Poets

Bhatti, Munir (b.1964)

Munir Bhatti is a unique Christian poet who has probably written the largest number of contemporary Christian songs.
 
He first came to public view in 1985 when he started contributing in the magazine Aftab-e-Sedaqat. He went on to produce fifty-eight audio cassettes. Bhatti then joined ROMA cassette ministry in 1986, and has since successfully released another12 volumes.
 
In the eastern tradition of life-long gratitude extended to one's teachers, Munir Bhatti always wishes it to be known that his teachers were B M Yad, and Pervaiz Paras. Though, himself a man of letters with mastery of words written to create devotion the Lord Jesus, Bhatti is known to the Urdu and Punjabi speaking Christian masses for his popular songs, which are too many to be listed here. His most popular religious songs according to one of his fans are: Zindgi Ka Darya, Saleeb Kay Sa'aye Talay, Yassoo Tujehay Salam, Yassoo Zinda ho Gaya, Peyar Ka Saggar and Christian Qawali, Hallelujah.
 
Bhatti also has the honour of being a Christian poet whose poetry is sung by notable Christian as well as non-Christian singers including, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Anwar Raffi, Ghulam Abbas, Perviaz Shan and Ernest Mall.
 
He is worthy but a humble recipient of several awards: Qaid-e-Azam Gold Award, Husn-e-Kar Kardigee Award, Bishop John Joseph Award, Gethsemane Award and Christian Talent Award.The latest addition to his growing list of honours was the awarding of Certificate of Merit presented to him by the Bright Future Society. The certificate was presented to him in Lahore by the UK's Lord Mayor Nazir Ahmad, who visited Pakistan in the May of 2010.

Shahbaz, Younis (b. 1949)

A contemporary scholar whose pen easily and quite successfully spans the complexities of four major languages, Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi and English, Mr. Younis Shabaz has made his mark among the Urdu speaking Christian community by writing popular religious songs. His songs are an eloquent proof of his command over the language that he writes: in Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi. He has also become iconic for his work with the Christian Broadcasting Association (CBA). Three of his plays, Paras, Nia Qdam and Zahoor-e- Zindigi have been televised from Pakistan Television (PTV), Lahore, Pakistan.
 
 Younis Shahbaz also has to his enduring credit the honour of being the chief-patron for the magazine, Cornerstone. This prolific play-writer, poet and translator of several religious books, hails from the city of Sialkot, a city known for producing scholars and poets of the highest calibre. With Masters degrees in English and Punjabi, and a life-time commitment to advancing the cause of Christian Urdu literature, Younis Shahbaz is a name to be followed for may years to come.

Feroze, Dr. Kanwal

Dr. K. Feroze is a renowned poet, writer and journalist of Pakistan who is credited with being the author of four poetry books: "Shehar-e-Saleeb-o-Gul" (1967), "Shakh-e-Shab-e-Wisaal" (1992), "Sham-e-Firat-e-Dil" (2002) and "Shafaq-e-Subh-e-Ghazal" (2009).

Although his poetry has won him great fame and honour in the elite scholarly and literary circles of Pakistan, his real popularity among the common Urdu readers of Pakistan, and espacially among those belonging to the minorities, is due to his socio-political and literary magazine, "Shadab", which he founded and has edited since 1969.

Dr. Kanwal Feroze is the recipient of several major awards and prizes. The latest and most important of these prizes is "Tamgha-e-Imtiaz" (President's Medal of Excellence), bestowed upon him by the Government of Pakistan in 2009.

Shahbaz, Dr. Imam-ud-Deen (1845 - 1921)

Padri Imam-ud-Deen Shahbaz, popularly known as ID Shahbaz,  was born in 1845 in a small village Zafarwal near Narowal (now in Pakistan). He was born in a muslim family and was attracted to the message of Christianity from the tender age of about ten years. As an adult he joined the 
Church Missionary Society (Anglican Church) School in Amratsar, India,  as a teacher, and it was here that he was baptized by Padri Robert Clark in 1866. Between 1866 and 1875 he taught in various schools and then worked as an evengalist bwteen 1875 and 1880.  In 1880 the United Presbytarian (UP) Church announced a poetry compititon in the magazine, Noor Afshan. Many scholars and linguists took part in it, but ID Shahabz was delared the winner and was invited to help the Church with the work of translating the Psalms into Punjabi language. This turned out to be landmark moment of his life and this oppurtunity became his lifelong passion and a source of untold blessing to the millions of Urdu/Pujabi speaking Christians. He was trusted with the responisiblility of nurturering the UP Church in Gurdaspur.
 
His lasting contribution to Christianity in the Sub-continent was his poetic rendition of Psalms into Punjabi. In the later part of his life, his eyesight gradually failed  until around 1908 he became  virtually (according to some sources completley) blind. However, his efforts did not stop with this misfortune. With the help of another Christian minister, Babu Sadiq Masih, who used to read the Psalms for him, ID Shahbaz continued rendering them into Punjabi and setting them to tunes.  This monumental contribution to the Christian worship was appreciated around the world and ID Shahbaz was presented with the prestigious award, Doctor of Divinity (DD) by an American University. 
 
ID Shahbaz was also one of the founders of the Sailkot Convention. He served as a teacher and pastor for the Presbyterian Church, but the Punjabi Zabures, which he translated and set to tunes, are sung by Christians of all denominations throughout Pakistan and India, indeed everywhere where Urdu or Punjabi Christians congregate  to worship their Lord. 
 
DR. ID Shahbaz died in Bulwal District Sargodha in 1921.

Patrick, Professor Victoria

A living legend, worthy of honourable mention here, Professor Victoria Patrick is a writer, teacher, translator, poetess, songwriter, educator and educationalist. Professor Patrick has 37 years of teaching experience, having taught for 32 years at Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore and 5 years at Foreman Christian College (C.U.), Lahore.
 
In her long and productive life, she has published extensively. Her titles include, "Rehmat" (poems on women's issues) with cassette, and "Ao karobar karen" (sponsored by UNICEF), "Deep deep ujala" (educational poems and songs), "Pankharian" (32 poems for children published by Nirali Kitabein as a textbook), and "Rahein" (booklet on problem-solving for neo-literates sponsored by UNESCO). At present she is working on her 2 forthcoming books for the National Commission for Human Development, Islamabad.":Pyar kay rishtay" and "Sunehary Din". Her other works under process of publication include, "Chandi dhuan dhuan" (poetry), "Sadhran"(Punjabi poems), "Nae ufaq kay Geet" (poetry for women) and "Lehr lehr roshni"(religious poems and songs). 
 
Prof. Patrick has translated more than 70 books from English into Urdu. Some of her main works in this area are listed here: "The upper room" for 10 years and prepared 5 cycles of "Daily Bread" for Scripture Union Pakistan. The other organizations for which she has translated include: the Pakistan Bible Society , Masihi Ishayat Khana, the Director of Social Welfare Government of Punjab, Good News Ministry, Jesus Christ Television (regular translator of 700 club and In-touch Ministries) and N.C.C.P. (National Council of Churches in Pakistan). Her original Urdu articles have appeared in many reputable, and nationally circulated newspapers and magazines including: Nawa-e waqt, Caritas, Naqeeb, Nai Dyniya, Qasid-e Jadeed, Shadab, Sawan, Humsukhan, and Tadeeb. Between 1959 and 1961 her short stories appeared in "Hilal", a Pakistan Army weekly.
 
Over the years, she has earned honours and awards which number more than 60, a few of which are listed here: Best Poetess Award (Masihi Bazm-e Danish 1982), Sitara-e Pakistan (Girl Guide Association 1984), Best Poetess Award (Caritas Pakistan 1986-1988), Adbi Wirsa Award for Poetry (1998), I. D. Shahabaz Award (Christian Writers' Guild 2003), Lyricist Award (Waves Studio 2002), Fatima Jinnah Gold Medal in recognition of educational and literary services (12th Governor of Punjab 2004), Silver Jubilee Cerebration Award (LRI 2008), LCC Church (2009), B.M. Yad Award (2010).
 
Prof. Patrick also has made her mark in musical realms, and lyrics written by her have been sung by some of the most popular singers: Maan di chunni chavway, (sung by Usatand Nurat Fateh Alli Khan), Jey maan Mrryam (Noor Jehan), Ao ahl-e jehan hum chraghan karain (A. Nayyar and Mehnaz), Ehd karien and Aman ka panchi (Benjamin sisters), Nai zamin ho niya asman (A. Nayyar), Rabba putran de phutt (Saira Khanam) and Mann Mariyam banai khuda ney (Surrya Khanam). Her song Roshni roshni sara alam huwa is included in the Sialkot Convention song book.
 
Prof. Patrick, used to read a radio column for the women's programme Hamari Duniya and co-ordinated Christmas and Easter programmes for T.V, radio and various institutions and organizations. She planned programmes and lessons for adult literacy, reproductive health and religious curricula , and conducted literacy programmes and worked for literacy development with Kinnaird College Senior Guides. Though officially retired, she still performs her educational and literary activities as a continuation of her lifetime contributions. Her current activities include producing educational materials for young children in the form of CDs, and DVDs.

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