Bait al-Hikmah Hamdard Library at Madinat al-Hikmah
Life is love, Life is service
Hakim Mohammed Said Shaheed was a man of vision endowed with many virtues. The crowning legacy of his life is the establishment of Madinat al-Hikmah, the City of Education, Science and Learning. After laying the foundation stone of Madinat al-Hikmah on 15th December 1983, foundation stone of Hamdard University was laid on 17th June 1985 by the then President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haque. Every University is considered to be the citadel of advance learning and is identified and recognized by its library all over the world. Keeping in view the importance of the library in any university, Hakim Mohammed Said Shaheed, a philanthropist, a great scholar, patriot and the founder of Madinat al-Hikmah decided to establish “Bait al-Hikmah” Hamdard Library. After completion of the Bait al-Hikmah, Hakim Mohammed Said invited President Ghulam Ishaq Khan to inaugurate the library on 11 December 1989. Bait al -Hikmah library is one of the biggest and valuable important institution at Madinat al-Hikmah.
Bait al-Hikmah library reflects the memory of the first Bait al-Hikmah (The House of Wisdom) established in Baghdad by Khalifa Abu Jafar al Mansur during 135 A.H to 158 A.H.. Bait al-Hikmah Library symbolizes a cultural transfusion of the Muslim cultural affection and sanctity for learning and scholarship in the light of the teachings of Qur’an.
We have now marched from 14th century to 21st century. During this period, developments and recognizable changes have emerged in the fields of Science and Technology to meet the challenges of the new millennium being faced in every walk of life. The Bait al-Hikmah as a Central Library and Center for Academic Research possesses all requisite modern library equipment and facilities as well as technically qualified and experienced staff to furnish whatever information is needed by the seekers of knowledge. It is meeting the needs of the students, faculties, the researchers, scholars and freelancers nationally and internationally. The library is fully computerized. It is the largest and the best library not only in Pakistan but also in South East Asian countries.
Bait al-Hikmah Library has large collection of books and journals on different subjects and in different languages, covering Science and Technology, Medicine, Management Sciences, Indo-Pakistan History, Islam and Religion, Traditional/Alternative Systems of Medicine, Social Sciences and Jurisprudence besides Urdu, English, Arabic and Persian Literature. Bait al-Hikmah is a complete library in all aspects because every facility for dissemination of information and knowledge is available here.
Hakim Mohammed Said was well informed about the significance of Islamic manuscripts. He collected them from different corners of the world and gave them to the Bait al-Hikmah. The Manuscripts section of Bait al-Hikmah library is a treasure-house of old and rare, centuries old hand written manuscripts of Holy Qur’an, beautifully designed and calligraphed in golden colors and precious inks while the periodical section has 2,255 Journals (current), and about 28,010 bound volumes of Journals of back issues. The clipping section is really worthy of its collection. It has got more then 3.61 million clippings on over 1,210 subjects. Hamdard Foundation Pakistan has published more then 250 research publications in collaboration with Bait al-Hikmah and is publishing four International Standard Journals: Hamdard Sehat, Hamdard Medicus, Hamdard Islamicus and the Journal of Pakistan Historical Society. Through the publication of these International Standard Journals, Bait al-Hikmah has established an international exchange relationship with all the leading institutions, organization, universities and libraries of the world. In exchange of these Journals Bait al-Hikmah is also receiving thousands of periodicals and books.
All the necessary facilities are available in the library like microfilms, microfiche, photocopying, telefax, telex, e-mail and internet. Projector for films and slides, study rooms and special cubicles and sections for local and foreign research scholars and students are also available in the library. The library also has an auditorium, having capacity of 350 persons with SIS system (Simultaneous Interpretation System) in five languages and a Board Room for holding high level meetings like those of Board of Governors, briefing to Heads of States and Ministers etc. This Board Room is also equipped with facilities for meetings and seminars.
At present Bait al-Hikmah Library has more than 400 thousand books, 1629 manuscripts and more than Three million clippings. Details are here as under: