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Role of Religion in shaping up better Individual, Social and Family Life

By

Mohammad Saad Saleem Abstract


The research overviews the Role of religion in shaping up better societies for people to live. It gives a widespread view of the positive aspects of religious practices on the behavior of individual, groups and the society as whole. Religion is considered to be the best practice in every era and the religion spread the practices of equality, justice, peace, tolerance and brotherhood. Proper implementation of religion and religious practices could make this world a heaven.

Introduction
Religion is a structured collection of belief systems, enlightening systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and moral values. Many religions have narratives, cryptogram, customs and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the Universe. From their ideas about the universe and human nature, they tend to derive morality, moral code, moral values or a preferred lifestyle. According to some estimates, there are approximately 4,200 religions in the world. Some religions may have organized behaviors, clergy, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, holy places, and scriptures. While others may also include rituals, sermons, , gods or goddesses, sacrifices, feasts, trance, art, dance, initiations, , festivals, funerary services, matrimonial services, commemoration or veneration of a deity, meditation, prayer, music, public service, mythology or other aspects of human culture.

Background
The objective of this study is to view the correlation between religion and the different aspects forming the society. Religion is the basic building block of the societies since past times and still plays a vital role in their formation. The rapid growth of the religious sects in the society have widely diversified the views of the current societies and the increased level of crime, low mortality rate, decreased hygiene and health facilities are related with the religion, thus giving a view point that religion defies tolerance rather than spreading it and guides societies to destabilization.

The major changes which societies are undergoing are as Inequality Injustice Terrorism Increased level of Depression Vanishing Moral Values Racism Drug Abusing Abduction

Research Objectives
1. 2. 3. 4. To find out the effect of religious practices on the crime rate of a society To explore the sociological impact of religion on family life To have an overview on the religions impact on mental and physical health To find out the relation of spirituality to self esteem

Research Questions
1. 2. 3. 4. How religion helps in shaping up a better environment of society? What is the role of religion in shaping a better family life? How the religion does helps in improving the health of an individual? How could spirituality be used to achieve better results in everyday life?

Hypothesis
Religion is the best way to achieve a better individual, family and social life.

Research Limitations
Due to limitation of time and resources the research is limited to a small sample size in the particular domain of area. Still the research seize to view the cross sectional views of people on the issue.

Literature Review 1. Religion and Crime Rate:


A number of sociological theories have attempted to explain the mechanism through which religious belief may affect criminality. Hirschi and Starks (1969) hellfire hypothesis, a theory that received wide attention in criminology literature, posits that religion deters criminal behavior by increasing the cost of delinquency through the promise of punishment in the life after. A number of sociological researches have studied the differential effect of religion on the behavior of criminal minded personalities. The researchers also concluded that increased religious practices lead to increased level of tolerance and forgiveness amongst people thus reducing the revenge based crimes.

2. Religion and Family:


Perhaps no other societal institution has a closer link with religion than does the family (Hangrove, 1979) yet recent changes family formation have challenged ethics concerning family life. Delayed marriages, rising divorce rate and reduced family size are some of the factors. In order to understand the role of religion in society it will be necessary to continuously monitor the building relationships between religion and family oriented behaviors Changing patterns of family formation and disruption have also created widespread concern and vociferous policy debates, forming a major them of culture and religious war. All those changes have led to increasing singulars in family life. (P. Edgell 2006)

3. Hygiene, Health and Religion:


The article by M. E. McCullough, which concluded that religious involvement, was significantly associated with lower mortality, indicating that people high in religious involvement were more likely to be alive at follow-up than people lower in religious involvement. The authors argue that the relationship between religious involvement and mortality is weak or nonexistent. (RP Sloan, E Bagiella. 2001) It appears that religious beliefs and associated moral habits vitally affect health attitudes and behaviors. As a result of this causal relationship, health and disease indices vary in important ways according to the penetration of these beliefs into the daily fabric of the patient's life. Three religious dispositions, born of fundamental belief, anchor those moods and behaviors which profoundly influence health. As these three overarching themes purity of life, peace in existence, and belief in immortality are common to most religions

4. Religion, a way to spirituality:


Empirical data indicate that the religion is an important factor in the lives of the elderly people. According to Gallup polls, religious beliefs and behaviors are more prevalent in persons over 50 years than in younger population. Recent studies find that religion has a positive effect on a variety of well being indicators: functional impairment (Idler 1987), mortality (Zuckerman 1984), life satisfaction and happiness (Ellison 1989), and Self Efficacy and Self Esteem ( Manton 1989, Ross 1990). (Social Indicators Research 1992)

Research Design
As the scope of the research is quite widespread, thus descriptive type of research needs to be undertaken. The research was qualitative in nature and was based on the data gathered through both primary and secondary sources. Individual interviews were conducted with people of different age, social class, religion and gender.

Theoretical Framework

The research has identified five different types of impacts that religion have on the overall society. The variables are identified as family life, crime rate, health and hygiene, moral values and self esteem.

Data Collection
Primary Sources Focused Group Interview with students Individual Interviews Observations

Secondary Sources Scholar Articles Magazines Books Research Papers Internet Publications Case Studies

Sample Size and Focus Group:


A sample population of 100 people has been taken in which 25% of the population compromising of university students of bachelors and masters programs went through a focus group interview while the remaining 75% of the population consisting of people of different age, gender, religion and social groups were involved in Individual in depth interviews. The research is based on cross sectional studies and retrospective method has been applied to make the studies more efficient.

Statistical Tool
The statistical tool of correlation will be applied to find the strength of the bondage of the religion to its different societal aspects to rather prove or disqualify the hypothesis.

Demographical Representations

Population Characteristics

Students (Focused Group) Random (Indepth)

Interview Questions
Do you have faith in God? Does religion have anything to do with our daily life? Increased religious practices raise the self satisfaction of soul. Agree or Disagree? If Islamic laws are correctly implemented in the society, would it reduce Crime Rate? Eradicating religion would help form up a better society? Does religion have anything to do with personal hygiene and fitness? If yes than how? Are families affected by the religion or religious practices? Religious practices result in increased level of tolerance. Agree or Disagree?

Responses
10

6 No 4 Yes

0 Question Question Question Question Question Question Question Question 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Conclusions
Thus we came to a conclusion that our hypothesis that religion is the best way to achieve a better individual, social and family life is proved due to the strong correlation found in between the religion to its different aspects which proves that proper implementation of the religious practices can help us shape an idealistic society to live founded by the key principles of humanity, peace, equality and justice for all.

Recommendations
Religious studies should be made compulsory at all levels of education Courts should work under the principles and guidance provided by the religion Seminars, workshops etc should be conducted for explaining the different benefits of the religious practices A public awareness program should be launched for spreading the true word of religion across the country Laws should be same for everyone and equality and justice must be practiced All business and leisure practices must be cut off at religious timings by the code of law

References
KF Ferraro, CM Albrecht-Jensen - Journal for the scientific study of religion, 1991 JS Levin, KS Markides - Journal of Religion and Health, 1985 VD Sanua - The American journal of psychiatry, 1969 - psycnet.apa.org E Sherkat, MD Reed - Social Indicators Research, 1992 R Luhtanen, J Crocker - Personality and Social Psychology, 1992 J Blascovich, J Tomaka - Measures of personality and social, 1991 - books.google.com TD Evans, FT Cullen, RG Dunaway, VS Burton - Criminology, 1995 - Wiley Online Library Does Religion Really Reduce Crime? P Heaton - Journal of Law and Economics, 2006 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan - Religion and sociology 1993 The religious ecology of deviance WS Bainbridge - American Sociological Review, 1989 Religion and family life: How social scientists view the relationship WV D'Antonio, WM Newman, SA Wright Institute for the Scientific Study of Religion Religion and family in a changing society - P Edgell - 2006 - books.google.com Following the leaders: Parents' influence on adolescent religious activity - DK Kieren, B Munro Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1987