10 Best Selling Urdu Novels to Read background img
April 6, 2018

10 Best Selling Urdu Novels to Read

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urdu novels to read- pir-e-kamil

Urdu, the official language of Pakistan, is not just restricted to Pakistan. It is widely spoken and understood in India and also in Afghanistan. Further more, Urdu is officially recognized by Our Constitution of India as one of the 22 official language. Urdu, to me is the language of love and God. A language that very beautifully and gracefully makes everything very respectable and charming.  Moreover, Literature knows no language, no boundaries. So, why should we restrict our reading habits to just Hindi and English Languages?  The Urdu literature comes from the development of Urdu Language. Urdu developed in Malegaon, while Urdu literature had its origin some time around the 14th century in present day North India. While the Urdu literature is mostly dominated by poetry,there is more to it than just Nazm and Ghazals. With the recent development of interest in writing  Urdu literature has also stretched its wings to other styles of writing, like afsana, i.e., short stories and novels.  So lets expand our horizon and add Urdu novels in our book list.  Ahead, Urdu novels to read at least once in your life time.

#1 Pir-e-Kamil (Peer-e-Kamil)

Pir-e-Kamil by Umera Ahmed is one of the most recommended Urdu novels to read. Pir-e-Kamil meaning The Perfect Mentor, was first published in Urdu in 2004 and later on in English in 2011. The story revolves around two people, Imama Hashim, a runaway girl fighting for her religious beliefs and voice and Salar Sikander, a boy with an IQ of more than 150, yet not humble. The book talks about their turning points in lives. The tale of Imama and Salar will surely keep you stuck to the book. Religion, rebelition and Umera’s wonderful writing makes it a highly recommended Urdu novel to read.

#2 Namal

Nimra Ahmed, the author of Namal  is the 2nd most selling female author after Umera Ahmed. The book is inspired from the true and very famous Shahzeb Khan and NAB officer Kamran Faisal murder cases. Murder yet no justice from the Judicial System of Pakistan builds the frame of the novel. A very different story which highlights the power of the elite and the difference between the lower and the upper classes of the society. This book by Nimra  wanders between the good and the bad  and is worth reading. 

#3 Pyar ka Pehla Sheher

One of the best Urdu romantic novels of all time, Pyar ka Pehla Sheher by Mustansar Hussain Tarar beautifully creates the picture of Paris to its readers. Another worthy  novel from Pakistan, this book is a love story of a handicapped man. The subject or story of the book is very noble, telling the world love is beyond physical beauty and appearance. Even the not so lucky ones deserve to love and be loved. Tarar’s magical writing and a wonderful story-line makes this novel a must read.

#4 Raja Gidh

If you live in India, you must be aware of  the terms “Halaal” and “Haraam”. Raja Gidh by Bano Qudsia is another best Urdu novels of all time. Touching the sensitive issue of Religion can be very risky. But Bano Qudsia did a fabulous work and this is one of the most widely read Urdu novels too. The novel is a metaphorical take on the limits and restrictions imposed by the society and is depicted through vultures who live on the dead bodies of other animals.

Bano Qudsia’s writing and storytelling power and talent and the balance of religion and social issues makes this novel a must read.

#5 Khuda aur mohabbat

As the name goes khuda(GOD) aur Mohabbat(love) by Hashim Nadeem deals with religion and love. It seems that romance and religion are two favourite subjects of Pakistan and for good reasons. Pakistani Writers have given some amazing romantic Urdu novels to the world of literature. Khuda aur Mohabaat, being on of them.

This novels is totally worth reading as it keeps its readers engaged with the interesting yet conflicting battle of emotions and religion. Every literature lover would love Hashim Nadeem’s work for sure.

#6 Aag ka Darya

Aag ka Darya by Qurratulain Hyder is another must read Urdu novel. Also been translated in English, this novel is among the best novels of the Indian Subcontinent. The story-line stretches from the period of Chandragupta Maurya to the India- Pakistan Partition of 1947. The novel is a tale of over two thousand years and mainly focuses on the India before partition. The Partition of 1947, that changed the lives of countless men and women. Aag ka Darya is a very popular and among the best selling Urdu novels. This is a highly recommended novel, if you wish to read something other than romance and religion or spirituality.

#7 Bano

Bano is written by the very talented Razia Butt, famous for portraying strong female protagonists in her work. Another very well written book revolving around the partition of 1947, this novel will surely not leave you dry eyed. The massacre during the partition was horrific, and it is described in the the same way, that will make you feel the pain and trauma of every one who witnessed the partition. The novel gets its name from the female protagonist. This is a great book and also the best work by Razia Butt.

#8 Mann Chalay ka Sauda

Mann Chalay ka Sauda is written by Ashfaq Ahmed, a writer, playwriter and broadcaster from Pakistan. Mann Chalay Ka Sauda is an extraordinary tale of spiritual journey which ultimately throws light on the ought to be code of life. This is one of the most inspiring and beautiful art work by Ashfaq Ahmed.  Ashfaq’s writing will take you on a journey to find the path of spirituality and in doing so, it may also change your life. For the love of Urdu, one must surely read this novel.  this philosophical book is a true gem.

#9 Qaisar -o-Kasra

Penned by Naseem Hijazi, Qaisar-o-Kasra talks about the rise of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula. The author Naseem Hijazi through his book describes the rise of politics, education and economic power. It also talks about the first muslim Community that was formed in Medina. Like all his writing, Hijazi in this novel too focused on the Islamic History. This is a very informative work and a must read for those interested in knowing about Islam.

#10 Basti

Basti is written by the very popular Urdu writer Intizar Hussain. Basti is one of the best novels ever written in Urdu. It is a creative and innovative result of writer Intizar’s amazing writing. Basti is all about the violent history of a country which is a cause of concern for the entire world. The book also hints towards the partition and the aftermaths people had to face. Talking about a peaceful childhood to the devastating phase of partition, the book touches political, religious, economic and other social conflicts too. This is a hard-hitting and a very powerful, interesting read.

These were a few of the many amazing Urdu novels the world of literature has witnessed. Be amazed and inspired as you read them. They will surely take up a corner of your heart and make you an Urdu fan.

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