I am saddened to hear of the death of Professor Malik Babiker Badri, a dear friend, an accomplished scholar of Islam and pioneer in the field of Islamic psychology. He passed away on Monday 8 February in Sungai Pusu in Gombak.
Dr. Malik was a scholar of the International Institute of Islamic Thought, Distinguished Professor of the Ibn Khaldun Chair at the International Islamic University in Malaysia and Founder and President of the International Association of Islamic Psychology. He was author of many books and articles including a very important “The Dilemma of Muslim Psychologists”.
Dr. Malik’s scholarship reflects the best example of service to society and intellectual excellence. His pursuit of knowledge in the field of psychology and behavioural therapy was always directed towards providing benefit to the people whom he believed were ill-served by modern and secular explorations in field.
That he began this intellectual and clinical journey over 60 years ago when there was little interest in “alternative” schools of thought, let alone an Islamic-spiritual one, in the field of psychology speaks volumes to his creativity and charisma as a student of knowledge. That he continued to teach, write and publish until his final days speaks to his discipline, dedication and energy. In fact during the Movement Control Order in Malaysia which began in March 2020, IIIT hosted several online sessions with Dr. Malik in which he continued to share his perspective on alternative approaches to conventional psychology and therapy.
Furthermore, he has made a major contribution to the field by integrating the works of classical Islamic scholars including Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali, Abu Zayd al-Balkhi, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, Ibn Sina and al-Razi among others into the contemporary discourse.
Throughout the world you will find students of Islamic psychology who, in virtually every case, will know of Dr. Malik’s research and writing, or more likely would be directly or indirectly influenced by him. His passing is a great loss for the ummah.
I pray that his students will continue his legacy of intellectual discourse and service, especially in these troubled times when mental health issues have become more widespread. I hope that they work diligently to expand on the contributions he has made in teaching psychology and raising awareness about the importance of fostering holistic wellness that includes a balance of mind, body and spirit.
I ask Allah to forgive Malik Badri, have mercy on him and reward him with Paradise. I ask Allah to give peace and contentment to his family during this time of sadness.