Upon his return to India in 1908, Iqbal took up assistant professorship at the Government College in Lahore, but for financial reasons he relinquished it within a year to practice law. During this period, Iqbal’s personal life was in turmoil. 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. He became active in the Anjuman-e-Himayat-e-Islam, a congress of Muslim intellectuals, writers and poets as well as politicians and in 1919 became the general secretary of the organization.
Iqbal’s thoughts in his work primarily focused on the spiritual direction and development of human society, centered on experiences from his travel and stay in Western Europe and the Middle East.
He was profound influence 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 perceive as its obsession with materialist pursuits.