Sufi Saints and Masters
Sheikh Nazim ‘Adil Al-Qubrusi A Memoriam Notice from the Naqshbandi Sufi Order
Nazim ‘Adil al-Haqqani was a descendant not only of the holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) but also of the great Sufi masters, ‘Abdul Qadir al-Gilani and Jalaluddin Rumi, Shaykh Nazim was born in Larnaca, Cyprus, on April 21 1922, just before the fall of the Ottoman Empire (of which he remained an admirer for the rest of his life), and during the period of British rule of the island. Shaykh Nazim’s family was of Arab origin with Tatar roots. Gifted from earliest childhood with an extraordinarily spiritual personality, from his father’s side, he received initiation and training in the Qadiri Sufi Order, keeping company with his paternal grandfather, who was a shaykh of the Qadiri Order, to learn its discipline and its spirituality. At the age of 18 he moved to Istanbul to take a degree in Chemical Engineering at Istanbul University but, as he recalled later: “I felt no attraction to modern science; my heart was always drawn to the spiritual sciences.” While still at university he was educated privately in Arabic and Islamic theology under Shaykh Jamaluddin al-Lasuni and acquired a spiritual guide in the Naqshbandi Sufi order, Shaykh Sulayman Arzurumi. After graduating in 1944 Shaykh Nazim travelled to Syria to find the Naqshbandi leader Shaykh ‘Abdullah al-Fa`iz ad-Daghestani, then living in Damascus, but due to growing countrywide unrest in response to French Mandatory rule, he was unable to enter the city until 1945. There he followed a period of intensive training under Shaykh ‘Abdullah, during which Shaykh Nazim divided his time between Damascus and Cyprus. Shaykh Nazim began to spread Islamic teachings and spiritual guidance in Cyprus. Many followers came to him and accepted the Naqshbandi Order. It was a time when all religion was banned in Turkey, and as he was in the Turkish community of Cyprus, religion was entirely banned there as well. Even the reciting of the adhan, the call to prayer, was prohibited. Shaykh Nazim was arrested for calling the adhan and was sentenced for over 100 years in prison. Miraculously however, the day of his judicial hearing, the government was overturned and his case dismissed. During his years in Cyprus, Shaykh Nazim traveled all over the island. He also visited Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi
Sufism: An Inquiry Vol XVI, No. 4
Arabia, and many other places to teach the Sufi Way. He moved back to Damascus in 1952 when he married a disciple of Grandshaykh, Hajjah Amina ‘Adil. From that time, he lived in Damascus but would visit Cyprus every year for the three holy months of Rajab, Sha’ban and Ramadan. He had two daughters Naziha and Ruqaiyya, and two sons Mehmet and Bahauddin. Before leaving this world in 1973, Grandshaykh designated Shaykh Nazim as his successor. In the year following the death of Grandshaykh ‘Abdullah, Shaykh Nazim began visiting Western Europe, travelling every year to London. In 1974, Shaykh Nazim traveled to London for the first time, thus initiating what was to become an annual visit during the month of Ramadan. A small circle of followers began to grow around him, eagerly taking their training in the ways of Islam and tariqah at his hands. From this humble beginning, the circle of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim’s students has grown to include millions of disciples from all walks of life and all parts of the globe. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim was a luminary, possessing an impressive spiritual personality, radiating love, compassion and goodness. He was regarded by many as the Qutb or “chief saint” of this time. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim used a subtle interweaving of personal example and talks to deliver his teachings to his students. Such “associations” were invariably delivered extempore according to the inspirations granted to him. He would rarely lecture, but rather pour out from his heart into the hearts of his listeners with knowledge and wisdoms able to transform their innermost beings and bring them toward their Lord as His humble, willing, loving servants. The sum total of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim’s message is that of hope, love, mercy and reassurance. Mawlana Shaykh Nazim ‘Adil passed away at the age of 92 in Northern Cyprus, attended by family and students from around the globe. His resting place is in self-same home-based teaching center (dergah) next to his humble house, in Lefke.