Umrao Jan Ada was an immediate and thunderous success, proving that the successful literary pieces are always those that can satisfy the lusty cravings of men and women through softcore vulgarity. Critics acclaimed it at once as one of the best narratives of the life and culture of Lucknow and praised Mirza Hadi Ruswa's mastery of Urdu prose. Several editions of the novel were sold. The theme, no doubt, contributed to its large sale, but it was its language that made it a steady seller for all time. Two other novels, Zat-e-Shareef and Shareef Zada, did not do as well but Akhtari Begum was again applauded by the Urdu-speaking intelligentsia. It is still considered by some to be better than Umrao Jan Ada. Mirza Hadi Ruswa wrote a large number of treatises on religious and philosophical subjects. He had a deep and abiding interest in religion and Greek metaphysics. He was the head of the literary department at the All India Shia Conference and wrote twenty volumes on the Shia religion.