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Abdul-Malik Merchant

Former Muslim Chaplain


M.T.S. concentrating on Practical Theology from Boston University (Boston, MA)
B.A. in Islamic Studies from Umm al-Qura University (Makkah, Saudi Arabia)
Imam Abdul-Malik was appointed Muslim Chaplain at Tufts University in September, 2019 and served until August 2021. In this role, Imam Abdul-Malik offered mentorship and support to students across Tufts University schools and helped to coordinate programs and activities related to Muslim life on campus. He also supported Tufts staff and faculty and collaborated with departments and programs across the university. In collaboration with the wider chaplaincy team, Imam Abdul-Malik helped to foster opportunities for civic learning and leadership.
Imam Abdul-Malik Merchant’s mother converted to Islam when he was just eight years old, and from this time, the trajectory of his life has been centered around Islamic education. As a family, they moved to the Northern-Virginia area (accross the street from a mosque) to be a part of a diverse Muslim community. Simultaneously, Imam Merchant’s mother enrolled him and his younger sister in a private Islamic school in Maryland.
After highschool, Imam Merchant was accepted into Umm al-Qura University in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The first two years of his studies were an intensive Arabic immersion program. After acquiring his diploma in Arabic he was accepted to the college of Shari’ah (Islamic Jurisprudence), but later transferred to the college of Da’wah (Proselytization) and Foundations of the Religion specializing in Islamic culture. It was here Imam Merchant realized he could use his passion for service, particularly for the disenfranchised of society. After nearly 10 year studying and living abroad, Imam Merchant returned to Boston, MA in 2016 with his wife and children to take a position at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC). He served as the Associate Imam, concentrating on spiritual care and counseling, until November 2019. Since then, he moved and now serves as the Muslim Chaplain for the Essex County Sheriff's Department.
In Spring of 2020, Imam Merchant completed a Masters of Theological Studies at Boston University’s School of Theology concentrating on practical theology. He is now pursuing a doctoral studies degree with a focus on the decolonization of Islamic spiritual care and wellness. Additionally, he was awarded the Tisch Faculty Fellowship and plans to research the spiritual needs of undergraduate students of color during the Covid-19 pandemic. Imam Merchant serves on the executive committee of the National Black Muslim Covid Coalitions well as a research assistant for the Black Covid Survey. He asks that you would keep him and his family in your prayers.