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Hamdard a non-revocable Islamic Trust, a waqf, dedicated to Almighty Allah for the sake of the welfare and service of humanity. Hamdard, a Persian word, signifies 'one who shares the pain and affliction of others and hence strives to feel for, and ameliorate their suffering'. This is the basic concept on which Hamdard was established in Delhi by Hakeem Abdul Majeed (1883-1922) in 1906 as a herbal (Unani) medicine manufacturing concern.

Hakeem Mohammad Said (1920-1998), the youngest son of Hakeem Abdul Majeed, established Hamdard in Pakistan in 1948. He extended the activities of Hamdard to East Pakistan, in 1956 by opening sales centres in Dhaka and Chittagong. Thus Hamdard became a nexus of interconnected activities embracing the whole subcontinent. In order to manufacture various herbal formulations, Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Bangladesh was established at Tejgaon in 1972. Hamdard (Waqf) Bangladesh has now become the largest manufacturer of herbal (Unani) medicine in the country with a Research and Development (R&D) Laboratory of its own.

Its entire proceeds (amounting to more than Taka 25 crore) are spent in national and international humanitarian pursuits through Hamdard Foundation Bangladesh, a registered body responsible for carrying out Hamdard's aims and objectives. The benevolent activities of Hamdard (Waqf) Bangladesh include helping the orphan, widows, sick, poor and distressed people with cash and means of self-support; giving regular grants to educational institutions, mosques and orphanages; organising and sponsoring national and international seminars and conferences on health and education; supporting research work on medicinal plants; carrying out relief work in times of natural calamities and offering poor people free medical and other health care services. Hamdard has also spread its normal clinical activities through its 34 medical centres operating in different areas of the country. It has a Head office building (Hamdard Bhaban) at 291/1 Sonargaon Road, a showroom-cum-clinic in the Gulistan area, and a factory premise in Tejgaon area. In addition, it has over 150 acres of land for growing medicinal plants.

The overall affairs of Hamdard (Waqf) Bangladesh are managed and regulated by a Board of Trustees constituted of 10 members. Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Bangladesh also has a Technical Advisory Committee. The current administration of Hamdard Laboratories includes a managing director, five directors and a large number of other supporting staff. [Abdul Ghani]

See also ayurvedic medicine; sakti oushadhalaya.