Murad Wilfried Hofmann was born into a Catholic family on July 6, 1931, in Aschaffenburg, Germany, where he spent the war years. His university education began in 1950 at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. He completed his legal studies at Munich University with a doctorate in jurisprudence on " Contempt of Court by Publications under American and German Law" (1975) and his bar exam. While a research assistant for the reform of federal civil procedure he received a LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School in 1960.
From 196 until 1994, he was a German Foreign Service officer, specializing on issues of defense and nuclear deterrence. After serving as director of information for NATO in Brussels (1983-1987), he represented Germany as her ambassador to Algeria (1987-1990) and Morocco (1990-1994). Upon his retirement the author took residence in Istanbul, the home of his Turkish wife. In 1980, he embraced Islam, performing his first, 'Umrah in 1982 and Hajj in 1992. In 1985, he published in Germany his Diary of a German Muslim, which is also available in English, French, and Arabic. When this book on Islamic doctrine, Islam: The Alternative appeared in German in 1992, he was viciously attacked by the media, leftists, and feminists as a "fundamentalist" (This book is also available in Arabic and English.) As regular contributor to the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, Islamic Studies , Encounters, and the Muslim World Book Review, and as corresponding member of the Royal Academy in Amman, Jordan, he now devotes himself entirely to building bridges of understanding between the Occident and the Muslim world. In 1998 the Islamic Information Service in Los Angeles awarded him their annual Islamic Outreach Award.
Journey to Makkah,
already available in German and Arabic, is much more than an account of the author's pilgrimages to the holy places of Islam, Makkah and Madinah. It is a vivid description-based on personal (frequently quite adventurous or funny) experience of what it means to put into practice the five pillars of Islam in even the most mundane fields of life.