Annemarie Schimmel is Professor Emerita of Indo-Muslim Culture, Harvard University, and Honorary Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Bonn, She is author of numerous works, including Islamic Names — An Introduction, Mystical Dimensions of Islam and Muhammad is His Messenger: the Veneration of the Prophet in Muslim Piety and Poetry.
DECIPHERING THE SIGNS OF GOD
A PHENOMENOLOGICAL APPROACH TO ISLAM
The Qur’an constantly exhorts people to “look at the signs of god”, signs that are hidden “in the horizons and in themselves”. In this book, Professor Schimmel attempts to understand the mysteries of Islam using a phenomenological method, developed by Friedrich Heiler to draw closer to the true centre of Islamic belief. Beginning with the simplest “signs of god”, such as stones, plants and animals (and their survival in the religious and symbolic language), she moves on to less obvious signs, such as sacred time and space, ritual actions, forms of worship, the sacred individual, the order of the community, and finally to the human being’s response to the mystery of the Divine. Based on sources in the original languages (Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu and Sindhi) and the author’s personal experience, this book is a survey of Islamic customs and beliefs, as well as an attempt to show the place of the Islamic religion in the religious universe.
Publisher: EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS