- "I know... in fact, the entire city knows!"
- ―Malik commenting on Altaïr's successful assassination.[src]
During his time as an active Assassin, Malik closely rivalled his successor, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, but later became a Dai and the leader of the Assassins' Bureau in Jerusalem due to the loss of his left arm. After Altaïr killed Al Mualim and became Grand Master of the Assassin Order, Malik became Altaïr's right-hand man (no pun intended).
Malik, along with his brother Kadar and Altaïr, were tasked by Al Mualim to retrieve the Templars' Treasure; later found to be one of the Pieces of Eden, the Apple of Eden. Soon after their arrival at Solomon's Temple, he forewarned Altaïr of his blatant disregard of the Creed both when Altaïr murdered an innocent old man (which he had done to hide their presence), and when he considered compromising the Brotherhood for a chance to kill Robert de Sable.
Eventually, Altaïr's stubbornness, headstrong attitude, and arrogance led to the tragic failure of the mission, costing Malik his left arm, and Kadar his life. Malik, however, successfully escaped with the Apple, and arrived at Masyaf with his arm still attached but bleeding heavily, implying that it was amputated shortly thereafter.
Jerusalem: First Visit
- Altaïr: "Safety and peace, Malik."
- Malik: "Your presence deprives me of both!"
- ―Malik and Altaïr in Jerusalem.[src]
When first encountering Altaïr in Jerusalem after the mission in Solomon's Temple, Malik made no effort to disguise his new-found hatred of Altaïr. He pointed out even the most subtle flaws of his technique, and the slight haughtiness of his attitude whenever possible, resulting in an unpleasant meeting between the two as they discussed the assassination of Talal.
Even though the assassination was a success, Malik heavily criticized Altaïr for triggering the city alarm, and for alerting the citizens of Jerusalem of Talal's demise.
Jerusalem: Second Visit
- Altaïr: "It seems everything I do troubles you."
- Malik: "Reflect on that. But do so on your way to Masyaf."
- ―Altaïr and Malik at the Bureau.[src]
Though his cold attitude toward Altaïr had gone through little to no change, Malik expressed a small level of satisfaction when Altaïr asked for his advice, and began to respect the Creed more. After the successful assassination of Majd Addin, he remarked that Altaïr had performed just as an Assassin should - no more, no less.
Jerusalem: Third Visit
- "We are one; as we share the glory of our victories, so too we share the pain of defeat. In this way, we grow closer, we grow stronger."
- ―Malik before Altaïr leaves to assassinates Robert.[src]
When Altaïr visited Malik for the final time in Jerusalem, the easily angered and quick to criticize Malik had changed, speaking to Altaïr as a fellow Assassin rather than the failure that had caused the tragedy in Solomon's Temple.
After the skirmish at the funeral of Majd Addin, Malik and Altaïr had a quick, heated argument over whether to chase Robert de Sable to Arsuf, or to return to Masyaf to seek the wisdom of Al Mualim. Altaïr argued that Malik used the Creed as a shield, and thus did not see the entire truth, but what Al Mualim wanted him to see. He then suggested that Malik learn more about the Apple of Eden from the people of Jerusalem, while he hunted down Robert.
Before his departure, Altaïr apologized for his failure at Solomon's Temple. Malik refused to accept it; however, he clarified that this was because he felt that the Altaïr who stood before him at that moment was not the same one that had caused their defeat at Solomon's Temple, and thus held no guilt.
Soon afterwards, Malik returned to Solomon's Temple and discovered the journal of Robert de Sable, which recorded the finding of the Apple by the ten Templars, including Al Mualim. Finally convinced of the Master's betrayal, he travelled to Masyaf to aid Altaïr in retaking the fortress, bringing with him several Assassins under his command.
Retaking of Masyaf
- Altaïr: "Safety and peace, Malik."
- Malik: "Your presence will deliver us both."
- ―Altaïr and Malik parting ways during the invasion of Masyaf[src]
Malik arrived at the city in time to rescue Altaïr, who was under attack by several hypnotized Assassin guards. After a brief exchange with his Brother, he then led an assault at the back of the fortress, in order to distract the fortress' troops and allow Altaïr to personally deal with Al Mualim.Following the duel, Malik caught up to Altaïr in time to witness the Apple of Eden displaying a holographic map of the world.
- "I have also worked with Malik to describe new methods of assassination: from on high, from ledges, and from hiding places. Basic movements, but critical nonetheless."
- ―Altaïr's Codex, page 13[src]
Soon after Al Mualim had been brought to justice, Malik became Altaïr's right-hand man, while Altaïr in turn was promoted to Grand Master of their Order. The two went on to work together to discover new assassination techniques, which Altaïr noted down in his personal journal.
Additionally, Altaïr began to delve into the secrets of the Apple of Eden, studying it for days at a time. Malik, however, suggested forgetting about trying to understand the artifact, and insisted that Altaïr should simply lock it away. Despite this, Altaïr evidently ignored his advice.
Malik's fate afterwards is unknown.
Characteristics and personality
Malik is a harsh, yet wise Assassin who dislikes Altaïr due to his skill and rank in the guild, as well as his arrogant attitude. However, he slowly gains respect for Altaïr as he changes on his quest to redeem himself.
At first, Malik's devotion to the Creed and Al Mualim is unbreakable, unwavering and somewhat blind. Over time though, he learns to see beyond it, and discover the truth for himself.
- In Arabic, "Malik" means "king" or "owner," while "Al-sayf" means "the sword." Put together, "Malik A[l]-Sayf" means "King or Owner of the Sword."
- The more common surname is "Al-Sayf," but due to Arabic grammar rules, the name in the in-game credits is written as "A-Sayf," the way it is pronounced.
- Malik is the only Assassin who is seen wearing an almost identical outfit to Altaïr's in Assassin's Creed. In this outfit, he is also equipped with a Hidden Blade, though his ring finger is still intact. The reason for this is unknown.
- It is unknown how Malik gets in or out of the Bureau after the loss of his left arm.
- During the first visit to Jerusalem, if Altaïr lingers in the Bureau before going to the assassination target, Malik will comment on why he has not already left. He sarcastically remarks: "Thinking of another great plan, Altaïr? Like the one back at Solomon's Temple?!"
- It is possible to throw Malik off the cliff right before he and his men run past Altaïr before the final boss fight. Doing this has no effect on the game, and he still reappears during the credits to look at the Apple of Eden.