Nazim Al-Haqqani

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Shaykh Nazim
Born Mehmet Nazım Adil
(1922-04-21)21 April 1922
Larnaca, Cyprus
Died 7 May 2014(2014-05-07) (aged 92)
North Nicosia, Northern Cyprus
Occupation Former leader of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order
Religion Sunni, Sufi Islam

Mehmet Nâzım Adil (April 21, 1922 CE (Sha'ban 23, 1340 AH) – May 7, 2014 (Rajab 8, 1435 AH)), commonly known as Shaykh Nazim, was a Turkish Cypriot Sufi Muslim Sheikh and leader of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order.[1] He was consistently counted among the world's 50 most influential Muslims by the annual publication, The 500 Most Influential Muslims.[2]


Shaykh Nazim was active in Turkish and Arabic language contexts. For this reason, he is also known as Nazim Kibrisi (Turkish: Nazım Kıbrısi), indicating his homeland of Cyprus (Turkish: Kıbrıs) and Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Qubrusi al-Haqqani al-Naqshbandi (Arabic: محمد ناظم القبروسي الحقاني النقشبندي‎), respectively.

Early life[edit]

Born in Larnaca, Cyprus, Shaykh Nazim traced his lineage to the 11th-century Sufi Saint Abdul Qadir Jilani and 13th-century Sufi mystical poet Jalaluddin Rumi.[3]

Shaykh Nazim moved to Istanbul in 1940 to study chemical engineering at Istanbul University. He would later state, "I felt no attraction to modern science; my heart was always drawn to the spiritual sciences."[3] While advancing his non-religious studies, he continued his education in Islamic theology and the Arabic language under the tutelage of Cemalettin Elassonli.[citation needed]

During his first year in Istanbul, Shaykh Nazim met his first spiritual guide, Suleyman Erzurumi, who was a spiritual leader in the Naqshbandi Sufi order.[3] Shortly after obtaining his degree, Shaykh Nazim received inspiration to go to Damascus in order to find the Naqshbandi leader Shaykh Abdullah Fa'izi ad-Daghestani. He left Istanbul and arrived in Syria in 1944, but the unrest caused by the Vichy French government prevented his entry into Damascus until 1945.[3]

While in Cyprus, Shaykh Nazim came into conflict with pro-Atatürk governing body of the Turkish community of the island. However, all these were dropped shortly thereafter, with the coming to power of Adnan Menderes in Turkey, whose government chose a more tolerant approach to Islamic traditions.[3]

Shaykh Nazim moved back to Damascus in 1952, though every year he visited Cyprus for at least three months.[3]

International mission[edit]

Shaykh Nazim spoke Turkish, Greek, Arabic and English, which facilitated his trans-national activity.[4]

In the year following the death of Shaykh Abdullah Fa'izi ad-Daghestani in 1973, Shaykh Nazim began visiting Western Europe, travelling every year from the Middle East to London. While in the United Kingdom, Shaykh Nazim was a teacher and associate of esoteric Christian and spiritualist John G. Bennett.[citation needed]

In 1991, Shaykh Nazim visited the United States for the first time, at the invitation of his son-in-law and representative Shaykh Hisham Kabbani. At that time, he made the first of four nationwide tours.

In 1997, Shaykh Nazim visited Daghestan, the homeland of one of his spiritual leaders, Shaykh Abdullah Fa'izi ad-Daghestani. He also made repeated visits to Uzbekistan where he made the pilgrimage to the tomb of the eponymous founder of the Naqshbandi Order, Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari.[3]

In 1998, Shaykh Nazim was the chief guest of honor at the Second International Islamic Unity Conference, held in Washington, D.C. Later in the same year, he traveled to South Africa and visited Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.

Notable followers[edit]

Among Shaykh Nazim's students and devotees are Hisham Kabbani, Gibril Haddad and Stephen Suleyman Schwartz.[citation needed]


Starting in the 1980s[citation needed][contradiction], Shaykh Nazim made a number of Doomsday predictions. In 1978, he predicted that the Mahdi would appear in 1980.[citation needed] In 1986, he revised the predicted appearance to 1988.[5][unreliable source] In the 1990s, he predicted that the Last Judgment would occur before the year 2000.[citation needed] Shaykh Nazim has claimed that the source of these predictions is the Muslim prophet Muhammad.[6][unreliable source] Shaykh Nazim also predicted that the regimes in the Middle East would be replaced by one ruling sultanate before the end of 2011 and that Prince Charles would forcibly dissolve the Parliament of the United Kingdom.[citation needed]

Political opinions[edit]

Shaykh Nazim was involved in the political realm as well. Born just before the fall of the Ottoman Empire, he praised Ottoman history and civilization, contrasting its culture to its successor, the modern-day Republic of Turkey.[7]


In his later year, Shaykh Nazim was regularly recognized among the world's 50 most influential Muslims in the annual publication, The 500 Most Influential Muslims: he was ranked 49th, 49th, 48th, 45th, and 42nd in the 2009-2013 editions, respectively.[2]


Courtyard of Sheikh Nazim's sufi lodge and burial shrine, Lefke, Northern Cyprus.

Shaykh Nazim had been receiving intensive care since April 17, 2014 when he was rushed from his home in Lefka to the Near East University Hospital in North Nicosia after suffering from respiratory problems. He died on May 7, 2014 at the age of 92 in Northern Cyprus.[8] [9] His burial shrine is located in Lefke, Cyprus at his former home and Sufi lodge.


  1. ^ Bottcher, Dr Annabelle. "The Naqshbandiyya in the United States". Archived from the original on 2007-08-23. Retrieved 2007-06-13. 
  2. ^ a b "The 500 Most Influential Muslims, 2009-2013". Retrieved 2014-11-23. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g 'The Naqshbandi Sufi Way' by Hisham Kabbani. KAZI Publications, 1995. Biography
  4. ^ Böttcher, Annabelle (2006). "Religious Authority in Transnational Sufi Networks: Shaykh Nazim al-Qubrusi al-Haqqani al-Naqshbandi". In Krämer, Gudrun; Schmidte, Sabine. Speaking for Islam: Religious Authorities in Muslim Societies. Leiden: Brill. pp. 241–268. ISBN 900414949X. Retrieved November 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ Umar Ibrahim Vadillo, The Esoteric Deviation in Islam, pgs. 451-452. Madinah Press, 2011. ISBN 062030569X
  6. ^ Vadillo, pg. 454.
  7. ^ Nazim al-Haqqani, Magnificence. Saltanat: The Majesty and Magnificence of Islam, vol. 9, #8. December 2011.
  8. ^ "Islamic scholar Shaykh Nazım dies at the age of 92". 
  9. ^ "Cypriot leading figure of Islam's Sufi branch dies". 

Further reading[edit]

  • Ron Geaves, The Sufis of Britain: An Exploration of Muslim Identity (Cardiff Academic Press, Cardiff 2000), pp. 145 – 156
  • Ludwig Schleßmann, Sufismus in Deutschland: Deutsche auf dem Weg des mystischen Islam (Bo¨hlau, Cologne 2003), pp. 43 –136
  • Jørgen S Nielsen, ‘Transnational Islam and the Integration of Islam in Europe’ in Stefano Allievi and Jørgen S Nielsen (eds), Muslim Networks and Transnational Communities in and across Europe (Brill, Leiden 2003) 28 –51.
  • David Damrel, ‘Aspects of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Order in America’ in Jamal Malik and John R. Hinnells (eds.), Sufism in the West (Routledge, Abingdon, 2006).
  • Jørgen S Nielsen, Mustafa Draper and Galina Yemelianova, ‘Transnational Sufism: The Haqqaniyya’ in Jamal Malik and John R. Hinnells (eds), Sufism in the West (Routledge, Abingdon 2006), pp. 103– 114.
  • Simon Stjernholm, ‘A Translocal Sufi Movement: Developments among Naqshbandi-Haqqani in London’ in Catharina Raudvere and Leif Stenberg (eds), Sufism Today: Heritage and Tradition in the Global Community (I.B. Tauris, London 2009), pp. 83 – 101.
  • Simon Stjernholm, Lovers of Muhammad: A Study of Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufis in the Twenty-First Century (Lund University, Lund, 2011).

External links[edit]