As a student of Professor Malik Badri, his distinguished personality, academic prowess, spirituality, fatherhood, and humanity cannot be expressed in words. He made me and numerous other students across the globe to understand that the field of psychology is not limited to the secular worldviews in terms of theory and practise.
He pointed out the existence and essence of the spiritual element of man and how it plays a major role in our optimal functioning. One of his major publications; The Dilemma of Muslim Psychologists, alerted us how and why we need to liberate our understanding and practices of psychology so as not to fall into the lizards’ hole.
During one of his discussions, Malik Badri narrated how works of Mohammad Qutb’s “Islam: The Misunderstood Religion greatly influenced his dedication towards Islamisation of modern psychology. It is worthy to note one of his Western inspirational books tilted The Road Less Travelled written by Scott Peck, on how human suffering can draw solutions from both psychological and spiritual means.
Being a distinguished behaviorist, Malik Badri expressed his discontent towards the dehumanization of man as a result of the experimental approach of Ivan Pavlov. He once mentioned how he modified one of the most pronounced behavior therapeutic approaches, systematic desensitization, and used it in treating a Moroccan patient.
Professor Malik Badri for example, taught us how this approach can be applied to a Muslim suffering from Obsessive Compulsive problems with hand-washing as a result of repetitive states in ablution. Personally, I see this as a knowledge that will serve as sadaqatul jariyyah for his blessed soul as such cannot be found in any psychology test across the globe.
Through his efforts in organising the resurging Muslim psychologists across the globe, the emergence of the International Association of Muslim Psychologists (Majorly among experts in South-East Asia and Australia) and the International Association of Islamic Psychology (Majorly among experts in Turkey and Western countries) remain a part of formidable efforts through which Muslim psychologists can further collaborate and contribute to both psychological and spiritual need of humanity considering the ongoing pandemic ravaging the entire globe
In a recent webinar organised to commemorate Professor Malik Badri, a group of his students shared research and clinical practise issues learnt during their undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
One notable area of interest that needs greater attention is the mind/body interaction from Islamic perspective. This is an area that calls for a collaborative research among medical and psychological experts in unravelling how the mind can actually influence physical and psychological functioning.