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 Syria and Jordan, and 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.
Port in a Storm: A Fiqh Solution to the Qibla of North America
The qibla is the noblest of directions. This book settles the question of the physical direction of Mecca from North America in the first thirty pages, after which it presents to readers for the first time the 1998 Fatwa of al-Azhar on the North American qibla. From this point of departure, the author surveys such major contemporary issues as the relation between religion and science, the Sacred and profane, scholars and engineers, ijtihad and taqlid.
Combining traditional Islamic law, a clear exposition of the complex geographical issues, and the author’s own meetings and correspondence with twenty-three contemporary scholars from seven Muslim lands, the book is a journey of discovery not only for Western Muslims, but everyone interested in Sacred Law in a modern world.
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