Hakim Mohammed Saeed was born in Delhi, British Indian Empire in 1920 to an educated and religious Urdu-speaking class family. His forefathers and family had been associated with the herbal medicine business, and had established the Hamdard Waqf Laboratories in India before 1947, which today has emerged as one of the largest manufacturers of Unani medicines in the world. Saeed attended the local school where he learned Arabic, Persian, Urdu, English and studied the Quran. At age 18, Hakim went on to attend the University of Delhi in 1938. There, he obtained a B.Pharm degree and a BS degree in medicinal chemistry in 1942. After his undergraduate education, Saeed joined Hamdard Waqf Laboratories as a junior researcher and participated in herbal quality control while formulating medicines. In 1945, he attended the post-graduate course, and obtained M.Pharm degree in Pharmacy from the same institution. Before 1947, Hakim Saeed was also involved in the Pakistan Movement activities.
Following his settlement in Pakistan, Said began practicing medicine and continued to research in Eastern medicine.
Having established the Hamdard Laboratories in 1948, Said was one of the driving forces in Pakistan for engaging in the research in medical biology and medicine. In 1952, Said travelled to Turkey where he attended the Ankara University and was awarded a PhD degree in Pharmacy, then returned to Pakistan to devote his life to medicine research. In 1953, after his doctorate degree, Saeed joined the Sindh University as the associate professor of Pharmacy and taught courses in organic chemistry. In 1963, Saeed resigned from his position because of differences with the Federal government over Eastern medicine. He began to write articles, organised conferences and lobbied hard for the Eastern medicine, and Ayub Khan had to pass a law legalizing Eastern medicine, due to a fear of his government losing credibility among the people. In 1985, Hakim Mohammed Said founded Hamdard University, where he served as its first Vice-Chancellor and as a professor.
The crowning activity of his life is the establishment of Madinat-al-Hikmah campus in Karachi. It comprises Hamdard University with such institutes as Hamdard College of Medicine and Dentistry, Hamdard Al-Majeed College of Eastern Medicine, Hafiz Muhammad Ilyas Institute of Herbal Sciences, Hamdard Institute of Education & Social Sciences, Hamdard Institute of Management Sciences, Hamdard Institute of Information Technology, Hamdard School of Law, Faculty of Engineering Science & Technology, Hamdard Public School and Hamdard Village School. Bait-al-Hikmah (the Library) is also a constituent part of Madinat-al-Hikmah.
Saeed was an exponent of Eastern medicine who had treated patients from all over the world including Pakistan, Europe, Africa and the Middle East by the time of his death in October 1998. He helped get alternative medicine recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). After a fifty-year career as a practitioner of Greco-Arab medicine, he was posthumously awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan in 2002.
Hakim Mohammed Said was murdered on 17 October 1998. His murderers were caught by DIG Farooq Amin Qureshi, CCPO Karachi at that time. He was highly appreciated and is one of the most renowned police officers of Pakistan to this day. Several persons were arrested and subsequently sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court.On 26April 2014, The Supreme Court upheld the verdict of Sindh High Court (SHC) regarding acquittal of MQM workers in Hakim Said murder case.