An Urdu novel is always better than the drama that brings it to life! – say most if not all readers.
Peer e Kamil (saw) meaning “The Perfect Mentor” is written by Pakistani writer Umera Ahmed, who has managed to gain immense popularity over the past years with Peer e Kamil (saw) proving to be a milestone in her career. The novel was originally published in Urdu in 2004 and later in English in 2011.
The story revolves around Salar Sikander, male protagonist with an I.Q. of 150+
and Imama Hashim, female protagonist who is an Ahmedi but later converts to Sunni Muslim as she embarks on a spiritual journey as a result of deep rumination about Islam.
The most conspicuous and distinctive thing which makes it stand out amongst all other literary works of Umera Ahmed about this novel is a person’s relationship with Allah.
The writer subtly and stealthily yet in a comprehensive way explains how a person is in “constant need” of mending his relationship with Allah and the only means is by embracing the lifestyle of Prophet (saw), who indeed is “The Perfect Mentor” for his followers.
Salar and Imama, two young individuals who are poles apart, and
find themselves connected to each other through a sudden unusual turn of events. Imama, who is an Ahmadi Muslim, is a religious girl with a stable family, secretly converts to a Sunni Muslim and while her parents plan to marry her off with her cousin who’s an Ahmadi himself, she finds no other option but to turn to her neighbour, Salar.
Salar, on the other hand, is a man with exceptional talent and with an aura of attracting people whenever he walks into the room but his quest to seek a feeling “next to ecstasy” makes him troublesome for his family as he makes suicidal attempts. No, he is not a depressed millennial but his thirst to reach the peak of an unknown emotion drives him to indulge in adventures. His indifferent attitude towards people and self-centred personality draws him far from the actual reason of human existence.
As the story proceeds, the writer tugs at our heartstrings
when a horrific incident causes Salar to change his course of dreams and its aftermath leads him to fall in love with Imama, unconditionally & selflessly.
Here Umera Ahmed finally uncovers the undercurrents in our society, unleashing typical Pakistani culture upon the reader which makes the novel all the more relatable and the readers find it hard to think about anything other than impatiently waiting for the story to reach its climax.
The novel majorly focuses on Salar’s transformation from a ruthless, impertinent and selfish person to an altruistic, calm and firm believer.
Not only this, but the novel gives us a sneak peek into the complex personalities of individuals who are nowhere close to what they pose to be.
The ultimate lesson which is conveyed to the readers is that the more we drift away from our Creator, the more we are given “worldly pleasures” which slowly and relentlessly drag us down to the wallow of mere deception. And the more we glide close to The Almighty, the more we experience hardships until we reach a point where there is no one but us and the Creator.
Eventually, then and there, does the Almighty shower His Mercy and Blessings beyond our comprehension.
Just when you think you have lost, that’s the point when you actually attain the true meaning of your being.
For those who live for the love of Urdu literature which is in line with the morals of Pakistani society, Peer e Kamil (saw) is a must read for them.
It is indeed a roller coaster ride of ughh, awww, ohhh and yayyy for you!
Listen in to the audio book for Urdu Novel Peer e Kamil here.