Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 1857–1874 | Cite as

A Comparison of Western and Islamic Conceptions of Happiness

  • Mohsen JoshanlooEmail author
Review Article


Research on the confluence of culture and mental health has grown dramatically in the past three decades. However, this line of research has focused almost entirely on western populations and largely neglected people from other regions. Western conceptualizations of positive functioning cannot be generalized to the Muslim populations before indigenous investigations are undertaken. This paper looks at the Muslim understanding of a good life. A brief review of the conceptualizations of happiness in the West is presented first. Next, a selection of Islamic teachings relevant to the concept of happiness is compared and contrasted with scholarship originating from the West. It is hoped that this theoretical analysis will stimulate more informed empirical research among Muslim psychologists.


Happiness Islam Mental well-being Cross-cultural comparison Hedonism Eudaimonism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Victoria University of Wellington & Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural ResearchWellingtonNew Zealand

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