Ada Jafri

ادؔا جعفری
22 August 1924


22 August 1924




Ada Jafri, also known as “Ada Badayuni,” was a renowned Pakistani Urdu poet, born on August 22, 1924, in Badayun, India, and passed away on March 12, 2015, in Karachi, Pakistan. She is celebrated for her poignant and evocative poetry that reflected the emotions, struggles, and aspirations of women, making her a prominent figure in Urdu literature.

Ada Jafri began her literary journey in her teenage years, composing verses that captured the essence of love, pain, and societal issues. Her poetry often delved into the complexities of human emotions, touching upon themes such as feminism, social justice, and the human condition.

As a significant voice in the realm of Urdu literature, Jafri’s work broke conventional barriers and challenged societal norms. Her eloquent expression and profound insights into the female experience in a patriarchal society resonated deeply with her readers.

Throughout her career, Ada Jafri received numerous accolades and awards, acknowledging her invaluable contributions to Urdu poetry. Her notable works include “Main Saaz Dhoondti Rahi,” “Husn-e-Mutayyam,” and “Ghazal.” Her poetic compositions continue to inspire and captivate audiences, leaving a lasting legacy in the world of Urdu literature.

Early life

Sure, Ada Jafri, also known as Aziz Jahan, was born on August 22, 1924, in Badayun, India (now in the state of Uttar Pradesh). She hailed from a family that greatly encouraged education and literature, which played a crucial role in her passion for writing poetry.

Ada Jafri’s family moved to Pakistan after the partition of India in 1947. Her poetry often reflected the themes of love, separation, and the struggles faced by women. She became a prominent figure in Urdu literature, contributing significantly to modern Urdu poetry and inspiring many with her poignant verses. Her work was deeply rooted in her experiences and observations of societal and personal challenges.

Story behind the name

Ada Jafri was born as Aziz Jahan on August 22, 1924, in Badayun, India, during British colonial rule. She later adopted the pen name “Ada Jafri” when she embarked on her literary journey as a poet. The name “Ada” means style or elegance, while “Jafri” was derived from her husband’s name, Syed Muhammad Sibtain Jafri.

Jafri’s choice of the pen name “Ada” is indicative of her poetic style and elegance in expressing emotions and experiences through her verses. The name reflects her artistic approach and the grace with which she articulated various themes in her poetry, such as love, pain, and societal issues.

As for “Jafri,” it was a customary practice in the Urdu literary tradition for poets to adopt a pen name (takhallus) that often incorporated elements of their own name, family, or other significant aspects. In Ada Jafri’s case, “Jafri” was taken from her husband’s name, as a way to honor and acknowledge his influence and support in her life.

The amalgamation of “Ada” and “Jafri” not only became her identity in the world of Urdu poetry but also represented her refined style and the influence of her family life on her literary pursuits.


Ada Jafri was a prominent Urdu poet known for her significant contributions to literature. Some of her notable works include:

1. “Roshan Andheray” (Bright Darkness) – This collection of poems explores various facets of life, love, and the human experience.

2. “Shayad” (Perhaps) – A collection of poetry that reflects on various emotions, uncertainties, and the complexities of life.

3. “Ghazal” – Ada Jafri was well-known for her Ghazals, a poetic form consisting of rhyming couplets and a refrain, with each line sharing the same meter. Her Ghazals often delved into themes of love, loss, and human emotions.

These are some of her celebrated works, but Ada Jafri’s poetry delves deeply into themes of love, society, emotions, and the human condition, earning her a significant place in Urdu literature.


Ada Jafri, a prominent Pakistani poet, was a significant figure in Urdu literature. Her legacy lies in her contributions to modern Urdu poetry. She was a trailblazer for female poets and left an indelible mark on the literary landscape of Pakistan. Some aspects of her legacy include:

1. Pioneering Female Voice: Ada Jafri was one of the first female poets in Pakistan to gain widespread recognition for her literary work. She broke barriers and became an inspiration for many aspiring women writers in Urdu literature.

2. Contribution to Literature: Her poetry was celebrated for its depth, emotional richness, and exploration of various themes, including love, loss, and social issues. She often portrayed the experiences of women, love, and societal norms, which resonated deeply with her readers.

3. Recognition and Awards: Jafri received numerous awards and honors for her literary achievements. She was the recipient of the Pride of Performance Award, one of Pakistan’s highest honors given to individuals in various fields, including arts and literature.

4. Influence on Urdu Poetry: Her unique style and themes continue to influence contemporary Urdu poetry. She contributed significantly to the evolution of modern Urdu literature and remains a source of inspiration for aspiring poets.

5. Role in Education:Ada Jafri was also involved in education and played a part in promoting literary and cultural awareness, contributing to the preservation and promotion of Urdu language and literature.

6. Inspiration for Women: Her life and work have served as an inspiration for women, especially in conservative societies, encouraging them to pursue their passions and express themselves through art and literature.

Ada Jafri’s legacy lives on through her poetry, which continues to be cherished and studied, and through her impact on future generations of poets, especially women, in Pakistan and across the Urdu-speaking world.

Notable work

Ada Jafri was a highly regarded Pakistani poet known for her significant contributions to Urdu literature. Some of her notable works include:

1. Khushbu hai dariya: A collection of her poetry that earned her widespread recognition in the literary world.
2. Ghazal: Jafri’s poetry primarily consisted of ghazals, a form of Urdu poetry, and her compositions were celebrated for their depth, imagery, and emotions.
3. Manzil: Another collection of her poems that showcased her skill in expressing complex emotions and themes through her elegant and poignant verses.

Her poetry often delved into themes of love, loss, longing, and the human experience, earning her a place among the most prominent poets in Urdu literature. Jafri’s works continue to inspire and resonate with readers, captivating them with the beauty of her words and the depth of her expressions.

Popular hits on television


Awards and recognition

Ada Jafri, a prominent Urdu poet, received several awards and accolades for her contributions to literature and poetry. Some of the notable recognitions she received include:

1. Pride of Performance Award: She was honored with Pakistan’s prestigious civil award, the “Pride of Performance,” for her exceptional work in the field of Urdu literature.

2. Hilal-i-Imtiaz: Ada Jafri was also awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, one of the highest civilian honors in Pakistan, for her significant achievements in the field of literature.

Throughout her career, Ada Jafri made substantial contributions to Urdu poetry and literature, earning recognition and respect both nationally and internationally for her poetic prowess and literary impact.




Ada Jafri primarily wrote her poetry in Urdu, which is the national language of Pakistan and a language known for its rich literary heritage. She was celebrated for her mastery of the Urdu language and her significant contributions to Urdu poetry.

See also