Annemarie Schimmel was one of the most influential orientalist in the 20th century and briefly at the beginning of 21st century. She initially started studying Islamic studies after her professor, Hans Heinrich Schaeder, suggested that she study Divan of Rumi. She had received two doctorates, first one about late medieval Egypt and second with a thesis on mystical love in Islam.
She became the head of Ankara University’s Faculty of Theology in 1953. She studied Rumi intensively during his years in Turkey and later started studying contemporary Rumi, Allama Muhammad Iqbal. She produced an annotated translation of Iqbal’s Javid Nama. She also lectured at Harvard University from 1970 to 1992.
During her life, she authored many books including: Rumi’s world, mystical dimensions of Islam, Gabriel’s Wing: Study into the Religious Ideas of Sir Muhammad Iqbal …
She lectured in German, English, Turkish, French, Arabic, Persian and Urdu.
“She received the prestigious Peace Prize of the German Book-Trade Association to honor her achievements in generating East-West understanding; the President of Germany read the laudatio”
She studied many jahandosts and made those jahandosts heard not just in the western world but also reminded them to the eastern world.
She is also a jahandost where her friendship continues via the works she left behind.
We can only hope that more Schimmel’s are among us.