Muslim Girl Remembers Dr. Malik Badri

On February 8, 2021 Dr. Malik Badri returned to his Lord.  Known to many as “the father of Islamic psychology,” Dr. Badri’s work has profoundly shaped the ideas and thinking of a generation of Muslim psychologists. His work is foundational for the field of Islamic psychology. 

I myself was deeply saddened by his passing, and as it was important to us to mark his passing with appropriate words and thoughts, felt overwhelmed with the task of speaking on the significance of his life and death.  The International Association of Islamic Psychology issued a statement, far better than I could attempt, on his passing which can be read here.

It is not possible to sufficiently express my sense of awe for Dr. Badri’s work.  Long before it became commonplace to question the foundations of Euro-U.S. psychology, Dr. Badri questioned the Eurocentrism of the field.  All of us who work in Islamic psychology today owe him a profound debt of gratitude for his leadership and scholarship, particularly those of us who work from a decolonial perspective.  While I never personally met Dr. Badri, I was captivated by his videos, which shone a light on his profound compassion, love, and sincerity.

Long before it became commonplace to question the foundations of Euro-U.S. psychology, Dr. Badri questioned the Eurocentrism of the field.

It is true that health care is about health, but it is also about healing. And healing has to be connected to a commitment to care about people.  Dr. Badri gave off an aura of genuine love for humanity, and for Muslims. I am personally deeply grateful for his work and his influence. I apologize profusely for the inadequacy of this post to properly give respect to this great man.  As I have said, it is beyond my limited capacity to express what could or should be said in regards to Dr. Badri’s passing, and the awareness of this has contributed to the slowness of the response. 

A far better homage to his work from Dr. Rania Awaad, founder of the Stanford Muslim Mental Health Lab, can be read here.

Truly from God we come and to God we return.  In heartfelt respect, admiration, and gratitude, I humbly express that I will miss our teacher very much.

Sarah is a social worker in the San Francisco Bay Area with at-risk and homeless youth. She likes to paint, drum, sing, and spend quality time with her family and God.