The Role of Islamic Faith in Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Abstract

Among the studies that have looked at how the general population was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, few have considered the role of faith. This study used a cross-sectional design with an online questionnaire. A “bespoke questionnaire” was developed for this study by the researcher. It comprised nineteen items that looked at attitudes toward the pandemic, answered on a six-point Likert scale. A factor analysis using the principal components method with direct oblimin rotation, found a two-factor solution. Factor 1 had ten items and was labeled “Faith as a protection against COVID-19.” Factor 2 had nine items and was labeled “Emotional reactions to COVID-19.” The internal reliability of Factor 1 was .85 and .82 for Factor 2. The individual item with the highest score was Question 3, “My religion has guidance relating to positive comments which assist in having a positive outlook on life.” This had a score of 5.48/6.00. The top seven scoring items were all from Factor 1, showing the importance of faith for this population. Age and gender were not found to have any significant impact on the dependent variables. In response to the three open-ended questions, it was clear that the greatest challenge for this group of people during COVID-19 was not being able to see their extended family. In contrast, the greatest benefit was being able to spend more quality time with immediate family. However, the study shows how important the Islamic faith was for people during the pandemic.