August 24 – November 9, 2018

The story of Zulqarnayn in Surah Kahaf is one of the most talked about passages in the Quran. This online course is the first ever attempt to interpret this passage by using the method suggested by Iqbal for the study of the Quranic narratives. The main focus of the course will be the Quranic concept of an ideal ruler, especially for our times.

By registering for this course you will become part of a unique team that will set out to navigate, for the first time, this uncharted territory – the Quranic story of Zulqarnayn in the light of the framework of Iqbal.

  • August 24 – November 9, 2018

  • 12 weeks

  • 1-4 hours of work every week

  • English

  • Designed & Conducted by Khurram Ali Shafique

  • Certificate from Marghdeen, Dabistan-i-Iqbal and Topline Publishers

  • US$40; Subsidized in Pakistan: Rs.4000

  • Registration closes Friday, August 17, 2018


Course facilitator

Khurram Ali Shafique
Khurram Ali ShafiquePresidential Iqbal Award
Khurram Ali Shafique is the author of several books on Iqbal, including “Iqbal: an Illustrated Biography”, for which he received Presidential Iqbal Award, and the recently published “Iqbal: His Life and Our Times”. He has vast experience as an educationist. He is the founder of Marghdeen Learning Centre and is the pioneer of online courses in Iqbal Studies, which he has been conducting since May 2011.

Course outline

This will be an introduction to ourselves, the topic and the approach

Chapter 18, Verses 83-98

Here we shall discuss the information available about the circumstances under which this chapter of the Quran was revealed

Scholars have always been curious about the identity of the historical Zulqarnayn. In the past, it was supposed to be Alexander the Great but now the consensus is building on Cyrus the Great.

The story of Zulqarnayn has also been the source of some of the most widespread speculations about the End of Times in Muslim folklore. Here, we shall take a look at them from the perspective of Iqbal

Both Goethe and Iqbal emphasized the Quranic method of retelling stories for conveying a new message. We shall explore the story of Zulqarnayn from this point of view, and see its role in the overall narrative of the Quran about the destiny of humankind

According to Iqbal, the purpose of every religion is to universalize a new type of personality and to create a world suitable for that personality. This process can take centuries. Here, we shall explore the story of Zulqarnayn for understanding the type of personality and world order desired by the Quran

According to Iqbal, the essence of Tauhid as a working idea is solidarity, equality and freedom, and the purpose of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was to universalize these ideal principles. Here, we shall explore the story of Zulqarnayn as a demonstration of these principles

Here we shall explore the ethical aspect of the relationship between the ruler and the ruled as it appears in the story of Zulqarnayn

Here we shall explore the economic aspect of the relationship between the ruler and the ruled as it appears in the story of Zulqarnayn

We shall explore the possibility whether a society can collectively play the role of Zulqarnayn, and thus do away with the distinction between the ruler and the ruled altogether

This will be a session for winding-up the course

Course format

This 12-week course consists of weekly blog posts, which will also be sent via email for your convenience. You will be required to engage in discussion with other participants by posting your comments on the course blog (restricted to registered participants), and this will entitle you to earning the certificate. There will be no assignments or tests. However, the facilitator will be providing you quality feedback on your input throughout the course. Real-time interaction does not constitute a part of this course but one-on-one online conversation with the course facilitator can be arranged on request (up to 30 minutes per  month) if you desire.

How to get enrolled

By following the procedure for enrollment given below, you indicate that you agree with the Terms of Service for the Online Courses at Marghdeen.


If you are making payment from outside Pakistan, please use the Paypal button below for paying US$40 or its  equivalent in your currency. You will receive a confirmation email with further instructions (usually within 24 hours).

In Pakistan

If you are making payment from within Pakistan, please follow the two-step procedure described below:

  1. You can transfer the amount of Rs.4000 (Four Thousand Rupees only) into the bank account of Topline Publishers or send a crossed-cheque at their postal address. The bank account for online money transfer is: Meezan Bank, Branch Code: 0165, Account No: 0165-010-141-5177, Account Title: Hunain Bin Jabbar, Al-Hilal Society Branch, Karachi. If you choose to send a crossed cheque, please make it in the name of “Topline Publishers” and post it to Topline Publishers, Office #03, Bright Corner, Opposite Askari Park, Off University Road, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, Pakistan. Ph: (021)34937440.
  2. Email a scanned copy of online transfer (or number of bank account from which the crossed cheque has been sent) to Please note that this is important because the fees deposited with Topline Publishers will be credited to your name only after we receive this email from you.

Get enrolled now.

Registration closes Friday, August 17.