Reach for the Light


Review of Umera Ahmad`s Novel Man o Salwa

Umera Ahmed’s Man O Salwa, is a famous Urdu novel which discusses the Rizq-e-Halal and Rizq-e-Haram. It demonstrates the social injustice in our society and the significance of “Halaal Rizq” for inner tranquilly. This tale explores the negative effects of poverty, including how it can ruin people’s emotions and alter family ties and extreme forms of consumerism. As members of a low-income family working hard to alter their way of life, Zainab, Shiraz, Karam Ali, Zarri, and Jamal have forgotten their moral principles and relationships in the process. Umaira Ahmed is a skilled Writer who has written the scripts for numerous well-known Urdu novels and plays. In addition to being an accurate reflection of our culture and society, her writings are also at once catch the reader.


Zainab Zia, often known as Zaini, is a stunning and devout young woman who is madly in love with Sheraz, her cousin and future husband. She is the most devout, devoted, and religious daughter of a devout guy who has consistently adhered to Rizq-e-Halal. He works as a clerk in the income tax division.

Sheraz is a young guy who is studying for CSS and is incredibly brilliant and smart. Due to his lack of money, he dislikes his fiancée but never expresses this to her. Instead, he makes use of her compassion and affection. He disparaged her father’s moral principles and his “Rizq-e-Halal obsession” since he didn’t like them. Zainab is so enamoured of him that she is unable to recognise his worldly viewpoint. Sheraz achieves exceptional results on the civil service exam. He abandons Zainab in his desire for a higher social standing and marries Sheena, a member of a very wealthy family. By circulating untrue information about Zainab throughout the neighbourhood, he breaks up his relationship with her.

With all of this and the realisation that her sorrow was caused by poverty, Zainab is in a lot of pain. She has a compulsive need to make as much money as she can in the shortest amount of time. She intends to exact retribution by beginning a career as a model and eventually becoming a movie star. When her mother expelled her from the family after her father’s sudden death, they later returned due to financial difficulties, which she accepted and used to show them the value of money. Zainab engages in immoral behaviour after failing to distinguish between Halal and Haram.

The son of a low-income family, Karam Ali is the oldest of his siblings and betrothed to Arfa, her cousin. Karam experiences numerous challenges and sufferings during his life. He worked incredibly hard to provide for his family. He was in fact quite obedient and devoted to his family. More than destitute, Karam Ali was from Sheraz, but unlike him, he never thought about using illegal measures to get ahead.

He relocated to the Middle East for work and makes a good living, but his family uses up all of his income. He afterwards met Shaukat, a peculiar billionaire. Karam begins collaborating with him. Shaukat leaves Karam all of his possessions upon his passing. His engagement to Arfa, whom he truly loves, was broken off because his family, which is now becoming wealthy, doesn’t like the fact that they are poorer than their older relatives. They planned for him to marry Zari, who is too young and quite attractive for him.
Zari, who comes from a poor family as well, wants to break out of poverty. She has a lover named Jamal, but she dumps him because Karam is rich. When Karam learns the truth—that she married him only to provide financial security—as well as the fact that his wife loves her boyfriend Jamal and they first met after their marriage, he divorces her and allows her to be with Jamal while also providing for her materially. After some time, Karam learns that Zari has developed a hooking habit. She later gets killed by her greedy husband Jamal.

Zainab is offered a lead part in a movie that Karam Ali is producing. They meet for the first time after she signed the movie. After getting to know Karam and spending time with him, Zainab starts to feel an attachment for him and learns that he is a tremendous admirer of her. He didn’t take advantage of her or give a damn about the Parizaad allegations going around the entire business. Zainab was impressed by his demeanour.

Sheraz is unhappy in his marriage since his wife treats him like a pet dog. However, he is unable to leave his wife because he owes his father-in-law a sizable sum of money that he would have to pay back in the event of a divorce. He learned that Sheena had a son and had been married before him. Sheraz will have to restrain himself from speaking when her ex-husband visits him at his home to see her.

After some time, Zainab runs into Sheraz again and is ready to get retribution. She summoned him to a hotel and dragged him into a scandal. Sheraz lost his social standing and had to visit the police station. His wife Sheena files for divorce, and she and her father leave him in the police station where he is. None of his relatives are willing to assist him. In order to honour her late father, he begs Zainab to assist him, and she frees him.

Now that Zainab is free of his retaliation, she has stopped modelling and participating in other activities. She relocated to Canada after selling her father’s home and began leading a sinless life. Zainab works for Karam Ali in a retail shop. Karam Ali appears, but she chooses to ignore him. Karam Ali finds her attractive, meets her numerous times, and as they spend more time together, they progressively fall in love. When she refuses his invitation to come to his house to meet with his mother, Zainab is forced to leave.Karam get angry with his family due to their behavior and he claims that his mother and brother have used him just for amassing wealth to fulfill their needs and to uplift their social status. Karam leaves tormented in search of Zainab. And while looking for her, Karam finds all the things he had given her left at various points on a path that leads to her apartment. But by the time Karam reaches, Zainab had already committed suicide by jumping from the balcony.

My Thoughts

Umera Ahmed’s Man O Salwa is an excellent read and one does not want to leave it in the middle. I read it in one go and enjoyed it thoroughly. It sometimes gets boring and sometimes one gets confused but overall the novel is a true representation of our society, where if you are greedy you generally select the wrong path to get rich quickly. That is why the patience is necessary for getting good results from your efforts.

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  1. leo girl

    I Love this novel but ending sad

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