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Annemarie Schimmel, SI, HI, (April 7, 1922January 26, 2003) was a well known and very influential Germanmarker Orientalist and scholar who wrote extensively on Islam and Sufism.

She received a doctorate in Islamic languages and civilization from the University of Berlinmarker at the age of nineteen. At twenty-three, she became a professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at the University of Marburgmarker (Germany) in 1946, where she earned a second doctorate in the history of religions in 1954.

A turning point in her life came in 1954 when she was appointed Professor of the History of Religion at the University of Ankara (Turkeymarker). There she spent five years teaching in Turkish and immersing herself in the culture and mystical tradition of the country. She was a faculty member at Harvard Universitymarker from 1967 to 1992 and became Professor Emerita of Indo-Muslim Culture upon her retirement. She was also an honorary professor at the University of Bonnmarker. She published more than 100 books on Islamic literature, mysticism and culture, and translated Persian, Urdu, Arabic, Sindhi and Turkish poetry and literature into English and German.

For her work on Islam, Sufism or mysticism and Muhammad Iqbal, the government of Pakistan honored her with one of its highest civil awards of known as Hilal-e-Imtiaz or 'Crescent of Excellence'. She was showered with many other awards from many countries of the world, including Leopold Lucas Prize of the Evangelisch-Theologische Faculty of the University of Tübingenmarker and 1995 prestigious Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. This award caused a controversy in Germany, as she had defended the outrage of the Islamic world against Salman Rushdie in a television interview.

Works by Annemarie Schimmel

  • As Through A Veil
  • And Muhammad Is His Messenger: The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety
  • A Dance of Sparks: Imagery of Fire in Ghalib's Poetry
  • A Two-Colored Brocade: The Imagery of Persian Poetry
  • Deciphering the Signs of God: A Phenomenological Approach to Islam (1991-1992 Gifford Lectures, online)
  • Gabriel's Wing: Study into the Religious Ideas of Sir Muhammad Iqbal
  • Mystical Dimensions of Islam
  • Rumi's World : The Life and Works of the Greatest Sufi Poet
  • Look! This Is Love
  • The Triumphal Sun: A Study of the Works of Jalaloddinn Rumi
  • Islam: An Introduction
  • Islamic Calligraphy
  • Make A Shield From Wisdom : Selected Verses from Nasir-i Khusraw's Divan
  • Ernst Trumpp;: A brief account of his life and work
  • The Mystery of Numbers
  • Islam and the Wonders of Creation: The Animal Kingdom (2003)

See also


  • Burzine K. Waghmar, Annemarie Schimmel, Obituary, The Guardian, February 6, 2003[59629]

External links

  • Burzine K. Waghmar, Professor Annemarie Schimmel (April 7, 1922 to January 26, 2003), Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 13 (2003): 377-79. [59630]
  • Burzine K. Waghmar, Review of Morgenland und Abendland: mein west-östliches Leben in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 15 (2005): 236-38. [59631] (Annemarie Schimmel's autobiography)
  • M. Ikram Chaghatai and Burzine K. Waghmar, Bibliography of the works of the Scholar-Hermit Prof. Dr. Annemarie Schimmel, ed. M. Suheyl Umar, Iqbal Academy, Lahore, 2004.[59632]
  • Harvard link
  • Biography of Annemarie Schimmel (in Persian)
  • Annemarie Schimmel and Muhammad Iqbal Lecture of Khosro Naghed in Tehraner university. (in German/Persian)
  • An Obituary

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