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Nuh Ha Mim Keller

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Nuh Ha Mim Keller
Born1954 (age 69–70)[1]
EraModern era
DenominationSunni Islam
Main interest(s)Sharia, Hadith, Tafsir, Sufism

Nuh Ha Mim Keller (born 1954) is an American Islamic scholar, teacher and author who lives in Amman. He is a translator of a number of Islamic books.[2] His leadership has also faced significant criticism[3] and controversy,[4] particularly regarding allegations of spiritual abuse[5] within his Sufi order.

Life and scholarship


Keller studied philosophy and Arabic at the University of Chicago and the University of California, Los Angeles. Keller converted to Islam from Roman Catholicism in 1977.[6] He has cited Islamic philosopher Seyyed Hossein Nasr's writings as one of the reasons for his conversion to Islam.[7]: 198 

He then began a prolonged study of the Islamic sciences with prominent scholars in Syria and Jordan and was authorized as a shaykh in 1996.[6]

He joined the Shadhili Sufi order, becoming a disciple of the Sufi poet Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Shaghouri of Damascus (from whom he received his authorization) from 1982 until his death in 2004.[8]

His English translation of Umdat al-Salik, Reliance of the Traveller, (Sunna Books, 1991) is a Shafi'i manual of Shariah.[9][10] It is the first Islamic legal work in a European language to receive the certification of Al-Azhar University.[6][11]

Keller released a translation of the Quran titled The Quran Beheld in 2022 which strives to provide readers with a unique sense of the high eloquence and beauty of the Quran while also maintaining the linguistic and rhetorical accuracy.[12][non-primary source needed] In the translator's own words, "Seven key areas of meaning" were "neglected by previous translations. Such gaps result in crucial elements of the Quran's themes, logic, arguments, message, and meanings being lost. The Quran Beheld thus uncovers matters of Arabic meaning in the Quran for the first time in English."[13][non-primary source needed]

Keller has also written numerous articles and was a regular contributor to Islamica Magazine and the website masud.co.uk.[14]

Currently, Keller lives in Amman, Jordan,[15] where he established a zawiya (seminary) in the early 2000s. At its height, the community attending the institution is believed to have amounted to around 60 families. However, following Keller's ordering the closure of a community school in light of an internal abuse investigation, the size of the community shrank to around 20 families, according to former members.[3]

He is married to Besa Krasniqi, a scholar who is the daughter of Mazhar Krasniqi.[16]



Keller's leadership has faced significant criticism from a large number of his ex-Murids, who have brought to light various forms of spiritual abuse within his Sufi order. Allegations include extreme control over personal behaviors and enforcement of stringent religious practices without leniency. Reports highlight public shaming, psychological manipulation, and harsh disciplinary measures on children.[4] Women, in particular, have reported severe scrutiny and control[17] over their private and public lives by the two female authorities of the tariqah, Besa Krasniqi[18] (wife of Nuh Keller, known as Umm Sahl) and Hedaya Hartford[19] (known as Umm al-Khayr), along with Hartford's husband, Ashraf Muneeb.

Their involvement has reportedly led to significant psychological distress among female followers. Additionally, the leadership's interference in personal relationships and marriages, often arranging unsuitable matches without parental consent, has caused rifts within families. These practices have reportedly led to significant emotional and psychological harm among followers, as detailed in investigative articles by Muslim Matters [20] and Middle East Eye.[5]








  1. ^ Akbar, Ameen (October 25, 2015). "Becoming Muslim, Nuh Ha Mim Keller". Archived from the original on October 28, 2015.
  2. ^ Hewer, C. T. R. (2006). Understanding Islam – The First Ten Steps. SCM Press. p. 209. ISBN 978-0-334-04032-3.
  3. ^ a b "Jordanian Sufi community led by US scholar faces child abuse complaints". Middle East Eye. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Bora, Musab (April 12, 2021). "The beatings will continue until tarbiyya improves". Medium. Retrieved July 15, 2024.
  5. ^ a b "Jordanian Sufi community led by US scholar faces child abuse complaints". Middle East Eye. Retrieved July 15, 2024.
  6. ^ a b c Hamid, Sadek (December 30, 2015). Sufis, Salafis and Islamists: The Contested Ground of British Islamic Activism. I.B.Tauris. pp. 81–82. ISBN 978-1-78453-231-4.
  7. ^ Mathiesen, Kasper (2013). "Anglo-American 'Traditional Islam' and Its Discourse of Orthodoxy". Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies. 13: 191–219. doi:10.5617/jais.4633. ISSN 0806-198X.
  8. ^ "Sheikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller | The Sila Initiative". thesilainitiative.org.
  9. ^ Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Nuh Ha Mim Keller (1368). "Reliance of the Traveller" (PDF). Amana Publications. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  10. ^ Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Nuh Ha Mim Keller (1368). "A Classic Manual of Islamic Scared Law" (PDF). Shafiifiqh.com. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  11. ^ Brandon, James; Hafez, Salam (2008). Crimes of the Community: Honour-Based Violence in the UK. Centre for Social Cohesion. p. 67. ISBN 978-1-903386-64-4.
  12. ^ "The Quran Beheld". www.quranbeheld.com. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  13. ^ "Discover the Quran in English". www.quranbeheld.com. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  14. ^ Brown, Derek (November 1, 2001). "A Different Perspective: Muslim Websites in Britain – Britain's Muslim Community Is Well Served by Websites Offering News, Opinion, and Religious Interpretation of the West's Response to the Terrorist Attacks on the US, as Derek Brown Explains". The Guardian. Retrieved September 18, 2011.
  15. ^ Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck; Senzai, Farid; Smith, Jane I. (2009). Educating the Muslims of America. New York City: Oxford University Press. p. 144. ISBN 978-0-19-537520-6.
  16. ^ Drury, Abdullah (2020). "Mazharbeg: An Albanian in Exile" (PDF). Waikato Islamic Studies Review. 6 (1): 14.
  17. ^ Malik, Sara (July 16, 2024). "Shattered Dreams-From Devotion to Disillusionment". Medium.
  18. ^ Erin (September 5, 2015). "The Sila Initiative - 2015 Webinar Mini-Series with Shaykha Umm Sahl". SeekersGuidance. Retrieved July 15, 2024.
  19. ^ "Al-Hedayah Institute for Islamic Sciences". www.al-hedayah.institute. Retrieved July 15, 2024.
  20. ^ MuslimMatters (June 6, 2022). "Spiritual Abuse In The Sufi Order Headed By Shaykh Nuh Keller". MuslimMatters.org. Retrieved July 15, 2024.