A comparative study of Western and Islamic lifestyles

RNA – “Lifestyle” is one of the concepts of social sciences that has received a lot of ‎attention recently. This concept reflects individual or social tendencies and values. In fact, ‎‎the lifestyle of each individual and influential society is of the type of beliefs (worldview) and ‎values (ideology) that govern that individual and society. Material worldviews and hedonistic ‎and profit-oriented values naturally create a particular lifestyle, just as the divine worldview ‎and perfectionist and blissful values shape a particular way of life. In other words, the ‎lifestyle of each person is influenced by his goals or the ultimate goal.

In this regard, all the divine and human schools claim to offer a superior lifestyle, and ‎modern human beings, in parallel with the growth of technology, are in a state of turmoil of ‎this school of thought. At the same time, Islam, as the most perfect heavenly religion, ‎offers a new way of life according to the precious verses of the Holy Quran, the tradition of ‎the Prophet and the Imams, so that human beings can achieve eternal growth and ‎excellence in the light of this way of life. The importance of this issue in Islam is such that it ‎works even for the smallest behaviours, but unfortunately, despite the conscious resistance ‎of the clergy and some religious people, Iranian society is saying goodbye to many of its ‎religious traditions and preparing the ground for Westernization. It must be noted that ‎adhering to the Western way of life is in fact a departure from Islamic law. This is happening ‎easily and to some extent without sensitivity in our society. Since the enemies use every ‎trick in this direction to impose their lifestyle and make it universal, we must be vigilant and ‎redouble our efforts to promote the Islamic lifestyle. Therefore, deep knowledge of the ‎types of life and selection and promotion of the best of these (Islamic lifestyle) that are in ‎accordance with human nature is one of the necessities facing any human society.‎

A variety of lifestyles

Lifestyle is the result of one’s inner values. A set of values is internalized in the person and ‎forces the person to live that way. Therefore, due to the fact that the intellectual coordinates ‎and internalized values of individuals are different, there are different lifestyles. In other ‎words, individuals do not follow the same beliefs and cultural principles, and due to diversity ‎in the modern world, many subcultures can be seen within each cultural system. These ‎subcultures and patterns of behaviour in the past varied depending on racial, religious, ‎ethnic, and class groups, but today the scope of this plurality and diversity is much wider, ‎and human society have been transformed into groups that each, in terms of beliefs, values, ‎attitudes, ideals and needs are different and distinct. These distinctions are manifested in ‎lifestyle and this is how we face different types of lifestyle.‎

The Western lifestyle

The discussion on lifestyle took place in a situation in the Western world where society was ‎socially and structurally stable. In other words, to a large extent, the fields of thought, ‎political action and economic behaviour were ultimately scientific and the belief in stability ‎was clearly defined. In fact, the lifestyle was introduced at the end of the path of Western ‎civilization and the result was Western civilization and late modernity. On this basis, the ‎formation of modern society, the class system, the pattern of consumption and the like in ‎the West is the starting point for the subject and concept of a Western lifestyle. In other ‎words, what is meant by lifestyle in the West is the last stage of its social evolution after ‎going through several stages in the evolution of social ideas, the formation of social ‎structures and systems, the adaptation of different cultural practices and currents and ‎sometimes internal conflicts in the West. The end of modernity comes in the form of the ‎American liberal-capitalist social system at the end of the twentieth century. It is in these ‎special circumstances that lifestyle is defined and used as a special concept to explain the ‎new cultural situation of the people of the West.‎

As mentioned, the lifestyle of each individual and influential society is of the type of beliefs ‎‎(worldview) and values that govern that individual and society and certainly the Western ‎lifestyle is not separate from this category. Material and non-divine worldviews are so ‎prevalent in the West that they are dominated by the behaviour of individuals under the ‎supervision of this worldview. The worldview is based on the attitude of denying God and the ‎resurrection from the universe. In this worldview, the whole universe is summed up in the ‎material and natural worlds. There is no creator with consciousness and perception outside ‎the material world and everything is in this material world and something called nature and ‎God and the other world (resurrection) does not make sense. Man’s existence is summed up ‎in his material existence, which disappears with death or becomes other material ‎components.‎

In the context of the Western way of life, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, ‎Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei, said, “Western culture is an aggressive culture, wherever it ‎enters, it destroys the identity of nations. Western culture materializes and nurtures minds ‎and thoughts. The goal of life is money and wealth. Lofty ideals, spiritual ideals and spiritual ‎excellence are removed from the minds, this is the characteristic of Western culture. Another ‎feature of Western culture is the normalization of sin and sexual sins have been normalized. ‎Today, this situation has been scandalized in the West itself, first in the United Kingdom, ‎then in some other countries and the United States, this great sin of homosexuality has been ‎valued! They protest to a politician why he is against homosexuality or against homosexuals! ‎This is Western culture. It is also the collapse of the family, the spread of alcohol and the ‎spread of drugs etc.‎

The Islamic lifestyle

In order to find the best kind of lifestyle, it is necessary to have a model that considers all ‎the cognitive and behavioural components of human beings in the best way and on the ‎other hand, does not disagree with certain scientific findings and sees the world and the ‎hereafter together. The material and spiritual dimensions of humankind must not be ‎neglected. It can be claimed that this is the Islamic way of life.‎

Islam is a religion that covers all aspects of life. It is a religion that has a plan for all stages ‎of life and in all circumstances. In such a way that in the first step, by presenting a special ‎worldview and ideology, it forms the basis of the formation of a religious life and in the next ‎stage, by presenting etiquette, it has special agendas for all aspects of human life. In fact, it ‎seeks to shape a particular type of human life. The moral, legal and jurisprudential guidelines ‎of religion are, in fact, intended to provide a model of a religious and Godly life. The style ‎that has been proposed in the field of clothing, food, makeup, family, neighbours, fellow ‎believers and the followers of other religions, and interdenominational and interfaith ‎interactions and connections in religion, are all to build a religious lifestyle. Since Islam has ‎provided instructions in all areas of human life, if humankind has always considered these ‎instructions in his life and based all aspects of his life on them, in fact, he has acted in ‎accordance with the Islamic way of life.‎

Monotheism is the main basis of the Islamic way of life, under which all other principles, ‎including prophethood, imamate and resurrection take on meaning. When the monotheistic ‎vision overshadows the individual life, all aspects of his life from prayer and worship to ‎business, education, leisure, socializing, health, food, architecture, the art of speaking, ‎production, consumption, physical beauty and the like in this direction are put on this path ‎and gives a divine characteristic to all the details of life. ‎

That is the reason that the Supreme Leader said, “Monotheism is not only a philosophical ‎and intellectual theory but also a way of life for human beings in order for God to rule in ‎your life and to cut off the hands of various powers. ‘La ilaha illa Allah’ [There is no deity but ‎God], which is the main message of our Prophet Muhammad and all the prophets, means ‎that in the life and path of humankind and in the choice of ways of life, the powers of the ‎tyrants and the devils must not interfere. If monotheism is realized in the life of the society ‎of humankind, the world of humankind will also be settled, a world in the service of the true ‎evolution and transcendence of humankind.‎

Comparison of the Islamic and Western lifestyles

Islamic lifestyle

Western lifestyle

Divine worldview

Material worldview



Pays attention to both the outer and inner appearance

Pays attention to outer appearance



Closeness to God

Acquisition of material pleasures

Satisfaction and saving

Extravagance and consumerism

Simple life

Luxury-oriented life

Freedom with certain restrictions

Unrestricted freedoms

Reduces age of marriage

Increases age of marriage

Family formation and family commitment

Single life and carelessness towards family

Increases the dignity and value of women

Use of women as tools and chattel

Maintains chastity and strengthens modesty in society

Indecency and the promotion of illegitimate relationships between girls and boys

Rasa News Agency