Original Research: Historical Thought and Source Interpretation

Studying the role of Islamic religious beliefs on depression during COVID-19 in Malaysia

Acim Heri Iswanto, Anna Gustina Zainal, Adkham Murodov, Yousef A. Baker El-Ebiary, Dildora G. Sattarova
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 4 | a7567 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i4.7567 | © 2022 Acim Heri Iswanto, Anna Gustina Zainal, Adkham Murodov, Yousef A. Baker El-Ebiary, Dildora G. Sattarova | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 March 2022 | Published: 12 July 2022

About the author(s)

Acim Heri Iswanto, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Science, University of Pembangunan Nasional Veteran Jakarta, Jakarta, Indonesia
Anna Gustina Zainal, Department of Communication, University of Lampung, Bandar Lampung, Indonesia
Adkham Murodov, Department of Fundamentals of Spirituality, Tashkent State Pedagogical University named after Nizami, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Yousef A. Baker El-Ebiary, Faculty of Informatics and Computing, University Sultan Zainal Abidin, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
Dildora G. Sattarova, Department of Social Sciences, Tashkent State Dental Institute, Tashkent, Uzbekistan


Depression is one of the most common psychological disorders and many people in the world suffer from this disorder. Every year, thousands of suicides occur because of depression. Whilst anxiety is considered a common phenomenon of our era, it has existed throughout human history. Nevertheless, there have always been signs of religion and religious beliefs in the study of human communities and the history of civilisations. Despite rapid advancements made in solving the physical problems of human beings, the science of medicine has not taken an effective step toward solving humans’ psychological issues, although they play a considerable role in the emergence of physical diseases. Religion can affect the mental health of individuals and society through various mechanisms. In general, the role of religion and religious beliefs on the health of the individual and society is very important. A great deal of peace of mind can be achieved based on faith and moral beliefs and practices. People with religious beliefs have an optimistic viewpoint towards life, and their religious beliefs turn a dark life into a bright one even when all hopes are lost in the battle of life. Given the importance of this issue, the present study aimed to evaluate the role of Islamic religious beliefs of Muslim students on depression during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Malaysia. A field study was performed on 3500 Muslim students of Kuala Lumpur in 2021 by simple random sampling method. Data were collected using standardised questionnaires, and data analysis was performed in SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences). According to the results, people with a higher level of religious beliefs suffered less from depression, which confirmed the negative and significant relationship between Islamic religious beliefs and depression. According to the results of multiple regression analysis related to the components of the independent variable in SPSS, all components of Islamic beliefs had a significant role in reducing COVID-19-induced depression. Meanwhile, action required (t-value: 2.30; beta: 0.55) and religious activities (t-value: 2.24; beta: 0.54) had the most effect on reducing depression induced by COVID-19 disease.

Contribution: The findings of this study could be used to treat people’s depression during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking their Islamic religious beliefs into account.


Muslim; Islam; religious beliefs; depression; COVID-19


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