Abdul Malek (activist)

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Abdul Malek (Template:Lang-bn) (Template:CircaTemplate:Spaced ndash15 August 1969), commonly known as Shaheed Abdul Malek, was a prominent student leader of the 1960s. A student of Dhaka University, Abdul Malek was well known for his stand against the secular education system and prominently spoke in favor of an Islamic system of education in erstwhile Pakistan.[1] He was critically injured when student members of a rival student organisation attacked him in aftermath of a seminar in Dhaka University on 12 August 1969 and succumbed to his injuries on 15 August 1969. In Bangladesh and surrounding countries in the region, 15 August is celebrated by his followers every year as 'Islamic Education Day'.[2]

Early life

Abdul Malek was born at Khokshabari (locally known as Boga), Dhunot, Bogra in May 1947 to Late Moulvi Munshi Mohammad Ali and Late Mosammat Sabirummon Nesa. He was born into an impoverished family of six siblings. He was the youngest among brothers, while his sister Ayesha Khatun was youngest among siblings. His brothers are Late Qari Mohammad Abdur Rashid, Munshi Mohammad Abdul Kader, Dr. Mohammad Abdul Khaleq, Master Abdul Bari Munshi.


From first to second grade, he studied at the village school (Khokshabari school). He then studied at Gosaibari High School up to class 8, which was situated 4 miles away from his house in the village. Later, he completed SSC from Bogra Zila High School and completed HSC from Rajshahi College. He then enrolled into Dhaka University.

He was recipient of the Junior scholarship grant in 1960 and stood 11th in Rajshahi Board in SSC examinations with letter marks in Math and Chemistry in 1963 (his father Moulvi Mohammad Ali passed away at this point). In 1965, Abdul Malek passed HSC from Rajshahi Government College with letter marks in two subjects and stood 4th in the Board.

In 1966, he gained admittance as a student of Biochemistry in Dhaka University and resided at Room number 112 of Fazlul Haque Hall.

Political career

Abdul Malek was active in politics since student life. He was supporter of the Jukto Front at school life and subsequently the Muslim League. He was actively involved in student politics throughout his college life.

After his entry into Dhaka University, he joined Islami Chatra Sangha (ICS), erstwhile prominent Islamic student organisation. He joined the organisation as a worker (Kormi) in 1966. In 1967, he became the General Secretary of the Dhaka City Wing of the ICS. In July 1967, he was elected as the President of Dhaka City unit of ICS. During the 1967-68 session, he was elected as an Executive member of central committee of Nikhil Pakistan Islami Chatra Sangha.


In 12 August 1969, a discussion seminar was held on 'Education system of Pakistan suggested by Mr. Noor Khan' in Dhaka University T.S.C auditorium. Abdul Malek, along with other students participated in the program and disagreed with some of the speakers on the issue of the NIPA education policy.

He opined, 'Pakistan must aim at ideological unity, not at ideological vacuum, it must impart a unique and integrated system of education which can impart a common set of cultural values based on the precepts of Islam'. Suggesting integration of the whole education system in the light of Islam, he urged, 'Our age must achieve spiritual renewal. A new renaissance must come- The renaissance in which mankind discovered that ethical action is the supreme truth and the supreme utilitarianism by which mankind will be liberated.'[3]

His speech angered members of rival student leaders and organisations, particularly some left and progressive student leaders and their followers. Abdul Malek, along with his followers was attacked on his way from the seminar and suffered critical injuries in the resultant clashes on 12 August 1969. He was admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital in critical condition where he succumbed to his injuries on 15 August 1969.[4][5]


The death of Abdul Malek was widely covered in contemporary media. It was condemned by politicians and common people alike, including erstwhile Pakistan Awami League President Sheikh Mujib. [6]


  1. "Islamic Education Day: A Tribute to Shaheed Abdul Malek". Progress Bangladesh. 16 August 2014. http://progressbangladesh.com/islamic-education-day-a-tribute-to-shaheed-abdul-malek/. Retrieved 11 April 2015. 
  2. Preronar Batighor: Memoirs of Shaheed Abdul Malek. Bangladesh Islami Chatra Shibir, Dhaka University. December 2002. http://icsbook.shibir.info/preronar_batighor.pdf. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  3. "Abdul Malek: A Luminous star". http://shibirdu.org/FEELINGS%20OF%20HIS%20SUCCESSOR/6.%20Abdul%20Malek%20A%20Luminous%20Star-Md.%20Mufidul%20Islam.pdf. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  4. "একটি কলঙ্কজনক ঘটনা". Dainik Azad. 18 August 1969. 
  5. "শুভ বুদ্ধির জয় হোক". Dainik Ittefaq. 17 August 1969. 
  6. "শেখ মুজিবের শোক প্রকাশ". Dainik Azad. 17 August 1969.