Allama Iqbal Professorial Fellowship
The Allama Iqbal Professorial Fellowship at the South Asia Institute is supported by the government of Pakistan. Its tenure is set at three years with the possibility of extension. Similar fellowships are in place at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Berkeley and Columbia. The awarding of the fellowship to the University of Heidelberg was renewed on November 17th 2008 with the signing of an Agreement of Cooperation by the ambassador of Pakistan, S.E. Shahid Kamal, and representatives of the South Asia Institute and Heidelberg University.
The Iqbal Fellowship was established in order to deepen the co-operation between Pakistan and Germany. It contributes to the extension of research on Pakistan in the areas of modern literatures, political science, history, geography and the natural sciences. As such, it complements as well as expands the research on Pakistan at the SAI, which is further reflected in the Pakistan Working Group (Arbeitskreis Pakistan) and the Urdu-courses and Urdu summer schools, which have been regularly offered since the 1960s.
The introduction of the Allama Iqbal Professorial Fellowship can be traced back to 1977, when the 100 year anniversary of the poet-philosopher's birthday was celebrated. Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938) was very fond of Heidelberg, where he spent some time studying Philosophy, Literature and German. Looking back on his sojourn in Heidelberg, he wrote: "My stay in Heidelberg was like a beautiful dream". To commemorate the residence of the famous poet in Heidelberg, one of the banks of the Neckar was named after him. Moreover, there is a small stone monument on which his poem "Ek śām Nekar ke kināre" (Greeting to the Neckar) is engraved. The introduction of the Professorial Fellowship named after Iqbal is not only testimony to Iqbal's enthusiasm for Heidelberg but also continues his efforts to foster exchange between the East and the West. Iqbal Fellows in Heidelberg include:
- Prof. Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah (History): 2009-2014
- Prof. Dr. Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema (Politology): 1996-2000
- Prof. Fateh Mohammad Malik (Urdu): 1992-1995
- Prof. Dr. Hasan Askari Rizvi (Politology): 1988 -1991
- Prof. Fateh Mohammad Malik (Urdu): 1984-1988
- Prof. Dr. Mohammad S. Khan Shibli (Urdu): 1981-1984
- Prof. Dr. Mohammad Ajmal Makhdum (Psychology): 1979-1980