PhD Projects

The Muhammad Iqbal Research Centre aims to highlight and bring attention to the multidisciplines of Iqbal's opus: Iqbal's thought can add another dimension to how we perceive religion, philosophy, politics, economics, history, philologies and sciences. The scholars deliberate on Islamic thought through Iqbal's non-European view, claiming a seat at the table of discussion about the Islamic thought. Through their PhD projects, the junior scholars not only contribute to the understanding of Iqbal's work, but also carry Iqbal's thought in the best sense of the world tradition.


Zülkif Gencer


Working title: Islamischer Staat? Islamic State? On the Construction of religiously legitimised Politics in Modern Times

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ahmad Milad Karimi

The changes in the Muslim world in modern times are indicating a tendency: Religion does continue to exert a dominating influence in the reorganisation of Muslim societies and has multiple and different effects on the politcal systems in states with a Muslim majority. Religiously motivated movements like an-Nahda in Tunisia, Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan, al-Iḫwān al-Muslimūn in Egypt and Millî Görüş in Turkey, from which the AKP emanated, influence politics significantly. Muslim thinkers delevop a theoretical foundation for a religious motivated organisational theories. A central actor in these developments is among others Muhammad Iqbal who enjoys a high reputation in the Muslim world. The aim of the project is a critical approach towards the works of scholars who tried to justify a state theory with Muslim sources. The project will examine how politico-social notions of order are legitimised by depicting the mesh of circumstances, interdependencies and conclusions that lead to the set of norms for these state theories.


shaheela baigShaheela Baig

Working title: The Achievement of Immortality through Self-Development

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ahmad Milad Karimi

Immortality is eternal life - the indefinite continuation of the mental, spiritual, or physical existence of individual human beings. In many philosophical and religious traditions, immortality is conceived as the continued existence of an immaterial soul or mind beyond the physical death of the body. A belief in the afterlife is a basic tenet in many religions and even the belief of the three major religions of the world, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. However, the concept of an immortal soul is not. The "soul" itself has different meanings and is not used in the same way in different religions and different denominations of a religion. Allama Muhammad Iqbal speaks of eternal life which can not only be achieved but which is the basic purpose of the human beings. For Iqbal, the soul’s survival after death is not synonymous with its immortality. Everyone survives death, but a person’s choices in the present, earthly life determine the quality of his or her existence in the hereafter. When Iqbal refers to immortality, he is not talking about the survival only but the absolutely fullest experience of life that human beings are potentially capable of enjoying, with God’s grace. This immortality is achieved not in a single leap but in many stages during which the finite ego becomes an increasingly permanent element in the constitution of reality. For Iqbal, the path of self-growth begins as soon as one submit oneself to the discipline of the divine law.


huebsch alia 02Alia Hübsch-Chaudhry

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ahmad Milad Karimi

Within the German philosophy of the modern era or the Islamic theology (early history, middle and modern age) there are to date no research works that form a synthesis of theories on divine experiences as well as an empirical study of divine experiences in the form of narrations and experience reports by believers of Islam and Christianity. In the first Part of my thesis German philosophers (Schaeffler, Hoye, Jüngel, Doering, Schoener) will encounter Islamic thinkers and scholars (Prophet Muḥammad, Abū Naṣr ʿAbd Allāh as-Sarrāǧ aṭ-Ṭūsī, Abū l-Qāsim ʿAbd al-Karīm ibn Hawāzin al-Qušairī, Muḥammad Iqbāl, Mirzā Ġulām Aḥmad) because they address the topic of divine experiences on the theoretical level. My criterias to analyze their theories of divine experiences are: definition, conditions, logic and persuasion. Moreover I will differentiate between divine experiences and experiences as such.