The Effects of Following Islam in Decisions about Taboo Products


  • This work was supported by the Universiti Utara Malaysia and the Business School of the University of Western Australia.

Correspondence regarding this article should be sent to: Nazlida Muhamad, Lecturer in Marketing, Faculty of Business, Economics and Policy Studies, University Brunei Darussalam, Tungku-Link, Gadong BE 1410, Brunei Darussalam (


This study tests the role of consumers’ religious motivation (intrinsic and extrinsic) in their decision making regarding the consumption of a prohibited brand or product category because of a religious declaration called Fatwa. Despite numerous studies on the effects of religion in consumers’ marketplace behaviors, little is known of about consumers’ decision making under a religious ruling like Fatwa. A Fatwa is a decree issued by religious scholars for Muslim communities. A survey based on the Theory of Planned Behavior asked young adult Muslims about their responses to a brand, and two product categories that were subject to Fatwa. The data concerning the respondents’ decision making were analyzed using structural equation modeling to test hypotheses based on the available literature. The analyses found that the respondents’ motivation in following Islamic teachings had the greatest effects in their deciding to smoke, listen to contentious popular music, but was not relevant for buying the Coca Cola brand. The results are discussed in terms of the study's theoretical contributions, managerial implications, and future research.