Rice University alumnus named Marshall Scholar

Muhammad Ibrahim Khan will study Islamic studies and history at Oxford University

Rice University alumnus Muhammad Ibrahim Khan ’13 is one of 32 students from across the U.S. selected for a 2016 Marshall Scholarship.

Muhammad Ibrahim Khan

Muhammad Ibrahim Khan

The scholarship, founded by an Act of Parliament in 1953 to commemorate the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan, allows American students to pursue two years of graduate study at any institution in the United Kingdom. Marshall Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit, leadership and ambassadorial potential.

Khan, who has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice in English and cognitive science, is currently a visiting graduate student in history and anthropology at Rice. He applied for the Marshall Scholarship while completing the comparative literature master’s program at Dartmouth College. He will use the scholarship to pursue a master’s in philosophy in Islamic studies and history at Oxford University.

“Receiving the Marshall Scholarship is an immense honor, and I’m still thinking of how I should prepare in the coming months to make the most out of my time in the U.K.,” Khan said. “At Oxford, my goal will be to examine the Islamic legal tradition, as well as premodern Muslim political thought and intellectual history.”

After he concludes his studies at Oxford, Khan plans to return to the U.S. and enroll in a dual law-Ph.D. program, where he will continue to study legal history, the history of political thought and intellectual history, but with a focus on the modern era.

“I’m interested in thinking about how current political thought and international law have come about, and I’d like to focus on the neglected areas and examine questions such as ‘What has the Muslim contribution been?’ and “How has contemporary Muslim thought changed as a result of the interaction with Europe?’” Khan said.

Khan said he envisions a future for himself in academia as a scholar and teacher and becoming more involved in civil and human rights.

“With the government, I hope to use my expertise in Western and Islamic law, history and society to contribute to the many emerging legal codes of the Middle East,” Khan said. “Domestically, I hope to help us rethink our often-problematic understandings of issues such as drugs and terrorism, and thereby produce more effective and just laws.”

For a complete list of the 2016 Marshall Scholars, visit www.marshallscholarship.org/scholars/.





About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is a Web editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.