Sunday, July 20

Short history of Shaykh Nazim


Shaykh Muhammad Nazim al-Haqqani is the world leader of the most distinguished Naqshbandi order of Sufis (tariqah an-Naqshbandiyya-t-il-'awliya). Shaykh Nazim is both a scholar of the Divine Law (shari'ah), being the mufti of Turkish Cyprus, as well as the Shaykh of the Way (tariqah).

A resident of Turkish Cyprus, he was born in Larnaca, Cyprus on April 23, 1922 (12th Rabi'ul Awwal, 1341 AH). He is a descendant of the family of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) on both his mother and his father's side, being both a Hasani and Husayni Sayyid. On his father's side, he is a descendant of Sayyid 'Abdul Qadir Gilani, the founder of the Qadiri Sufi order and on his mother's side, his ancestry comes from Jalal al-Din Rumi, the founder of the Mawlawi Sufi order.

Shaykh Nazim finished high school in Cyprus 1940 CE/1359 AH. He then traveled to Istanbul for higher education. He studied at the University of Istanbul, completing an MA in Chemical Engineering. During his years in Istanbul, he also completed the requirements of the Divine Law and Arabic language. He received his "permission" ('ijaza) from Shaykh Jamal al-Lassuni (d. 1955 CE / 1375 AH). Shaykh Nazim then directed his attention to the study of the spiritual path of seven Sufi orders: Naqshbandi, Chishti, Qadiri, Mawlawi, Rifa'i, Shadhili and Badawi. He then increased his study of the Naqshbandi order under his shaykh at that time, Sulayman Arzurumi (d. 1938 CE / 1368 AH). After a few years, Shaykh Sulayman told him, "O my son, the one who is carrying your secrets is not me, but my spiritual teacher who migrated from Daghistan to Turkey and who is now residing in Damascus in the Midan district (sa'ahat il-Midan). He is known as the Master of the Golden Chain of the Naqshbandi order in our time."

Shaykh Muhammad Nazim al-Haqqani then moved to Syria. On the way to Damascus, he first visited Aleppo, Hama and Homs. In Homs, under the direction of his Shaykh, he stayed for one year in seclusion in the mosque and tomb of the famous Companion of the Prophet (saws), Khalid ibn Walid. There he received more intensive instruction in the Divine Law, the Traditions (ahadith), and the Science of the Qur'an (ilm al-Qur'an) under the Shaykhs Muhammad 'Ali 'Uyun as-Su'ud, 'Abdul 'Aziz 'Uyun as-Su'ud, mufti of Homs, Abdul Jalil Murad and Sayyid as-Suba'i, who are all Naqshbandi shaykhs as well as famous scholars of the Traditions (muhaddithun) and religious scholars ('ulama) of the Divine Law (shari'ah).

In 1944 CE / 1364 AH, he moved to Tripoli, Lebanon, where he was the guest of Shaykh Munir al-Malik, the mufti of northern Lebanon and Shaykh of the Qadiri, Rifa'i' and Naqshbandi Sufi orders. In 1945 CE / 1365 AH, he went from Tripoli to Damascus to Ha'i al-Midan where he finally met Shaykh 'Abdullah ad-Daghistani an-Naqshbandi. He stayed with his Grand Shaykh until his Grand Shaykh passed away on October 4, 1973 (4th of Ramadan, 1398 AH). During that period of almost forty years, Shaykh Muhammad Nazim al-Haqqani (may God bless him) continued to receive the heavenly fountain of spiritual knowledge which poured forth from the heart of Shaykh 'Abdullah ad-Daghistani (may God sanctify his soul) into his heart.

Shaykh Nazim continuously traveled to the Middle East and Turkey during these 40 years. Upon the death of his Grand Shaykh and by his spiritual order, he enlarged his scope of travel to include Europe, America and the Far East. He established hundreds of centers all over the world, spreading Islam together with Sufi spiritual knowledge which has brought hundreds of thousands of converts to Islam. It would not be an exaggeration to say that he is the mujaddid of this century as was Sayyid 'Abdul Qadir Gilani, in his time; Shah Bahauddin Naqshband, in his time; Sayyid Ahmad al-Fa'ruqi, in his time; and Jalal al-Din Rumi, in his time.

Shaykh Nazim carries the secret of seven Sufi orders: Naqshbandi, Chishti, Qadiri, Mawlawi, Rifa'i, Shadhili and Badawi, through a chain of authorization from his master, Shaykh 'Abdullah ad-Daghistani, through the chain of 39 Grand Shaykhs linking him to the Prophet l (saws).

He has entered many seclusions during his lifetime ranging in duration from 40 days to one year. These took place in many different places including the Prophet's city, Madinah, Baghdad in the presence of Sayyid 'Abdul Qadir Gilani, Konya in the presence of Jalal al-Din Rumi and Damascus at many holy places. He has written numerous books on spirituality and Divine Knowledge (gnosis, ma'rifah) which have been published throughout the world. He has written many poems on Divine Love ('ishq) in both Arabic and Turkish. He is a source (marja') for many modern juristic matters. He follows a moderate line in approaching people and issues of contemporary life.

Shaykh Nazim has a very charismatic personality which moves people and attracts them to the manifestation of Divine Love which continues to pour forth from his heart. His resplendent smile is ever present. when he speaks, it is as if a Divinely-inspired waterfall had been opened connecting his heart to the hearts of the listeners. It is that nectar of love that draws thousands of new converts to Islam every year.

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