Urdu is a very rich language and development of Urdu literature is inseparably related to the development of the language itself. The Urdu literature has been dominated by the verse forms of ghazals and nazm, but there are brilliantly written novels in Urdu as well. The Urdu novels have successfully depicted themes like family, hope, love, hatred, relationship, trust, animosity, and the prevailing culture.
There is a great impact of literature on the development of society. Civilizations have been shaped, political systems changed, and injustice has been brought to light with the help of literature. It has been called a mirror of the society. It helps in understanding life and providing a detailed preview of the human experiences.
Do you know: Today, the novel is longest genre of narrative prose fiction (Source: Wikipedia)
10 best Urdu novels
Here are some of the best Urdu novels, which should definitely be included in one’s reading list.
1. Mann Chalay Ka Sauda by Ashfaq Ahmed
Ashfaq Ahmed was a prolific writer, playwright, and broadcaster of Pakistan. He has written several books in Urdu. This beautiful book written by him is a pure piece of art. It tells about an extraordinary and unforgettable spiritual journey. It is, undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful and inspiring works. This is a book about mysticism, path of spirituality, and code of life. If you love Urdu novels and Urdu literature then this book should definitely be included in your reading list.
2. Qaisar-o-Kasra by Naseem Hijazi
The real name of Naseem Hijazi was Sharif Husssain. He was known for writing the Islamic Historical fiction. His exquisite novels based upon the Islamic history are very unique and are considered to be one of a kind in Urdu literature. The novel Qaisar o Kasra describes the era of rise of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula. It tells the story of rise to political, educational and economic power. It also tells about the first Muslim community established in Medina. It is an informational and enlightening novel.
3. Basti by Intizar Husain
Intizar Hussain is one of the most known and famous writers of Urdu Language. His Urdu novels have been translated to English as well. Basti is among the great novels of Urdu language. It is written exquisitely. It is beautiful and inventive. It deals with the violent history of a country whose unstable condition is source of concern for the whole world. The novel starts with surreal and peaceful time as the protagonist looks at his childhood, when the subcontinent was not divided. Then he is evicted from that peaceful place and he sees the place being torn apart with political, religious, linguistic, and economic conflicts.
4. Aag Ka Darya by Qurratulain Hyder
Qurratulain Hyder is a well-known name in Urdu literature. She has written several beautiful Urdu novels. One of the novels written by her is Aag ka Darya. It is written in the context of the partition of Indian subcontinent. This novel has been described as one of the best novels of the Indian subcontinent. The timeline of the novel is spanned over two thousand years. It starts during the time of Chandragupta Maurya and comes to the partition of 1947. It has also been translated in English.
5. Mirat-al-Urus by Nazir Ahmed Dehlvi
It is one of the classic novels of Urdu Literature. This novel is credited for creating an entire genre of fictional work dedicated to the importance of female education, not just in Urdu language but also in Hindi, Punjabi, Kashmiri, and other languages spoken in the subcontinent. It was published in 1869 and promotes the theme of female education in the Muslim and Indian society.
6. Gypsy by Mustansar Hussain Tarar
Mustansar Hussain Tarar is a well-known name in Pakistan. He is an author, actor, the first presenter of morning show in Pakistan, and a pioneer trekker. He is an adventurer and has put many of his adventures into words. He has written several travelogues based on his own experiences. Gypsy is not a travelogue, but a beautiful novel. It is about relationships. It is written beautifully and can be an excellent addition to the book collection.
7. Shaheen by Naseem Hijazi
Naseem Hijazi was the pseudonym used by Sharif Hussain. He is known for writing Islamic history fiction. Shaheen is also written in the same genre, which follows the fall of Muslim empire in Spain. It entails the reasons behind the fall of the empire. It also follows the story of two protagonists, Musa Bin Ibe Ghusan and Badar Bin Mughera.
8. Shahabnama by Qudratullah Shahab
This is an autobiography of an ordinary Muslim Kashmiri boy and is considered as one of its kind. It follows the journey of a boy who gains success and leads a prestigious life. It is expressive, bold, and has a touch of spiritualism.
9. Imran Series by Mazhar Kaleem
This is a series of Urdu spy novels written by Mazhar Kaleem. These Urdu novels are written within the mythos created by Ibn-e-Safi. Mazhar Kaleem has written more than four hundred books of this series. These are interesting as well as full of suspense and action. His characters are vibrant and captivating. This series explains the working of the secret service of a fictional country called Pakasia.
10. Raja Gidh by Bano Qudsia
This novel is written by Bano Qudsia; a renowned writer, playwright, and spiritualist. The novel reflects the anarchic society based upon the concept of haram and halal. It is a powerful novel, which compels the reader to think and contemplate. This novel lays special stress upon the materialistic approach of people towards life.
Literature is the study of life. It not only helps in understanding the present, but also illuminates it, and shows us the possible future. Literature has been part of human civilizations in several different forms like prose, poetry, and narrative etc. Novel is also one of the genres of literature. It is a long narrative and is normally written in prose form. This is a very popular genre of literature.
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