According to 'Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs' theory, humans must go through various stages of growth in life to finally reach what all of us eventually wish to attain - self-actualization. Self actualization is a stage when one finally reaches his/her ultimate potential in life, when one is at the peak of his/her happiness. To reach this state one must go through various stages in terms of:
1. Physiological needs (Air, food, water, sleep)
2. Safety needs (House, resources, employment)
3. Belongingness and Love (Friendship, family, sexual intamacy)
4. Esteem needs (Confidence, respect, self-esteem)
5. Self-actualization (Peak of a human being, happiest state)
Maslow also insisted "self-actualisation...rarely happens...certainly in less than 1% of the adult population." This hierarchy of human motivation follows a particular pattern which may lead to an end result all humans strive for.
Although this theory did come under criticism from different view points, nothing particularly was mentioned about a view of this theory from a religious perspective. According to me, as a Muslim I cannot deny that every human being requires the first stage to achieve "Self-actualization", which is "Physiological needs", because it's hard to imagine that one can be happy without air, water as we need these in order to live. However, I don't think anyone needs the other 3 stages, i.e. Safety needs, belongingness and love, esteem needs, in order to achieve self-actualization. I can state as a fact (from my observation of self and others) that closeness to Allah (s.w.t.) is more than what anyone else can desire to really achieve self-actualization. I always feel faith can turn around any negative emotion and a materialism approach is not required at all for one to attain the peak of happiness. In-fact, a materialism approach is more likely to lead to depression and unfulfilled happiness as Maslow himself claimed that only 1% of the adult population actually achieves the final stage of his hierarchy, so what happens to the other 99%? Do they die failing to reach their highest potential of happiness?
My point of this thread was to prove that Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs does not apply to us Muslims, as we don't believe in the materialism approach but rather follow the approach of faith and this is, in my opinion the best way to successfully achieve self-actualization. The closer you get to Allah (s.w.t.) the happier you'll be with your life.
May Allah Almighty guide us all to the straight path.