1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Beautiful languages of the world: Urdu April 24, 2007

 خدا ہے الله تعالی, دین ہے اسلام, و  رسول  محمد

Since a long time I hear about the poetical beauty of Urdu Language, and finally I got curious enough to find out more about it.

Urdu, the national language of Pakistan, was created around the 16th century in Centryl Asia. Interestingly the origin of Urdu is nothing like poetic, the word “urdu” comes from Turkish word “ordu” meaning “camp” or “army”. The language was used as unifying communicaiton tool betweel Muslim soldiers of Persian, Arab and Turkish origin.

Urdū is a member of the Indo-Aryan family of languages (i.e., those languages descending from Sanskrit), which is in turn a branch of the Indo-Iranian group (which comprises the Indo-Aryan and the Iranian branches), which itself is a member of the Indo-European linguistic family.

My special interest to this language is driven by its poetic beauty: I find it amazing how a relative young language could have developed such a high poetic richness!

They say it is due to the splendid and marvelous form of poetry, prose and consisting exemplary literature in form of Altaf Hussain Hali, Hasrat Mohani, Ibne Insha that Urdu language has travelled a long way, in a very short period of time.

In both India and Pakistan, Urdu poetry is written in the beautiful Nasta’liq calligraphy style of the Perso-Arabic script. However, in India, where Urdu poetry is very popular, the Perso-Arabic is often found transliterated into the Devanāgarī script, as an aid for those Hindī-speakers, who can comprehend Urdu, but cannot read the Perso-Arabic script. With the dawn of the internet and globalisation, this poetry is often found written in Roman Urdu today.


I have found a true dimond of a poetry by a great Urdu poet and philosopher Allama Iqbal


Thou art set on the crowns of emperors.

My stuff is so vile that I am valued less than earth,
Whereas the mirror’s heart is rent by thy beauty,
My darkness illumines the chafing dish,
Then my substance is incinerated at last
Every one puts the sole of his foot on my head
And covers my stock of existence with ashes.
My fate must needs be deplored:
Dost thou know what is the gist of my being
It is a condensed wavelet of smoke,
Endowed with a single spark.92
Both in, feature and nature thou art star-like,
Splendours rise from every side of thee.
Now thou become’st the light of a monarch’s eye,
Now thou adornest the haft of a dagger.”
“O sagacious friend!” said the diamond,
“Dark earth, when hardened, becomes in dignity as a bezel.
Having been at strife with its environment,
It is ripened by the struggle and grows hard like a stone.
‘Tis this ripeness that has endowed my form with light.
And filled my bossom with radiance.
Because thy being is immature, thou hast become abased;
Because thy body is soft, thou art burnt.
Be void of fear, grief, and anxiety;
Be hard as a stone, be a diamond!
Whosoever strives hard and grips tight,
The two worlds are illumined by him.
A little earth is the origin of the Black Stone
Which puts forth its head in the Ka’aba:
Its rank is higher than Sinai,
It is kissed by the swarthy and the fair.
In solidity consists the glory of Life:
Weakness is worthlessness and immaturity.”And guess what languege will be the next in the collection of beautiful languages? May be you want to write about YOUR Mother tounge? Or the language you like the most?..LOVE, axinia

14 Responses to “Beautiful languages of the world: Urdu”

  1. there is another language that does not speak
    silence most eloquent at its peak..
    sealed lips urdu pharsi latin hebrew sounds of greek
    a parrot spouting wisdom through his beak

    i am impressed with the silken thread of your thoughts..urdu is my mothers tongue too..i am a parrot spouting english..
    firoze shakir photographerno1

  2. diogenes Says:

    Richness of Urdu language? Ask a poet, lover, fiction writer or an avid reader and they will tell you about how easily the draw upon Urdu’s lexical richness to create an aura of elegant.

    BTW, the Arabic script above doesn’t support the post here. May I suggest you use Nastaleq script.

  3. axinia Says:

    It woudl be really great to learn more about this fascianting languege – some picularities, features -from the Urdu native speakers!

  4. […] 10. Beautiful languages of the world: Urdu […]

  5. swaps Says:

    Urdu is the most beautiful language. Though I cann’t recall the word, Urdu has a word for ‘twinkle/sparkle of the eyes’, amd many such poetic phrases. I doubt any other language has bothered to coin single words, that capture the essence of a whole phrase, exclusively for poetic usage.

    This means a urdu poem (usually in couplets) can be enjoyed fully only if read/lestened to in Urdu. That is one of the fortunes of being in Indian subcontinent.(I even believe Urdu is mankind’s richest treasure).

  6. axinia Says:

    swaps, that it is even more perplexing, WHY excactly Urdu has become so special(regarding its young age and strange birth , as in the post )

  7. swaps Says:

    Because Urdu was born to sing love.
    It is not a language but an intoxicant!!

    This might help you Axinia:

  8. swaps Says:

    The photo is so appropriate. If Urdu took a human form, it would ‘look’ like that 🙂

  9. axinia Says:

    swaps, I wonder where does YOUR affinity for Urdu comes from?

  10. Urdu is the most beautiful language. Infact, Urdu has all the ingredients to become a language to truely represent your emotion and feelings.

  11. moin Says:

    i love urdu language becoz the pronunciation of this language is awsm….

  12. My mother tongue is Hindi but I’m fascinated by Urdu. There are many similarities but the rigidity of Sanskrit-influenced Hindi cannot compete with the poetic sounds and grammar of Urdu.
    I write poems in English and Hindi. And I aim to write one in Urdu soon. I’m learning the complex yet beautiful Nastaliq script.
    Greeting to my Pakistani friends from India!

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