INTRODUCTION

The word ‘Hamdard’ is derived from two Persian words: ‘Ham’ means a friend or companion and ‘Dard’ means pain. Hamdard thus means a companion of pain or who shares the pain of others. Hamdard as an organization and as a commercial venture is well known in Asia for its unique nature. It is, by far, the biggest Unani (Natural) Medicine manufacturing concern in the world.

In fact, Hamdard began its solemn journey as a health service provider and later expanded its activities promoting education and other scientific research to help improve the living standards of the people. Hence, as the word implies, Hamdard is continuously endeavoring to eliminate the sufferings of the humanity.

In such endeavors, both Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Bangladesh and Hamdard Foundation Bangladesh have played pivotal roles in scaling up the business of the organization under the versatile leadership of Dr Hakim Mohammad Yousuf Harun Bhuiyan, the architect of modern Hamdard and the founder of Hamdard University Bangladesh (HUB).

HAMDARD LABORATORIES (WAQF) BANGLADESH: A CHRONOLOGY

In 1906, Hakim Hafiz Abdul Majeed founded Hamdard in Delhi, India. Before his death, he urged his wife to make Hamdard as ‘Waqf,’ dedicated to human welfare. The word ‘Waqf’ means ‘Sacrifice for the people in the name of Allah.’ Later his elder son Hakim Abdul Hameed founded Hamdard University India (Jamia Hamdard India). He served simultaneously as the Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and Hamdard University India. For his extra ordinary contributions to the society, Hakim Abdul Hameed was duly honored by several prestigious national and international organizations. In 1983, the erstwhile USSR awarded him with ‘AVICENNA’ and Indian Government graciously conferred him ‘Padma-Shree’ and ‘Padma-Bhushan.

The youngest son of Hakim Abdul Majeed, Shaheed Hakim Mohammed Said joined Hamdard India in 1940. After continuing for about eight years, in 1948, he migrated to Pakistan and established ‘Hamdard Pakistan.’ In 1953, he initiated the activities of Hamdard in Bangladesh (erstwhile East Pakistan) through two sales centers: one in Dhaka and the other in Chittagong. Hakim Mohammed Said made Hamdard Bangladesh as ‘Waqf’ in 1972 accomplishing the cycle in the Sub-continent. Since then, Hamdard India, Hamdard Pakistan and Hamdard Bangladesh have been serving the cause of humanity with a similar vision and similar missions.

Hakim Mohammed Said established the City of Science, Culture and Education (Madinat-al-Hikmah) near Karachi. He was the founder Chancellor of Hamdard University Pakistan; he also served as the Governor of Sindh and

Health Advisor to the President of Pakistan. As a prolific writer, to his credit he had a large number of books and articles. In his own lifetime, he treated millions of patients free of cost.

Dr Hakim Mohammad Yousuf Harun Bhuiyan is the forerunner of ‘Modern Hamdard’ in Bangladesh. He joined Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Bangladesh in 1972. After working for about a decade, he took over the challenge and responsibility of Hamdard Bangladesh in 1982 along with 23 officers and workers. He started the journey with only Tk 50,225 as balance while Tk 2, 92,000 as debt.

Hamdard is always grateful to all the dedicated persons for their guidance and cooperation. Among them, the most notable are: National Prof Dr Nurul Islam, the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Bangladesh; former Chairman Justice Abul Fazal Md Ahsan Uddin Chowdhury; Barrister Shaukat Ali Khan; Justice Mohammed Rouf; and national Professor Dr MR Khan. Along with them, Hamdard also recognizes all the past and present members of the Board of Trustees with dignity and honor. All of them have provided Dr Hakim Mohammad Yousuf Harun Bhuiyan with their best knowledge, advice and proper guidance in his prosperous journey of Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Bangladesh.

With the assistance from the Members of the Board of Trustees and by virtue of Dr Hakim Mohammad Yousuf Harun Bhuiyan’s versatile leadership and whole hearted support from his colleagues, Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Bangladesh achieved a remarkable growth within a short period. A new dynamism came into existence and Hamdard became very popular in the country for its healthcare services and philanthropic activities.

In fact, the development of Unani medicine during the 20th century owes its vitality to the three towering figures: Hakim Abdul Hameed from India, Shaheed Hakim Mohammed Said from Pakistan, and Dr Hakim Mohammad Yousuf Harun Bhuiyan from Bangladesh. To maintain the high quality products, Dr Hakim Mohammad Yousuf Harun Bhuiyan has established a factory with high tech production facilities, Quality Control, Quality Assurance and R&D activities with the latest scientific equipment and knowledge. This modern factory is run by a group of highly skilled botanists, chemists, hakims, kabirajs, microbiologists, pharmacists and many other well trained personnel. Hamdard gradually extended its health services to the common people of the country. At present, Hamdard is a well-known and trusted Phyto-pharmaceutical organization in Bangladesh.

HAMDARD FOUNDATION BANGLADESH

Hamdard Foundation Bangladesh was established by Dr Hakim Mohammad Yousuf Harun Bhuiyan in 1989 with the recommendation of Shaheed Hakim Mohammed Said and the Board of Trustees of Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Bangladesh. This foundation is run by the earnings of Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Bangladesh. The Foundation, being a charitable organization, promotes human welfare through its educational and philanthropic activities.

In addition, Hamdard Foundation Bangladesh promotes advancement of learning, education, and application of knowledge. To this end, poor but brilliant students are granted educational aid or stipends from the Foundation. For educational services, the Foundation has established Hamdard Unani Medical College and Hospital in Bogra, Hakim Said Eastern Medical College and Hospital in Dhaka, Rawshan Jahan Eastern Medical College and Hospital in Laxmipur and Hamdard Public College in Dhaka. All these institutions are functioning under the financial patronage of the Foundation. However, the grand educational goal of the Foundation is to foster and flourish Hamdard University Bangladesh in its own right.

THE GENESIS OF HUB: A DREAMER’S DREAM

Dr Hakim Mohammad Yousuf Harun Bhuiyan dreamed of the Hamdard University Bangladesh and nourished it for a long time in his heart. But more importantly, his leadership made others ‘dream the same dream.’ The dream, among others, was however inspired by Hakim Abdul Hameed and Shaheed Hakim Mohammed Said. Along the same line, the honorable members of the Board of Trustees of Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Bangladesh provided continuous assistance and guidance to realize the dream. Thus it became a collective ‘dream come true’ with the establishment of Hamdard University Bangladesh and all concerned deserve credit for their respective contributions in the process.

SUPPORT FROM COLLEAGUES

During the process, colleagues at Hamdard had extended their unequivocal support and ardent dedication to accomplish the dream of Hamdard University Bangladesh. Most notable contributions in establishing this University are acknowledged from: Dr Hakim Rafiqul Islam, Mutawalli and Senior Director Marketing; Kazi Mansur-ul-Huq, Director Information and Public Relations; Md Anisul Haque, Director Finance and Accounts; Professor Hakim Shiry Farhad, Director Administration; Lt Colonel Mahbubul Alam Chowdhury Psc (Retd), Director Hamdard Foundation Bangladesh; Major Iqbal Mahmud Chowdhury Psc (Retd), Project Director Hamdard University Bangladesh; Mihir Chakravorti, Director Production; Hakim Saifuddin Murad, Director Marketing; Mohammad Zamal Uddin, Director Planning and Development and Dr Hakim Nargish Marjhan, Director Human Resource Development, Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Bangladesh

It is equally important to acknowledge that to establish the University, Hamdard has received a great support and cooperation from the University Grants Commission (UGC) Bangladesh, Ministries of Education and Religious Affairs of Bangladesh, Waqf administration, Prime Minister’s Secretariat and many others. Hamdard family thankfully recognizes the contribution, help and support of all the members of the Board of Trustees of Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Bangladesh, the Executive Committee of Hamdard Foundation Bangladesh, the Board of Trustees of Hamdard University Bangladesh and all the Directors and employees of Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Bangladesh.

HAMDARD UNIVERSITY PROJECT

To materialize the Hamdard University Project (the dreamer’s dream), Hamdard Foundation Bangladesh purchased more than 160 bighas of land in Gazaria, Munshiganj on the eastern side of the mighty river Meghna. The newly-built campus on this parcel is an ideal place for the University. The area of the campus is so far the largest among the existing private universities in Bangladesh. It is, indeed, a wide open space away from the ‘maddeing crowd’ of the city, in close proximity with nature.

It is also befitting to acknowledge here that the first Project Profile of the Hamdard University Bangladesh was prepared by the National Prof Dr Nurul Islam before the enactment of the Private University Act 2010 (Law Number 35). When the new law was passed by the National Parliament of Bangladesh, a fresh application was required to apply for the temporary charter of Hamdard University Bangladesh. As required by the law, a 13-member Board of Trustees for Hamdard University Bangladesh was formed chaired by the National Prof Dr Nurul Islam. Subsequently, an application was prepared under the leadership of Prof Dr Mohammed Mosihuzzaman who was designated as the first Vice Chancellor of Hamdard University Bangladesh by the Board of Trustees. The application was then submitted to the Ministry of Education (MoE) for the temporary charter of the University. Fulfilling all requirements, Hamdard University Bangladesh received its approval from the government on 14 March 2012.

THE DREAMER’S VISION

As a visionary, Dr Hakim Mohammad Yousuf Harun Bhuiyan believes that: this University would be an exceptional institution for excellence in education and research in higher education and would provide cutting-edge competence to its students. That is, this University would provide state-of-the-art educational and research facilities to students, scholars, and teachers alike. Thus, Hamdard University Bangladesh envisions providing quality and time-oriented education to the students so that they can fulfil their cherished goals and work hard with utmost dedication, morality, and sincerity in order to materialize a happy and prosperous Bangladesh.

THE DREAM TURNED INTO REALITY

Since the time of approval, within a short while HUB launched its first semester with the first batch of students on 29 November 2012 in a temporary campus situated in Newtown, Sonargaon (Narayanganj) on the western side of the river Meghna (adjacent to Meghna bridge toll plaza). It continued in the temporary campus for over three years (2012-2015). However, in December 2015, the University shifted to the new permanent campus with nine batches of students. Currently, HUB is teaching 12 batches and will usher in the thirteenth batch in May of 2017.  In the meantime, our first batch of undergrad students has graduated in the Fall of 2016.  Although meagre in number, about 48 students have graduated (/ are graduating) from various departments of the University (English, BBA, CSE, EEE, Mathematics, MBA and EMBA) by the Spring of 2017. At present, the number of continuing students is about 900. The process is on-going and we are recruiting students thrice a year—corresponding to the trimester system of the University.

HAMDARD PHILOSOPHY EMBEDDED IN HUB

Hamdard stands for the happiness of all. In the tradition of Hamdard, the community of scholars at HUB is committed in the pursuit of truth, academic excellence, and advancement of knowledge. The mission of the University is to provide value-added education to all students in its constituent institutions. The doors of the University are open to members of every caste, color and creed; the culture of the University permits the advancement of creative thoughts embedded in Hamdard Philosophy.

The University welcomes and respects those whose lives are formed by different traditions and customs recognizing their important contributions to a pluralistic society and to an atmosphere of open discussion essential for broadening higher faculties of mind. As a community of learners, the University encourages brotherhood, mutual learning, shared decision making, and intellectual/ academic freedom.

Quality education is the prime objective of the University providing opportunities for intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social, cultural, and physical growth. Instilling knowledge, norms, values, and skills in our students are the driving forces of the academic life here. Along this line, the University is striving for promoting values which characterize higher education and creative learning. These values include academic integrity, protection of intellectual capital, freedom, the rigorous quest for understanding of truth, justice, prudence, temperance, fortitude and compassion. These commitments of the University will permeate on all its academic programs, as provided in the teaching of Hamdard Philosophy. The University continues to promoting individual responsibility, respect for each other and diversity of views needed for the development of a community of learners.