The International Launch: The 2023 Islamic Well- Being Index for Muslim Countries Malaysia as the Leader and the Approach Taken

Tuesday, 05 September 2023
10:00am - 1:00pm (Malaysian Standard Time, GMT +8)
Venue: Boardroom of IAIS Malaysia (hybrid)

 updated poster 05SEP2023



The Islamic Well-Being Index for Muslim Majority Countries (IWI-MMC) aims to assess the well-being of countries in a scientific manner. The Index is based on principles derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah to comprise the essential elements of the Maqasid al-Shar‘iah (Higher objectives of Islamic Law), as developed by Imams Abu Hamid Ghazali (d.1111) and Shatibi (1320-1388), namely the protection of Self (nafs), Religion (deen), Intellect (aql), Progeny (nasl)/lineage (nasb) and Wealth (maal). Imam Ghazali had noted that “The objective of the Shari’ah is to produce the well-being of all mankind.”

The concept of ‘’Islamic Well-Being’ is reflected in Qur’anic passages.  Achieving Allah’s ‘good pleasure’ (al-Fajr89:28) and ‘blessedness’ (al-R’ad 13:29), are interpreted as ‘well-being.’ It leads to a ‘goodly return’ and entry to ‘His Heaven,’ which are synonymous and the seeker’s ultimate success (falah).

The index was originally published by Dr Daud Batchelor in 2013 for IWI 1.0-2013 in the journal, Islam and Civilisational Renewal (ICR), as “A New Islamic Rating Index of Well-Being for Muslim Countries.” This article received strong global interest with over 12,000 reads on ResearchGate website. IWI 1.0-2013 represents a base-level for measuring country improvements or declines, and reflects average conditions of Muslim citizens from those countries at that time.

The Index concept was upgraded with publication of “An Enhanced Islamic Well-Being Index (IWI 2.0-2021) for Muslim Countries,” in ICR Journal, vol. 12 (2). 

It benefited with improvements in computing the Index by adopting advices from Islamic scholars, including Mohammed Hashim Kamali, Jasser Auda, Ahmad Syarif Maarif, Feisal Abdul Rauf and Recep Senturk, who deliberated on how to define Islamic Statehood using a Maqasid al-Shari‘ah approach. Their book discussing outcomes of these deliberations, was published in 2015 as “Defining Islamic Statehood: Measuring and Indexing Contemporary Muslim States.”  

In endeavoring to provide annual updates, IWI 3.0-2022 was presented last year showing the Maldives as Leader then, followed closely by Malaysia and Indonesia as equal seconds.

The Index offers a scorecard highlighting leader and laggard countries and provides practical insights for countries that aspire to move to a higher state. The IWI Indicators provide a way to 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 communications with key stakeholders.

Support of the internationally-renown International Institute for Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia and its CEO, Dato’ Dr Syed Azman Ahmad Nawawi, and Distinguished Fellow, Professor Mohammed Hashim Kamali, are gratefully acknowledged as providing the ongoing institutional platform for the Index.

 agenda 05SEP2023

PowerPoint Presentation (in PDF format)

Watch the recording of this event at >> IAIS Malaysia's FB page


International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia.

Jalan Ilmu, Off Jalan Prof Diraja Ungku Aziz (formely Jalan Universiti), 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: +603-7956 9188
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