Al-Huda

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Professor Schimmel will always be missed !  

Part  3

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part5

Subj:  Guardian Obit for Schimmel, 5 Feb
Date:   2/11/03 1:10:54 PM Eastern Standard Time
From:   <A HREF="mailto:Transcendentlaw">Transcendentlaw</A> (Bob Crane)
To: <A HREF="mailto:SHAMSIN">SHAMSIN</A>
CC: <A HREF="mailto:jawill@erols.com">jawill@erols.com</A>

Salam,
Here is a particularly good obit on Annemarie Schimmel.  In the last
sentence, the word "support" should be replaced by the word "condemn" or
"oppose" in reference to Salman Rushdie.  This is a typo.

     I don't know whether I will have time to translate the Sueddeutsche
Zeitung obituary before I leave for Saudi Arabia this weekend.  In European
journals, such things are published in the original language, on the
presumption, which is quite valid there, that all educated people understand
at least English, French, and German.

     It is interesting that she is referred to as a non-Muslim in this
Guardian article.  I find it strange that anyone who would be so knowledgable
about her would not know that she formally declared a few years ago after
retiring from Harvard that she has always been a Muslim. 

     To know the truth might be devastating for some people, just as it would
have been if Saint Thomas Aquinas' embracing of Islam three months before he
died had been widely known.  When St. Thomas, Christianity's greatest
theologian, had a religious experience and declared that all forty volumes of
his Summa Theologica were nothing but straw in comparison to what he now
knew, the Pope "invited" him to Rome and he "died" along the way.
Bob Crane


Subj:   Guardian Obit for Schimmel, 5 Feb  
Date:   2/10/03 8:59:45 AM Pacific Standard Time   
From:    jawill@erols.com (John A. Williams)

> Annemarie Schimmel
> An orientalist revered across the Muslim world
> Burzine K Waghmar
> Wednesday February 05 2003
> The Guardian
>
> Annemarie Schimmel, who has died aged 80, was an orientalist who enriched
Harvard university during the last quarter of the 20th century.
>
> Universally acknowledged as the leading expert on Sufism, classical and
folk Islamic poetry, and Indo-Pakistani literature and calligraphy, she wrote
and translated 105 works, including numerous scholarly and popular articles.
Her own poetry was in the spirit of medieval Muslim mystics such as
al-Hallaj, Hafiz and Rumi - on whom she was the foremost western specialist.
>
> Schimmel's impressive output was attributable to a solid grounding in not
only the Islamic "tripos" of Arabic, Persian and Turkish, but also Urdu,
Pashto and Sindhi. For good measure she also added Czech and Swedish to her
native German, as well as Latin, English, French, Spanish and Italian. She
conversed in seven languages and delivered lectures in four, speaking and
quoting serenely to enraptured audiences, with eyes shut, extemporaneously
for an hour and often even longer.
>
> Born in Erfurt, the hometown of the German mystic Meister Eckhart,
Annemarie Schimmel grew up in a house "permeated with religious freedom and
poetry". She began studying Arabic at 15, finished high school two years
earlier than customary, and obtained her first doctorate from Berlin
university at 19 in Arabic, Turkish and Islamic history.
>
> After studying with Annemarie von Gabain, Richard Hartmann, Ernst Kuehnel
and the brilliant Hans Heinrich Schaeder, she commenced research on Mamluk
history for her  Habilitationsschrift (postdoctoral thesis). Having managed
to avoid getting drafted, she was employed in the translation bureau of the
foreign office during the war.
>
> Interned after Armistice Day (having submitted her thesis a month earlier),
and following an invitation to join the university of Marburg, Schimmel
delivered her inaugural address before turning 24 in January 1946. While
teaching there as assistant professor of Islamic studies (1946-54), she also
secured her second doctorate in 1951 on Islamic mysticism under Friedrich
Heiler, a pioneering historian of religions.
>
> Remarkably for a non-Muslim woman, Schimmel's next move was to Ankara
university's theology faculty where she taught (in Turkish) comparative
religions and church history from 1954 to 1959. She returned home to become
associate professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at Bonn university
(1961-65) and concomitantly co-edited (with Albert Theile) the Arabic
journal, Fikrun Wa Fann (Thought And Art).
>
> Despite the persuasion of the late Wilfred Cantwell Smith and Richard Frye,
she was initially disinclined to leave Bonn and her journal for Harvard. Frye
was chiefly instrumental in arranging for the Minute Rice bequest, the first
teaching position exclusively for South Asian Islamic culture, which she came
to hold in 1967 as lecturer and then as full professor of Indo-Muslim
Languages and Culture (1970-92).
>
> She became honorary professor at Bonn university after her retirement. The
Annemarie Schimmel Chair for Indo-Muslim Culture was instituted there on her
75th birthday in 1997.
>
> As the doyenne of Pakistan studies, Schimmel was an authority on that
nation's poet-philosopher, Sir Muhammad Iqbal, and hitherto unexamined
aspects of folklore, classical Urdu poetry and popular devotional life. She
came to own presented copies of Iqbal's Payam-i Mashriq (Message Of The East)
and Javidname (Book Of Eternity); and enthusiastically undertook over 35
visits to her second home to visit the tombs of Sindhi poet-saints.
>
> Over the years she received honorary doctorates, and both a boulevard in
Lahore and a scholarship for female students pursuing research abroad were
named after her. That a grave was always kept prepared for her burial in
Makli, Sind, was widely recounted in senior common rooms.
>
> Schimmel was revered across the Muslim world as an insider who appreciated
Islam's eclectic expressions of piety and achievement. She was the first
female president of the International Association of the Study of Religion
(1980); a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and a
recipient of the Grosses Bundesverdientskreuz (1989) and Friedenspreis des
Deutsche Buchhandels (1995), among other honours.
>
> Literary faddists expressed outrage at this on the grounds that she did not
appear to support Salman Rushdie enough and condemn abuses within Islamic
societies. But she was a multicultural orientalist long before both terms
became polluted. She was a gifted teacher, a sensitive interpreter of Islam
and a bridge for intercultural dialogue.
>
> #183; Annemarie Schimmel, orientalist, born April 7 1922; died January 25
2003
>
> Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited


Subj:    [Ruminations] Re: Professor Annemarie Schimmel
Date:   1/31/03 9:25:57 PM Eastern Standard Time
From:   Eliza.Tasbihi@mail.mcgill.ca (Eliza Tasbihi)
Reply-to:   <A HREF="mailto:Ruminations@yahoogroups.com">
Ruminations@yahoogroups.com</A>
To: Ruminations@yahoogroups.com


http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/awardswin2002/index.php?page=schimmel

Annemarie Schimmel award for championing a Muslim cause
that you may come to know one another


Annemarie Schimmel, Professor of Indo-Muslim Culture at Harvard
University, has enough honorary degrees, awards and publications
(at least five, twenty six and eighty respectively) to keep an entire
faculty going. But few people outside the cosseted walls of academia
had heard of her until she spoke out against Salman Rushdie's
The Satanic Verses.

Millions of Muslims, precious few of them academics of any distinction,
had debated, argued, and protested that the book, published in 1989,
was a highly offensive slur on the religion of Islam. But the bastions of
Western liberalism, the media, the arts and the seats of learning, were
adamant that freedom of expression was paramount, and that responsibility
of expression was a secondary consideration. And then the talented
historian and polylingual Professor Schimmel, entered the debate.

By doing so, by insisting that Muslims (not just a few, but the entire body
of Islam and its beloved Prophet, in particular) were the victims of a
carefully devised piece of literature, Professor Schimmel effectively took
on the establishment. Her position, based on years of expertise in Islamic
literature and history (she is an authority on Rumi and translated part of
Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddima into German), was authoritative and unwavering.
She challenged many misconceptions of Islam as well as broaching greater
understanding between Muslims and Christians.

Muslims, for political reasons, or for financial or family considerations,
are
often reluctant to assert their faith. Too few of us put our reputation on
the
line for issues our non-Muslim peers may consider to be subjective,
personal and outdated. Which is why when a Muslim cause is defended or
championed, the rest of the world sits up and takes note, our sense of
self-worth is restored, and we resolve to try harder.


Subj:    [Ruminations] Fw: Annemarie Schimmel
Date:   2/1/03 7:09:35 AM Eastern Standard Time
From:   Eliza.Tasbihi@mail.mcgill.ca (Eliza Tasbihi)
Reply-to:   <A HREF="mailto:Ruminations@yahoogroups.com">
Ruminations@yahoogroups.com</A>
To: Ruminations@yahoogroups.com

Un a message dated: 1/30/03 9:27:14 AM Eastern Standard Time
SHAMSIN@aol.com writes:

<<Anybody to translate  "Afghanischer Frauenverein e V ", 
please ? >>

Salaam Nasir,

Here is some explanation, which I received from another list.

Eliza


<< In response to a request re "Afghanischer Frauenverein e.V.",
here is an explanatory text:
 
 
 "Afghanischer Frauenverein e.V.:
 
 Afghanischer Frauenverein (AFV) is a Germany-based NGO
whose prime purpose is to support Afghan widows and orphans.
AFV supports a number of community-based projects within
Afghanistan and in Pakistan. Examples are a girl higher education
school project in Peshwawar (Malali), hospital and handicraft
projects inside and outside Afghanistan, and others. During the
Taleban period AFV has supported home schools in Afghanistan
and even one co-education school in the province of Ghazni.
Projects are now gradually transferred into Afghanistan. AFV
 intends to open a school in Kunduz quite soon, and another
one in eastern Afghanistan. Your donation will be used for these
projects."

As was indicated in an earlier message by Jane Lewisohn,
donations may be made to "Afghanischer Frauenverein e. V.",
Dresdner Bank Neuwied, Bank code 570 800 70, acct. Nr.
068 0850 500, with identification "Annemarie Schimmel" >>
 


.........................................................
Subj:    [Ruminations] Re: Annemarie Schimmel
Date:   2/3/03 11:10:21 PM Eastern Standard Time
From:   ashkcontinuum@yahoo.com (ashkcontinuum <ashkcontinuum@yahoo.com>)
Reply-to:   <A HREF="mailto:Ruminations@yahoogroups.com">
Ruminations@yahoogroups.com</A>
To: Ruminations@yahoogroups.com

selaamun alaikum!

I saw the obituary today in the Boston Globe newspaper about Anne-
Marie Schimmel. I will be looking for any local memorial service that
is held for her and I definitely plan to attend. I feel that she
should be honored.

fi amaani Allaahi.

ashkcontinuum

--- In Ruminations@yahoogroups.com, "ashkcontinuum
<ashkcontinuum@y...>" <ashkcontinuum@y...> wrote:
> selaamun alaikum!
>
> exactly. well, we still have her excellent books.
>
> fi amaani Allaahi.
>
> ashkcontinuum
>
> --- In Ruminations@yahoogroups.com, "Nihat Tsolak <ntpl5@y...>"
> <ntpl5@y...> wrote:
> > I've just found out about the sad loss of Annemarie Schimmel,
> > an incredible woman, who made a real difference.
> >
> > Nihat
> >
> > Professor Annemarie Schimmel
> > Islamic scholar with mystical qualities
> > 30 January 2003
> >
> > Annemarie Schimmel, Islamic scholar: born Erfurt, Germany 7 April
> > 1922; Professor of Indo- Muslim Culture, Harvard University 1970-
92
> > (Emeritus); died Cologne 25 January 2003.
> >
> >
> > Annemarie Schimmel was one of the world's foremost scholars of
> > Islamic culture, in particular Sufism, its spiritual dimension,
and
> > its expression in Persian classical poetry.
> >
> > Apart from Latin, Greek, and half a dozen European languages, she
> > knew Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu and Hindi well enough to
write
> > and teach and lecture in them. She wrote more than 50 books and
> > innumerable articles and essays for journals and encyclopaedias
on
> > Islam, Sufism and Islamic art and literature. But her greatest
> > passion was the 13th-century Persian mystic poet Jalaloddin Rumi.
> Her
> > books on the poet and her translations of his poetry ignited the
> > enthusiasm of poets such as Robert Bly and Dick Davis, whose
> > renditions of Rumi's work have made him universally known and a
> best-
> > seller in America – in a recent interview Madonna said that her
> > favourite poet was Rumi.
> >
> > Schimmel was born in 1922 in Erfurt, in central Germany, to
pious,
> > cultured parents. Her father's interest in religions and love of
> > poetry influenced her early readings, but it was her encounter
with
> > Goethe's West-östlicher Divan (West-Eastern Divan, 1819) and the
> poet
> > Friedrich Rückert's translations of Arabic and Persian poetry
that
> > captured her imagination: she became fascinated with Islamic
> history
> > and culture, and at 15 began to learn Arabic.
> >
> > While at the University of Berlin she produced verse translations
> of
> > Rumi and Mansur al-Hallaj (a mystic poet accused of heresy and
> > executed in Baghdad in 922), and in 1941 she obtained a PhD in
> Arabic
> > and Islamic Studies. She began work as a translator for the
German
> > Foreign Office, pursuing her scholarly interests on the side. Her
> > break came in 1945: she was invited by Friedrich Heiler, the
> > historian of religions, to lecture at the University of Marburg
on
> > Persian and Arabic poetry.
> >
> > Despite her knowledge of the languages, art and culture of the
> > Islamic world she had never been to an Islamic country or met
> anyone
> > from that part of the world. Then a conference in Holland on the
> > History of Religions in 1950 brought her into contact with great
> > scholars from East and West, in particular the French mystic
Louis
> > Massignon, an expert on Hallaj, who became her mentor. Soon after
> she
> > obtained a second doctorate from the University of Marburg on the
> > History of Religions, while her discovery of the poetry and
> > philosophy of Mohammad Iqbal, the Indian Muslim poet (one of the
> > founders of Pakistan, who wrote both in Persian and Urdu), led to
> her
> > becoming his greatest specialist in the West.
> >
> > Annemarie Schimmel wrote prolifically all her life,
authoritative,
> > accessible books and articles that appealed both to specialists
and
> > laymen. She travelled all over the world to teach and lecture at
> > universities, in various languages. After several years at the
> > universities of Ankara and Bonn, she was offered the Chair of
Indo-
> > Muslim Culture at Harvard, where she remained until her
retirement
> in
> > 1992. It was a happy and fertile period which combined pedagogy
> with
> > creativity.
> >
> > After her return to Germany in 1993, she settled in Cologne, and
> > continued to write and lecture all over the world. She received
> many
> > honorary doctorates from various universities both in the Islamic
> > world and in the West, and numerous honours and prizes, among
them
> > the German Book Trade Peace Prize in 1995 – an award which
> attracted
> > controversy, since she had expressed disapproval of Salman
> Rushdie's
> > novel The Satanic Verses at the time of the fatwa in 1989.
> >
> > Her substantial oeuvre includes Mystical Dimensions of Islam
> (1975),
> > The Triumphal Sun: a study of the works of Jalaloddin Rumi
(1978),
> As
> > Through a Veil: mystical poetry in Islam (1982), A Two-Coloured
> > Brocade: the imagery of Persian poetry (1992) and Deciphering the
> > Signs of God: a phenomenological approach to Islam (1994).
> >
> > Annemarie Schimmel was an inspiring teacher. Her profound
knowledge
> > and enthusiasm attracted many students to her discipline, and the
> > generations of scholars she trained at Harvard are today teaching
> at
> > universities all over America and in Europe. She had devoted
> > admirers, among them the Prince of Wales, for whom she had great
> > respect and affection.
> >
> > Her lectures were always full to capacity, and to attend them was
a
> > very particular experience. Petite and elegant, she stood up,
> closed
> > her eyes and talked ad lib, transporting her audience. After
> exactly
> > one hour she opened her eyes and with a shy smile and a memorable
> > quote – a line of poetry or an apposite aphorism – brought the
> > audience back to earth and the lecture to an end.
> >
> > She had the genuine humility and courtesy of the true mystic,
wore
> > her vast erudition lightly and suffered fools gladly. She
described
> > herself as a "learner", and believed that "there is no end to
> > learning". For her learning was "transforming knowledge and
> > experience into wisdom and love, to mature – as according to
> Oriental
> > lore the ordinary pebble can turn into a ruby provided it
patiently
> > takes into itself the rays of the sun".
> >
> > Shusha Guppy