Padri Prem Bhaghat (پادری پریم بھگت) was a preacher, minister, spiritual guide and Christian song-writer who will be remembered for both his pastoral services and his songs. He was born in a Christian family of a small village, Glotiyan khurd ( گلوٹیاں خورد ) in the Sialkot District of India (now in Pakistan). His date of birth is recorded as 1st January 1910. His father was a minister with the Church of Scotland Mission. Bhagat received his elemenatry education in his village and then moved to Christian Teaching Institue (CTI) to complete his middle grades. It was during this time that he suffered first major loss of his life, as his father died and the young Bhaghat was left alone to fend for himself and his family. Being deeply influenced by his father and having a natural aptitude for theological studies he gravitated towards his future calling. He often visited his maternal uncle Jallal, an employee of the railway department, who lived in Thata Faqir walla (ٹھٹہ فقیر والا ). There he met a local missionary Padri A. M. David who trained him and appointed him as a evangelist in the area called Kot Inayat Khan in 1934. Then between 1934 and 1936 he received further theological training at Daska Divitnity School before returning as a preacher in 1937. In 1965 while serving in Sohdra (سوہدرہ) Bhaghat was appointed as a Padri and for rest of his life he carried this title with dignity.
It is reported by those who knew him that God used him mightily for his work and that through his prayers many were healed.
His published works are:
1. Muktee da parchar ( مکتی دا پرچار )
2. Wazirabad Convention Geet ki Kitab (وزیرآباد کنوینشن گیت کی کتاب )
3. Zikr-e Munajee (ذ کر منجی)
4. Muqadas Yahoona Rasool da Pehla aam khat- Punjabi nazam tay Zaboor deyan ragan wich
(مقدس یو حنا رسول دا پہلا عام خط پنجابی نظم تے زبور دیاں را گاں وچ )
5. Muqadas hafta (مقدس ہفتہ )
6. Zikr-e bhagtan sha'heedan ( ذ کر بھگتاں شہیداں )
7. Zikr-e Munaji (number 2) ( ذ کر منجی - نمر ٢)
Some of the most polpular worship and devotional songs sung by Churches throughout the Urdu/Punjabi speaking Christians were written by him. Following three are the best examples:
1. Halelluja bolo Yesu zinda ho gaya (ہیلیلو یاہ بولو یسوع زندہ ہو گیا)
2. Calvary day saharay, papee bach day nain saray
(کلوری دے سہارے پاپی بچ دے نے سا رے )
3. Dil mayra lay lay peyray Yesu ( دل میرا لے لے پیارے یسوع )
4. Bhalya ays jag tay melah ghari di ghari ( بھلیا ایس جگ تے میلہ گھڑی دی گھڑی)
Dispite being a clebrated song-writer, and much sought after minister, he never acknowledge any human being as his mentor and guide. His own testimony often included words to the effect: God has taught me without a teacher.
In the prefaces of his books Padri Prem Bhaghat has thanked many people in connection with the selection and editing of his songs, these include: Padri B. M. Khanda, Master Nadeem, Padri Sadiq Haie Mall, Dr. A. N. Nadeem, Padri Khair Deen, and Bishop W. G. Young.
Padri Sahib was a sincere student and an honest lover of the entire Word of God, but his favorite single verse was:
Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
This seeker of the Crown of Life slept in the mercy of his Savior on the 4th February 1982.
The above facts are taken from 15-page Urdu pamphlet with following bibliographical details:
Masih, Professor Padri Rehmat, (Wazirabad: Saet Iqbal, Christian Town Ahmad Nagar Road, no date).
© Akhtar Injeeli 31/01/2013