Ghamidi has written and lectured widely on the Qur’an, Islamic law and various other aspects of Islam. He is the founder-president of Al-Mawrid Institute of Islamic Sciences (www.al-mawrid.org) and is the chief editor of the Urdu Monthly “Ishraq” (www.ghamidi.net/Ishraq.html) and the English Monthly “Renaissance” (www.monthly-renaissance.com). He is also the founder of the Mus‘ab School System (www.musab.edu.pk). He appears regularly on various tv channels to discuss Islam and some contemporary issues as a part of his campaign to educate people about Islam. His talks and lectures can be accessed online from www.javedahmadghamidi.com and www.meezan.tv.
Ghamidi has drawn heavily from the Qur’anic thought of his two illustrious predecessors, Hamid al-Din al-Farahi and Amin Ahsan Islahi presenting many of their views in a more precise manner. However, many of his contributions to the Islamic thought are original.
Both these features can be witnessed in his ongoing annotated translation of the Qur’an, al-Bayan. It takes the reader close to the classical Arabic of the Qur’an in which ideas are conveyed with brevity and terseness. Words and concepts which are understood are suppressed and left to the perspicacity of the reader. To achieve this brevity, various devices are employed in classical Arabic which are not found in most other languages. Ghamidi has tried to unfold the meaning of the divine message by taking into consideration these devices within the text of the translation.
Another original contribution of Ghamidi is his categorization of the contents of religion. According to him, the Qur’an itself divides the contents of Islam in two categories: al-Hikmah and al-Shariah. Whilst the former refers to topics related to the philosophy of religion, the latter to those that relate to law. Ghamidi further classifies these two categories into sub-categories. The former comprises two sub-categories: Faith and Ethics and the latter comprises ten sub-categories: The Shariah of Worship Rituals, The Social Shariah, The Political Shariah, The Economic Shariah, The Shariah of Preaching, The Shariah of Jihad, The Penal Shariah, The Dietary Shariah, Islamic Customs and Etiquette, Oaths and their Atonement. In each of these categories, Ghamidi has made unique contributions in interpreting the directives of the Qur’an. Examples include his views on the specific nature of the preaching mission of Abraham’s progeny, the punishment of apostasy, the testimony and diyat of women, the etiquette of gender interaction, slavery in Islam, the requisites of citizenship, inheritance laws and the general and specific directives of jihad.
Ghamidi has also contributed to the science of hermeneutics. He has enunciated foundational principles of understanding Islam in his essay, Usul-o mabadi (Fundamental Principles). These principles take into account the specific nature of the texts of the Qur’an and Ḥadith. One distinctive feature of the approach that pervades these principles is what can be summed up in the form of a dictum: the Ḥadith should be interpreted in the light shed by the Qur’an and not vice versa.
An important contribution of Ghamidi is the distinction he has made between shariah and fiqh. They are generally rather loosely regarded as synonymous. Whilst the former is divine, the latter is a human endeavour and thus the two must be distinguished from one another. In his seminal work on Islam, Mizan, he has attempted to decipher the shariah from the sources of Islam.
Another prominent contribution of Ghamidi is his concept and definition of the word Sunnah. Whilst categorizing it to be distinct from Ḥadith, he has laid down certain principles to precisely determine its corpus. By applying these principles, he has actually come up with a list of contents of the Sunnah.
Ghamidi has also presented an integrated framework of the concepts and terms of Islam in his essay Ḥaqiqat-i din (The Essence of Religion). This framework in itself is a representative of a complete interpretation of Islam in contrast with the two other prevailing interpretations of Islam in the Muslim ummah: the taṣawwuf-based interpretation and the jihad-based interpretation.
Burhan and Maqamat are two of Ghamidi’s other books. The former is a treatise in which contemporary religious thoughts have been critically analyzed, while the latter is a collection of religious and literary essays.
www.javedahmadghamidi.com is a resource site on his life and works.