Validation of a Sejahtera Living Index Using the Rasch Model
The Maqāṣid al-Sharī’ah is a framework of divine values and beliefs that govern the life of a Muslim person. It contains clear guidelines on how to live the good life the way the religion sees it and on what constitutes quality of life, happiness, and wellbeing for the Muslim. In more precise terms, the maqāṣid al-sharī’ah guides Muslim in regard to how they can achieve a sejahtera life. Although sejahtera living is a fundamental and a highly important concept, it is not widely researched or addressed in the current body of empirical literature. One can see that there is a paucity of empirical data on sejahtera living. To address this research gap, this study first developed a scale to measure sejahtera living and subsequently examined its validity. It also estimated the index scores of sejahtera living among students and employees of a public university in Malaysia. This paper reports on the findings of this validation exercise which involved a sample 1,057 lecturers, nonacademic staff, and postgraduate and undergraduate students. Data were collected using a content validated 34-item questionnaire created based on the dimensions of the maqāṣid al-sharī’ah. The results of the Rasch measurement analysis provided evidence for the validity of the sejahtera living construct in terms of the good fit of the items, reliability and separation indexes, response category functioning, dimensionality, and construct validity. The extracted logit interval scores were used to construct linear measures of the baseline sejahtera living index. The findings support the need for instructional interventions and training to sustain and improve the quality of sejahtera living among Muslims.