Born and raised in New Zealand, and of Albanian descent, Ustadha Umm Sahl (Besa Krasniqi) left with her family to live in Turkey in 1982, where she met her first sheikh in Ihsan Effendi of Zeytinburnu, Istanbul, whose student she remained until his death in 1991.
In 1983, she traveled to Egypt to study Arabic, where she lived for three years. In 1986, she married her husband Sheikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller and moved to Amman, Jordan. She studied Hanafi Fiqh and hadith terminology with Sheikh Shuayb Arnaut; Hanafi Fiqh and ‘Aqida with Sheikh Ahmad al-Jammal; Tajwid with Sheikh Ibrahim Rumana; and for the last 10 years, she has been studying Tafsir, Arabic grammar, Balagha, and Islamic Inheritance with Sheikh ‘Ali Hani.
In 1992, she joined the Shadhili tariqa of Sheikh Abdur-Rahman ash-Shaghouri, one of the most distinguished scholars of the Levant, and was his student until his death in 2004. At present, she studies and teaches, helps her husband, Sheikh Nuh Keller in his translation projects, and the running of the Zawiya of Abul Hasan ash-Shadhili in Amman.
She is a native English speaker, has mastery of classical colloquial Arabic, fluent in Turkish, and is presently learning Hebrew and reconnecting with her mother-tongue Albanian.