Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, is an American Muslim translator and specialist in Islamic Law as well as an authorised sheikh in tasawwuf in the Shadhili Sufi order. Born in 1954 in the Northwestern United States of America, he was educated in philosophy and Arabic at the University of Chicago and University of California Los Angeles. He entered Islam in 1977 at al-Azhar in Cairo, and later studied the traditional Islamic sciences of hadith (Prophetic traditions), Islamic jurisprudence, legal methodology, and tenets of faith in Syria and Jordan, where he has lived since 1980.
His English translation of `Umdat al-Salik, Reliance of the Traveller, (Sunna Books, 1991) is the first Islamic legal work in a European language to receive the certification of al-Azhar, the Muslim world’s oldest institution of higher learning. The book, which has become a modern classic, is a bestseller and has had numerous print runs. It is the best example in the English language of a complete orthodox Sunni work on the Shariah. He also possesses ijazas, or “certificates of authorisation”, in Islamic jurisprudence from sheikhs in Syria and Jordan.
Some of his other translations and works include:
- Al-Maqasid : Imam Nawawi’s Manual of Islam, a shorter manual of Shafi’i fiqh
- A Port in the Storm: A Fiqh Solution to the Qibla of North America, a detailed and complex study of the most sound position on which direction North American Muslims should face to pray.
- The Sunni Path: A Handbook of Islamic Belief
- Evolution Theory in Islam
- Tariqa Notes, a small handbook for those following the Shadhili path
He has also written numerous articles on traditional Islam and is presently a regular contributor to Islamica magazine. He is currently translating Imam Nawawi’s Kitab al-Adhkar [The Book of Remembrance of Allah], a compendium of some 1227 hadiths on prayers and dhikrs of the prophetic sunnah.
He was authorised as a sheikh in the Shadhili Tariqa by the late Sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Shaghouri in Damascus. He has students throughout the world and has annual retreats (suhbas) with his students where he teaches the traditional science of tasawwuf in Canada, USA, UK, Turkey, Australia, Egypt, and Pakistan.