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The Annemarie Schimmel Fellowship, inaugurated in 2004, is awarded every three years to a scholar working in the fields of interest of the late Professor Schimmel, such as Islamic mysticism, Arabic, Persian and South Asian literatures and literary and artistic expressions of Muslim devotional life. The £10,000 award is intended to assist the recipient to complete research leading to the publication of a book.

Professor Schimmel (1922-2003) was one of the world’s foremost experts on Persian poetry and Sufism. Her publications included hundreds of articles and books on Islamic art, theology, poetry, calligraphy and mysticism, as well as translations of Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu and Sindhi poetry into German and English.

She served as Professor of Indo-Muslim Culture at Harvard University for two and a half decades. The main focus of her scholarship was Sufism, on which she composed what remains the most comprehensive historical and doctrinal study on the subject: Mystical Dimensions of Islam. She was the leading expert on Rumi, and also wrote voluminous works on other aspects of Muslim culture and piety.