(This part of the introduction to Jāvēd Ahmad Ghāmidī’s life, works, and mission has been written on the basis of his own writings, and contains a blend of excerpts from his book, Maqāmāt, which excerpts give the reader glimpses into Ghāmidī’s feelings and into happenings and events in his life).
Jāvēd Ahmad Ghāmidī was admitted to Islāmiyyah High School in sixth grade and passed his matriculation examination from here. During his matriculation days, his interest in reading had increased greatly. He requested his principal that he be excused from attending classes in order to spend all his time reading. The principal showed remarkable affection in accepting this request, and made the necessary arrangements. Ghamidi writes:
The commencement of grade ten saw my interest in philosophy, tasawwuf (mysticism), literature and history kindled to its fullest. This interest was due to my father’s circle of friends and acquaintances. If I could lay my hands on a book on any of the above mentioned subjects, I would not rest in peace until I had read the text. Although I had time for this activity, yet my school work was proving to be a hindrance. So, I began to look for ways to overcome this problem. With this interest in mind, one day I approached my teacher and headmaster, Sayyid Shēr Muhammad, and requested him to free me from attending daily lessons. My intention was to be able to study with undivided and focused attention. I requested him for a room in the hostel and gave him my word that, God willing, I would not disappoint him with my grade ten results. Sayyid Muhammad was a person of extraordinary personality. I was taken by surprise when he agreed to this unusual request. After deliberating for a few moments he said: “I hope you will not break my trust.” I reaffirmed my earlier resolve. So, the very next day not only did he facilitate my request but, for my personal use of books, he also did me the special favor of placing all the ones of my interest from the school library in the room assigned to me. Although the room wasn’t much in terms of comfort, it had everything in it in terms of leisure and luxury to read and study. Until my grade ten examinations, I stayed there.