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September 18, 2023


Here are some of the best Urdu books, along with details about each of them:

  • “Umrao Jaan Ada” by Mirza Hadi Ruswa:
    • Author: Mirza Hadi Ruswa
    • Genre: Classic Urdu Fiction
    • Summary: This novel tells the story of Umrao Jaan, a courtesan in 19th-century Lucknow. It explores themes of love, loss, and the intricacies of society during that time.
  • “Toba Tek Singh” by Saadat Hasan Manto:
    • Author: Saadat Hasan Manto
    • Genre: Short Stories
    • Summary: Manto’s collection of short stories, including the famous “Toba Tek Singh,” provides a stark and satirical portrayal of the Partition of India in 1947.
  • “Raja Gidh” by Bano Qudsia:
    • Author: Bano Qudsia
    • Genre: Philosophical Fiction
    • Summary: This thought-provoking novel delves into existential questions, philosophy, and spirituality through the tale of a vulture named Raja Gidh.
  1. “Manto Ke Afsanay” by Saadat Hasan Manto:
    • Author: Saadat Hasan Manto
    • Genre: Short Stories
    • Summary: This collection of Manto’s short stories provides a raw and unfiltered look at human nature, society, and the consequences of Partition.
  • “Aag Ka Darya” by Qurratulain Hyder:
    • Author: Qurratulain Hyder
    • Genre: Historical Fiction
    • Summary: Aag Ka Darya spans over 2,000 years and explores the cultural, social, and historical evolution of the Indian subcontinent.
  • “Bazm-e-Aakhir” by Parveen Shakir:
    • Author: Parveen Shakir
    • Genre: Poetry
    • Summary: Parveen Shakir’s poetry collection is celebrated for its lyrical beauty and emotional depth, touching on themes of love, life, and self-discovery.
  • “Zaviya” by Ashfaq Ahmed:
    • Author: Ashfaq Ahmed
    • Genre: Essays and Thoughts
    • Summary: Ashfaq Ahmed’s “Zaviya” is a collection of his essays, thoughts, and reflections on life, spirituality, and human behaviour.
  • “Aangan” by Khadija Mastoor:
    • Author: Khadija Mastoor
    • Genre: Social Realism
    • Summary: “Aangan” portrays women’s lives in a traditional Pakistani household during the early 20th century, highlighting their struggles and aspirations.
  • “Raat” by Abdullah Hussain:
    • Author: Abdullah Hussain
    • Genre: Fiction
    • Summary: “Raat” is a psychological thriller that explores the inner turmoil and anxieties of its protagonist during a single night.
  • “Shahabnama” by Qudrat Ullah Shahab:
    • Author: Qudrat Ullah Shahab
    • Genre: Autobiography
    • Summary: This autobiography offers a unique perspective on Pakistan’s political and social history through the eyes of a civil servant.

This list presents some of Urdu’s most remarkable works based on literary, cultural, and historical importance. It is not limited to literature and includes books on history, culture, philosophy, and religion. Readers may, of course, disagree and make their lists. The list is not in order of preference.

1. Kulliyat-i-Sauda: the collected works of Mirza Rafi Sauda, one of the classical Urdu poets.

2. Kulliyat-i-Meer: the collected works of Mir Taqi Mir, one of the greatest Urdu poets.

3. Bagh-o-bahar: a dastan, written by Mir Amman, is an example of simple yet idiomatic classical prose.

4. Fasana-i-ajaib: A Dastan, penned by Rajab Ali Baig Suroor, is among the most ornate classical Urdu prose samples.

5. Gulzar-i-Naseem: one of the best Urdu masnavis, composed by Daya Shankar Naseem.

6. Kulliyat-i-Insha Allah Khan Insha: collected poetical works of a maestro

7. Kulliyat-i-Nazeer Akberabadi: collected works of a classical yet modern poet.

8. Divan-i-Ghalib: one of the greatest works in Urdu poetry

9. Khutoot-i-Ghalib: letters by the great bard

10. Kulliyat-i-Zauq: the collected works of one of the maestros of Urdu poetry and idiomatic expression

11. Sahr-ul-bayan: one of the best Urdu masnavis, composed by Mir Hasan.

12. Marasi-i-Anees: the elegies composed by one of the greatest poets of the genre

13. Rubaiyaat-i-Anees: The maestro offers the best quatrains in Urdu.

14. Marasi-i-Dabeer: elegies composed by a great poet rivalled only by Anees.

15. Kulliyat-i-Aatish: collected works of another great poet of the Lucknow school.

16. Mazameen-i-Sir Syed: A Selection of Essays by One of the Pioneers of the genre of writing in Urdu.

17. Bahr-ul-fasahat: a masterpiece on the art of prosody by Najm-ul-Ghani Rampuri.

18. Kulliyat-i-Akber Allahabadi: collected poetical works of a humorist and satirist.

19. Kulliyat-i-Nazm-i-Hali: collected poetical works of one of the pioneers of modern Urdu poetry.

20. Aab-i-hayat: a critical study of Urdu poetry and poets by Muhammad Hussain Azad.

21. Khayalaat-i-Azad: collected satirical essays of Nawab Syed Muhammad Azad.

22. Kala pani: an autobiography by Jafer Thanesari.

23. Seerat-un-Nabi: the life of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in seven volumes, by Shibli Naumani and Syed Sulaiman Nadvi.

24. Shair-ul-ajam: critical analysis of Persian poetry by Shibli Naumani.

25. Ibn-ul-vaqt: a satirical novel by Nazeer Ahmed Dehlvi.

26. Fasana-i-Azad: a humorous novel-like dastan by Pandit Ratan Nath Sarshar.

27. Sanam khana-i-ishq: a collection of ghazals by Ameer Meenai.

28. Gulzar-i-daagh: a collection of ghazals by Daagh Dehlvi.

29. Kulliyat-i-naat: by Mohsin Kakorvi, one of the best naat-writers in Urdu.

30. A dictionary of Urdu, classical Hindi, and English: by John T. Platts.

31. Farhang-i-Asifiya: compiled by Syed Ahmed Dehlvi, it is one of the most authentic Urdu dictionaries.

32. Umrao jaan ada: a novel by Mirza Hadi Rusva.

33. Muqaddama-i-shair-o-shaeri: a treatise on modern Urdu criticism and poetry by Altaf Hussain Hali

34. Yadgar-i-Ghalib: A Biography of Ghalib by Altaf Hussain Hali.

35. Miftah-ul-qavaid: Urdu grammar in two volumes, by Fateh Muhammad Jalandhari

36. Qavaid-i-Urdu: Urdu grammar by Moulvi Abdul Haq.

37. Kulliyat-i-Iqbal: collected works of one of the greatest poets of Urdu

38. Kulliyat-i-Zafar Ali Khan: collected poetical works

39. Noor-ul-lughaat, compiled by Noor-ul-Hasan Nayyar, is a much-underrated dictionary despite its merits.

40. Mazameen-i-Farhat: humorous essays by Farhatullah Baig.

41. Prem Chand ke afsaane: a selection of short stories.

42. Ghubaar-i-khatir: a collection of letters by Abul Kalam Azad.

43. Anarkali: a drama by Imtiaz Ali Taj.

44. Manto ke afsaane: a selection of short stories.

45. Tlism-i-khayal: a collection of short stories by Krishan Chander.

46. Mazaameen-i-Rasheed: satirical essays by Rasheed Ahmed Siddiqi.

47. Majmooa Hasan Askari: collected critical works of Muhammad Hasan Askari.

48. Pitras ke mazameen: humorous essays by Pitras Bukhari.


49. Kausar Trilogy: A Social and Cultural History of the Indo-Pak Subcontinent in Three Volumes by S.M. Ikram.

50. Bar-i-azeem Pak-o-Hind ki millat-i-Islamia: written by I.H. Qureshi, is a comprehensive history of Muslims in the subcontinent.

51. Mazaameen-i-Saleem Ahmed: the collected critical works.

52. Khutbaat: This book of Maulana Mowdoodi’s has run into over 100 editions.

53. Urdu Encyclopaedia of Islam: Published by Punjab University, Lahore, in 23 volumes

54. Urdu lughat taareekhi usool par: the most comprehensive, 22-volume Urdu dictionary published by the Urdu Dictionary Board, Karachi.

55. Urdu thesaurus: compiled by Rafiq Khavaer and published by Muqtadira Qaumi Zaban, Islamabad.

56. Encyclopaedia Pakistanica: the one-volume work by Syed Qasim Mahmood.

57. Ganjeena-i-gauher: a collection of pen-sketches by Shahid Ahmed Dehlvi.

58. Bajang aamad: humorous memoirs by Colonel Muhammad Khan.

59. Urdu ki aakhri kitab: a satirical work by Ibn-i-Insah.

60. Aag ka darya: a novel by Qurrat-ul-Ain Hyder.

61. Khuda ki basti: a novel by Shaukat Siddiqi

62. Aangan: A Novel by Khadija Mastoor

63. Chiragh Tale: Essays by One of the Most Prominent Humorists, Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi.

64. Afkaar-i-Pareeshan: peppered with satire, the essays were written by Justice M. R. Kayani.

65. Dunya gol hai: a travelogue with Ibn-i-Insha’s typical humour

66. Jadeed Urdu shaeri: a Two-Volume Treatise on Modern Urdu Poetry by Aziz Hamid Madani.

67. Safar dar safar: travel account by Ashfaq Ahmed, in his usual style.

68. Tareekh-i-adab-i-Urdu: the monumental, four-volume history of Urdu literature by Jameel Jalibi.

69. Urdu shaeri ka mizaaj: a critical work by Wazir Agha

70. Mazameen-i-Siraj-i-Muneer: essays on literature, culture, and history

71. Kulliyat-e-Aziz Hamid Madani: collected poetical works

72. Basti: a novel by Intizar Hussain

73. Khama bagosh ke qalam se: satirical literary criticism by Mushfiq Khwaja.

74. Sarguzasht: Memoirs by Z.A. Bukhari.

75. Zarguzasht: Memoirs by Mushtaq Yousufi.

76. Aam lisaniyaat: a comprehensive work on linguistics by Gian Chand.

77. Ma fiz-zameer: a collection of humorous poetry by Zameer Jafari.

78. Shaukhi-i-tehreer: a collection of humorous poetry by Syed Muhammad Jafari.

79. Tareekh-i-falsafa: a one-volume history of philosophy, translated by Moulvi Ehsaan, published by Karachi University.

80. Falsafe ke bunyadi masail: basics of philosophy, by Qazi Qaiser-ul-Islam.

81. Aam fikri mughalte: common theoretical misconceptions, written by Ali Abbas Jalalpuri.

82. Aanandi: short stories by Ghulam Abbas.

83. Maqalat-i-Sherani: research papers on Urdu and Persian languages and literature by Hafiz Mahmood Sherani, in 10 volumes.

84. Mabahis: Critical Essays by Syed Abdullah.

85. Lisani masael-o-lataaef: a collection of interesting articles on the Urdu language, by Shan-ul-Haq Haqqee.

86. Kashshaf-e-tanqeedi istelahaat: a dictionary of literary terms by A. Hafeez Siddiqi.

87. Urdu imla: scholarly work on Urdu orthography by Rasheed Hasan Khan.

88. Yadon ki baraat: an autobiography by Josh Maleehabadi.

89. Nuskha haae vafa: poetical works of Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

90. Kulliyat-i-Josh Maleehabadi: collected poetical works.

91. Tadveen-i-hadith: A History of Hadith by Manazir Ahsan Geelani.

92. Khushboo: a collection of Parveen Shakir’s poetry.

93. Gulaftab: a collection of modernistic poetry by Zafar Iqbal.

94. Parvaaz: humorous essays by Shafeeq-ur-Rahman.

95. Kulliyat-i-N. M. Rashid: collected poetical works.

96. Kulliyat-i-Majeed Amjad: collected poetical works.

97. Khutbaat-i-Bahwalpur: a collection of essays on Islam by Dr Muhammad Hameedullah.

98. Aavaz-i-dost: cultural and historical essays by Mukhtar Masood.

99. Dar-i-dilkusha: memoirs by Sheikh Manzoor Ilahi.

100. Any novel by Ibn-i-Safi: the great writer of detective fiction.

These best Urdu books have left a lasting impact on literature and continue to be widely read and admired. Each book offers a unique perspective on life, society, and human nature.

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