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10 Best Urdu Novels You Must Read

Urdu Literature is very rich so is the genre of Fiction, Urdu novels have quite a vast audience all over Pakistan and in some places of India too, where Urdu has been read. Urdu novels history start right from the Pre Partition era and the first ever novelist of Urdu language was Deputy Nazir Ahmed, his novels have a certain didactic tone, still presently some popular Urdu novels carry didactic tone but yet they won’t lose the interest of the readers. Urdu novels have a wide variety of genres, from historical fiction to romance, from fantasy to suspense and drama.There are various social issues and evils which were addressed very artfully in these novels. This blog contains top ten all time best novels of Urdu Literature. The rating was based on their popularity. Hoping that novel readers will find this blog interesting.

1. Aag Ka Darya

According to Daily Times “one of the Indian subcontinent’s best known novels”, written by Quratulain Haider. The novel’s setting is set in Indian subcontinent partition and the timeline of the novel is over two thousand years covering the era of Chandragupta Maurya to the partition of 1947. The writer was a daughter of famous Urdu short story writer Syed Sajjad Haider Yaldaram ,she migrated to Pakistan but then moved back to India, this novel was written during her stay in Karachi.

2. Raja Gidh

Raja Gidh written by an eminent writer,a literary giant Bano Qudsiyah ,wife of another giant of Urdu Literature Ashfaq Ahmed. The title of the novel Raja Gidh is itself allegorical as it depicts a kingdom, and gidh is a vulture who feeds on the corpses. The idea or the basic theme of the novel is that one can’t prosper on “Rizq-e- Haraam” and materialistic well being does not truly depict the overall well being or prosperity. Moreover the greed or want for more leads towards the madness, an incurable madness which the narrator of the novel Qayyum seemed to be in and the protagonist Seema who fell for her classmate Aftab, a handsome kashmiri boy, but their love story not materialized.

3. Udaas Naslain

Written by Abdullah Hussein, Udaas Naslain is one of the most popular novels of Urdu literature.The novel was based on the feudal system of then undivided subcontinent, British, Hindu and Muslims are the characters of the novel.Different aspects of a generation are very artfully narrated in the novel.

4. Dastak Na Dou

Dastak na Dou is considered as one of the finest novel of Urdu Literature, written by Altaf Fatima, Urdu short story writer, novelist and a teacher. The title was based on the philosophy of Chinese Tao which says “Do no knock”. The novel was set in undivided India to the post partition Pakistan. The characters of the novel was very skilfully crafted the protagonist a chinese boy Safdar who always find within him an irresistible inclination towards a girl Geeti whose flat features reminds him of his country and countrymen.In short a beautiful well crafted story.

5. Bano

Bano is a tragic novel based on the life of girl who became the victim of Indo-Pak Partition mayhem.Written by Pakistan’s renowned writer Razia Butt. Bano is a novel that revolves around the protagonist Bano whose entire family was killed and her life was destroyed eventually, she gone through numerous tortures including forcefully marrying a Sikh and she faces similar kind of behavior when she finally migrated to Lahore.The novel was also televised in a drama and was a huge hit.

6. Shaheen

Nasim Hijazi and his historical fiction novels have a special place for Islamic history lovers and are considered as one of the best and most popular novels, particularly his novel Shaheen is considered as one of his best novel. The setting on the novel was in Spain, Granada, it explains the conditions of muslims after being expelled from Spain. The destruction and loss of power of muslims were very skillfully depicted by the writer.

7. Peer -e Kamil

Umera Ahmed’s novel Peer -e- Kamil reached new zenith of popularity and is considered as one of the best novel of Urdu Literature. The plot of the novel is flawless. The story of the novel revolve around the two main characters Salar and Imama, its is the story of their journey towards the sirat ul mustaqeem (the righteous path). The title Peer-e- Kamil literally means The perfect mentor restate the concept of Holy Prophet being the only and perfect Mentor to whom there is no parallel , no one can reach his grandeur.

8. Dil Diya Dehleez

Written by Riffat Siraj, the novel was published in karachi in 1999, the novel revolves around the story of a feudal class family, their mysterious behaviour enfolds their secrets later. The novel unfolds the story of two generations and reveal their secrets. The story revolves around the protagonist Roshi her tragedies and her love for Bari , one of the most charming yet mysterious character, later in the end writer after showing a lot of tragedies and injustices consoled the novel by showing a happy union of Bari and Roshi.

9. Amarbail

Amarbail is one of the finest novel written by Umera Ahmed.The novel depicts the corrupt system of Pakistan and how a person despite not wanting to be part of it becomes its victim. The novel reveals a tragedy of the character Umar and his death. The novel also reveals the tragedy of protagonist Eliza and her love for Umar which was not materialized. The novel also portrays the corrupt yet extremely powerful bureaucratic system and also depicts the vicious circle of corruption the country was trapped in.

10. Charagar

Charagar is a story of revenge that turned into a happy ending. Written by Bushra Rehman, the novel revolves around the story of Shabnam’s,a girl who was abducted soon after her birth by a courtesan who exchanged her newborn with Shabnam for avenging her father because he declined her advances.However things don’t work as she desired, she want shabnam to be a prostitute but she turned into a respectable doctor and later she fell in love with a handsome Doctor.

About Mohsin Iqbal

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