By Mohammad Aleem
It is a sad day for me, not because that I have suffered something terrible in my life personally. But, it is sad for me because the great educationist, administrator, social reformer, writer, poet and critic of par excellence, Saiyid Hamid has passed away today, December 29, 2014. He lived his life to the full. He was born in 1920 and to live such a long life with so much gusto and force is not an easy thing to do. He served as a good administrator, was attached with various government departments and ministries and was a vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, his alma mater. He always gave his best where he worked. As the Chancellor of Jamia Hamdard (a deemed university), he also left his indelible mark.
For the last many years, he was ill and almost bed ridden. I had a great opportunity to work with him and interact so closely while writing his biography, “Saiyid Hamid: A relentless reformer” published by Gloriords Publications, New Delhi. The book came out in 2012 and I had started work on it in 2010.
It was May of that year when I first met him in his office with the sole purpose to make him agree with the project of writing his biography. This work was sponsored by one of his well-wishers, Syed Qutbur Rahman who works in Dubai and once was his close student at Aligarh Muslim University. Shahabuddin Yaqub was also with me to make this work smooth. He worked as the facilitator between me and the sponsor.
I was happy to think that Hamid sahib agreed with the idea of getting a book written on his life and work by me, though I was not much experienced at writing this genre. It was going to be my first non-fiction book. But he liked me and my works, mostly fiction, and posed his full confidence that work would be good.
We started meeting every Saturday regularly till the final discussion on his life and work was over. We recorded his every word through audio and video medium and later on got it transcribed on the paper. I can’t forget his immense friendly and loving nature while accomplishing this task. If he had not co-operated me, this work would not get the light of the day at all.
When the book was ready, I went to present him a copy. He was more than happy and his pleasure was evident from his every reaction of the face.
I found him always very loving, caring and congenial while working on the book. He not only helped me in arranging all the materials but also through his wise words of wisdom.
May Allah rest his soul in peace and give him a place in paradise. Amen!
[Mohammad Aleem is Managing Editor of India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper “IndianMuslimObserver.com”. You can know more about him by visiting his website at www.mohammadaleem.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org]
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