Shamas, Mehmood

The recipient of the 1993  National Culture Award, and the founder-chairman of the Pyramid Arts Promotion Society, Mr. Mehmood Shamas is well-known writer and editor of books and magazines. He has previously served as a superintendent for the Lahore Meusem, an  institution of cultural heritage managed by the Govertnment of the Punjab. He is currently serving as a book editor for the Nirali Kitabain, Lahore.  He is also the Chief editor for Pak-Swedish Focus Magazine,  and editor of the monthly magazine, Mudawa.

He acknowledges Syed Ahmad Qazi as his literaray mentor and teacher.  Over the last many years he has contributed volumiously to various reputabel magazines, among which are, khushboo, Nai Sooch, Nawa-e Waqt, Tadeeb, Humsookhan, Safar Namay, Catholic Naqeeb, and Shalome.
A man of literary aspirations and social conciousness, Shamas is ever busy in his passions of juournalism, poetry, music, activities of social welfare and promoting the preservation of cultural heritage.  To this end, there are several  publications under process, and will be soon mentioned on this webpage.

Qaiser, Dr. Liaquat

A prominent contemporary Christian  theologian,, church administrator, a much-sought-after convention speaker, and a prolific writer, Dr. Liaquat Qaiser is   the Principal of Full Gospel Assemblies (FGA) Bible College and  a very prominent Christian intellectuals of Pakistan.  He was born in Lahore,  and after completing his Seminary training in Pakistan went   onto earn a doctorate from the USA. He was awarded DD in 2005.   He currently also serves as Chairman for the Open Theological Seminary (OTS) Lahore, and Senior Vice President of the Pakistan Bible Society.

Dr. Qaiser started his writing career in 1970. Since then he has published  scores of articles for various newspapers including Jang, Nawa-e Waqt, and The News, as well as for Satoon-e Haq, a Christian monthly published by the FGA. Dr. Qaiser is the patron and editor-in-chief for the magazine and writes for it regularly though not exclusively. His views and articles regularly find place in various other Christian magazines such as Hamsookhan, Kalam-e Haq, Sada-e Aqleeyat, Shadab and Shalome.       He has thus far published two books, namely Masihi khadam ki  roya     (مسیحی خادم کیرویا ) ,   Meyari Masihi Khadam (معیاری مسیحی خادم)  Azdwaj ka Saffar  ( ازدواج کا سفر ).  His literary achievements have attracted international  attention which is testified to by a dozen awards presented to him. David Penman Award was given to him in 1990, and Eternal Life Ministry Award in 2007.

He is also an accomplished translator and the following is only a partial list of the books and tracts that he has translated from English into Urdu. (only the Urdu titles are given below).

1. Harmajdooan tak ( ہرمجدون تک)

2. Shiffa ka Saffar  (شفا کا سفر)
3. Main waqiya he khoobsoorat kaisay ban sakti hoonمیں واقعی خوبصورت کیسے بن سکتی  ہوں ) 
4. Ishtrakiyat main neyya inqlaab  ( اشتراکیت میں نیا انقلاب)
5. Rooh-ul Quddas: maira azeem shareek-e kar  (روح القدس میرا عظیم شریک کار)
6. Mazameen Bible kay  ( مضامین بائبل کے)
7. Kaleesiya ki tareekh: Pantikost say islah tak (کلیسیا کی تاریخ : پنتیکوست سے اصلاح تک )

Sarhadhi, Ain Meem Badr (b. 1940)

A deep social thinker, and an incisive political analyst, Ain Meem Badr Sarhadi (ع- م - بدر سرحدی)  has boldly carved his place in the realm of contemporary Urdu speaking intellectuals by publishing his treatise,Nazriya-e Qaid, reyasat aur Aqliyatain(نظریہ قائد، ریاست اور اقلیتیں ).   The meritorious status of this short but solid scholarly document is testified to by Malik Maeraj Khaild, the care-taker Prime Minister of Pakistan, in his Harf-e Awal (Preface).
Sarahdi is truly a God-gifted writer, a fact that is brought home on reading his book and  realizing that he has no academic achievements to his name nor can he produce any paper attesting to his formal education. He is very grateful to his mentors like Manzoor Rahi, and Emmanuel Zafar, Chief-editor of Haumsookhan, and gives them their due credit in his Foreword to the said book.  The other prominent Christan scholar whose help and guidance he graciously acknowledges is Father Emmanuel Assi. Although his enduring status among the CUWAP will be due to his political analyses, in his early career he did produce some poetic verses which are not in my possession as yet.
In 1955/56 one of his Ghazzals was published in Qandeel, Lahore (a weekly literary magazine, then edited by Sher Mohammad Akhtar). In that decade he tried to teach himself the art of writing and reciting poetry and he did so by  attending a  weekly event that took place in the Regal Chowk of Lahore. There he met and was benefited by his association with the greats of the field  like Allama Lateef Anwar and Kanwal Ferozepuri (now Dr. Kanwal Feroze, editor of Shadab). It was in this setting that he adopted his pen name Badr Sarhadi and published several poems and Ghazzals in several different magazines, including Qandeel and Istaqlal.
In the decade of seventies Badr Sarhadi turned his attention to writing for newspapers. His articles about political and social issues were published by nationally circulated papers among which were, Nawa-e Waqat, Nada-e Milliat, and  Sadaqat among others.  In 1985 when Separate Electorate system was introdueced for the minorities of Pakistan, Badr Sarhadi again commented on it prolifically. And later still when Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, then the Prime Minister of Pakistan, declared that "the minorities are a sacred trust", our man again took the governmental institutions to task for unfair treatment of this "sacred trust". His articles on this particular issue appeared Nawa-e Waqat and Jang (Lahore), between March 6-14 1989.
Having read Ain Meem Badr Sarhadi's book, I have no reservation in acknowledging him as a self-made man of letters, a true intellectual and a very courageous voice of sanity among Christians of Pakistan struggling to establish their socio-political presence in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan while trying  to reclaim their full identity as citizens of Qaid's Pakistan, which was based on secularist principles.

Yad, Dr. Yousaf Masih

One of the most prolific Christian Urdu writers of modern times, Dr. Yousaf Masih Yad, is well known to the Urdu-speaking Christian community throughout the world. He is a self-made man of letters who has been awarded a Doctor of Divinity (Hons) by the Faith Theological Seminary of Gujranwala, Pakistan. His research articles have appeared in every Christian magazine and publication of Pakistan.
Yad was born in Sialkot in a humble and hardworking Christian household. Losing his father when he was still a small child, his formal education finished with the completion of his FSc from Edward College, Peshawar. This, however, did not prevent him from pursuing his love of education. In 1999 he earned a certificate from Open Theological Seminary, Lahore, and was soon appointed a tutor at the same institution. He then continued studying theology at Faith Theological Seminary, Gujranwala and was awarded BTh (1983), MDiv (1997), and DD (1999).
The awards and honours bestowed on Yad are many, and the following is only an abridged and representative list: Community Adbi Award (YCO Peshawar 1982), Padri Abdul Haq Award (Pakistan Christian Writers Guild 1998), Adbi Virsa Award (Caritas Pakistan 1998), Tak Kashmiri Award (Lahore Diocese 2000) and David Penman Award (Gulf Diocese 2002).
In Christian literary circles, Dr. Yad is often referred to as Mard-e Qalum مرد قلم (the man of pen), a title that he well deserves. Yad's first article appeared in Qasid-e Jadeed in 1952, and his pen has since then never stopped. He has published scores of high calibre research articles and has himself edited two Christian periodicals, Peyam and Zaire-o-zabar, both published in Peshawar. In addition, he continues to serve on the editorial boards of several nationally circulated publications.
The published books of Dr. Yad are as follows:
1. Bunyadi pathar بنیا دی پتھر
2. Azamt-ul Kitab عظمت الکتاب
3. Azeem Khawateen عظیم خواتین
4. Afzunissa افضل النسا
5. Pak-o-Hind main Masihiyat پاک و ہند میں مسیحیت
6. Tooma Hind-o-Pak main توما ہندو پاک میں
7. Batul ham kay sheher main بیت الحم کے شہر میں
8. Masihi Qalamkaroon say rabtay مسیحی قلمکاروں سے را بطے
9. Sirat-ul Masih سیرت المسیح
10. Jamal-e shahadat جمال شہادت
11. Yahoodiyon ka badsha یہودیوں کا بادشاہ
12. Nagarshat-e Yad نگارشات یاد
13. Peyara Paksita پیارا پاکستان
14. Al Quddas القدّس
15. Rooza روزہ
In the book Mard-e Qalum, to Dr. Yad's enduring credit, fifty-six prominent writers and poets have expressed their love, admiration and appreciation of his life and works. This salutary festschrift* has been published by the Christian Writers Guild, Bannoo, and contains contributions from scholars such as Griffen Jones Sharar, Kanwal Feroze, Arthur Barki Arthur and Sarfraz Tabassum among others. Mard-e Qalum contains both prose and poetry and, judging by its literary qualities, is a valuable addition to Christian Urdu literature.
* lit. German, fest: celebration; schrift: writing

Alam, Pastor Bashir

Pastor Bashir Alam is undoubtedly the most prolific original Urdu writer the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Pakistan has produced in the last one hundred years and more. His contributions to the world of Christian Urdu literature are numerous and noteworthy. His books include, Sila-e-Nijjat and Suchi Kahaniyan Hamara Virsa. The former is a collection of his sermons and articles which had previously appeared in Qasid-e-Jadeed, the latter a compilation of his articles about important Biblical themes. Both volumes are an eloquent testimony of Alam's love for his Lord, deep commitment to his religion and mastery of the intricacies of Urdu language. In addition to his published books, he has also authored scores of other articles in Qasid-e-Jadeed and Sehat, the two monthly magazines published by the church's headquarters in Lahore. He has the distinct honour of being appointed twice, the editor of these magazines. In 1999, the Seventh-day Adventist Church administration, recognizing his contributions presented him with a Shield of Appreciation.

Pastor Bashir Alam has also translated, form English into Urdu, eight books, three of which are by Mrs. Ellen G White, one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Mrs. White's books are are held in very high esteem by its members and are believed to be and often referred to as the Spirit of Prophecy books. The EGW books he translated are: The Desire of Ages (Zamanoon ki Umang), The Ministry of Healing (Shifa kay Chashmay) and Acts of the Apostles (Ibtadai Kelisia Kay Darakhshan Sitary). The other books he translated are, Eight sure steps to health and happiness (Shahra-e-Shifa), The truth will set you free (Sachai Tumay Azad Karey Gee), Sweet Poison (Zehar-e-Laziz), Sunday Law (Yeh Haqiqat woh Afsana), and Where There is No Doctor (Jehan Doctor Nahien, Nau tarmeem edition 2008).
In his long and productive service to the Seventh-day Adventist Church he has taught Urdu and theology at Pakistan Adventist Seminary, ministered as a church pastor, authored books, edited magazines and served as a church administrator. He, though officially retired from active service in 1999 as the president of the Northern Section, continues his literary activities and continues to be a beacon of light for his many readers.
Pastor Alam's track record as an Urdu writer in the SDA Church is one that will be hard to break in the near future.