Annemarie Schimmel (7 April 1922 – 26 January 2003) was an influential German Orientalist and scholar who wrote extensively on Islam and Sufism. Internationally renowned, she was a professor at Harvard University from 1967 to 1992.
|Born||7 April 1922|
|Died||26 January 2003 (aged 80)|
|Education||Doctorate in Islamic civilization and languages, doctorate in history of religions.|
|Occupation||Iranologist, Sindhologist, Orientalist, Islamic studies, Sufism studies, Iqbal studies|
Schimmel was born to Protestant and highly cultured middle-class parents in Erfurt, Germany. Her father Paul was a postal worker and her mother Anna belonged to a family with connections to seafaring and international trade. Schimmel remembered her father as "a wonderful playmate, full of fun," and she recalled that her mother made her feel that she was the child of her dreams. She also remembered her childhood home as being full of poetry and literature, though her family was not an academic one.
Having finished high school at age 15, she worked voluntarily for half a year in the Reichsarbeitsdienst (Reich Labor Service). She then began studying at the University of Berlin in 1939, at the age of 17, during the Third Reich (1933-1945), the period of Nazi domination in Europe. At the university, she was deeply influenced by her teacher Hans Heinrich Schaeder, who suggested that she study the Divan of Shams Tabrisi, one of the major works of Jalaluddin Rumi. In November 1941 she received a doctorate with the thesis Die Stellung des Kalifen und der Qadis im spätmittelalterlichen Ägypten (The Position of the Caliph and the Qadi in Late Medieval Egypt). She was then only 19 years old. Not long after, she was drafted by the Auswärtiges Amt (German Foreign Office), where she worked for the next few years while continuing her scholarly studies in her free time. After the end of World War II in Europe, in May 1945, she was detained for several months by U.S. authorities for investigation of her activities as a German foreign service worker, but she was cleared of any suspicion of collaboration with the Nazis. In 1946, at the age of 23, she became a professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at the University of Marburg, Germany. She was married briefly in the 1950s, but domestic life did not suit her, and she soon returned to her scholarly studies. She earned a second doctorate at Marburg in the history of religions (Religionswissenschaft) in 1954.
A turning point in Schimmel's life came in 1954 when she was appointed Professor of the History of Religion at Ankara University. She spent five years in the capital city of Turkey teaching in Turkish and immersing herself in the culture and mystical tradition of the country. She was the first woman and the first non-Muslim to teach theology at the university. In 1967 she inaugurated the Indo-Muslim studies program at Harvard University and remained on the faculty there for the next twenty-five years. While living in quarters on the Harvard campus, Schimmel often visited New York City, where, as a consultant at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she was famed for her ability to date manuscripts and objects from the style of calligraphy in or on them. Her memory of calligraphic styles was almost photographic. During the 1980s, she served on the editorial board of the Encyclopedia of Religion, published in 16 volumes (Macmillan, 1988) under the aegis of Mircea Eliade. In 1992, upon her retirement from Harvard, she was named Professor Emerita of Indo-Muslim Culture. During this period, she was also an honorary professor at the University of Bonn. After leaving Harvard, she returned to Germany, where she lived in Bonn until her death in 2003. Despite her love for Islamic cultures, she remained a devout Lutheran all her life 
Schimmel taught generations of students in a unique style that included lecturing with her eyes closed and reciting long passages of mystical poetry from memory. She was multilingual—besides German, English, and Turkish, she spoke Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and Punjabi—and her interests ranged across the Muslim landscape. She published more than fifty books and hundreds of articles on Islamic literature, mysticism, and culture, and she translated Persian, Urdu, Arabic, Sindhi, and Turkish poetry and literature into English and German. Her particular fondness for cats led her to write a book about their role in Islamic literature, and her interest in mysticism resulted in a book about numerical symbolism in various cultures. Her consuming passion, however, was Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam. Even prominent Sufis acknowledged her as one of the foremost experts on their history and tradition.
She was given other awards from many countries of the world, including the 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, author of The Satanic Verses (1988), a novel, in a television interview. Schimmel's award speech is available online in translation, entitled "A Good Word Is Like a Good Tree."
Among other awards and honors are the following.
Schimmel also received honorary degrees from three Pakistani universities (Sind, Quaid-i-Azam, and Peshawar), from the Faculty of Theology at Uppsala University, Sweden (1986) , and from Selçuk University in Turkey.
Canal Bank Road (Punjabi, Urdu: سڑک نہر, Sarak-e-Nehr), also known as Khayaban-e-Annemarrie Schimmel (Punjabi, Urdu: خیابان اننمرے سچمل ), is a major six lane east-west signal free road which extends along the banks of the Lahore Canal in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. The road serves as a major central artery of Lahore and extends from Multan Road in Thokar Niaz Beg to BRB Canal Road in Khaira, passing through the neighbourhoods of Johar, Gulberg, Mughalpura and Harbanspura. Originally known as Canal Bank Road, in 2000, the Government of Pakistan renamed Canal Bank Road in honour of Annemarie Schimmel, for her works in Sufism and Muhammad Iqbal, a prominent philosopher and national poet of Pakistan.Die Welt des Islams
Die Welt des Islams or the International Journal for the Study of Modern Islam is an academic journal on Islam and the Muslim world published by Brill. The journal publishes articles in three languages—English, French, and German—and its German title translates into English as "The World of Islam" and French as "Le Monde de l'Islam". It is one of the oldest Western journals for the study of Islam. It has published articles by C. H. Becker, Miriam Cooke, Maxime Rodinson, Annemarie Schimmel, Bernard Lewis, Hamid Algar, and Muhammad Hamidullah.Fikrun wa Fann
Fikrun wa Fann (meaning Art and Thought in English) is a biannual multilingual cultural magazine owned by Goethe Institute.Iblis
Iblīs (or Eblis) is a figure frequently occurring in the Quran, commonly in relation to the creation of Adam and the command to prostrate himself before him. After he refused, he was cast out of heaven. For many classical scholars, he was an angel, but regarded as a jinn in most contemporary scholarship. Due to his fall from God's grace, he is often compared to Satan in Christian traditions. In Islamic tradition, Iblis is often identified with Al-Shaitan ("the Devil"). However, while Shaitan is used exclusively for an evil force, Iblis himself holds a more ambivalent role in Islamic traditions.Javid Nama
The Javid Nama (Persian: جاوید نامہ), or Book of Eternity, is a Persian book of poetry written by Allama Muhammad Iqbal and published in 1932. It is considered to be one of the masterpieces of Iqbal. It is inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy, and just as Dante's guide was Virgil, Iqbal is guided by Moulana Rumi. Both of them visit different spheres in the heavens coming across different people. Iqbal uses the pseudonym Zinda Rud for himself in this book.
It was translated into English by Arthur J. Arberry and into German as Dschavidnma: Das Buch der Ewigkeit by Annemarie Schimmel and in Italian as Il poema Celeste by Alessandro Bausani. Schimmel also prepared a Turkish translation, Cevidname, based on her German edition.List of religious studies scholars
Religious studies is the academic field of multi-disciplinary, secular study of religious beliefs, behaviors, and institutions.
Edwin David Aponte
Raymond Apple, Australian Rabbi, writer on Jewish, interfaith and freemasonic issues
Karen Armstrong, author of A History of God
Miguel Asín Palacios, Spanish Arabist, work on the mutual influence between Christianity and Islam
Robert Baker Aitken, author of numerous academic books on Zen Buddhism
Reza Aslan, author of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside
Edmond La Beaume Cherbonnier, professor and scholar, author of Hardness of Heart (1955)
Catherine Bell, ritual studies scholar
Herbert Berg, scholar of Islamic origins
Peter Berger, author of The Sacred Canopy
Pascal Boyer, author of Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought
Joseph Epes Brown, author of The Sacred Pipe and Teaching Spirits: Understanding Native American Religious Traditions
Frank G. Carver
John Corrigan, co-author of Religion in America, editor of the "Chicago History of American Religion" book series (University of Chicago Press)
Frank M. Cross, emeritus professor Harvard Divinity School, interpreter of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Ioan P. Culianu, author of The HarperCollins Concise Guide to World Religions and Out of This World
Miguel A. De La Torre
Arti Dhand, associate professor at the University of Toronto, Department for the Study of Religion
Wendy Doniger, (formerly published as Wendy O'Flaherty) is a leading researcher in Hinduism among other topics on religion.
Émile Durkheim, author of The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, a seminal work on sociology of religion
Diana L. Eck
Bart Ehrman, author, and James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Mircea Eliade, author of The Sacred and the Profane and History of Religious Ideas, vol.I-III
Steven Engler, Canadian scholar of religion
Carl W. Ernst, specialist in Islamic studies, author of Sufism: An Introduction to the Mystical Tradition of Islam
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
James George Frazer, author of The Golden Bough
Sigmund Freud, author of Totem and Taboo, The Future of an Illusion, and Moses and Monotheism
Rajmohan Gandhi, author of Revenge and Reconciliation
Arnold van Gennep
René Girard, whose theological works include Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World
Stephen D. Glazier, editor of The Encyclopedia of African and African American Religions
Justo Gonzalez, author of The Story of Christianity and a leading figure in Hispanic theology
Wouter Hanegraaff, author of New Age Religion and Western Culture: Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought
Ishwar C. Harris
Nathan O. Hatch, author of "The Democratization of American Christianity"
Steven Heine, scholar of East Asian Buddhism, especially Zen and Dogen
Susan Henking, scholar of religion, gender and sexuality, and president of Shimer College
Peter L Hobson, author of The Hermeneutics of Followship: Relocating Narratives of Discipleship
Zora Neale Hurston, author of Mules and Men and Hoodoo in America
Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz
William James, author of The Varieties of Religious Experience
Carl G. Jung
Adam Kotsko, author of Zizek and Theology and The Politics of Redemption, and translator of Agamben
Hans Küng, Catholic theologian, author of Tracing the Way. Spiritual Dimensions of the World Religions
Gerardus van der Leeuw
Bruce Lincoln (University of Chicago), author of Holy Terrors: Thinking about Religion after September 11, Theorizing Myth: Narrative, Ideology, and Scholarship and Discourse and the Construction in Society
Bronislaw Kaspar Malinowski
Martin E. Marty (University of Chicago), author of the series Modern American Religion, editor of The Fundamentalism Project
John Macquarrie, Christian Existentialist and Systematic Theologian
Russell T. McCutcheon
Josef W. Meri
George Foot Moore, scholar and theologian, author of History of Religions (two wolumes – 1914, 1919) and Judaism (two volumes, 1927)
Friedrich Max Müller, editor of Sacred Books of the East
Seyyed Hossein Nasr, author of Islam: Religion, History, and Civilization
Rudolf Otto, author of The Idea of the Holy
Elaine Pagels, author of The Gnostic Gospels
Christopher Partridge, author of The Re-enchantment of the West
Geoffrey Parrinder, former professor at King's College London and author of What World Religions Teach Us (1968)
F. E. Peters, Professor at New York University and author of numerous books on Christianity, Judaism and Islam
Stephen Prothero, Professor at Boston University and author of "American Jesus"; "Religious Literacy"; and "God Is Not One."
Arne Runeberg (1912–1979), Finnish sociologist, anthropologist and linguist
Annemarie Schimmel, author of Mystical Dimensions of Islam
Arvind Sharma, author of Women in World Religions
Christian Smith, author of Soul Searching: the Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers
Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions
Jonathan Z. Smith (University of Chicago), author of Map is Not Territory; Imagining Religion: From Babylon to Jonestown and To Take Place: Toward Theory in Ritual
Wilfred Cantwell Smith
William Robertson Smith, Scottish theologian, early work in the "higher criticism" of the Bible
Ninian Smart, author of Dimensions of the Sacred
John Shelby Spong, author The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love and other works
Toulmin, Joshua (1740–1815), English radical Dissenting minister
Edward Burnett Tylor
James Webb, author of The Occult Underground and The Harmonious Circle
Christian K. Wedemeyer
Linda Woodhead, MBE. Director of The Religion and Society Programme
Heinrich Robert Zimmer, Indologist, author of Philosophies of India and Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization
Ghil'ad Zuckermann, linguist, revivalist, scholar of language, religion and nationhoodMirza Mazhar Jan-e-Janaan
Mirzā Mazhar Jān-i Jānān (Urdu: مرزا مظہر جانِ جاناں), also known by his laqab Shamsuddīn Habībullāh (1699–1781), was a renowned Naqshbandī Sufi poet of Delhi, distinguished as one the "four pillars of Urdu poetry." He was also known to his contemporaries as the sunnītarāsh, "Sunnicizer", for his absolute, unflinching commitment to and imitation of the Sunnah.He established the Naqshbandī suborder Mazhariyya Shamsiyya.Qutb Shahi dynasty
The Qutb Shahi dynasty (or Golconda Sultanate) was a territory in south India. It was initially a highly Persianate Muslim Turkmens dynasty established in the 16th century that eventually adopted the regional culture of the Deccan (Telugu culture, language and the newly developed Deccani idiom of Urdu).
Its members were collectively called the Qutub Shahis and were the ruling family of the kingdom of Golkonda, in and near the modern-day states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The Golconda sultanate was constantly in conflict with the Adil Shahis and Nizam Shahis. In 1636, Shah Jahan forced the Qutb Shahis to recognize Mughal suzerainty, which lasted until 1687 when the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb conquered the Golcondan sultanate.Reza
Reza is an Arabic name, originating from the Arabic word رضا, Riḍā, which literally means 'the fact of being pleased or contented; contentment, approval". In religious context, this name is interpreted as satisfaction or "perfect contentment with God's will or decree". It is an Arabic word, and the name is neutral and not one used only by a particular sect, and is thus used by (Arab) Muslims, Arab Christians and Arab Druze. According to Annemarie Schimmel, "riḍā is closely related to shukr", Shukr is an Arabic term denoting thankfulness and gratitude. It is also frequently given as a male first name in Shīʻa Muslim communities as the 8th Shia Imam is named Ali ar-Ridha. Sometimes alternately spelled as Ridha, Rida, Redha. The name is widely popular in Iran, as the Ali ar-Ridha is buried there.Rida
Rida (Arabic: رضا, Riḍā) is one of the lives discussed in Sufism as well as early Islamic belief. The term "riḍā" literally means 'the fact of being pleased or contented; contentment, approval'. In religious context, this term is interpreted as satisfaction or "perfect contentment with God's will or decree". It is also frequently given as a male first name in Shīʻa Muslim communities, however is it also a male name given in the Arab Christian community, and in the Druze community. Sometimes alternately spelled: Ridha, after the eighth Shīʻa Imām, ʻAlī ibn Mūsā al-Riḍā (Ali ar-Ridha).Schimmel
Schimmel as a surname may refer to:
Annemarie Schimmel (1922–2003), German Islam scholar
Corrie Schimmel (born 1939), Dutch swimmer
Hendrik Jan Schimmel (1823–1906), Dutch poet and novelist
Jason Schimmel (born 1978), American musician from the band Estradasphere
Michael Schimmel (1896–1981), honorary trustee of Pace University
Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, principal theatre of pace University, New York City, named after Michael Schimmel
Paul Schimmel (born 1940), American biophysical chemist
Paul Schimmel (curator) (born 1954), American curator of contemporary art
Robert Schimmel (1950–2010), American stand-up comedian
Sean Schimmel, American swimming coach
Shoni Schimmel (born 1992), American basketball player
Sven Schimmel (born 1989), German football defender
Wilhelm Schimmel, German piano manufacturer founded by Wilhelm Schimmel (1854–1946)
William Schimmel (born 1946), American accordionistSohni Mahiwal
Sohni Mahiwal or Suhni Mehar (Punjabi: سوہنی معینوال, ਸੋਹਣੀ ਮਹੀਂਵਾਲ; Sindhi: سهڻي ميهار) is one of the four popular tragic romances of Punjab. The others are Sassi Punnun, Mirza Sahiba, and Heer Ranjha. Sohni Mahiwal is a tragic love story which inverts the classical motif of Hero and Leander. The heroine Sohni, unhappily married to a man she despises, swims every night across the river using an earthenware pot to keep afloat in the water, to where her beloved Mehar herds buffaloes. One night her sister-in-law replaces the earthenware pot with a vessel of unbaked clay, which dissolves in water and she dies in the whirling waves of the river.The story also appears in Shah Jo Risalo and is one of seven popular tragic romances from Sindh. The other six tales are Umar Marui, Sassui Punhun, Lilan Chanesar, Noori Jam Tamachi, Sorath Rai Diyach and Momal Rano commonly known as Seven Heroines (Sindhi: ست سورميون ) of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai. Shah begins the story at the most dramatic moment, when a young woman cries out for help in the cold river, attacked by crocodiles. The whole chapter (Sur Sohni) is merely an extension of this dreadful and yet hoped-for moment when the vessel of her body breaks and she, faithful to her pre-eternal love-covenant with Mehar, will be forever united through death.
Sohni is one of the favourite folktales both in Sindh and Punjab.Sufism in Sindh
Sufism in Sindh covers the tradition of Sufism in Sindh, which is reputed to be an area of mystics. Sindh is famous for the enormous number of saints and mystics who lived there and preached peace and brotherhood. According to popular legend, 125,000 of them are buried on Makli Hill near Thatta. There is an abundance of Sufi literature produced in Sindh throughout history.Tarkhan dynasty
The Tarkhan dynasty (Urdu: سلسله ترخان), or Turkhan dynasty, was established by Turkic Tarkhan and ruled Sindh, Pakistan from 1554 to 1591 AD. General Mirza Isa Beg founded the Tarkhan dynasty in Sindh after the death of Shah Husayn Arghun of the Arghun dynasty. Mughal emperor Akbar annexed Sindh after defeating the last Tarkhan ruler.Tomb of Allama Iqbal
The Tomb of Allama Muhammad Iqbal, or Mazaar-e-Iqbal (Urdu: مزار اقبال) is a mausoleum located within the Hazuri Bagh, in the Pakistani city of Lahore, capital of Punjab province.Tor Andræ
Tor Julius Efraim Andræ (Swedish: [ˈtuːr anˈdreː]; 9 July 1885 in Vena – 24 February 1947 in Linköping) was a Swedish scholar of comparative religion and bishop of Linköping from 1936.
Coming from a clerical family, Tor Andræ studied Theology at Uppsala University, where he completed his Ph.D. in 1917. He became professor of the History of Religions at the University College of Stockholm in 1927, and in Uppsala two years later. He was appointed bishop of Linköping in 1936 and was the same year briefly Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs (an archaic title which in reality meant Minister of Education) in the short-lived cabinet of Axel Pehrsson-Bramstorp.
Andræ was a student of Nathan Söderblom, whom he succeeded as member of the Swedish Academy in 1932. As a historian of religion, his particular interest lay in the early history of Islam, particularly its Jewish and Christian origins, and in the psychology of religion, but he also combined these interests in the study of early Islamic mysticism.
In 1985, Annemarie Schimmel remarked that until then only one study had "tried specifically to depict Muhammad's role in Islamic piety. Even today Tor Andrae's Die person Muhammeds in lehre und glaube seiner Gemeinde (1918) remains the standard work in this area, unsuperseded by any other major study, though complemented by random remarks in numerous modern work on Sufism. It is, however, unfortunately too little known even among Islamicists."Wahy
Waḥy (Arabic: وحي, IPA: [waħj]; also spelled wahi) is the Arabic word for revelation. In Islamic belief, revelations are God's Word delivered by his chosen individuals – known as Messenger prophets – to mankind. In Islam, the Quran is considered a wahy given to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. The word awha (أوحى awḥá) occurs in a number of shades of meaning in the Quran, each of them indicating the main underlying idea of directing or guiding someone or something. For example, "And inspired in each heaven its command," (Fussilat-12). "And your lord inspired to the bee," (An Nahl-68). "And we inspired to the mother of Mosses," (Al Qasas-7). Islamic scholars say that there is a clear difference between these kind of "wahy "and "wahy" to the Messenger Prophet. The prophets were very much conscious about revelations and they firmly believed that the revelations were true and came from the Almighty God. The word "wahy" (revelation) is derived from awha.Wheeler Thackston
Wheeler M. Thackston, Jr. (born 1944) is an Orientalist and distinguished editor and translator of numerous Chaghatai, Arabic and Persian literary and historical sources.
Thackston is a graduate of Princeton's Oriental Studies department, where he was a member of Princeton's Colonial Club, and Harvard's Near Eastern Studies department (Ph.D., 1974), where he was Professor of the Practice of Persian and other Near Eastern Languages since 1972. He studied at Princeton under Martin Dickson and at Harvard with Annemarie Schimmel. Thackston retired from teaching at Harvard in 2007.
His best-known works are Persian and Classical and Qur'anic Arabic grammars and his translations of the Babur-nama, the memoirs of the Mughal prince and emperor Babur, and the memoirs of Emperor Jahangir, or the Jahangir-nama. He has also produced important manuals or editions of texts in Levantine Arabic, Ottoman Turkish, Syriac, Uzbek, Luri, and Kurdish.
He has also studied Urdu and Sindhi but has not published texts from these languages.
Thackston has retired from his position at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University. He currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.Ḥ-S-N
Ḥ-S-N (Arabic: ح س ن) is the triconsonantal root of many Arabic words. Many of those words are used as names. The basic meaning expressed by the root is "good", "handsome" or "beautiful".This root occurs 194 times in the Qur'an, in 12 derived forms.