Becoming Muslim

becoming-muslim

Few things have moved so many, for so long, and so powerfully, as the need for God. This is the story of a young American Catholic university student who became a Muslim interpreter in the Middle East. A spiritual odyssey of philosophical readings, working at sea, and travelling abroad, it is above all an encounter with people, from weathered fishermen, to worldly professors, to veiled women in Egypt. In a world in which men are deemed bound by their earliest enculturation, it tells the unforgettable tale of one man’s farewell to Christianity, passage through atheism, and finding of the Divine Reality in an Arabic revelation sent down in Mecca fourteen centuries ago.


About the Author

NUH HA MIM KELLER was born in the northwestern United States in 1954. He read philosophy and classical Arabic at the University of Chicago and UCLA, and became a Muslim in Cairo in 1977. He was a disciple in the Shadhili order of the Sufi master and poet Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Shaghouri of Damascus from 1982 until the latter’s death in 2004, and was authorized as a sheikh in the order by Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman in 1996. He has studied Shafi‘i and Hanafi jurisprudence, hadith, and other subjects with traditional scholars in the Middle East, and in the 1980s, under the tutelage of Islamic scholars in Syria and Jordan, produced Reliance of the Traveller, the first translation of a standard Islamic legal reference in a European language to be certified by al-Azhar, the Muslim world’s oldest institution of higher learning. Among his other works and translations are Becoming Muslim, Sufism in Islam, al-Maqasid: Imam Nawawi’s Manual of Islam, Invocations of the Shadhili Order, Port in a Storm: A Fiqh Solution to the Qibla of North America, and an illuminated calligraphic edition of Dala‘il al-Khayrat. He has travelled and lectured on Islam extensively, and he writes and teaches in Amman, where he has lived since 1980.

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