Needs & Wants


 Living in this challenging era definitely test humans in every angle. Bad economic situations accompanied by the poor currency exchange rates that is the lowest in 17 years  demands individual to work at their hardest. Low class and the middle class community are working their hardest to make ends meet. But, despite all these bitterness and suffering, remember that God never abandons his servants. He said “Is not He (Allah) who created (things) from nothing, then reproduces and gives you sustenance from the heavens and the earth?” (An-Naml : 64).

To ensure the survival of oneself and their families in this tough situation, it has become a responsibility that any income earned is to be used wisely without any wastage. Needs and wants has become an interesting topic to be discussed, especially regarding the income distribution. Has an item been bought because of the ‘needs’ or because of the ‘wants’?

Needs and Wants

Abraham Maslow, one of the psychology scholar, has touched a lot of this topic and he created the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In his hierarchy of needs, there are five phases that need to be satisfied. An individual will only go up to the next phase of the pyramid when the current phase is satisfied. In the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the bottom most phases are the physiological needs such as the foods, drinks and clothing. The second phase is the safety and security needs such as the individual safety, the family safety or the belongings safety. The  third phase is the social needs, either it be  is family or friendship. The fourth phase is the demanding needs for confidence, respect and success. The last phase in the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs  is the need for self-actualization which includes morality, creativity, acceptance of reality and no prejudice.

Source: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Human basic needs such as the water, air, house and clothing are needed for survival. Needs are easily satisfied and fulfilled because every single individual has the same and limited needs. However, ‘wants’ is about something that give pleasure and comfort in one’s life such as luxury cars, swimming pool and many others. Nevertheless, not all ‘wants’ can be satisfied and fulfilled because each individual has different taste and varies according to one’s ability.

 Man was created by God and given sustenance from Him as his word “Allah enlarges the provision for whom He wills and restricts it (for whom He wills)” (Surah Ar Ra`d: 26) and “Is not He (Allah) who created (things) from nothing, then reproduces and gives you sustenance from the heavens and the earth?” (An-Naml : 64). What is wants? Basically, wants is something that man desires. Wants also sometimes is impossible to achieve when it is not accompanied by efforts and dreams. Wants gives a type of satisfaction that is temporary and not permanent. In this modern world, man is influenced and surrounded mainly by 5F which are:  

  1. Fashion –branded clothings
  2. Film – entertainment
  3. Food –  reataurant, cafe
  4. Football – sport (golf, F1, polo)
  5. Finance – credit card (debt)

But to what extent are the basic human needs? Not everyone is capable and definitely not everyone has high income. Only those individuals who are diligent, energetic and hard working are capable of satisfying and fulfilling their basic needs and desires. Basic needs are the requirement for life sustainability. However the needs are changing and directly they are becoming physical and mental challenge to man.


  1. Islam dalam Keperluan dan Kehendak diambil pada 20 Ogos 2015 daripada
  2. Kemahuan dan Kehendak diambil pada 20 Ogos 2015 daripada https://   iranafiza. WordPress .com/ asas-perdagangan/kemahuan-dan-kehendak/
  3. Perbezaan Keperluan dan Kehendak diambil pada 20 Ogos 2015 daripada https:// cikgu dafiena.wordpress. com /2012/05/14/ perbezaan-antara-keperluan-dan-kehendak/
Last Reviewed : 02 July 2018
Writer/Translator : En. Hairulnizam B. Abdullah
Accreditor : Pn. Ruhana Bt. Mahmod