Mirat-ul-Uroos (Urdu: مراۃ العروس, The bride's mirror) is an Urdu language novel written by Indian author Nazir Ahmad Dehlvi (1830–1912) and published in 1869. The novel contains themes promoting the cause of female education in Muslim and Indian society, and is credited for giving birth to an entire genre of fictional works promoting female literacy in Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Kashmiri and other languages of the Indian subcontinent. The book sold over 100,000 copies within a few years of its initial publishing.
The story contrasts the lives of two Muslim sisters from Delhi, Akbari and Asghari. The first part of the book describes the life of Akbari, who is raised in privilege. She is depicted as lazy and poorly educated. When she moves to her husband's house after her marriage, she has a very difficult time and brings all manner of unhappiness upon herself by her poor judgment and behavior. The book's second part is centered on Asghari, who is modest, hardworking and educated well in a school. She despises idle chatter and is the beloved of all in her society. When she is married, she too undergoes a difficult transition, but through her hard-work, winsome manners and good education is able to form solid bonds with her husband's family and the people of her new society. The story goes through a number of twists and turns that describes the experiences of the two women at various stages in their lives.
In 1873, "Banat-un-Nash" (بنات النعش, Daughters of the bier, which is also the Arabic name for the constellation Ursa Major) was published as a sequel to Mirat-ul-Uroos. It depicted Asghari running a girls' school in her mohalla.
TV drama adaptations
In 2011, this story was once again adapted into a comedy television drama, by the name of Akbari Asghari, which aired on Hum TV. The role of Akbari was played by Sanam Baloch and Asghari was played by Humaima Malik. Imran Abbas Naqvi and Fawad Afzal Khan played the male leads.
In 2013, the story of Akbari and Asghari continued with Mirat Ul Uroos, a Geo TV drama. This serial is about the granddaughters of Akbari, played by Aamina Sheikh and Mehwish Hayat, and the grandsons of Asghari, played by Mikaal Zulfiqar and Ahsan Khan who were later married in reality.
- Meenakshi Mukherjee, Early novels in India, Sahitya Akademi, 2002, ISBN 978-81-260-1342-5,
... Deputy Nazir Ahmad ... was in deep sympathy with Sir Syed Ahmad Khan's movement for social reform through educational uplift ... female education ... published in 1869 ...
- Naẕīr Aḥmad; G. E. Ward; Frances W. Pritchett (2001), The Bride's Mirror, Prints Asia, ISBN 81-7824-021-1,
... Asghari and Akbari two sisters married to brothers in Delhi, circa 1860. In this gripping tale, one sister has every advantage – and sees her life collapse around her. The other faces great difficulties – but eventually comes to dominate her world ... Mirat ul-‘Arus sold over 100,000 copies with a few years of its release in 1869 ...
- Thomas Welbourne Clark, University of London. School of Oriental and African Studies, Asia Society. Asian Literature Program, The Novel in India: its birth and development, University of California Press, 1970, ISBN 978-0-520-01725-2,
... the first a cautionary tale of a girl named Akbari and the second ... the story of her model sister Asghari ...CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)