Thirukkural (Sacred Couplets) in Urdu (اردو)








     There are two translations of the Kural in Urdu. Some publications on Tirukkural translations include Prof. Yousuf Kokan’s name also in the list of Kural translations in Urdu. Prof. Kokan was no doubt an able scholar in Urdu, Arabic and Persian but his translation of the Kural was only in Arabic. To the best of my knowledge, the Kural has not been translated into Persian so far.

     The Sahitya Academi published Kural is a translation by Hazrat Suhrawardy, the then professor of Urdu Department of Jamal Mohammad College, Tiruchirappalli. The translation is in prose and is also not a direct translation from Tamil. This is surprising considering the fact that a college from Tamil Nadu, with plenty of scholars in Tamil in its own Tamil Department, had to base the translation from an English translation. Nevertheless, the then Additional Secretary to Government of TN, Mr. H.K. Ghazim, IAS had this to say about this Urdu translation: “His (Suhrawardy’s) is a fine piece of work in chaste Urdu. Apart from its own literary merit, the work is faithful to the original”.[1]

     First published in 1965, Sahitya Academi produced a reprint of the same in 1994. The book is still available for purchase from Sahitya Academi. It costs only a meager 35 rupees and is a must for all scholars in Urdu interested in comparative literature. The second translation by poet Mukhtar Badri titled "Lafz lafz gohar" appeared in 2001. Published by the Nazir Book Depot, Chennai, the translation is probably in verse.



N.V.K. Ashraf

June, 2005


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[1] Ghazi, H.K. 1973. Tirukkural – Some parallels in Urdu poetry. In: First All India Tirukkural Seminar Papers 1972. University of Madras. Pp 87-96