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Following custom, at the age of 15 Iqbal's family arranged for him to be married to Karim Bibi, the daughter of an affluent Gujarati physician.
Iqbal was a strong proponent of the political and spiritual revival of Islamic civilization across the world, but specifically in India; a series of famous lectures he delivered to this effect were published as The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam.
One of the most prominent leaders of the All India Muslim League, Iqbal encouraged the creation of a "state in northwestern India for Indian Muslims" in his 1930 presidential address.
While studying for his Masters degree, Iqbal came under the wing of Sir Thomas Arnold, a scholar of Islam and modern philosophy at the college.
Arnold exposed the young man to Western culture and ideas, and served as a bridge for Iqbal between the ideas of East and West.
He divorced Karim Bibi in 1916, but provided financial support to her and their children for the rest of his life.
While maintaining his legal practice, Iqbal began concentrating on spiritual and religious subjects, and publishing poetry and literary works.
His potential as a poet and writer was recognized by one of his tutors, Sayyid Mir Hassan, and Iqbal would continue to study under him at the Scotch Mission College in Sialkot.
The student became proficient in several languages and the skill of writing prose and poetry, and graduated in 1892.
He was profoundly influenced by Western philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Henri Bergson and Goethe, and soon became a strong critic of Western society's separation of religion from state and what he perceived as its obsession with materialist pursuits.
He was especially influenced by Alfred North Whitehead, whom he frequently cited, adapting his process thought to interpret Islam in dynamic terms and to describe Muslims as always progressing towards 'ever-fresh illuminations from an Infinite Reality' that 'every moment appears in new glory' (1930: 123).