest improvement in IWI rankings are Lebanon and Turkey. Those
that signicantly worsened are Afghanistan, Nigeria, Chad and Iraq. To expand
the applicability of this index, governments in Muslim majority countries need
to facilitate assessment. In particular, religiosity surveys should be expanded
and periodic surveys are required to ll other data gaps. The IWI Index and its
highlights should be prepared and published annually.
Keywords: Indonesia, Islamic Well-Being Index, Lebanon, maqasid al-shari‘ah,
Muslim countries, Tunisia.
Introduction
This is the first follow-up assessment of a 2013 publication1 evaluating the
best approach and parameters for measuring the Islamic Well-Being Index
(IWI) of Muslims in Muslim majority countries (MMCs).2 This comparative
approach should benefit communities in identifying exemplary countries
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to serve as role models worthy of emulation. It also indicates whether state
policies have resulted in improvements between IWI assessment years. The
focus is on MMCs since their governments have a greater opportunity to
implement Islamic policies that could benefit their citizens’ well-being.
Since the publication of our first Islamic Well-Being Index (IWI 1.0-2013),
a few articles have appeared that similarly attempt to develop an Islamic well-
being index, such as Sarkawi and others.3 Feisal Abdul Rauf and collaborators,
including Mohammed Hashim Kamali and Jasser Auda, introduced a ‘maqasid
index of governance’, which they believed is a measure of ‘Islamicity.’4 They
contributed significantly to advancing the robustness of the approach and
developing indices that can reflect the maqasid al-shari’ah (higher objectives
of Islamic law). Muslim economists, most notably Umer Chapra,5 struggled
to develop an Islamic Index for rating Muslim countries in terms of “Islamic
Human Development.” Others, such as Hendrie Anto6 and Necati Aydin,7
expanded on Chapra’s ideas. These other authors are generally attempting to
engender development (inputs) that lead to Islamic well-being without closely
measuring the current state (outcomes) of a population’s Islamic well-being,
which is the focus of the present article on IWI 2.0, using the most recent data
available in early 2021. Changes in the IWI data over eight years (from 2013
to 2021) reflect significant well-being trends occurring in Muslim countries.
Islamic Well-Being
Corey Keyes, a Western researcher in well-being, believes mental well-being
has three components: emotional or subjective well-being, psychological well-
being, and social well-being.8 The presence of a support system, the ability to
adapt to changing conditions, and rapid response or recovery from stress are
all indicators of good well-being. Positive psychologists agree that in order to
experience ‘the good life’, one must live a meaningful life. Martin Seligman
argued that ‘meaningful life’ requires five elements: positive emotions,
engagement, relationships, meaning or purpose, and accomplishments.9
Striving for ‘meaning’ or ‘purpose’ puts everything into perspective as it
drives people to identify desirable life goals.
In terms of ‘Islamic well-being’, Mohsen Joshanloo stated: “According to
Islam, worshipping and serving Allah are humanity’s ultimate function, the
fulfillment of which constitutes well-being… well-being is living a life in
which all one’s actions and intentions are organised around the principle of
Allah’s absolute sovereignty.”10 This state provides the correct condition in
which the soul can be purified and submits to its Lord in the mutma’inah state,
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which leads to the ultimate success (falah) at the end of one’s life, as stated
in the Qur’an:11
(To the righteous soul will be said:) “O soul, in (complete) rest and
satisfaction! “Come back to your Lord – well pleased (yourself), and
well-pleasing to Him! Enter you then, among My devotees! Indeed,
enter you, My Heaven!” (89:27-30)
As a result, the combination of belief (iman) and righteous acts (‘amal us-salih)
leads to an internal satisfaction, which can be regarded as ‘Islamic well-being’,
as suggested by the following:
Those who believe and whose hearts find satisfaction in the
remembrance of Allah; for without doubt in remembrance of
Allah do hearts find satisfaction. For those who believe and work
righteousness is (every) blessedness (tuba), and a beautiful place of
(final) return. (13:28-29)
In this article, achieving Allah’s good pleasure (89:28), or (every)
blessedness” and final good state (13:29), are interpreted as Islamic well-
being, represented by the word tuba.12 It leads to a goodly return and entry
into His Heaven, as well as the seeker’s ultimate success (falah).
Concerning well-being, classical scholar Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d.
1111) wrote, “The objective of the Shari‘ah is to produce the well-being of all
mankind, which lies in safeguarding their faith (iman), their human self (nafs),
their intellect (‘aql), their posterity (nasl) and their wealth (mal). Whatever
ensures the safeguard of these five serves the public interest (maslahah) and
is desirable, and whatever hurts them (mafsadah) is against public interest
and its removal is desirable.”13 These five elements are considered to be the
necessities (daruriyyat) of a good life. Anto writes, “The fulfilment of these
five basic needs is the condition for achieving welfare and happy living in the
world and the Hereafter, which is called ‘falah’.”
Measuring Islamic Well-Being using the Maqasid al-Shari‘ah
In this paper, we improve on the 2013 Index approach by taking into consideration
the methodology proposed by Abdul Rauf, which is explicitly based on maqasid
al-shari‘ah. Abdul Rauf’s methodology, however, was developed more as a tool
to evaluate ‘Islamic governance’, whereas the current approach seeks to measure
the ‘result’ of good governance reflected more in the spiritual and mental state
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of a country’s Muslim citizens. We previously suggested that the mu’amalat
(social interactions) component of our 2013 Index was “related to the shariah’s
five fundamental essential objectives (maqasid), namely the protection of faith,
life, lineage, intellect and property.”15
Construction of our IWI index follows a multi-step process similar to Abdul
Rauf’s:
1. Conceptual mapping between the scholar’s definition of a maqsad and
its proxy component parameters.
2. Data collection on component parameters.
3. Statistical analysis of the component scores.
4. Computation of the final index score.16
Measuring Indices
We calculate a composite index using each of the parameters chosen to
represent each maqsad (objective). For example, for the maqsad of ‘life,’ five
distinct parameters were chosen, each reflecting important aspects of the
maqsad. The calculation for each maqsad entailed the four steps listed below.
Firstly, in accordance with the United Nations (UN) Human Development
Index approach, the maximum and minimum values of a parameter were used
to transform the range in values into the format 0 to 1. To calculate the index
for each positive dimension, the following formula was used: (current value -
minimum value) /(maximum value – minimum value).17 Hence, the resulting
Index was relative rather than related to absolute values.
In the second step, also following the HDI approach, each of the maqsad
composite values was calculated as the geometric mean of the transformed
values for each parameter selected for that maqsad. The method for determining
the parameters for each maqsad is discussed further below. Equal weighting of
all of the component scores was used to construct the overall index score of a
country for each maqsad.18 The advantage of giving equal weighting related to
the minimisation of personal bias.
In the third step, the overall geometric mean of the four non-din maqasid
(life, intellect, family, wealth) was calculated for each country.19
In the fourth step, we gave the din (religion) maqsad twice the weighting
of each of the other remaining four maqasid when obtaining the overall IWI
figure. This is similar to the scholars’ proposal reported by Abdul Rauf:
“Auda and Kamali contend that indicators within the maqasid do actually
reflect the Islamic dimension, especially under the maqsad of religion, which
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can be potentially given a higher overall weight.”20 Jasser Auda elaborated:
“in measuring the maqasid we are measuring the maslahah of the people…
[Further,] the Qur’an critiques those who pray but do not feed the poor, about
education and justice. Islamic teachings are adamant about such specific
things that will amount to much more than 30 per cent of the index. It would
easily take it up to the 70 per cent level.”21
We weight the non-din factors at 67 percent of the overall index in the 4-step
approach used in this exercise, which is similar to Auda’s recommendation.
Kamali argued that “the Islamic nature of a state is not only within the maqsad
of religion – it [also] relates to justice and equality,” and Auda claims that,
“elements of ‘ibadah are imbedded in every other maqasid… so I think that
the uniquely Islamic components [i.e. the ‘din’] might constitute up to 30 per
cent of the overall score.”22Din’ is given 33 per cent weighting in IWI 2.0, in
close accordance with these suggestions.
Choosing Indicators
The IWI-2021 incorporates numerous different types of indicators or
parameters: outputs (outcomes) rather than inputs, as well as both single
(primary) and composite (secondary) parameters. The following seven
principles are applied in parameter selection:
1. We should not reward sheer material accumulation. For example, we
do not use Gross Domestic Product, which is an indication of material
wealth accumulation without clear linkage to societal well-being.
2. We try to identify dense criteria that reflect parameters that are
themselves affecting the spiritual state of individuals. For example,
Muslims attending mosque weekly is a better criterion than ‘Number
of mosques per 10,000 population’ (suggested for the Malaysian
Ummah Development Index),23 since mosques in some countries may
have lower usage than in others, e.g. Malaysian mosque attendance is
relatively low.24
3. We choose criteria for data that is: a) obtained relatively easily, b)
is available for most Muslim countries investigated, and c) is from
reputable sources, such as the UN and World Bank. Parameters chosen
may promote positive elements or prevent negatives ones.
4. We choose criteria that are most relevant and representative of the
maqsad.
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5. The status of women is emphasised since my research shows that
women have been disadvantaged in many parts of the Islamic world
and need assistance to approach the target norm implied by the Qur’an
and Prophetic teachings.25
6. Criteria are selected to assist upliftment of the poor, weak, and
disadvantaged in accordance with Islamic teachings on social equity.26
7. We favour outcome/output measures for the index rather than input
measures, since such measures are more likely to reflect citizens’
spiritual or mental well-being.
The parameters chosen are believed to be the best at the time of choosing
and are deemed to represent an improvement over those chosen for IWI 1.0.
However, we are open to incorporating other parameters in the future if doing
so signifies improving IWI assessment further.
Protecting Religion (Din)27
Safeguarding religion (din) is defined by Raudha and others as “the preservation
and development of human faith through spiritual enrichment in the divine
law, embracing good moral standards, and performing religious practices at the
individual, family and nation (ummah) levels.”28
Country-level data on din was available for 31 out of the 50 MMCs. This
was a limiting factor for calculating IWI 2.0, which could thereby only be
determined for those countries. This was an improvement, however, over the
27 countries for which such data was available for IWI 1.0. Except in the
case of four countries, the most useful data on strength of religious belief for
Muslims came from the 2012 Pew Center report, The World Muslims: Unity
and Diversity.29 Data for general populations in four additional countries,
Algeria, Burkina Faso, Iran and Bosnia & Herzegovina, are from the 2018
Pew report, The Age Gap in Religion Around the World.30 The Pew 2020
Global God Divide report was used to update the general population data for
Indonesia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Tunisia and Turkey.31 The figures on religious
commitments presented in these reports are derived from Pew Center surveys
conducted between 2008 and 2019, which used consistent questionnaire
wordings to measure religious commitment.
Four questions were asked citizens of MMCs, namely “Affiliation”,
and percentage that “Attend a place of worship weekly”, “Pray daily” and
“[Believe their religion is] Very important”. Only the last three parameters
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were used to calculate the din maqsad, with each being equal weighting. The
outcome appeared to provide similar results to the ‘Ibadat scores obtained for
IWI 1.0, which used Pew Center survey data on the percentage of Muslims
praying five-times daily, attending mosque weekly, and fasting in Ramadan
or paying zakat”.
Pew Center data is the most useful available survey data covering a large
number of Muslim countries. We are therefore are compelled to use this data
to assess the mean religious state of MMC Muslims.
Countries absent from the religiosity surveys include the ‘oil sheikhdoms’
(Bahrain, Brunei, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE) and Comoros,
Gambia, Guinea, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan,
Syria, Turkmenistan and Yemen.
Survey data
The majority of data for the din assessment is derived from surveys discussed
in the 2012 Pew Center report, World Muslims: Unity and Diversity, which
included data from the 2010 report, Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan
Africa. For the 2012 report, country survey sample sizes for Muslims only
ranged from 788 (Albania) to 1,918 (Bangladesh), representing error margins of
±5.3 and ±4.4 points, respectively. Survey error margins ranged from a low of
±3.3 in Tunisia to ±6.3 in Palestine. For a particular country, one can say with 95
per cent certainty that the error attributable to sampling and random effects is
plus/minus the error margin. For the 2010 survey, some countries were majority
Muslim (Djibouti, Senegal), while others (Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria) had
an even Muslim-Christian mix. Chad drew a disproportionate sample of urban
participants. Sample sizes for Muslims in predominantly Muslim countries only
ranged from 891 (Senegal) to 1,452 (Djibouti), representing error margins of
±5 and ±4 points, respectively. In the even-mix countries, sample sizes ranged
from 373 (Guinea-Bissau) to 818 (Nigeria), representing error margins of ±7
and ±5 points, respectively.
Protecting Life (Nafs)32
Safeguarding life can be defined as protecting the existence, sustenance, and
development of human life by satisfying basic physical and social needs, while
also protecting individuals from harm. The latter might include hunger, disease,
crime, unemployment, human rights violations, and environmental challenges,
as mentioned by the UN Human Development Report.33 Defence from external
attack and loss of sovereignty are also major concerns.
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Muhammad Asad highlighted: “A state, in order to be truly Islamic, must
arrange the affairs of the community in such a way that every individual,
man and woman, shall enjoy that minimum of material well-being without
which there can be no human dignity, no real freedom and, in the last resort,
no spiritual progress.” He further elaborated that “in an Islamic state there
shall be no soul-grinding poverty side by side with affluence; secondly, all
the resources of the state must be harnessed to the task of providing adequate
means of livelihood for all its citizens; and, thirdly, all the opportunities in this
respect should be open to all citizens equally, and that no person should enjoy
a high standard of living at the expense of others.”34
Within the maqsad of life, Abdul Rauf listed the following responsibilities
of an Islamic state: right to life and personal liberty; national security and
defence capability; providing food, shelter and clothing to those who cannot
afford them; healthcare quality, availability and affordability; and lastly,
environmental protection.35
The following indicators were selected to assess this maqsad:
National Peace and Security (Global Peace Index) measures “the state
of peace across three domains: Societal Safety/Security; Ongoing
Domestic/International Conflict; and degree of Militarisation.”36
Poverty Index measures proportion of the population below a basic
sustainability level (poverty line).
National Homicide Rate.
Life expectancy (in years) at birth.
Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks countries on 32
performance indicators covering environmental health and ecosystem
vitality.37
Abdul Rauf agreed “that an Islamic state has an obligation to assist
the mustad’ana l-ard, the weak and oppressed on earth, wherever and
whomever they may be.”38 Consequently, the UN Poverty Index (living below
USD$1.90/day) is considered a proxy measure for the life maqsad related to
“the provision of food, shelter and clothing,”39 Moreover, since “the maqsad
of life originated as the ‘protected value’ that makes murder a crime,”40 the
National Homicide Rate is also a relevant indicator.
Anto,41 Abdul Rauf42 and Sarkawi43 all proposed life expectancy as a
key indicator for the protection of life. Life expectancy benefits from good
national healthcare availability. A longer life is also reflective of Islam’s strong
emphasis on cleanliness and purity. According to hadiths, one who strengthens
family ties will live a longer life.44
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The EPI, developed by Yale University in collaboration with the World
Economic Forum, provides an overall assessment of the environmental
sustainability of 180 countries. However, “The inability to capture
transboundary environmental impacts persists as a limitation of the current
EPI framework. While the current methodology reveals important insights
into how countries perform within their own borders, it does not account for
‘exported’ impacts associated with imported products.”45
Protecting Intellect (‘Aql)46
Safeguarding the intellect can be defined as “utilising and developing the
intellect, as well as protecting the mind from negative influences such as drugs
and superstitions.” It includes the right of freedom of expression.47 Abdul
Rauf believes that an Islamic state should ensure that all men, women and
children have equal access to quality education. This requirement, according
to Kamali, applies to both spiritual and secular education: “It is an obligation
and compulsory.”48 Further, “education should enlighten societal members
about the worldview and moral values of Islam, as well as their mission in the
world as the khalifah of God.”49 This writer has not found any quantitative
country assessments regarding Islamic teachings in Muslim countries, though
such would be useful in assessing this maqsad.
Based on these considerations, the following indicators were selected:
Adult Literacy Rate
Human Capital Index
Female secondary education percentage
Press Freedom Index.
The Adult Literacy Rate is an essential indicator within all Muslim societies
because it seves as a baseline education level for reading and understanding
the Qur’an, as well as being indicative of a primary school level of knowledge,
which is required for good parenting and employment productivity.
The Human Capital Index (HCI) benchmarks the key components of human
capital. It was launched by the World Bank in 2018 as an effort to accelerate
progress so that all children can achieve their full potential: “The HCI highlights
how current health and education outcomes shape the productivity of the next
generation of workers and underscores the importance of government and
societal investments in human capital.”50
Women require a secondary education equivalent to males both to ensure the
quality upbringing of their children and to support informed family decision-
making. This justifies including the parameter of “female participation in
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secondary education percentage.” However, greater female than male participation
does not result in a higher score than the maximum achievable (i.e. 1).
Press freedom allows citizens to access truthful information and unbiased
news, and to express their thoughts freely within limitations to eschew slander,
false accusation, or blasphemy. The Press Freedom Index provides a snapshot
of media freedom in each country by evaluating media independence, quality
of legislative framework, and journalist safety.51
Protecting Family52
The maqsad of safeguarding lineage (nasb) and progeny (nasl) is best
represented by protecting and promoting the well-being of the family, which
is regarded as the fundamental unit of society in Islam. Marriage allows
procreation53 and protects Muslims from immoral extra-marital affairs,54 while
the Qur’an (30:21) emphasises that it provides the couple with tranquillity,
compassion and love. Islamic marriage also protects lineage purity.
Protecting the family can be described as protecting the life of the
expectant mother prior to, during, and after delivery, as well as protecting the
infant. Islam promotes marriage as a life-long commitment and discourages
divorce,though it permits the latter in cases of irreconcilable breakdown.
Based on these considerations, the following indicators were selected to
assess this maqsad:
Maternal mortality index
Infant mortality index
Crude marriage rate
Crude divorce/marriage rate
Total fertility rate (TFR).
Muslim scholars who have written on the maqsad of protecting the family
or lineage have used the following indices: maternal mortality index (Anto);
infant mortality index (Anto; Raudha and Others); crude marriage rate
(Sarkawi); and crude divorce rate (Sarkawi; Anto).
Chapra highlights the perils of divorce: “[Divorce] will have a detrimental
impact on children’s moral, mental and psychological development. This is
the reason why…the Prophet said: Of all things allowed by God, the one
despised by Him most is divorce.’55 Therefore, it is necessary to avoid dispute
and divorce as much as possible in the interest of children’s well-being.56 We
therefore do not agree with Abdul Rauf’s view that divorce rate should be
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discarded as an indicator of family well-being,57 although we ‘normalise’ it
against the corresponding marriage rate to make it a meaningful indicator.
The TFR is based on a general scholarly view that Muslim parents should
seek to at least replace themselves in terms of the number of children they
have; having less than this number, without justification, is not encouraged by
Islamic teachings.58 The total fertility rate of a nation is the average number
of children a woman will have over her lifetime, assuming she lives until
experiencing menopause. Replacement fertility is the TFR at which women
give birth to enough babies to sustain population levels. In 2003, global
average for replacement TFR was 2.33.59
Allah explicitly advises: “And let those (guardians) have the same fear if
they (themselves) had left weak offspring behind” (4:9). He emphasises the
necessity of leaving behind strong offspring, indicating the importance of
providing them with a religious upbringing (maqsad 1), good health (maqsad
2), a good education (maqsad 3), and nurturing strong family relationships
(this maqsad).
Protecting Wealth or Property (Mal)60
The maqsad of safeguarding property (mal) can be defined as “the protection
of ownership and property from damage, harm, theft or injustice.” It also refers
to the “growth of wealth through circulation and equitable distribution, as
well as the preservation of wealth through investment and good governance.”61
The Qur’an provides a wide range of ordinances on socio-economic justice,
equality, and equal distribution of wealth, such as “so that it (wealth) may not
(merely) circulate between the wealthy among you” (59:7).
Chapra emphasises that wealth is “a trust from God, and needs to be
developed and used honestly and conscientiously for removing poverty,
fulfilling the needs of all, making life as comfortable as possible for everyone,
and promoting equitable distribution of income and wealth.”62
Based on these considerations the following indicators were selected to
assess this maqsad:
Equitable wealth distribution - Gini Coefficient
Access to employment - Unemployment rate (percentage)
Prohibiting unlawful gain - Corruption Perceptions Index
Minimising resources overconsumption or environmental degradation -
Ecological Footprint
Promoting Islamic finance - Islamic Finance Development Index (IFDI)
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As proposed by Abdul Rauf, “the Gini Coefficient, which measures national
income inequality, captures the promotion of an equitable distribution of
wealth. We measured access to employment, which promotes the sustainability
of the individual, by measuring the unemployment rate within each country.
Prohibiting unlawful gain is measured through the Corruption Perceptions
index.”63 We do not include the suggested Gross Domestic Product Per Capita
because we do not consider that wealth per se reflects Islamic well-being.
Ecological Footprint is promoted by the Global Footprint Network (GFN)
as a means of measuring human demand on natural capital, i.e. the amount
of nature required to support people or an economy. “At a global scale,
footprint assessments show how big humanity’s demand is compared to
what Earth can renew.”64 High country values indicate areas where excessive
consumption occurs, which has an impact on everyone’s well-being. While
EPI figures (see life maqsad) do not take transboundary impacts into account,
Ecological Footprint does. This is important when the largest environmental
issue currently impacting humanity is Climate Change resulting from carbon
emissions. Studies show that wasteful consumption in certain countries is the
leading cause of environmental destruction worldwide.65 GFN estimated that
in 2014, humanity was using natural capital 1.7 times faster than the Earth’s
ability to renew it. Consequently, all countries, particularly wealthy ones,
must “walk lightly” and reduce their ecological footprint. Countries with
lower ecological footprints are thereby assessed positively compared to those
with larger footprints.
The Refinitiv Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI) is a composite
indicator that measures the development and health of the Islamic finance
industry in 135 countries. It ranks national Islamic finance markets based
on five broad development areas: quantitative development, knowledge
governance, corporate social responsibility, and awareness. However, the use
of this indicator will need to be reviewed since information publicly available
online is limited to only the top fifteen countries.66
Limitations
In preparing this IWI 2.0 assessment, the validity of the statistical data used
was considered, followed by the validity of the methodology. The general
concern is, “Are we adequately capturing the key aspects represented by each
of the maqasid’s higher objectives?” After attempting to ensure appropriate
parameter selection (see Measuring Islamic Well-Being using the Maqasid al-
Shari’ah), two major issues can be addressed: first, is there sufficient data, and
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second, is the available data accurate? Some data gaps exist in the following
maqasid indicators: religiosity (din), religious education (intellect), crude
marriage and divorce rates (family), Gini co-efficient and the IFDI (wealth).
One concern is lack of timeliness with regards to the Pew Center religiosity
data (some of it dates back to 2008-2009), especially given the high weighting
accorded to it (see Protecting Religion). Second, marriage and divorce data,
which are important indicators for family well-being, are no longer recorded
by the UN and World Bank. Consequently, some figures are out of date, while
others are unavailable, especially for African countries. Third, poverty figures
were unavailable for the Gulf countries for the life maqsad. They would almost
certainly have enhanced these countries’ non-din scores if they had been
available. Finally, the IFDI base score for Muslim countries and IFDI figures
for many other countries are not publicly available, which affects accuracy of
the current assessment.
Two further considerations regarding the accuracy of data include
whether that data is obsolete or politically-biased against certain Muslim
countries. The latter possibility, however, has yet to be evaluated. IWI 2.0
also benefitted from the latest SDG 2020 Datasets for the Poverty Index and
National Homicide rate because several IWI are aligned with the Sustainable
Development Goals adopted by the UN. IWI 2.0 is based on data that was
available until the end of 2020. However, much of the data and indices used
precede 2020, and thereby predate the impact of COVID-19.
Results
Results from the improved methodology roughly mirror the IWI 1.0 results,
displaying similar levels of well-being among countries that are geographically
or culturally related to each other. IWI 2.0 rankings, however, hold a higher
level of confidence. The Index provides an indication of important trends for
government planners. Although we have not recalculated the 2013 indices
using the current approach, it is clear that, beyond some changes due to the
improved methodology, very significant changes in some country standings
have occurred in the interim period, as discussed below.
Assessment of Din Results (Table 1)
In comparison to the Pew 2012 survey on The World’s Muslims,67 its 2018
survey68 included data from four additional countries - Algeria, Bosnia-
Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, and Iran. Analysis of the available data finds
that Muslim countries can be grouped into five regions based on the strength
ENHANCED ISLAMIC WELL-BEING INDEX FOR MUSLIM COUNTRIES
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of their religious belief and observance (strong to weak observance, in order;
average country transformed din values are indicated):
African (non-Maghrib) countries (8): 0.919
Southeast Asian countries (2): 0.854
South Asian countries (3): 0.745
Arab (MENA) countries (8): 0.703
Former communist countries (8): 0.236.
Countries strongest in din were Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria and Burkina Faso,
all in Africa. Leading countries in each of the other regions were Indonesia
(South-East Asia), Jordan (MENA countries), Pakistan (South Asia) and
Tajikistan (former communist).
The din maqsad country rankings are compared from 2013 to 2021. Because
27 countries were ranked in 2013 compared to 31 in 2021, the 2013 rankings
were increased proportionately (i.e. 1.15) to facilitate comparison. This indicates
that Jordan (+8), Guinea-Bissau (+7) and Djibouti (+6) strengthened in din,
while Bangladesh (-13), Iraq (-11) and Afghanistan (-9) weakened. These three
latter countries have all been negatively affected by foreign interference.
Assessment of Life Results (Table 2)
The Arabian Gulf and South-East Asia have the best overall result for the Life
maqsad, with the UAE, Brunei, and Kuwait leading the way. Looking at each
parameter of the composite, Malaysia and the Gulf countries perform best in
terms of the Peace Index. Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen are
‘war torn’ countries and among the least peaceful. For the other life parameters
- poverty, homicides, life expectancy and environmental protection - West
African countries score the worst, especially Nigeria, despite the fact it is an
oil-rich country. Homicide rates are lowest in Indonesia and the Gulf countries.
Life expectancy is highest in the Gulf countries, the Maldives, and Albania.
Table 1: Country Rankings for the Maqsad of Din (Religion)
Country Rank
2021
Change
2013 -
2021
Composite
Average
Attend
Place of
Worship
Weekly
Pray
Daily
“Religion
is very
important”
Guinea-Bissau 1 +7 0.980 1.00 0.976 0.964
Nigeria 2 -1 0.954 0.945 0.976 0.940
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Burkina Faso 3 N0.940 N/A N/A 0.940
Chad 4 -3 0.931 0.879 0.988 0.928
Indonesia 5 +1 0.921 0.780 1.00 1.00
Niger 6 - 0.909 0.956 0.918 0.855
Mali 7 +1 0.884 0.857 0.847 0.952
Djibouti 8 +6 0.883 0.912 0.871 0.867
Senegal 9 -8 0.868 0.703 0.929 1.00
Afghanistan 10 -9 0.849 0.659 1.00 0.928
Malaysia 11 -3 0.788 0.615 0.847 0.940
Jordan 12 +8 0.776 0.703 0.788 0.843
Tunisia 13 +4 0.761 0.505 0.953 0.916
Pakistan 14 - 0.741 0.637 0.671 0.952
Palestine 15 +2 0.729 0.593 0.776 0.843
Morocco 16 -2 0.723 0.582 0.729 0.892
Egypt 17 +3 0.711 0.659 0.753 0.723
Algeria 18 N0.692 0.516 0.918 0.699
Iraq 19 -11 0.682 0.429 0.918 0.807
Iran 20 N0.654 0.407 0.906 0.759
Bangladesh 21 -13 0.644 0.571 0.588 0.795
Turkey 22 +2 0.612 0.473 0.718 0.675
Lebanon 23 - 0.550 0.374 0.671 0.663
Tajikistan 24 -4 0.388 0.319 0.435 0.422
Kosovo 25 +3 0.352 0.231 0.541 0.349
Bosnia-Herz. 26 N0.318 0.253 0.271 0.470
Azerbaijan 27 -1 0.335 0 0.753 0.253
Kyrgyzstan 28 -3 0.259 0.242 0.176 0.410
Uzbekistan 29 -1 0.144 0.088 0.188 0.181
Kazakhstan 30 -2 0.045 0.099 0 0.036
Albania 31 -3 0.026 0.044 0.035 0
Sources: Except for four countries, data is from The World Muslims: Unity and Diversity
(Washington DC: Pew Research Center, August 9, 2012) https://www.pewresearch.org/
wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2012/08/the-worlds-muslims-full-report.pdf (Accessed June 30,
2021). Data for general populations in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Iran and Bosnia & Herzegovina
is from The Age Gap in Religion Around the World (Washington DC: Pew Research Center,
June 13, 2018), Appendix B. https://www.pewforum.org/2018/06/13/the-age-gap-in-religion-
around-the-world/ (Accessed Feb 19, 2021).
Updated 2019 general population data is used for Indonesia, Lebanon, Nigeria, Tunisia and
ENHANCED ISLAMIC WELL-BEING INDEX FOR MUSLIM COUNTRIES
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Turkey in The Global God Divide (Washington DC: Pew Research Center, July 20, 2020).
https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2020/07/20/the-global-god-divide/ (Accessed July
1, 2021). Notes: Significant change in a country’s ranking is indicated in bold. N/A = data
unavailable. N = Newly appearing country.
Table 2: Country rankings for the Maqsad of Life.
Rank
2021
Country Composite
Average
Vision of
Humanity
- Global
Peace
Index,
2020(1)
SDG
Poverty
Index (%)
<$1.90/d,
2020(2)
SDG National
Homicides
/100,000(2)
UNDP Life
Expectancy
at birth (yr),
2019(3)
Environmental
Protection
Index, 2020 (4)
1 UAE 0.948 0.893 N/A 0.990 2017 0.915 1.00
2 Brunei 0.930 N/A N/A 0.990 2013 0.835 0.973
3 Kuwait 0.881 0.907 N/A 0.867 2012 0.819 0.934
4 Malaysia 0.880 1.00 1.00 0.838 2013 0.846 0.744
5 Jordan 0.877 0.796 0.993 0.905 2017 0.781 0.927
6 Albania 0.870 0.836 0.994 0.819 2017 0.939 0.781
7 Bahrain 0.843 0.677 N/A 0.990 2014 0.888 0.847
8 Bosnia & Her. 0.837 0.757 0.999 0.924 2017 0.892 0.661
9 Tunisia 0.803 0.733 0.997 0.752 2012 0.865 0.704
10 Algeria 0.797 0.640 0.995 0.905 2015 0.873 0.641
11 Morocco 0.787 0.749 0.997 0.838 2017 0.865 0.558
12 Qatar 0.779 0.957 N/A 1.00 2014 1.00 0.385
13 Azerbaijan 0.770 0.634 1.00 0.848 2017 0.723 0.698
14 Palestine 0.756 0.446 0.987 (5) 0.971 (6) 2017 0.765 N/A
15 Uzbekistan 0.755 0.701 0.891 0.933 2017 0.673 0.625
16 Iran 0.750 0.459 0.997 0.800 2014 0.865 0.748
17 Oman 0.748 0.804 N/A 0.990 2017 0.912 0.432
18 Kosovo 0.743 0.743 N/A N/A N/A N/A
19 Maldives 0.741 N/A 0.980 0.962 2013 0.950 0.336
20 Indonesia 0.740 0.856 0.941 1.00 2017 0.673 0.409
21 Kazakhstan 0.735 0.800 1.00 0.562 2017 0.746 0.638
22 Saudi Arabia 0.711 0.567 N/A 0.914 2017 0.804 0.615
23 Egypt 0.707 0.549 0.991 0.800 2012 0.685 0.591
24 Tajikistan 0.696 0.687 0.976 0.886 2011 0.650 0.422
25 Lebanon 0.692 0.385 1.00 0.657 2016 0.950 0.661
26 Kyrgyzstan 0.680 0.731 0.987 0.638 2017 0.665 0.475
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27 Turkey 0.636 0.323 1.00 0.629 2012 0.904 0.568
28 Turkmenistan 0.600 0.646 0.574 0.638 2006 0.538 0.611
29 Bangladesh 0.539 0.719 0.931 0.829 2017 0.708 0.116
30 Burkina Faso 0.504 0.627 0.468 0.914 2017 0.285 0.425
31 Pakistan 0.479 0.317 0.986 0.638 2017 0.504 0.252
32 Libya* 0.471 0.182 N/A 0.800 2015 0.719 N/A
33 Senegal 0.430 0.859 0.564 0.333 2015 0.527 0.173
34 Sudan 0.415 0.284 0.605 0.543 2008 0.427 0.309
35 Djibouti 0.393 0.674 0.777 0.419 2015 0.496 0.086
36 Comoros 0.364 N/A 0.679 0.305 2015 0.388 0.219
37 Niger 0.320 0.489 0 0.619 2012 0.315 0.176
38 Gambia 0.314 0.827 0.894 0.171 2015 0.304 0.080
39 Syria* 0.309 0.050 N/A 0.829 2010 0.712 N/A
40 Guinea-Bissau 0.289 0.702 0.163 0.933 2017 0.158 0.120
40 Iraq* 0.289 0.074 0.982 0.095 2013 0.631 0.465
42 Mauritania 0.280 0.640 0.949 0.095 2015 0.412 0.073
43 Yemen* 0.274 0.110 N/A 0.408 2013 0.458 N/A
44 Guinea 0.241 0.737 0.644 0.200 2015 0.285 0.030
44 Mali* 0.241 0.432 0.449 0 2015 0.196 0.130
46 Chad* 0.224 0.522 0.375 0.181 2015 0 0.040
47 Somalia* 0.221 0.161 0.190 0.629 2015 0.123 N/A
48 Afghanistan* 0.192 0 N/A 0.361 2017 0.408 0
49 Sierra Leone 0.132 0.861 0.392 0.876 2015 0.019 0.007
50 Nigeria* 0.126 0.368 0.237 0.105 2015 0.019 0.183
Sources: (1) Institute of Economics and Peace, Global Peace Index 2020: Measuring Peace
in a Complex World, Sydney, June 2020 https://www.visionofhumanity.org/wp-content/
uploads/2020/10/GPI_2020_web.pdf (Accessed June 6, 2021). (2) UN Statistical Division,
The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020 https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2020/
(Accessed June 6, 2021) (3) Latest Human Development Index Ranking From the 2020 UNDP
Human Development Report http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/latest-human-development-index-
ranking (Accessed June 6, 2021) (4) Wendling, Z. A., Emerson, J. W., de Sherbinin, A., Esty,
D. C., et al. (2020), 2020 Environmental Performance Index (New Haven, CT: Yale Center
for Environmental Law & Policy) https://epi.yale.edu/downloads/epi2020report20210112.pdf
(Accessed June 6, 2021). (5) Palestine - World Bank 2016 value of 0.8% cited in https://
www.theglobaleconomy.com/Palestine/poverty_ratio_low_range/ (Accessed June 6, 2021) (6)
Palestine - UN Office on Drugs and Crime 2016 value of 0.7 homicides per 100,000 people
cited at https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/Palestine/homicide_rate/ (Accessed June 6,
2021) Notes: SDG = UN Sustainable Development Goals. (*) Countries in recent or ongoing
conflict. N/A = data unavailable.
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Assessment of Intellect Results (Table 3)
Countries that do best for the Intellect maqsad are the former communist and
Gulf Arab countries, as well as the Maldives and Malaysia. Albania leads in
this category while ranking last in religiosity (see Table 1), indicating that
education is the government’s top priority. African and ‘war-torn’ countries
perform the worst in this category, although Comoros, Senegal, and the
Gambia are among the African countries that perform best. For Literacy and
the Human Capital Index, the former communist, Southeast Asian, and Gulf
countries perform best. For female secondary school enrollment, the Gulf Arab
and former communist countries are among the best. For press freedom, the
former communist and West African countries rank highest.
Significantly, the countries ranked last in this category – Chad and Niger
- are both client states of France. Chad has been dubbed ‘France’s unsinkable
aircraft carrier in the desert’ for its historical support of colonial France. Niger
is the primary source of uranium for France’s nuclear energy industry. Their
support for France appears to provide little benefit to their citizens who suffer
restricted educational opportunities.
Assessment of Family Results (Table 4)
Countries that score well for the Family maqsad are the non-Gulf countries,
Senegal, and Tajikistan. Those that score poorly are the African and Gulf
countries, as well as Malaysia and Brunei. The Gulf countries and Brunei are
wealthy countries where it seems couples find difficulty marrying and have
fewer children when married.
Qatar’s low maqsad score results partly from the blockade imposed on it by
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE in 2017, which was only lifted in 2021.69
For maternal and infant mortality, Arab countries, Iran, and the former
communist countries score best. For marriage rates, Tunisia, the Maldives,
and Bangladesh score best. Countries more prone to divorce are Kuwait, the
Maldives, Qatar and Malaysia. Kosovo, Indonesia, Tajikistan, and Syria have
the lowest divorce rates. Countries having low fertility rates are Bosnia &
Herzegovina and Albania.
Assessment of Wealth Results (Table 5)
Countries that score best for this maqsad are Malaysia, UAE, and Burkina
Faso. The worst performers are ‘war-torn’ countries or those recently in
conflict - Libya, Syria, and Yemen. Sudan, still recovering from the loss
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of South Sudan and the Darfur conflict, also fares poorly. The Gini index
shows income equality is best in former communist countries (Azerbaijan,
Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan) and Algeria. Chad, Comoros, and Turkey
have the most unequal income distribution. The unemployment rate is lowest
in Qatar, Bahrain, Chad and Niger, and highest in Palestine, Kosovo, Bosnia
& Herzegovina, and Libya.
UAE, Qatar, and Brunei are rated best on the Corruptions Perceptions
Index. Those that score worst are mainly countries in conflict: Afghanistan,
Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Turkmenistan, and
Yemen.
Environmental Footprint is worst for the Gulf countries, indicating
unacceptable resource consumption levels. Malaysia is the most developed in
Islamic financial terms, followed by Indonesia.
Table 3: Country Rankings for the Maqsad of Intellect.
Rank
2021
Country Geometric
Mean
Adult Literacy
Rate, aged 15
years (1)
Human
Capital
Index,
2020(2)
School Enrolment,
Secondary, Females
(% Gross) (3)
World
Press
Freedom
Index 2020
(4)
1 Albania 0.928 0.974 2018 0.892 0.958 2019 0.891
2 Kyrgyzstan 0.912 1.00 2018 0.811 0.958 2019 0.892
3 UAE 0.890 0.910 2015 1.00 1.00 2017 0.690
4 Maldives 0.876 0.974 2016 N/A 0.771 2019 0.896
5 Bosnia & Herz. 0.875 0.962 2013 0.757 N/A 0.919
6 Qatar 0.873 0.910 2017 0.919 1.00 2010 0.693
7 Malaysia 0.870 0.936 2018 0.838 0.865 2019 0.844
8 Kuwait 0.861 0.949 2018 0.703 1.00 2015 0.825
9 Oman 0.857 0.949 2018 0.838 1.00 2019 0.678
10 Turkey 0.847 0.949 2017 0.946 1.00 2018 0.572
11 Brunei 0.826 0.962 2018 0.892 0.938 2019 0.578
12 Palestine 0.824 0.962 2018 0.757 0.948 2019 0.667
13 Kazakhstan 0.820 1.00 2018 0.892 1.00 2019 0.506
14 Kosovo 0.813 N/A 0.730 N/A 0.905
14 Uzbekistan 0.813 1.00 2018 0.865 0.969 2019 0.522
16 Indonesia 0.811 0.949 2018 0.649 0.896 2018 0.785
17 Tunisia 0.790 0.731 2014 0.595 0.990 2016 0.904
18 Bahrain 0.781 0.962 2018 0.946 1.00 2019 0.408
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19 Azerbaijan 0.747 1.00 2017 0.757 0.948 2019 0.435
20 Algeria 0.742 0.756 2018 0.622 1.00 2011 0.644
21 Jordan 0.739 0.974 2018 0.676 0.646 2019 0.700
22 Libya 0.733 0.821 2004 N/A 1.00 2006 0.479
23 Lebanon 0.723 0.936 2018 0.595 0.583 1985 0.843
24 Saudi Arabia 0.718 0.936 2017 0.757 1.00 2019 0.376
25 Tajikistan 0.684 1.00 2014 0.541 0.833 2013 0.486
26 Morocco 0.661 0.667 2018 0.541 0.771 2019 0.687
27 Iran 0.652 0.821 2016 0.784 0.844 2017 0.333
28 Turkmenistan 0.628 1.00 2014 N/A 0.885 2019 0
29 Egypt 0.603 0.628 2017 0.514 0.885 2019 0.462
30 Bangladesh 0.602 0.679 2019 0.432 0.771 2019 0.582
31 Comoros 0.511 0.474 2018 0.270 0.594 2018 0.898
32 Senegal 0.491 0.385 2017 0.324 0.469 2019 0.992
33 Iraq 0.477 0.821 2017 0.297 0.438 2007 0.485
34 Gambia 0.473 0.372 2015 0.324 0.469 2010 0.885
35 Pakistan 0.432 0.474 2017 0.297 0.385 2019 0.644
36 Syria 0.428 0.756 2004 N/A 0.500 2013 0.208
37 Mauritania 0.407 0.397 2017 0.216 0.375 2019 0.854
38 Nigeria 0.398 0.513 2018 0.162 0.375 2016 0.804
39 Sudan 0.392 0.500 2018 0.216 0.448 2017 0.486
40 Afghanistan 0.381 0.269 2018 0.270 0.375 2018 0.770
41 Burkina-Faso 0.380 0.244 2018 0.216 0.396 2019 1.00
42 Sierra Leone 0.350 0.269 2018 0.162 0.385 2017 0.890
43 Yemen 0.343 0.410 2004 0.189 0.406 2016 0.439
44 Guinea-Bissau 0.292 0.308 2014 N/A 0.094 2000 0.861
45 Djibouti 0.276 N/A N/A 0.542 2020 0.141
46 Guinea 0.274 0.128 2014 0.189 0.281 2014 0.825
47 Somalia 0.242 N/A N/A 0 2007 0.484
48 Mali 0.225 0.167 2018 0.054 0.344 2018 0.828
49 Chad 0.210 0 2016 0 0.104 2019 0.738
50 Niger 0.196 0.167 2018 0.054 0.177 2017 0.923
Sources: (1) UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Data as of September 2020. Literacy rate, % of
people aged 15 and above. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.ADT.LITR.ZS (Accessed
June 7, 2021) (2) World Bank, Human Capital Index 2020. Data as of September 2020.
https://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/human-capital#Index (Accessed June 7, 2021)
(3) World Bank, School enrolment, secondary, female (%gross). Data as of September 2020.
https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.SEC.ENRR.FE (Accessed June 7, 2021) (4) Reporters
Without Borders, 2020 World Press Freedom Index. https://rsf.org/en/ranking/2020 (Accessed
June 7, 2021). Note: N/A = data unavailable.
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Table 4: Country Rankings for the Maqsad of Family.
Rank
2021
Country Geometric
Mean
Maternal
Mortality
Rate per
1000 live
births,
2017 (1)
Infant
Mortality
(<5yr)
Rate per
1000 live
births,
2019 (2)
Crude Marriage Rate
per 1000 (CMR) (3)
Crude
Divorce
Rate(4)/
CMR (%)
Total
Fertility
Rate,
2021 (5)
1Morocco 0.908 0.941 0.829 N/A N/ A 0.959
2Tunisia 0.873 0.965 0.868 1.00 2017 N/A 0.694
3Syria 0.824 0.975 0.829 0.561 2006 0.836 1.00
4Egypt 0.804 0.970 0.842 0.590 2010 0.697 1.00
5Algeria 0.776 0.904 0.803 0.525 2013 0.737 1.00
6Iraq 0.771 0.933 0.776 0.489 2004 N/A 1.00
6Senegal 0.771 0.726 0.632 N/A N/A 1.00
8Libya 0.769 0.939 0.934 0.576 2008 0.532 1.00
9Tajikistan 0.768 0.988 0.671 0.453 2016 0.889 1.00
10 Iran 0.758 0.989 0.908 0.604 2017 0.780 0.592
10 Turkmenistan 0.758 0.996 0.592 N/A 0.794 0.704
12 Bangladesh 0.757 0.850 0.724 0.698 2006 N/A 0.765
13 Yemen 0.748 0.858 0.487 N/A N/A 1.00
14 Jordan 0.735 0.962 0.895 0.532 2010 0.468 1.00
14 Kyrgyzstan 0.735 0.950 0.855 0.367 2016 0.719 1.00
16 Palestine 0.734 0.979 0.842 0.324 2006 0.796 1.00
17 Sudan 0.731 0.743 0.526 N/A N/A 1.00
18 Kazakhstan 0.698 0.994 0.947 0.511 2016 0.433 0.796
19 Comoros 0.692 0.763 0.434 N/A N/A 1.00
20 Indonesia 0.686 0.847 0.803 0.345 2003 0.921 0.704
21 Pakistan 0.662 0.880 0.329 N/A N/A 1.00
22 Gambia 0.657 0.478 0.592 N/A N/A 1.00
23 Lebanon 0.655 0.977 0.987 0.482 2007 0.709 0.367
24 Kosovo 0.651 N/A N/A 0.475 2018 1.00 0.582
25 Burkina Faso 0.635 0.721 0.355 N/A N/A 1.00
26 Niger 0.628 0.555 0.447 N/A N/A 1.00
27 Uzbekistan 0.620 0.977 0.855 0.360 2006 0.785 0.388
28 Kuwait 0.611 0.992 0.974 0.173 2010 00.918
29 Turkey 0.601 0.988 0.947 0.288 2018 0.482 0.602
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30 Bosnia &
Herz.
0.594 0.994 1.00 0.144 2012 0.830 0
31 Azerbaijan 0.585 0.980 0.829 0.309 2018 0.515 0.531
32 Afghanistan 0.582 0.442 0.447 N/A N/A 1.00
33 Maldives 0.581 0.956 0.974 1.00 2005 0.194 0.367
34 Saudi Arabia 0.571 0.988 0.987 0.173 2005 0.589 0.612
35 Oman 0.560 0.986 0.934 0.086 2019 0.698 1.00
36 UAE 0.555 1.00 0.987 02005 0.482 0.306
37 Guinea-
Bissau
0.542 0.416 0.382 N/A N/A 1.00
38 Bahrain 0.537 0.990 0.987 0.259 2006 0.525 0.337
38 Brunei 0.537 0.975 0.934 0.194 2004 0.621 0.408
40 Malaysia 0.528 0.977 0.974 0.331 2019 0.313 0.418
41 Albania 0.522 0.989 0.947 0.381 2018 0.593 0.184
42 Mali 0.520 0.508 0.276 N/A N/A 1.00
43 Mauritania 0.512 0.329 0.408 N/A N/A 1.00
44 Guinea 0.481 0.496 0.224 N/A N/A 1.00
45 Djibouti 0.438 0.785 0.434 0.187 1999 0.301 0.837
46 Chad 0.386 00.158 N/A N/A 1.00
47 Qatar 0.346 0.995 0.987 0.036 2011 0.250 0.561
48 Sierra Leone 0.339 0.018 0N/A N/A 1.00
49 Somalia 0.293 0.274 0.092 N/A N/A 1.00
50 Nigeria 0.262 0.196 0.092 N/A N/A 1.00
Sources: (1) World Health Organisation, Trends in Maternal Mortality: 2000 to 2017 (2019)
https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/themes/topics/sdg-target-3-1-maternal-mortality
(Accessed June 7, 2021) (2) World Bank, Mortality rate, infant (per 1,000 live births
under 5 years). Estimates developed by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality at
childmortality.org https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.IMRT.IN (Accessed June
7, 2021) (3) Primary sources: Wikipedia, Divorce demography https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Divorce_demography (Accessed June 7, 2021); UN, World Marriage Data 2008. Annual
Number of Marriages and Crude Marriage Rates https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/
population/publications/dataset/marriage/data.asp (Accessed June 7, 2021) Other sources:
Azerbaijan - https://countryeconomy.com/demography/marriages/azerbaijan (Accessed
June 7, 2021); Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - https://www.statista.com/
statistics/1053234/apac-crude-marriage-rates-by-country/ (Accessed June 7, 2021); Kosovo
- Eurostat, Marriage and divorce statistics | Statistics Explained, July 2020, Table 1: Crude
marriage rate, selected years, 1960-2018 https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/
index.php?title=Marriage_and_divorce_statistics (Accessed June 7, 2021); Malaysia –
Department of Statistics, Marriage and Divorce Statistics, 2020 ; https://www.dosm.gov.
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my/v1/index.php?r=column/cthemeByCat&cat=453&bul_id=QmZ1cE4xRFAvYWQ0R05
hTk1rWm5KQT09&menu_id=L0pheU43NWJwRWVSZklWdzQ4TlhUUT09 (Accessed
June 7, 2021); Sultanate of Oman – Marriage and Divorce Statistics, Crude Marriage Rate
https://data.gov.om/veevcid/marriage-divorce-statistics?regions=1000000-total-sultanate
(Accessed June 7, 2021); Tunisia – Marriage Rate in Tunisia 2014-2018 https://www.statista.
com/statistics/1185371/marriage-rate-in-tunisia/ (Accessed June 7, 2021) (4) Sources for
country crude divorce rates, see marriage rate sources. Azerbaijan - https://countryeconomy.
com/demography/divorces/azerbaijan (Accessed June 7, 2021); Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan
and Tajikistan - https://www.statista.com/statistics/1053261/apac-crude-divorce-rates-
by-country/ (Accessed June 7, 2021); Kosovo - Eurostat, Marriage and divorce statistics
| Statistics Explained, July 2020, Table 2: Crude divorce rate, selected years, 1960-2018
https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Marriage_and_divorce_
statistics (Accessed June 7, 2021); General divorce rate in Turkmenistan - https://knoema.
com/data/turkmenistan+general-divorce-rate (Accessed June 8, 2021) (5) CIA, The World
Factbook, Total Fertility Rate, 2021 Estimate https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/field/
total-fertility-rate/ (Accessed June 8, 2021). Note: D/A = Data unavailable.
Table 5: Country Rankings for the Maqsad of Wealth.
Rank
2021
Country Geometric
Mean
Gini
Coefficient (1)
Unemployment
Rate 2019 (2)
Corruption
Perceptions
Index
2020 (3)
Ecological
Footprint
Per Capita
2021 (4)
Islamic
Finance
Development
Index 2020 (5)
1Malaysia 0.708 0.402 2015 0.872 0.661 0.766 1.00
2UAE 0.689 0.755 2014 0.911 1.00 0.411 0.55
3Burkina Faso 0.686 0.639 2014 0.756 0.475 0.965 N/A
4Azerbaijan 0.682 1.00 2005 0.785 0.305 0.901 N/A
5Kazakhstan 0.681 0.963 2017 0.822 0.441 0.617 N/A
5Kyrgyzstan 0.681 0.954 2018 0.753 0.322 0.929 N/A
7Niger 0.678 0.680 2014 0.985 0.339 0.929 N/A
8Algeria 0.656 0.959 2011 0.540 0.407 0.879 N/A
9Saudi Arabia 0.650 N/A 0.769 0.695 0.631 0.53
9Sierra Leone 0.650 0.622 2018 0.828 0.356 0.972 N/A
11 Senegal 0.644 0.432 2011 0.742 0.559 0.957 N/A
12 Gambia 0.637 0.614 2015 0.645 0.424 0.979 N/A
13 Indonesia 0.636 0.535 2018 0.818 0.424 0.922 0.61
14 Mali 0.624 0.734 2009 0.717 0.305 0.943 N/A
15 Egypt 0.622 0.797 2017 0.577 0.356 0.915 N/A
16 Bangladesh 0.621 0.759 2016 0.838 0.237 0.986 N/A
17 Guinea 0.619 0.705 2012 0.833 0.271 0.922 N/A
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18 Albania 0.609 0.726 2017 0.515 0.407 0.901 N/A
19 Tunisia 0.603 0.743 2015 0.369 0.542 0.887 N/A
20 Morocco 0.601 0.465 2013 0.646 0.475 0.915 N/A
21 Pakistan 0.595 0.714 2015 0.827 0.322 0.979 0.40
22 Jordan 0.589 0.705 2010 0.421 0.627 0.908 0.42
23 Mauritania 0.587 0.751 2014 0.625 0.288 0.879 N/A
24 Bahrain 0.586 N/A 0.975 0.508 0.426 0.56
25 Oman 0.581 N/A 0.898 0.712 0.525 0.34
26 Lebanon 0.570 0.784 2011 0.757 0.220 0.809 N/A
27 Uzbekistan 0.569 0.639 2003 0.769 0.237 0.901 N/A
28 Palestine 0.564 0.705 2017 0N/A 0.986 N/A
29 Tajikistan 0.538 0.693 2015 0.567 0.220 0.972 N/A
30 Qatar 0.534 N/A 1.00 0.864 00.27
31 Brunei 0.533 N/A 0.643 0.814 0.617 0.25
32 Maldives 0.522 0.805 2016 0.761 0.525 N/A 0.23
33 Kuwait 0.516 N/A 0.917 0.508 0.475 0.32
34 Somalia 0.511 N/A 0.554 00.979 N/A
35 Turkey 0.504 0.365 2018 0.469 0.475 0.794 N/A
36 Bosnia &
Herz.
0.500 0.734 2011 0.274 0.390 0.794 N/A
37 Iraq 0.497 0.880 2012 0.496 0.153 0.915 N/A
38 Guinea-
Bissau
0.490 02010 0.906 0.119 0.936 N/A
39 Djibouti 0.474 0.378 2017 0.596 0.254 0.879 N/A
40 Nigeria 0.457 0.647 2018 0.683 0.226 0.972 0.21
41 Iran 0.449 0.411 2017 0.553 0.220 0.816 N/A
42 Chad 0.448 0.307 2011 0.929 0.153 0.922 N/A
43 Turkmenistan 0.409 0.411 1999 0.849 0.119 0.674 N/A
44 Comoros 0.407 0.224 2014 0.832 0.153 0.965 N/A
45 Afghanistan 0.405 N/A 0.563 0.119 0.993 N/A
46 Sudan 0.353 0.685 2014 0.349 0.068 0.950 N/A
47 Yemen 0.347 0.581 2014 0.492 0.051 1.00 N/A
48 Syria 0.297 0.618 2004 0.672 0.034 0.957 0.17
49 Libya 0.262 N/A 0.268 0.085 0.794 N/A
50 Kosovo 0.230 0.900 2017 0.033 0.407 N/A N/A
Sources: (1) World Bank, Gini Index, 1967-2019. Most recent year https://data.worldbank.org/
indicator/SI.POV.GINI (Accessed June 8, 2021) (2) Sustainable Development Report 2020:
The Sustainable Development Goals and Covid-19, June 20, 2020 https://sdgindex.org/reports/
sustainable-development-report-2020/ (Accessed June 8, 2021), See SDG2020Database;
Kosovo – Unemployment Rate, from Kosovo Agency of Statistics (http://ask.rks-gov.net)
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https://tradingeconomics.com/kosovo/unemployment-rate (Accessed June 8, 2021); pre-
Covid-19 figure of 24.5% for 2019 taken; Palestine - Palestine: Unemployment rate (sourced
from World Bank) https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/Palestine/unemployment_rate/
(Accessed June 8, 2021); pre-Covid-19 figure of 25.34% for 2019 taken (3) Transparency
International, Corruption Perceptions Index, 2020 Results https://www.transparency.org/en/
cpi/2020/index/nzl (Accessed June 8, 2021) (4) Global Footprint Network National Footprint
and Biocapacity Accounts, 2021 Edition https://data.footprintnetwork.org (Downloaded
June 4, 2021) (5) ICD-Refinitiv, Islamic Finance Development Report 2020, Top IFDI
Markets and Global Average IFDI Values https://icd-ps.org/uploads/files/ICD-Refinitiv%20
IFDI%20Report%2020201607502893_2100.pdf (Downloaded June 8, 2021). Note: N/A =
Data unavailable.
Overall Non-Din Maqasid Results (Table 6)
Countries that perform best (first to third) for the non-din maqasid are Tunisia,
UAE, and Kyrgyzstan. Those with the lowest scores are ‘war-torn’ and
African, with Nigeria placed last. A comparison is made between the non-din
rankings in 2013 and 2021. In 2013 these were termed mu’amalat indicators.
Because of differences in the methodology and parameters used, we only give
weight here to large differences between the two IWI indices. Countries whose
rankings improved most were Morocco (+23), Tunisia (+18), Algeria (+17),
and Kyrgyzstan (+12). Clearly the Maghrib countries have made considerable
progress, perhaps because this part of the Muslim world remains relatively
peaceful. Tunisia and Algeria benefitted from the Arab Spring (2011) and
ending of the Algerian civil war (2002), respectively.
Countries that deteriorated the most were in the Gulf and ‘war-torn’: Qatar
(-20), Syria (-18), Saudi Arabia (-17), Oman (-15), Bahrain (-14), Brunei (-12)
and Libya (-12). Gulf countries have a worse result partly due to poor marriage
and divorce rates, as well as their large environmental footprints, which were
not captured in the 2013 assessment. The data displays a general grouping of
countries into regions based on similar historical and ethnic backgrounds (best
to worst, in order):
Non-Gulf Arab countries (but including UAE)
Former Soviet Union countries
South East Asian countries
Other former communist countries
Gulf Arab countries
Iran, Turkey, Bangladesh, Turkmenistan, Pakistan
Certain West African countries (Senegal, Burkina Faso, Gambia)
Other African and ‘war-torn’ countries
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Overall IWI 2.0 Results (Table 7)
A comprehensive data analysis conducted using the improved IWI 2.0
methodology shows that leading countries in Islamic Well-Being (for countries
with data) are (in order): Indonesia, Tunisia, Malaysia, Jordan, Morocco, and
Algeria. While in 2013, personal religiosity (‘ibadat) and social interactions
(mu’amalat) were given equal weighting, IWI 2.0 provides only 33 per cent
weighting for the din maqsad.
Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country and a successful democratic
nation, performed very well. Although some improvement for Tunisia, Jordan,
and Morocco likely resulted from the improved IWI 2.0 methodology, it is also
due to a continuing trend among many Middle-Eastern Muslim youth to move
away from secular Arab nationalism towards regaining an Islamic identity.
Malaysia lost its IWI 1.0 lead, which likely reflects the consequences of high-
level corruption and weakness in its family maqsad value, which was newly
assessed in IWI 2.0.
A high ranking in the IWI index requires good scoring both in the din
maqsad and non-din maqasid. Indonesia does not lead in either of these
categories but scores well enough in both to prevail as overall IWI leader.
Since Suharto’s resignation as president in 1998, Indonesia has exhibited a
growing, moderate Islamic resurgence, which is reflected in greater political
participation, strengthening of democracy, Muslim intellectual engagement,
and widespread dissemination of Islamic teachings.70
Table 6: Country rankings for the Non-Din Maqasid
Country Rank
2021
Change
2013-
2021
Non-Din
Average
Life Mind Family Wealth
Tunisia 1+18 0.760 0.803 0.790 0.873 0.603
UAE 2-1 0.754 0.948 0.890 0.555 0.689
Kyrgyzstan 3+12 0.746 0.680 0.912 0.735 0.681
Algeria 4+17 0.741 0.797 0.742 0.776 0.656
Kazakhstan 5+3 0.732 0.735 0.820 0.698 0.681
Malaysia 6+3 0.731 0.880 0.870 0.528 0.708
Morocco 7+23 0.730 0.787 0.661 0.908 0.601
Jordan 8+7 0.728 0.877 0.739 0.735 0.589
Indonesia 9+10 0.715 0.740 0.811 0.686 0.636
Palestine 10 +1 0.713 0.756 0.824 0.734 0.564
Albania 11 -2 0.712 0.870 0.928 0.522 0.609
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Kuwait 12 -9 0.699 0.881 0.861 0.611 0.516
Azerbaijan 13 -2 0.692 0.770 0.747 0.585 0.682
Brunei 14 -12 0.685 0.930 0.826 0.537 0.533
Bosnia & Herz. 15 0.683 0.837 0.875 0.594 0.500
Uzbekistan 16 +2 0.682 0.755 0.813 0.620 0.569
Egypt 17 +4 0.680 0.707 0.603 0.804 0.622
Oman 18 -15 0.676 0.748 0.857 0.560 0.581
Bahrain 19 -14 0.675 0.843 0.781 0.537 0.586
Maldives 20 -6 0.666 0.741 0.876 0.581 0.522
Tajikistan 20 -9 0.666 0.696 0.684 0.768 0.538
Saudi Arabia 22 -17 0.660 0.711 0.718 0.571 0.650
Lebanon 23 +2 0.657 0.692 0.723 0.655 0.570
Iran 24 +1 0.639 0.750 0.652 0.758 0.449
Turkey 25 -10 0.636 0.636 0.847 0.601 0.504
Bangladesh 26 +3 0.625 0.539 0.602 0.757 0.621
Qatar 27 -20 0.595 0.779 0.873 0.346 0.534
Turkmenistan 28 -1 0.585 0.600 0.628 0.758 0.409
Senegal 29 +7 0.569 0.430 0.491 0.771 0.644
Kosovo 30 -3 0.548 0.743 0.813 0.651 0.230
Burkina Faso 31 +9 0.537 0.504 0.380 0.635 0.686
Pakistan 32 +1 0.534 0.479 0.432 0.662 0.595
Libya 33 -12 0.514 0.471 0.733 0.769 0.262
Gambia 34 +4 0.499 0.314 0.473 0.657 0.637
Iraq 35 -2 0.479 0.289 0.477 0.771 0.497
Comoros 36 -3 0.478 0.364 0.511 0.692 0.407
Sudan 37 -1 0.453 0.415 0.392 0.731 0.353
Mauritania 38 +2 0.430 0.280 0.407 0.512 0.587
Syria 39 -18 0.424 0.309 0.428 0.824 0.297
Niger 40 -2 0.404 0.320 0.196 0.628 0.678
Yemen 41 -10 0.395 0.274 0.343 0.748 0.347
Djibouti 42 -10 0.387 0.393 0.276 0.438 0.474
Guinea-Bissau 42 -2 0.387 0.289 0.292 0.542 0.490
Guinea 44 +1 0.374 0.241 0.274 0.481 0.619
Mali 45 -1 0.364 0.241 0.225 0.520 0.624
Afghanistan 46 -3 0.362 0.192 0.381 0.582 0.405
Sierra Leone 47 00.318 0.132 0.350 0.339 0.650
Chad 48 +1 0.300 0.224 0.210 0.386 0.448
Somalia 49 -4 0.299 0.221 0.242 0.293 0.511
Nigeria 50 -3 0.278 0.126 0.398 0.262 0.457
Note: Significant change in a country ranking indicated in bold.
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Table 7: Country rankings for the Islamic Well-Being Index 2.0.
Country Rank
2021
Change
2013-
2021
Total
Composite
Average
Din Composite
Non-Din
Average
Life Mind Family Wealth
Indonesia 1+1 0.784 0.921 0.715 0.740 0.811 0.686 0.636
Tunisia 2+7 0.760 0.761 0.760 0.803 0.790 0.873 0.603
Malaysia 3-2 0.750 0.788 0.731 0.880 0.870 0.528 0.708
Jordan 4+6 0.744 0.776 0.728 0.877 0.739 0.735 0.589
Morocco 5+8 0.728 0.723 0.730 0.787 0.661 0.908 0.601
Algeria 6N0.725 0.692 0.741 0.797 0.742 0.776 0.656
Palestine 7-2 0.718 0.729 0.713 0.756 0.824 0.734 0.564
Egypt 8+8 0.690 0.711 0.680 0.707 0.603 0.804 0.622
Burkina Faso 9N0.671 0.940 0.537 0.504 0.380 0.635 0.686
Senegal 10 -7 0.669 0.868 0.569 0.430 0.491 0.771 0.644
Iran 11 N0.644 0.654 0.639 0.750 0.652 0.758 0.449
Bangladesh 12 -6 0.631 0.644 0.625 0.539 0.602 0.757 0.621
Turkey 13 +9 0.628 0.612 0.636 0.636 0.847 0.601 0.504
Lebanon 14 +10 0.621 0.550 0.657 0.692 0.723 0.655 0.570
Pakistan 15 +5 0.603 0.741 0.534 0.479 0.432 0.662 0.595
Guinea-
Bissau
16 +4 0.585 0.980 0.387 0.289 0.292 0.542 0.490
Kyrgyzstan 17 +8 0.584 0.259 0.746 0.680 0.912 0.735 0.681
Azerbaijan 18 +8 0.573 0.335 0.692 0.770 0.747 0.585 0.682
Tajikistan 18 -10 0.573 0.388 0.666 0.696 0.684 0.768 0.538
Niger 20 -7 0.572 0.909 0.404 0.320 0.196 0.628 0.678
Bosnia & H. 21 N0.561 0.318 0.683 0.837 0.875 0.594 0.500
Djibouti 22 -4 0.552 0.883 0.387 0.393 0.276 0.438 0.474
Iraq 23 -10 0.547 0.682 0.479 0.289 0.477 0.771 0.497
Mali 24 -2 0.537 0.884 0.364 0.241 0.225 0.520 0.624
Afghanistan 25 -19 0.524 0.849 0.362 0.192 0.381 0.582 0.405
Chad 26 -10 0.510 0.931 0.300 0.224 0.210 0.386 0.448
Nigeria 27 -16 0.503 0.954 0.278 0.126 0.398 0.262 0.457
Kazakhstan 27 +1 0.503 0.045 0.732 0.735 0.820 0.698 0.681
Uzbekistan 27 +3 0.503 0.144 0.682 0.755 0.813 0.620 0.569
Albania 30 -1 0.483 0.026 0.712 0.870 0.928 0.522 0.609
Kosovo 30 +1 0.483 0.352 0.548 0.743 0.813 0.651 0.230
Note: Significant change in a country ranking indicated in bold. N = Newly appearing country.
Some countries that scored well among the non-din maqasid ended up
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with the lowest overall IWI rankings due to low levels of religiosity (din).
These are all former communist countries – Kosovo, Albania, Uzbekistan, and
Kazakhstan. Other countries with low scores are ‘war-torn’ and African.
A comparison is made between the 2013 and 2021 country rankings for
Islamic Well-Being.71 Due to changes in the methodologies applied in the index
years 2013 and 2021, we only emphasise major ranking changes considered to be
meaningful. Countries that improved the most are Lebanon (+10), Turkey (+9),
Azerbaijan, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco (+8), and Tunisia (+7).
The Islamic well-being of certain Middle Eastern Arab countries has improved
significantly towards regaining their historic Islamic leadership role, which is
thought to be related to increased Islamic consciousness as reflected in the 2011
Arab Spring uprisings. Lebanon’s IWI 2.0 standing has improved significantly
as a result of re-building since the 2006 war with Israel. The enhanced IWI
2.0 methodology may have also captured the well-being status of these Arab
countries more accurately than before.
Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Kyrgyzstan have shown improvements that appear to
be related to economic growth, rather than increased religiosity (see din maqsad).
In Turkey’s case, however, historical bans on the Islamic headscarf in universities
and the national parliament, first imposed by Ataturk, are now fading.
Countries whose IWI has deteriorated most over the same period are
Afghanistan (-19), Nigeria (-16), Chad, Iraq, Tajikistan (-10), Senegal (-7),
and Bangladesh (-6). These worsened IWI rankings are related to deteriorating
security or civil conflicts.
Afghanistan experienced the greatest IWI decline of any country between
successive reporting periods. This is confirmed by a 2018 Gallup Poll which
found that Afghans expect their quality of life to deteriorate significantly over
the next five years.72 In 2019, another Gallup Poll found that “No Afghans are
thriving and 85 percent are suffering.”73 This is related to the fear-based climate
created by 40 years of conflict and a lack of confidence in Afghanistan’s security,
partly created by Taliban attacks.
A marked contrast in IWI trends is apparent between Kyrgyzstan and
Tajikistan, which are otherwise similar in their geography, history, and resources.
Thus, while Kyrgyzstan has advanced (+8), Tajikistan has deteriorated (-10).
This is partly due to their differing political backgrounds, since Kyrgyzstan is
considered to be the most democratic of the five Central Asian republics in terms
of freedom of public expression, whereas Tajikistan is ruled by an authoritarian
government that restricts such freedom.74
Nigeria has been affected by deteriorating security related to the rise of
Boko Haram and other militant groups in the north of the country, while Chad
and Senegal have also experienced conflict.
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Iraq experienced major conflict in 2014 with the rise of the so-called
‘Islamic State,’ which captured territory across the country’s northern and
central regions, before being neutralised by 2020.
Bangladesh’s IWI declined under Indophile Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,
who has downgraded Islam’s societal role, promoted secularism, and imposed
capital punishments on many Muslim leaders since 2009.
The results show country groupings into regions as follows (best to worst,
in order):
South-East Asian countries
Non-Gulf Arab countries
Burkina Faso and Senegal
Iran, Bangladesh, Turkey, and Pakistan
Former communist, other African, and ‘war-torn’ countries -
Afghanistan, Chad, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Albania, and Kosovo.
Discussion and Conclusions
The world averages for many of the maqasid parameters compare well with
pre-COVID-19 averages for MMCs (Table 8). MMC averages show Muslims
are generally more likely to regard religion as ‘very important’ and to practice
their faith. Furthermore, they outperform world averages in terms of Gini
income equality and national homicide rates. Other parameters, such as the
Global Peace Index, Adult Literacy Rate, UN Human Capital Index, female
secondary school enrolment, Maternal Mortality Rate, and Corruption
Perceptions Index, show MMCs performing worse than the world averages.
This challenges MMCs to improve in these fields, which are essential
indicators of Islamic Well-Being.
Table 8: Comparison of Indicator Averages for MMCs with Coeval World
Averages
Indicator World MMCs Comparative
Status
1. Attend place of worship weekly (%) 39 49.7 Significantly
higher
2. Pray daily (%) 49 67.0 Significantly
higher
3. “Religion is important” (%) 54 72.1 Significantly
higher
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4. National Homicide Rate, per 100,000
population
7.32 3.82 Much better
5. Gini Coefficient 36.10 35.17 Better
6. Total Fertility Rate, children per
woman
2.52 2.983 Higher
7. Poverty Level (%) 12.36 14.161 Probably
similar
8. Infant Mortality Rate, per 1,000 live
births, 2020
28 28.67 Similar
9. Ecological Footprint (global hectares) 2.75 2.91 Similar
10. Life Expectancy at Birth (years), 2019 72.8 70.17 Slightly worse
11. Global Peace Index 2.10 3.39 Worse
12. Environmental Performance Index 46.44 39.09 Worse
13. Human Capital Index, 2020 0.56 0.50 Worse
14. Female participation, secondary
education (%)
76 70.04 Worse
15. Press Freedom Index 34.80 44.10 Worse
16. Maternal Mortality Rate, per 1,000 live
births, 2017
211 231.96 Worse
17. Unemployment Rate (%) 6.97 7.79 Worse
18. Adult Literacy Rate, aged 15 years
(%)
86 76.68 Significantly
worse
19. Corruption Perceptions Index 43.3 33.5 Significantly
worse
Notes: (1) Not including Gulf Arab countries. (2) 2017 figure. (3) 2021 figure (estimated).
The IWI-MMC represents a scorecard highlighting leader and laggard
countries and providing practical insights for countries that aspire to move
to a higher state. Countries who lead in each of the five distinct maqasid
fields of well-being represent role models for lagging counties. IWI indicators
can help spot problems, set targets, track trends, understand outcomes, and
identify best policy practices. Good data and fact-based analyses based on this
work can help government officials refine their policy agendas and facilitate
communication with key stakeholders.
Abdul Rauf believes that, “In God’s eyes, one can pray and perform ‘ibadat,
but if he is unjust then his final score is a negative one…the Islamicity of a state
does not rely solely upon the ‘ibadat. The mu‘amalat are equally important...”75
The present IWI 2.0 assessment found that Nigeria ranks second in the din
maqsad, but last in the composite non-din maqasid. This mirrors the amazing
IWI 1.0 finding that “the West African bloc of countries (Nigeria, Chad,
Senegal, Niger, Mali) that display the highest levels of Personal Religiosity
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(‘ibadat) at the same time demonstrate the lowest levels of Social Interactions
(mu’amalat). This finding indicates that countries with Muslim citizens who
perform well in terms of Islamicity do not necessarily display good levels of
Social Interaction practices. This is an important finding that deserves follow-
up research to elucidate reasons for this dissonance.”76 Confirmation of this
general pattern in IWI 2.0 implies that the overall approach of the two IWI
methodologies is broadly similar, and that Nigeria’s position in this matter has
changed little since 2013.
The hypothesis presented here is that many Muslim leaders in West African
countries hold the incorrect view that Islam is only about ritual worship, rather
than understanding that worship is comprehensive, covering everything that a
person says or does to seek Allah’s pleasure. It is not restricted to the individual’s
direct relationship with God, but also includes the person’s relationship with
her/his spouse, children, relatives, business relations, humanity in general, and
even birds, animals, and plants. It is presumed that Islam’s role has narrowed
in West Africa to core practices as a survival response to severe depredations
linked to the European slave trade and colonialism, which removed Islam from
trade, finance, banking, law (except family/personal), and governance. In one
severe case, Nigerian Boko Haram extremists have attacked non-traditional
schools teaching modern knowledge essential for societal improvement. In the
context of such misguided thought, West Africa has the world’s highest rates
of preventable death from disease and malnutrition.
In our 2013 article, we proposed that Senegal, which achieved third place
in IWI 1.0, would be worth visiting.77 In 2017, the author visited Senegal and
found a country whose Muslims displayed a high level of God-consciousness.
He discovered Senegal had been blessed by the work of Sheikh Aamadu Bamba
(1853-1927), founder of both the Muridiyya Sufi brotherhood and the city of
Tuba (named after a tree in Paradise),78 which he established in 1887. As an
Islamic renewer (mujaddid), Aamadu called Muslims to spiritual rectification,
while opposing colonialism. Forty percent of Senegalese reportedly follow
him today, of whom 60 per cent are women. As a prime pilgrimage destination,
Tuba has grown into Senegal’s second largest city. Blessings from the profound
Muridiyyan influence largely explain why Senegal has such high Islamic well-
being.
The significant rise in IWI 2.0 of Tunisia can be interpreted as a strong
endorsement of the success of that country’s Arab Spring movement, led by
Rachid Ghannouchi’s Islamist party, Ennahda. It is also testament to the ‘soft’
approach taken by Tunisia while promoting an Islamic-minded civil society
capable of leading the transition from autocratic government to working
democracy. It serves as a good example for other authoritarian Muslim
DAUD ABDUL-FATTAH BATCHELOR
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countries to follow.
Shadi Hamid, of the US Brookings Institution, makes some comments in
his 2016 book, Islamic Exceptionalism,79 that validate the otherwise surprising
finding that Indonesia and Malaysia have topped the rankings in both IWI-1.0
and IWI-2.0. Hamid highlights, “Indonesia and Malaysia feature significantly
more shariah ordinances than Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco or Lebanon,
to name a few.” He points out that Indonesia and Malaysia are led by secular-
based parties; they had to enact shariah legislation to satisfy popular demand
among their Muslim citizenry for “Islam to play a central role in law and
governance.” Surely, this is the concrete realisation of what Abdul Rauf (with
other scholars) intended when identifying those Muslim countries showing a
higher degree of conformity to the maqasid al-shariah.
Policy Recommendations
A Muslim organisation should be funded to conduct periodic surveys
to fill the data gaps for various maqasid, with special emphasis on
obtaining comprehensive data from the Gulf and Brunei, as well as
marriage/divorce data from African Muslim countries.
It is necessary to identify internationally respected Muslim professionals
and leaders who can promote Islamic values in the life, intellect, family
and wealth maqasid to help uplift citizens in laggard countries who wish
to strive to realise these virtues.
Special attention is warranted to determine the best approach
towards enhancing Islamicity in countries found to be lagging in the
din maqsad, especially former communist countries.
For African laggard countries in the non-din maqasid, the importance
of modern education, including for women, should be promoted to
facilitate employment, good upbringing of children, and to overcome
widespread sickness from disease and malnutrition. Second,
mu’amalat teachings and anti-corruption campaigns are required
to enhance respect and compassion between fellow citizens, and
to establish good family and neighbourly relations between non-
Muslims and Muslims.
Table 8 is important for administrator-planners to identify the key
areas where MMCs lag and where efforts and resources are needed to
reduce the gap with non-Muslim countries.
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ISLAM AND CIVILISATIONAL RENEWAL
Ideally, the IWI Index should be prepared annually, with a summary
publication.
Notes
* Daud Abdul-Fattah Batchelor, is an Adjunct Fellow at the International
Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia. He can be contacted
at: daud.batchelor@gmail.com.
1. Daud Abdul-Fattah Batchelor, ‘A New Islamic Rating Index of Well-Being
for Muslim Countries,’ Islam and Civilisational Renewal 4, no. 2 (2013):188-
214.
2. This article has received considerable interest: as of June 6, 2021, it has
registered 12,180 reads on ResearchGate.
3. Azila Ahmad Sarkawi et al., ‘A Conceptual Framework of Maqasid Human
Wellbeing Index,’ International Journal of Advanced Biotechnology and
Research 8, no. 3 (2017): 220-5.
4. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Defining Islamic Statehood: Measuring and
Indexing Muslim States (New York: Palgrave, 2015).
5. Umer Chapra, The Islamic Vision of Development in the Light of Maqasid Al-
Shari‘ah (Jeddah: Islamic Development Bank, 2008). Available at: https://
www.researchgate.net/publication/303499103_The_Islamic_Vision_of_
Development_in_the_Light_of_Maqasid_Al-Shari%27ah. (Accessed on:
June 30, 2021).
6. Hendrie Anto, ‘Introducing an Islamic Human Development Index (I-HDI)
to Measure Development in OIC Countries,’ Islamic Economic Studies 19
(2011): 69-95.
7. Necati Aydin, ‘Islamic vs Conventional Human Development Index:
Empirical Evidence from Ten Muslim Countries,’ International Journal of
Social Economics 4, no. 12 (2017): 1562-83.
8. Christine Robitschek and Corey Keyes, ‘Keyess Model of Mental Health
with Personal Growth Initiative as a Parsimonious Predictor,’ Journal of
Counselling Psychology 56 no. 2 (2009): 321-9.
9. Martin Seligman, “Authentic Happiness,” in Flourish (New York: Simon
and Schuster, 2011).
10. Mohsen Joshanloo, ‘Islamic Conception of Well-Being,’ in The Pursuit of
Human Well-Being, ed. Richard Estes and Joseph Sirgy (Dordrecht: Springer,
2017), 109-31.
11. Translations of the Qur’an are taken from Yusuf ‘Ali, The Meaning of The
Holy Qur’an: Text, Translation and Commentary (Kuala Lumpur: Islamic
Book Trust, 2009).
12. Ikrimah said tuba means ‘How excellent is what they earned,’ Tafsir Ibn
Kathir, vol. 5 (Riyadh: Darussalam, 2000), 277.
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ICR 12.2 Produced and distributed by IAIS Malaysia
13. Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, al-Mustasfa min ‘ilm al-usul (Cairo: Maktabah al-
Tijariyyah al-Kubra, 1937), 139-40.
14. Anto, ‘Introducing an Islamic Human Development Index,’ 75; M.S. Salleh,
Pembangunan Berteraskan Islam (Penang: Utusan Publications, 2003)
argues the right aim of ‘Islamic development’ is mardhiyyatillah (Allah’s
Pleasure) since only the one who gains Allah’s pleasure will receive falah.
15. Batchelor, ‘A New Islamic Rating Index of Well-Being for Muslim Countries,’
194. Although Abdul Rauf used ‘Dignity’ as a sixth maqsad, we will stick
with the five essential maqasid defined by al-Ghazali.
16. Abdul Rauf, Defining Islamic Statehood, 93.
17. For negative dimensions, the formula is modified slightly.
18. Cf. Ibid., 97.
19. When a zero value is determined for any of a country’s maqsad parameters,
the arithmetic mean of parameters is calculated instead of the geometric
mean.
20. Abdul Rauf, Defining Islamic Statehood, 76.
21. Ibid., 79.
22. Ibid., 79-80.
23. M. H. Mohamad and N. S. Abdul Jalil, Indeks Pembangunan Ummah
Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur: IKIM, 2016).
24. See Table 1.
25. Daud Batchelor, ‘Exploring the Significance of Some Cultural and Religious
Factors in Domestic Violence among Muslim Immigrant Australians,’ Islam
and Civilisational Renewal Iournal 11, no. 1 (2020): 9-38.
26. See Muhammad Asad, The Principles of State and Government in Islam
(Gibraltar: Dar Al-Andalus, 1980): 86-94.
27. See Table 1.
28. Raudha Md Ramli et al., ‘M-Dex among Islamic Countries.’ Available at:
https://doczz.net/doc/987140/m-dex-among-the-islamic-countries-raudha-
md.-ramli-abdul. (Accessed on: June 30, 2021)
29. The World Muslims: Unity and Diversity (Washington DC: Pew Research
Center, 2012). Available at: https://www.pewresearch.org/wp-content/
uploads/sites/7/2012/08/the-worlds-muslims-full-report.pdf.
30. The Age Gap in Religion Around the World (Washington DC: Pew Research
Center, 2018). Available at: https://www.pewforum.org/2018/06/13/the-age-
gap-in-religion-around-the-world/.
31. Global God Divide (Washington DC: Pew Research Center, 2020). Available
at: https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2020/07/20/the-global-god-divide/.
32. See Table 2.
33. UNDP, Human Development Report 2013: The Rise of the South: Human
Progress in a Diverse World (New York: United Nations Development
Programme, 2013). Available at: http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-
development-report-2013 (Accessed on: June 30, 2021).
34. Asad, The Principles of State and Government in Islam, 88.
35. Abdul Rauf, Defining Islamic Statehood, 67-69.
36. Institute for Economics & Peace, Global Peace Index 2020: Measuring
Peace in a Complex World, (Sydney, June 2020), 2. Available at: https://
ENHANCED ISLAMIC WELL-BEING INDEX FOR MUSLIM COUNTRIES
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ISLAM AND CIVILISATIONAL RENEWAL
www.visionofhumanity.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/GPI_2020_web.
pdf. (Accessed June 30, 2021).
37. Z.A. Wendling et al., 2020 Environmental Performance Index (New Haven,
CT: Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy). Available at: https://epi.
yale.edu/downloads/epi2020report20210112.pdf.
38. Abdul Rauf, Defining Islamic Statehood, 68.
39. Ibid, 88.
40. Ibid, 67.
41. Anto, ‘Introducing an Islamic Human Development Index, 77.
42. Abdul Rauf, Defining Islamic Statehood, 88.
43. Sarkawi, ‘A Conceptual Framework of Maqasid Human Wellbeing Index,
221.
44. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: He who likes that his
sustenance should be expanded and his age may be lengthened should join
the tie of kinship.” Sahih Muslim, Book 32, Hadith #6203.
45. ‘About the EPI.
46. See Table 3.
47. Raudha et al., ‘M-Dex among Islamic Countries, 11.
48. Abdul Rauf, Defining Islamic Statehood, 70.
49. Raudha et al., ‘M-Dex among Islamic Countries, 15.
50. The Human Capital Index 2020 Update (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020).
Available at: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/34432.
51. Reporters Without Borders, World Press Freedom Index 2020. Available at:
https://rsf.org/en/ranking/2020. (Accessed on: October 2, 2020).
52. See Table 4.
53. Abdul Rauf, Defining Islamic Statehood, 69.
54. Abdullah b. Mas'ud (RA) reported that Allahs Messenger (pbuh) said: “0
young men! Those among you who can support a wife should marry, for it
restrains eyes and preserves one from immorality” (Sahih Muslim, Chapter
1, Book 8, Hadith #3233).
55. Sunan Abu Dawud #2172. Al-Suyuti considered it to be authentic. Available at:
https://abuaminaelias.com/dailyhadithonline/2013/04/15/talaq-worst-of-halal/.
(Accessed on: December 12, 2020).
56. Chapra, The Islamic Vision of Development in the Light of Maqasid Al-
Shari‘ah, 44.
57. Abdul Rauf, Defining Islamic Statehood, 107.
58. See Daud Batchelor, ‘Islamic Perspectives on Curbing Population Growth to
Promote Earth’s Sustainability, Islam and Civilisational Renewal 10, no. 1
(2019): 21-46. Also Raudha, “M-Dex among Islamic Countries”, 15; Anto,
‘Introducing an Islamic Human Development Index, figure 4, suggested
‘fertility rate’ as a family well-being indicator; Ibid., 85, noted: “A high
fertility rate might reflect a strong desire/commitment onto sustainability of
the next generation…this should be followed by a good quality of birth as
indicated by the mortality rate.”
59. Thomas J. Espenshade, Juan Carlos Guzman and Charles F. Westoff, ‘The
Surprising Global Variation in Replacement Fertility,’ Population Research
and Policy Review 22 no. 5/6 (2003): 580. In rating countries, those with a
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TFR of 2.33 or more are considered the best, while countries with lower TFR
are marked down.
60. See Table 5.
61. Raudha and Others, ‘M-Dex among Islamic Countries, 11.
62. Chapra, The Islamic Vision of Development in the Light of Maqasid Al-
Shari‘ah, 47.
63. Abdul Rauf, Defining Islamic Statehood, 102.
64. Global Footprint Network, Ecological Footprint. Available at: https://www.
footprintnetwork.org/our-work/ecological-footprint/. (Accessed on: June 4,
2021).
65. Daud Batchelor, ‘Impacting Earth more: rising populations or excessive
consumption and carbon emissions? (paper presented at 1st National
Conference on the “Environmental Crisis and Our Obligations to Act:
Teachings from Islamic and Abrahamic Faith Traditions,” Brisbane, March
14, 2020).
66. ICD-Refinitiv, Islamic Finance Development Report 2020. Available at:
https://icd-ps.org/uploads/files/ICD-Refinitiv%20IFDI%20Report%20
20201607502893_2100.pdf. (Accessed on: June 30, 2021). As IFDIs are
available freely for only 15 countries, values for all MMCs are taken as
ranging between the highest scorer (Malaysia, 111) and the global average
(11), including non-Muslim countries, thereby assuming that the lowest
value for Muslim countries equals the global average.
67. Pew Center, 2012
68. Pew Center, 2018
69. Doha International Family Institute, The Impact of the Blockade on Families
in Qatar (Dohar, 2018).
70. Din Syamsudin, ‘Islamic Resurgence (Indonesia Experience), (paper
presented at “World Congress on Islamic Resurgence: Challenges, Prospects
and Way Forward,” Shah Alam, September 7, 2013).
71. Refer to din maqsad for the approach taken.
72. Steve Crabtree, ‘Afghan’s Misery Reflected in Record-Low Well-Being
Measures, Gallup, October 26, 2018. Available at: https://news.gallup.com/
poll/244118/afghans-misery-reflected-record-low-measures.aspx.
73. Steve Crabtree, ‘Inside Afghanistan: Nearly Nine in 10 Afghans are
suffering, Gallup, September 16, 2019. Available at: https://news.gallup.
com/poll/266825/inside-afghanistan-nearly-nine-afghans-suffering.aspx.
74. Isabelle DeSisto, ‘Competing for Cake Crumbs: Why Chinese Mining Leads
to Conflict in Kyrgyzstan but not Tajikistan, Centralasiaprogram. Available
at: https://www.centralasiaprogram.org/competing-cake-crumbs-chinese-
mining-leads-conflict-kyrgyzstan-tajikistan.
75. Abdul Rauf, Defining Islamic Statehood, 81.
76. Batchelor, ‘Impacting Earth More, 206-7.
77. Ibid., 210.
78. Qur’anic verse 13:29 specifically mentions tuba.
79. Shadi Hamid, Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is
Reshaping the World (New York: St. Martins Griffin, 2016), 31-2.
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ISLAM AND CIVILISATIONAL RENEWAL
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