16 Facts About Annemarie Schimmel


Annemarie Schimmel was an influential German Orientalist and scholar who wrote extensively on Islam, especially Sufism.


Annemarie Schimmel was a professor at Harvard University from 1967 to 1992.


Annemarie Schimmel's father Paul was a postal worker and her mother Anna belonged to a family with connections to seafaring and international trade.


Annemarie 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.


Annemarie Schimmel remembered her childhood home as being full of poetry and literature, though her family was not an academic one.


Annemarie Schimmel then began studying at the University of Berlin in 1939, at the age of 17, during the Third Reich, the period of Nazi domination in Europe.


Annemarie Schimmel was married briefly in the 1950s, but domestic life did not suit her, and she soon returned to her scholarly studies.


Annemarie Schimmel earned a second doctorate at Marburg in the history of religions in 1954.


Annemarie Schimmel spent five years in the capital city of Turkey teaching in Turkish and immersing herself in the culture and mystical tradition of the country.


Annemarie Schimmel was the first woman and the first non-Muslim to teach theology at the university.


Annemarie Schimmel was often asked by both Muslims and non-Muslims alike whether she was a Muslim or not.


Annemarie Schimmel 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.


Annemarie Schimmel's consuming passion was Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam.


Annemarie Schimmel was the cofounder of Fikrun wa Fann, a multilingual cultural magazine.


Annemarie Schimmel was given other awards from many countries of the world, including the 1995 prestigious Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.


Annemarie Schimmel received honorary degrees from three Pakistani universities, from the Faculty of Theology at Uppsala University, Sweden, and from Selcuk University in Turkey.