Sheikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller
Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, American Muslim translator and specialist in Islamic Law. Born in 1954 in the north-western United States, was educated in philosophy and Arabic at the University of Chicago and UCLA. He entered Islam in 1977 at al-Azhar in Cairo, and later studied the traditional Islamic Sciences of hadith, Shafi'i and Hanafi jurisprudence, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh), and tenets of faith (`aqidah) in Syria and Jordan, where he has lived since 1980. His English translation of `Umdat al-Salik [The Reliance of the Traveller] (1250 pp., 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. He also possesses ijazas or "certifiates of authorisation" in Islamic jurisprudence from sheikhs in Syria and Jordan.
His Other translations and works include: Al-Maqasid: Imam Nawawi's Manual of Islam; The Sunni Path: A Handbook of Islamic Belief; and Tariqa Notes (handbook for those on the Shadhilli path of tasawwuf). He is currently translating Imam Nawawi's Kitab al-Adhkar [The Book of Rememberance of Allah], a compendium of some 1227 hadiths on prayers and dhikrs of the prophetic sunna. He is also completing a work on the issue of the Qibla which will be available soon. (from http://www.masud.co.uk)
Nuh Keller is an exponent of the traditional following of qualified scholarship. His translation of the Umdaad us-Salik (Reliance of the Traveler) is among the best works available in English language on Classical Fiqh. He has written many articles defending the following of qualified scholarship (taqlid). Many issues that surround this matter have been put to light and discussed e.g. the definition of Bida'a, a word often used with unsurpassed authority by the followers with higher intensities of outward exertions. He has also talked of and written on Tasawwuf in classical Islam, which he argues is a central Islamic science, just as science of Tafseer.