Exploring Motivations and Benefits of Volunteering: The Perspectives of High School Students in Selected Australian Islamic Schools
2. Literature Review
2.1. Meaning of Volunteering
a wide range of activities, including formal activities (which take place within organisations, institutions and agencies) and informal activities (which take place outside the context of a formal organisation and structured volunteering activities). Volunteering can also include activism, donated employee time, some concept of reciprocity (including reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses), online volunteering, spontaneous volunteering (such as community response to an emergency), corporate volunteering and social enterprise.
2.2. The Concept of Volunteering in Islam
Volunteering helps nurture the sense of iman (belief) and taqwa (piety) among Muslims and invigorates them to be civically responsible and actively contribute to their wider society (Cebecioglu 2019).They ask thee what they should spend (In charity). Say: Whatever ye spend that is good, is for parents and kindred and orphans and those in want and for wayfarers. And whatever ye do that is good,—(Allah) knows it well” (Qur’an, 2:215).
2.3. Motivation for and Benfits of Volunteering
- “express values related to altruistic and humanitarian concerns”;
- gain understanding by earning different patterns of knowledge, experiences and skills;
- enhance different psychological functions including self-satisfaction, self-confidence, self-worth and self-esteem;
- attain essential skills that may predict future career or boost existing skills;
- build a social and friendship network by interacting with others favorably;
- discipline oneself and feel the compassion for those who are less fortunate or to simply minimise negative feelings of the self—a protective function.
2.4. Volunteering in Faith-Based Schools
2.5. Volunteering in Islamic schools
3.1. This Study
3.2. Participating Schools
3.4. Data Collection
3.5. Data Analysis
4.1. Theme 1: Religious/Spiritual Motivations
I feel like when I volunteer, it like gains my spiritual as a Muslim, my Imaan [belief] grows more and more. So that’s what I think. I think if a Muslim student keeps volunteering and participates, their [belief] will grow over time and it will just benefit their spiritual level.
honestly, I straightaway think of my religion, God will reward me for helping out …, so, yeah I mostly think of my religion when it comes to volunteering.
I feel like that feeling of contentment and happiness that counts as spiritual because it is your own spiritual growth with Allah’s reward and other growth is like material goods when you’ll get a good job or get good Uni applications, but I think the spiritual matters more [emphasis added].
as a Muslim probably not even just the hasanat [good deed reward] but just knowing that your God is pleased with you regardless if he throws you in hell or puts you in heaven.
one of the main motives [to volunteer] is when I get something that we need to do. … first thing I think to myself is, would this benefit me in Al-akhirah [the Hereafter] or give me a good deed? How is it going to help me with that kind of thing?
4.2. Theme 2: Altruism
I think the motive for me was looking at the people who are below us [less fortunate/people in need or vulnerable] like people who are poor and suffering, especially in our country. … another motive for me is probably being dedicated to it and being dedicated to helping people to make them better as people in society.
4.3. Theme 3: Social Motives
just way to do something to the community and also to bring friends in. So, from an old school, and also this school, my friends weren’t as aware as I was to the Islamic communities for whatever reason. So, I’d be the first person that invite them. If I can get my friends to see how the Islamic communities are, then that will do the same with difference and then it would cause like a chain effect, because more people to know about it and just to raise awareness, that’s probably the main goal.
I’ve seen people who were targeting Muslims. … some people think different things about Islam and some people are even afraid of niqab [face covering]. So, volunteering would break this misconception because people might even come to help us and would realise that Muslims are actually good people.
4.4. Theme 4: Knowledge and Skill Development Motivations
you expose yourself to different cultures or different beliefs of people, so it gives a good feel. … it’s not just you or your community and there are other communities that have their own way and different rituals and beliefs.
it really builds a great opportunity to have like much more experience. … it is not only about an academic level. … you also want to have that sort of understanding of the real world. … understanding of how to deal with people because that is ultimately what you’re going to be doing once you leave school.
get to know other people, talking and communicating to have a better communication skills and experience. … it helps my social skills. … became a better person and being more mature and accepting responsibility. … learning how to work with other people better.
ability to problem solve, or your ability to find the right solution for the right time. … allows you to think more before you do something. … and like how you deal with different situations in different times.
when people are looking to employ people, they are more inclined to choose someone that has volunteered in the previous years than someone who has no experience with volunteering as lots of benefits come with volunteering, so they know he can work well with a group, he can talk to customers or whatever the job may be.
also, for my career choice, I want be a dentist, so with that you need to do interview once you completed the right ATAR, so volunteering and extracurricular activities can help me with the interview by having some stuff to talk about in depth.
4.5. Theme 5: Psychological Self-Enhancement Motives
you want to build up your confidence. … you want to build up your self-esteem. … you want to build up your personality. … you don’t want to be too confined in your own little area. … you want to go out there. … that way you can just build up your personality, be a better person and feel like you’re a better person.
I think it is very eye-opening. For example, once you actually go and see how the homeless people are living, it gives you a different perspective … when I first did feed the homeless, I was really touched, it was just on my mind the whole time, the way they would come and approach you and ask for food … It gives you a very new perspective of life and it makes you a lot more grateful and thankful for what you have.
4.6. Theme 6: Inspiring Parents’ Motives
if I say I wanna volunteer here or do this, then she might say like ma shaa Allah [Arabic for praising someone] that is good encouraging me, or would mention a Hadith or something like that about volunteering. (Student AS6)
once you actually go and see how the homeless people are living, it gives you a different perspective. … when I first did feed the homeless, I was really touched, it was just on my mind the whole time, the way they would come and approach you and ask for food. … It gives you a very new perspective of life and it makes you a lot more grateful and thankful for what you have.
when the Australian community see a Muslim that wears hijab [head scarf] contributing to their community as well, it gives a better outlook on Muslims. … me being a Muslim girl, I want to show people how Islam really is and I wanna [want to] break stereotypes in society. … I want to be able to express my religion. I want to defeat those stereotypes when it comes to the hijab. That’s my personal goal.
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
Key Club is “one of the oldest and largest service programs for high school students in the United States” (Cristillo 2009, p. 78).
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|Description||School A||School B||School C|
|Students||School A||School B||School C|
|Year level||10 and 11||10, 11 and 12||10|
|School||Year 10||Year 11||Year 12|
|Gender||School A||School B||School C||Total|
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Alzaareer, A.; Abdalla, M. Exploring Motivations and Benefits of Volunteering: The Perspectives of High School Students in Selected Australian Islamic Schools. Religions 2023, 14, 508. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14040508
Alzaareer A, Abdalla M. Exploring Motivations and Benefits of Volunteering: The Perspectives of High School Students in Selected Australian Islamic Schools. Religions. 2023; 14(4):508. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14040508Chicago/Turabian Style
Alzaareer, Ahmad, and Mohamad Abdalla. 2023. "Exploring Motivations and Benefits of Volunteering: The Perspectives of High School Students in Selected Australian Islamic Schools" Religions 14, no. 4: 508. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14040508