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HAMDARD FOUNDATION. The name Hamdard or “companion in pain” was given by Hakim `Abdulmajid to the herb shop he established in Delhi in 19o6. The Greco-Arab system of treating illness with herbs was an established practice among Muslims and was used at Hamdard. When `Abdulmajid died in 1922, his work was continued by his family. Shortly before the partition of India in 1947 Hamdard was given the status of an Islamic waqf (an irrevocable charitable trust) by the family.

Hakeem Saeed

When Pakistan came into being on 14 August 1947, the younger son, Hakim Muhammad Saeed, migrated and settled in Karachi, where he opened the Hamdard clinic in a small room in 1948. The work expanded rapidly and attracted many physicians, both male and female. By 1953 Hamdard Pakistan had become a fullfledged pharmaceutical industry. In the same year Hakim Muhammad Said made it a waqf with a board of trustees, constituting the Hamdard Foundation of Pakistan. Hamdard clinics are now established in other major cities and towns of Pakistan. Treatment is inexpensive, and free for the poor. Under Sa’id’s leadership the Hamdard Foundation has expanded; it currently holds assets worth several billion rupees and employs a staff of several thousand.

The Hamdard Foundation derives its inspiration from Islam as expressed in the Qur’an and exemplified by the life of the prophet Muhammad. Islam is interpreted as an eternal code of life based on love, equality, and respect for all human beings that urges believers to avoid extremes, practice temperance, spend generously on charity, avoid amassing wealth, seek knowledge, and promote health. The Hamdard Foundation bases its practice on eastern medical philosophies. It declares as its primary mission the worldwide propagation of the scientific nature of eastern medicine, including the Arab, Indian, and Chinese systems, and its development in the light of modern research. In this connection the foundation sponsors lectures, scientific conferences, the creation of international networks of scholars, and the publication of journals and pamphlets. The Hamdard Foundation also publishes scholarly books, academic journals, children’s magazines, and story books.

International recognition of and support for various Hamdard initiatives in the field of medicine, culture, and education have been growing, with the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization and the World Health Organization among its supporters. In 1983 Hamdard laid the foundation stone of a new city called Madinat al-Hikmat (“city of knowledge”) about 27 kilometers from Karachi. This visionary project aims at the development of a self-contained residential educational complex for men, women, and children. It will promote learning in every branch of knowledge. In 1991 a charter was granted by the government of Pakistan to establish Hamdard University. The Bayt al-Hikmat Library contains more than half a million books in addition to specialized journals, newspapers, and magazines, with the capacity to house three million volumes.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

D’Silva, Lily Anne, and Masood Ahmad Barakatee. Hakim Mohammad Said: Profile of a Humanitarian. Karachi 1989. Good sketch of the multifarious activities of the founder of the Hamdard Foundation of Pakistan.

Madinat al-Hikmat, City of Education, Science, and Culture: The Vision and Reality. Karachi 1990. Useful presentation, with pictures, graphs and tables, of the Hamdard Project to build a new city of learning outside Karachi.

ISHTIAQ AHMED

Azhar Niaz Article's Source: http://islamicus.org/hamdard-foundation/
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  • writerPosted On: June 10, 2013
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