Bano Qudsia

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Bano Qudsia
بانو قدسیہ
Bano Qudsia.jpg
Native name
بانو قدسیہ
قدسیہ چٹھہ
BornQudsia Chattha
28 November 1928 (1928-11-28)[1]
Firozpur, Punjab, British India
DiedFebruary 4, 2017(2017-02-04) (aged 88)[1]
Lahore, Punjab Pakistan
  • Writer • playwright • intellectual
Alma mater[1]
Notable worksRaja Gidh (1981)
Notable awardsSitara-i-Imtiaz (1983),
Hilal-i-Imtiaz (2010)[2]
Kamal-e-Fun Award (2012)[3]
Lifetime Achievement Award (2016)
SpouseAshfaq Ahmed (1925–2004)

Bano Qudsia (Urdu: بانو قدسیہ‎; 28 November 1928 – 4 February 2017), also known as Bano Aapa,[4] was a Pakistani novelist, playwright and spiritualist. She wrote literature in Urdu, producing novels, dramas plays and short stories. Qudsia is best recognized for her novel Raja Gidh.[5] Qudsia also wrote for television and stage in both Urdu and Punjabi languages. Her play Aadhi Baat has been called "a classic play".[6] Bano Qudsia died in Lahore on 4 February 2017.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Bano Qudsia was born on 28 November 1928 in Firozpur, British India, as Qudsia Chattha.[8] Her father was a Bachelor of Agriculture and her brother Pervaiz Chattha was a painter. She migrated to Lahore with her family after the partition of India and had begun writing short stories while studying in class 5.[9] She graduated from the Kinnaird College in Lahore and then joined the Government College University (Lahore) (GCU) to earn her master's degree in Urdu literature which she completed in 1951.[1]

Qudsia married writer Ashfaq Ahmed whom she had met at the Government College University (Lahore).[9] They had three sons Aneeque, Anees and Aseer.[10] The couple had been considered inseparable in their social lives.[11]

Literary work[edit]

Qudsia's novel Raja Gidh (The King Vulture) is considered a modern Urdu classic.[4] Among her more prominent writings are Aatish-i-zer-i-paa, Aik Din, Asay Pasay, Chahar Chaman, Chhotaa Sheher Baray Log, Footpath ki Ghaas, Haasil Ghaat and Hawa Kay Naam.[9] The most well known plays she wrote include Tamasil, Hawa ke Naam, Seharay and Khaleej.[1]

Her critically acclaimed play Aadhi Baat was about a retired headmaster. The play examined the headmaster's day-to-day life problems and had Qavi Khan acting as the lead character. The play's director was Agha Nasir and it was produced by Tauqeer Nasir. Aadhi Baat was performed in May 2010 in Islamabad at a three-day event which was organized by the Pakistan National Council of the Arts.[6] Ashfaq Ahmed's autobiography Baba Saheba was incomplete at the time of his death in September 2004. Qudsia completed the biography and the second part of it was published as Rah-i-Rawaan. The contrast in the narrative styles of the couple is evident in these two books; while the first half is considered "provoking, lucid and utterly spellbinding" by critics, the second half takes the feeling of sorrow. Qudsia credits Ahmed for transforming her after their marriage and eventually allowing her to devote to her writing.[11] Qudsia's novel Raah-e-Rawaan راہ ِرواں was published in 2011. It is an analytical look at Ashfaq Ahmed's philosophical thinking and how it may relate to certain aspects of life itself. Qudsia had the highest regards for her husband and she has placed Ashfaq Ahmed on a very high pedestal. However she does not even claim to understand the man she lived with for more than five decades. So, an attempt at writing the biography of Ashfaq Ahmed took her beyond that ‘one person’— and she started to write about his ancestry, the family including his grandfather, father, uncles, brothers, sisters and their children so as to fully understand the enigma that was Ashfaq Ahmed.[12]

Qudsia's novel Haasil Ghaat was published in 2005 and was noted for its diction but also criticized then for usages of English slangs than her usual traditional Urdu narrative. The language however became popular amongst other writers in future.[1]

Bano Qudsia also wrote a book about Qudrat Ullah Shahab titled "Mard-e-Abresham" مردِابریشم. The book mainly portrays Shahab's life and how it was connected with Ashfaq Ahmed and his family both on social and spiritual level.[13] Baba Mohammad Yahya Khan was much inspired by Maa jee Bano Qudsia and Baba jee Ashfaq Ahmed.[14]


Bano Qudsia died on 4 February 2017 at the Ittefaq Hospital in Lahore at the age of 88. Her son Aseer Ahmed informed that she died around the time for Maghrib prayers (after sunset).[9] She was buried at Lahore on 5 February and prayer services were held at Model Town, Lahore.[15]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1983, Qudsia was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) by the Government of Pakistan.[16][17] In 2010, the Pakistani government awarded her the Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Crescent of Excellence) for her services in literature.[2] In 2012, the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) awarded Qudsia the Kamal-e-Fun Award, which is a lifetime achievement award.[3][18] In 2016, the GCU's Old Ravians Union (GCU-ORU) at its annual reunion conferred on her a lifetime achievement award.[19] The same year, the Pakistan Life Care Foundation (PLCF) also awarded the lifetime achievement award to Qudsia.[20]

On 28 November 2020, Google celebrated her 92nd birthday with a Google Doodle.[21]


  • Chota Shehar Baray Log ISBN 9-69351-998-1
  • Phir Achanak Youn Hua ISBN 9-69351-823-3
  • Lagan Apni Apni ISBN 9-69351-533-1
  • Aadhee Baat ISBN 9-69351-139-5
  • Foot Paath Ki Ghaas ISBN 9-69351-086-0
  • Aasay Paasay
  • Tamaseel
  • Hawa kay Naam
  • Dusra Qadam
  • Sidhran
  • Suraj Mukhi
  • Piya Nam ka Diya[1]
Short stories
  • Hijraton Kay Darmiyan ISBN 9-69352-366-0
  • Dast Bastaa ISBN 9-69351-324-X
  • Aatish e Zeer Pa
  • Amar Bail
  • Dusra Darwaza
  • Baz Gasht
  • Na Qabil e Zikr
  • Samaan e Wajood
  • Tawaja ki Taalib
  • Kuch Aur Nahi[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Shahzad, Muhammad (5 February 2017). "Literary giant Bano Qudsia dies at 88". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Names of civil and military award achievers". The Financial Daily. Archived from the original on 6 February 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b Bari, Mavra (27 September 2012). "Honour: Lifetime achievement award for Bano Qudsia". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b Parekh, Rauf (18 July 2015). "Literary notes : May they live longer – oldest living authors of Urdu". Dawn. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Bano Qudsia's 'Raja Gidh' inspires audience". RSPK Pak Society.
  6. ^ a b Zaidi, Schezee (30 May 2010). "Bano Qudsia's 'Aadhi Baat' inspires audience". The News International. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Bano Qudsia passes away". The Nation. Pakistan. 4 February 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Famous writer Bano Qudsia turns 88". The News. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d Ahmed, Shoaib (15 February 2017). "Celebrated writer Bano Qudsia is no more". Dawn. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  10. ^ Impact International, Volume 34, Issue 4 – Volume 35, Issue 4. News & Media. 2004.
  11. ^ a b "In life, in literature: the Siamese twins". Dawn. 10 April 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Mard e Abresham By Bano Qudsia Free Pdf – The Library PK". The Library PK. 24 August 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Modern day Mystic". 6 January 2014.
  15. ^ "Bano Qudsia laid to rest in Lahore". Radio Pakistan. 5 February 2017. Archived from the original on 6 February 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  16. ^ Half the Sky: Stories by Women Writers of Pakistan. Unistar Books. 2004. p. 256. ISBN 9788186898307. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  17. ^ Pakistani Literature. Pakistan Academy of Letters. 2005. p. 283. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Bano Qudsia named for award". Dawn. 27 September 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  19. ^ "GCU confers lifetime achievement award on Bano Qudsia, others". Pakistan Today. 4 April 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  20. ^ "PLCF honours Bano Qudsia with award". The Nation (Pakistan). 9 December 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  21. ^ "Bano Qudsia's 92nd Birthday". Retrieved 28 November 2020.