57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2001
There are a number of writers on Islamic topics that are excellent from differing perspectives. There are only two Western authors, however, that I have any respect for when it comes to the subject of Islamic spirituality. One of them was Frithjof Schuon, and the other is Annemarie Schimmel.
With all of the fuss about Rumi and the whole New Age Sufi thing, it is all too easy to forget that Rumi was a Muslim (sometimes I suspect that too many people would like to forget it). Rumi was the sort of person that he was because he was a Muslim, and not in spite of that fact. Professor Schimmel places Rumi squarely in the Islamic perspective, which is where he belongs. This book provides the best short introduction to his life and thought within that context that I have run across, and I recommend it highly to anyone interested in his life and work.
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2000
This book is the best biography of Mawlana Jalal uddin Rumi (may his secret be sanctified!) that I have read in the English language to date. The prose itself is absolutely wonderful and is almost poetry in itself! Added to this is Prof. Schimmel's intimate knowledge of the works and life of Mawlana Rumi which she does a wonderful job of presenting. Also, unlike other Orientalist interpreters of Sufism, she firmly places Rumi within the orthodox Islamic framework and ideology/world-view where he belongs. Her translations of his poems are also delightful. This book is highly recommended for all those Muslim and non-Muslim who are interested in the life and works of one of the greatest Saints to ever walk this earth.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2001
An excellent piece of writing on the life and poetry of Rumi. Gives a biographical sketch as well as outlines the technicalities of Rumi's prose, his beliefs and ideas as rendered in poetry. One of the most moving book's I've ever read.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2000
The Truth that Rumi hints in his work do not need any introduction "la ilaha ill-Allah." Rumi immersed in the love of "Hu" tried his best to sing from his heart. Annemarie Schimmel has done a great service to mankind by introducing Rumi's call to general public. I enjoyed thoroughly every page of this book, which feels like a book of poetry in prose. I am lucky to have a copy of this book and highly recommend the Publisher to reprint this book to further spread Rumi's message from the words of Professor Schimmel, an eminent Sufi scholar.