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  • Date :
  • 3/15/2005


(1922- 2003)

Professor Annemarie Schimmel was a leading German Islamologist who published more than 50 books on Islamic literature, mysticism and culture and translated Persian, Urdu, Arabic, Sindhi and Turkish poetry and literature into English and German.

Anne Marie Schimmel was born in Erfurt, a town in central Germany. An only child, she grew up in a loving home steeped in the German classics, especially poetry. She seems at an early age to have been conscious of her destiny. She writes: “It was absolutely clear to me when I was seven years old that I had to study something that had to do with Eastern languages and cultures. I have never even thought of doing anything else”. At fifteen she abandoned piano lessons for the study of Arabic that opened the door to a new world.
She received a doctorate in Islamic Languages and Civilization from the University of Berlin when she was only nineteen. At twenty three, she became the Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Marburg where she went on to earn a second doctorate in the History of Religions.
A turning point in her life came in 1954 when she was appointed Professor of the History of Religion at the University of Ankara. There she spent five years teaching in Turkish and immersing herself in the culture and mystical tradition of the country.
Anne Marie Schimmel was an early admirer of Muhammad Iqbal and translated the Javidnama into German verse. In 1958 she made the first of many visits to Pakistan, a country that became central to her work. She visited Pakistan numerous times, receiving three honorary degrees from Pakistani universities. In 1982, a tree-lined street in Lahore was named after her.
Before coming to Harvard in 1967, she was professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at theUniversity ofBonn. In 1970, she was named the first Professor of Indo-Muslim Culture, a chair endowed by A.K. Ozai Durrani, the inventor of Minute Rice.The recipient of many international distinctions and honorary degrees, Anne Marie Schimmel ended her academic career as Professor of Indo-Muslim Culture at Harvard, where she taught from 1970 to 1992. Following her retirement, she was elected Honorary Professor at the University of Bonn.
Upon retirement from Harvard, she remarked that she had enough scholarly projects planned to keep her busy for the next 10 years. A check of the HOLLIS catalog shows that her retirement years were not idle ones. No fewer than 40 works appeared under her name between 1993 to the present, including an autobiography.

Schimmel also dedicated her life to fostering a better understanding of Islam and the Muslim world in the West. She served as an important bridge for interreligious and intercultural dialogue, a role that brought her much public recognition. In 1992, she received the Leopold Lucas Prize of the Evangelisch-Theologische Faculty of theUniversity ofTübingen. The prize is given to persons who have striven to create better understanding among Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Schimmel was the first woman to win the award.

Works by Annemarie Schimmel

A Dance of Sparks: Imagery of Fire in Ghalib's Poetry

Rumi's World : The Life and Works of the Greatest Sufi Poet

Look! This Is Love

Islam: An Introduction

The Triumphal Sun. Life and Works of Mowlana Jalaloddin (1978)
Calligraphy and Islamic Culture (1984)
Mystical Dimensions of Islam (1975)
Berge, Wüsten, Heiligtümer (1994)
Gabriel’s Wing. A study into the religious ideas of Sir Muhammad Iqbal (1963)
Die Träume des Kalifen: Träume und ihre Deutung in der islamischen Kultur (1998)
Im Reiche der Großmoguln (2000)
The Mystery of Numbers (1993)
Islam in the Indian Subcontinent
And Muhammad is His Messenger(1985): The Veneration ofthe Prophet in Islamic Piety
A Two-Colored Brocade: The Imagery of Persian Poetry 1992)
Deciphering the Signs of God: A Phenomenological Approach to Islam 1993)
As Through a Veil 1982)
Islamic Personal Names 1990)
Make a Shield from Wisdom 1993)
Die Zeichen Gottes: Die religiöse Welt des Islams(1995)
Meine Seele ist eine Frau: Das Weibliche im Islam(1996)
Nightingales under the Snow
Die Religion des Islam(1999)
Im Namen Allahs, des Allbarmherzigen: der Islam(1999)
Sufismus: Eine Einführung in die islamische Mystik(2000)
Ernst Trumpp;: A brief account of his life and work

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Latest Comments
what do you see about "women in islam"
Response from Tebyan :
Friday, December 5, 2008
I would like to comment onher workand alsowantto knowif she has got herautobiography in English for me to read it
Response from Tebyan : Dear User This is all we have got! So you need to search a bit more. Tebyan
Saturday, November 3, 2007
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