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Malik Badri, Islamic Psychology, Islam, Psychology, indigenization of psychology, Islamization of psychology, of indigenous psychology, indigenous Islamic Psychology
We live in a time where ideas and principles are questioned, dissected, and contested at a dizzying rate. It can be difficult to decipher reason and proof from conjecture and avowal. Disjointed ideas and information are widely available without a necessary chain of transmission or reliable connection to sources of knowledge. In this confusing contemporary context, almost anyone can become a leader in thought, guiding naïve followers down unknown paths with unclear destinations. Yet, true thought leadership is that which is connected to the past and charts a clear, well-lit path forward toward an illumined future. Throughout time, there has been a legacy of truly brilliant thinkers whose genius is in communicating timeless wisdom in a powerful manner that speaks to the zeitgeist of their time. This ability allows them to make a significant impact on the hearts and minds of the people. The world lost one of these giants in thought leadership this past year.
Professor Malik Babiker Badri was a man who not only innovated and developed novel ideas within his own area of expertise, but whose ideas had ripple effects well beyond the boundaries of his field of knowledge. Known to the academic and professional world as the “father of modern Islamic Psychology,” he also played a part in shaping massive cultural transformations that changed the world. These include the Black American experience, the epidemic of alcoholism, and the global AIDS crisis. Professor Badri brought to the world a cultural and spiritual revolution in the way many view their relationships to themselves, their societies, and their spirituality. Although several of his works have become seminal reads in the field of Islamic Psychology, and Islamic thought more generally, much of his great work remains unrecognized—perhaps because of his humility and lack of self-promotion. The time has come for the recognition of the significance of this man’s contributions which position him among the great thinkers of
human history. This article charts the chronological and thematic development of Badri’s contributions over the course of his life and paints a picture of the significance of his work and its impact on the world.
2 Malik Badri, “A New Technique in Systematic Desensitization of Pervasive Anxiety and Phobic Reactions,” Journal of Psychology (1966): 201.
3 Badri, “The Influence of Cultural Deprivation.” 4 Malik Badri, The Psychology of Arab Children’s Drawings (Beirut: Al-Fath Publishers, 1966).
5 Ahmad Al-Safi, Traditional Sudanese Medicine: A Primer for Health Care Providers, Researchers, and Students (Khartoum: Azza House, 2007).
6 Malik Badri, “Customs, Traditions and Psychopathology,” Sudan Medical Journal 37, no. 3 (1972).
7 Ahmed Shennan, “Developments and Characteristics of Islamic Psychology in Sudan” in Islamic Psychology Around the Globe, ed. Amber Haque & Abdallah Rothman (Seattle: International Association of Islamic Psychology, 2021), 258-274.
8 Malik Badri, The Dilemma of Muslim Psychologists (London: MWH London, 1979).
9 Ibid., 104.
10 Malik Badri, The AIDS Crisis: An Islamic Sociocultural Perspective (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1997).
12 See Badri’s phases of infatuation, reconciliation, and emancipation: Badri, The Dilemma of Muslim Psychologists, 103-104.
13 Malik Badri, Contemplation: An Islamic Psychospiritual Study (Washington: Publications of the International Institute of Islamic Thought, 2000).
14 Abu Zayd al-Balkhi & Malik Badri, Abu Zayd al-Balkhi’s Sustenance of the Soul: The Cognitive Behaviour Therapy of a Ninth Century Physician, (London; Washington: International Institute of Islamic Thought, 2013).
15 For example, see Amber Haque, “Psychology from Islamic Perspective: Contributions of Early Muslim Scholars and Challenges to Contemporary Muslim Psychologists,” Journal of Religion and Health 43, no. 4 (2004): 357-377; R. Awaad, A. Mohammad, K. Elzamzamy, S. Fereydooni, and M. Gamar, “Mental Health in the Islamic Golden Era: The Historical Roots of Modern Psychiatry,” in Islamophobia and Psychiatry: Recognition, Prevention and Treatment, ed. H.S. Moffic, J. Peteet, A. Hankir, and R. Awaad (Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2019); and R. Awaad, D. Elsayed, S. Ali, and A. Abid, “Islamic Psychology: A Portrait of Its Historical Origins and Contributions,” in Applying Islamic Principles to Clinical Mental Health Care: Introducing Traditional Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy, ed. H. Keshavarzi, F. Khan, B. Ali, and R. Awaad (Oxford: Routledge, 2020).
16 Rania Awaad & Sara Ali, “A Modern Conceptualization of Phobia in al-Balkhi’s 9th Century Treatise: Sustenance of the Body and Soul,” Journal of Anxiety Disorders 37 (2016): 89-93 and “Obsessional Disorders in al-Balkhi’s 9th Century Treatise: Sustenance of the Body and Soul,” Journal of Affective Disorders 180 (2015): 185-189.
17 For example, see Rasjid Skinner, “Traditions, Paradigms and Basic Concepts in Islamic Psychology,” Journal of Religion and Health 58 (2019): 1087–1094; H. Keshavarzi, F. Khan, B. Ali, and R. Awaad, Applying Islamic Principles to Clinical Mental Health Care: Introducing Traditional Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy (Oxford: Routledge, 2020); and Abdallah Rothman, Developing a Model of Islamic Psychology and Psychotherapy: Islamic Theology and Contemporary Understandings of Psychology (London: Routledge, 2021).
18 See Badri’s phases of infatuation, reconciliation, and emancipation: The Dilemma of Muslim Psychologists, 103-104.
19 Malik Badri, The Emotional Aspects of the Lives of the Prophets (Washington: International Institute of Islamic Thought, 2021).
20 Malik Badri, International Association of Islamic Psychology Certificate Course Video.