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vafā tum se kareñge dukh saheñge naaz uThā.eñge

jise aatā hai dil denā use har kaam aatā hai

wafa tum se karenge dukh sahenge naz uThaenge

jise aata hai dil dena use har kaam aata hai

Arzoo Lakhnavi
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ḳhud ko bikharte dekhte haiñ kuchh kar nahīñ paate haiñ

phir bhī log ḳhudāoñ jaisī bāteñ karte haiñ

KHud ko bikharte dekhte hain kuchh kar nahin pate hain

phir bhi log KHudaon jaisi baaten karte hain

Iftikhar Arif

sagī bahnoñ jo rishta rishta hai urdu aur hindī meñ

kahīñ duniyā do zinda zabānoñ meñ nahīñ miltā

sagi bahnon ka jo rishta rishta hai urdu aur hindi mein

kahin duniya ki do zinda zabanon mein nahin milta

Munawwar Rana
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bas ik jhijak hai yahī hāl-e-dil sunāne meñ

ki terā zikr bhī aa.egā is fasāne meñ

bas ek jhijak hai yahi haal-e-dil sunane mein

ki tera zikr bhi aaega is fasane mein

Kaifi Azmi
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nazar jhuk rahī hai ḳhamoshī hai lab par

hayā hai adā hai ki an-ban hai kyā hai

nazar jhuk rahi hai KHamoshi hai lab par

haya hai ada hai ki an-ban hai kya hai

Kausar Mazhari


  • ज़ीस्त
  • زیست


life/ existence

pahle sharāb ziist thī ab ziist hai sharāb

koī pilā rahā hai piye rahā huuñ maiñ

pahle sharab zist thi ab zist hai sharab

koi pila raha hai piye ja raha hun main


Quiz A collection of interesting questions related to Urdu poetry, prose and literary history. Play Rekhta Quiz and check your knowledge about Urdu!

Who amongst the following wrote the Masnavi Zahr-e-Ishq'?
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The Mukhra of a famous song from Raj Kapoor’s film ‘Deewana’, is actually a couplet by Haider Ali Atish slightly changed by Hasrat Jaipuri. Atish’s couplet reads:
ai sanam jis ne tujhe chaa.nd sii suurat dii hai
usii allaah ne mujh ko bhii mohabbat dii hai
In the film song, the second line of the couplet has been changed to:
‘Usi Maalik ne mujhe bhi to muhabbat di hai’
Khawaja Haider Ali Atish (1778-1848) was born in Faizabad. Extremely handsome and elegant, his style and characteristics were like the ‘Bankaas’, or voguish ones of his time. He had learned swordsmanship, and from a very young age became a ‘Talwariya’ or swordsman with an innate bent for poetry. He was employed by Nawab Mirza Muhammad Khan Taqi ‘Taraqqi’ of Faizabad. When Nawab left Faizabad for Lucknow, Atish, too, moved along. His Ghazals do have the color of Lucknow but the fragrance is of Delhi. His and Nasikh’s contemporary feud was always on. Atish was an independent man and did not work for anyone after the death of Nawab. According to some accounts, Wajid Ali Shah used to confer upon him Rs. 80 a month from his days as a prince. Until the last moment, a horse was always tied outside his house. With a sword bound to his waist and a crooked hat, he maintained his military charm till the very end.
راج کپور کی فلم " دیوانہ " کے   ایک مشہور گانے کا مکھڑا دراصل  حیدر علی آتش  کا شعر ہے جس میں حسرت جے پوری نے  ڈرا سا تصرف کر دیا تھا ۔  آتش کا شعر ہے

فلمی گانے میں شعر کا دوسرا مصرع  یوں بدل دیا گیا 
آسی " مالک مجھے بھی تو محبت دی ہے
خواجہ حیدر علی آتش( 1778_1948)کی پیدائش فیض  آباد میں ہوئ تھی۔  بہت شان دار اور خوبرو تھے. وضع قطع اپنے وقت کے"  بانکوں " کی سی بنائے رکھتے تھے  ،تلوار بازی سیکھی تھی ۔کم سنی سے"  تلوارئے"  مشہور ہو گئےتھے, شاعری سے  شغف  بھی بچپن سے تھا۔نواب مرزا محمد تقی خاں ترقی، رئیس فیض آباد،  نے ان کو ملازم رکھ لیا تھا ۔ جب نواب فیض آباد چھوڑ کر لکھنو آ گئے تو آتش بھی ان کے ساتھ لکھنو منتقل ہو گئے ۔ ان کی غزلوں میں  لکھنویت کا رنگ ضرور ہے  لیکن خوشبو دہلی کی ہے۔ ناسخ سے ان کی معاصرانہ چشمک چلتی رہتی تھی ۔  آتش آزاد منش تھے نواب کےانتقال کے بعد کسی کی نوکری نہیں کی ۔بعض تذکروں کے مطابق واجد علی شاہ اپنے ایام شہزادگی سے ہی 80 روپے ماہانہ دیتے تھے ۔  اخری وقت تک  آتش کے گھر کے باہر ایک گھوڑا ضرور بندھا رہتا تھا۔ایک تلوار کمر میں باندھے ، ترچھی ٹوپی لگائے  سپاہیانہ بانکپن  آخر تک قائم رکھا ۔


Shahr Ashob is a classic genre of Urdu poetry that was once written a lot. It is a poem that describes a city’s plight due to its political, social, and economic crisis. Shahr Ashobs have been written in the form of Masnavi, Qasida, Rubai, Mukhammas, Qita, and Musaddas. Shahr-Ashobs written by Mirza Muhammad Rafi Sauda and Mir Taqi Mir, are amongst the most noteworthy and memorable ones of Urdu, and relate the unemployment of the people, economic misery, and plunderage of Delhi. Nazir Akbarabadi has portrayed the economic misery of Agra, the plight of the army, and the utter disregard of nobles in his Shahr-Ashobs. The catastrophe that befell Delhi after the War of Independence of 1857, has also been made the motif of many a poet’s writings, including Ghalib, Dagh, and Maulana Hali. In 1954, Habib Tanveer, based on the poetry of Nazeer Akbarabadi, tellingly staged his famous play "Agra Bazaar", using the Shahr-Ashob in the form of a chorus.


Last year, one of the world's most credible English dictionary, Cambridge, added a frequently spoken Urdu word, "Achcha” to its wordlist. The word was added since it is also commonly used in Indian-English. The dictionary cites its meanings in terms of ‘happiness (khushi)’, and as ‘an expression of wonder, or something like, really?’ It has also illustrated its use by citing a few sentences as examples.
But in Urdu, the word ‘Achcha’ gives away several other meanings which include, Theek, dusrust (okay, fine); as an opposite of bad; Bahut Khuub! (yeah, great! – used sarcastically); as an expression of comforting or pacifying (it’s all right); prevaricating or procrastinating- dekha jayega! (we’ll see!); Sun liya? (Understood? - used emphatically/admonishingly), and last but not the least as, Samjhe? (get it?)
And, like this famous film song:
“Achcha! To Hum Chalte Hain”
The word is also used to refer to being healthy or free from any illness, as in the case of Ghalib’s couplet:
dard minnat-kash-e-davaa na hu.aa
mai.n na achchhaa hu.aa buraa na hu.aa


Hajw (Lampoon), is a kind of poetry in which a poet expresses his anger against a person or a rival. Some people consider it to be a kind of Qasida. In Urdu, the practice of composing Hajw precisely started with Muhammad Rafi Sauda (1713-1781). He composed his Hajws in all genres of poetry like Qasida, Masnawi, Qita, Ghazal, Rubai, etc.
Muhammad Hussain Azad writes in ‘Ab-e-Hayat’, that Sauda had a slave named "Ghuncha", who was always in his service and carried Sauda’s pen-case around him. Whenever Sauda was affronted with someone, he’d call out, ‘Arey Ghunche, laa to Qalam-daan, zaraa main is ki khabar to lun, ye mujhe samjha kya hai?’. 
Sauda wrote a variety of lampoons, some are charged with the bantering of rivals, some possessing accounts of moral mending, and others imbued with satirizing the political turmoil and financial misery of the times. Sauda also lampooned upon on an elephant and a horse. ‘Tazheek-e-Rozgar’, Sauda’s famous Hajw, centers around an incapable horse, that was actually a metaphor for the last days of the Mughal empire and hinted towards the political and economic catastrophe of that period.


Ever thought how are Lughat (dictionary) and Farhang (lexicon) different from each other? Well, a Lughat lists all possible meanings of the words used in a language, while a Farhang lists only those meanings of the words which are particular to a book, divan or subject. Farhang-e-Asifia, however, is a very authentic and comprehensive four-volume Urdu dictionary containing Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Sanskrit, and English words which have become a part of the Urdu language.
The author of Farhang-e-Asifia, Maulvi Syed Ahmad Dehlavi, was born in 1844 in Delhi. As a young man, he worked for seven years with Dr. Fallon, an English Orientalist who was compiling an Urdu-English dictionary. It was from here that he came up with the idea of compiling this dictionary. In 1878, he set this dictionary project in motion in the form of a magazine called Armughan-e-Delhi. Later, as he earned the backing of the Nizam of Deccan, Mahbub Ali Khan, he titled the dictionary ‘Farhang-e-Asifia’ which was eponymous to the Nizam’s title, Asif. The dictionary is the very confluence of the nineteenth-century Ganga-Jamni civilization, and contains a very important collection of words related to the customs, costumes, poetry, literature and science, ornaments, edibles, etc. of that period.

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Prominent post-modern poet who went missing in 1996

guzar ga.e haiñ jo mausam kabhī na ā.eñge

tamām dariyā kisī roz Duub jā.eñge

guzar gae hain jo mausam kabhi na aaenge

tamam dariya kisi roz Dub jaenge

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