PADRI WARIS-UD-DIN, M. B. E.

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Abstract

This sketch of the life of Padri Waris-ud-Din is summarised from an Urdu pamphlet by his friend and fellow-convert Padri R. M. Wa'iz. The writer was originally named Rahmat Ali after the Shi'ah leader and grandson of Mohammed. At his baptism the name of Ali was changed to that of Christ and he became Rahmat Masih (Mercy of Christ). As preacher and later as clergyman connected with the Church Missionary Society, Padri R. M. Wa'iz has been a voluminous writer, especially of Christian hymns, and his Rahat-i-Dil (Heart's Ease) is a very widely used hymn-book among Panjabi village Christians. Every Urdu verse writer takes on a nom de plume, and Rahmat Masih chose that of Wa'iz (preacher). By this name he was ordained, and is known.

The Shi'ah sect of Islam, to which the Khoja clan belongs, forms a small minority of the Indian Moslems. They revere Ali the son-in-law of Mohammed as his only true successor, and the commemoration of his son's martyrdom at Karbala is the most distinctive observance of their religion.

It was at Narowal that Robert Bruce of the Church Missionary Society first labored, before he went to found their Persia Mission in 1869. The life of his successor, Rowland Bateman, has been depicted by an Indian civilian, Robert Maconachie (published by C. M. S. in 1917). Until recently Narowal was remote, and approached by the worst roads in the countryside; it is now a railway junction with lines in three directions.

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