Sheikh Nazim: Leading figure of Sufism who became recognised as one of the world's foremost scholars of the Islamic faith

Sheikh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Qubrusi al-Haqqani was a leading figure of Sufism, the mystical branch of the Islamic faith. Imam Shakir Alemdar, the vice grand mufti of Cyprus, hailed the Cypriot-born Sheikh Nazim as one of the world's great Islamic scholars and a spiritual leader to followers of Sufism, which traces its origins to the roots of Islam itself about 1,500 years ago.

Sheikh Nazim was leader of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi order. His maternal line goes back to the 13th-century founder of the Mawlawiya Sufi order. Born in Larnaca, Cyprus in 1922, Sheikh Nazim received his first religious instruction from his grandfather, an Islamic scholar. He went on to study chemical engineering in 1940 at Istanbul University. In 1944, he visited Lebanon where he received further religious instruction from prominent Islamic scholars at the time.

Sheikh Nazim travelled to Europe in the 1970s and to the US in the 1990s, gaining many followers. His sojourns also included trips to such countries as Malaysia, Singapore, India and Pakistan. He also opened a study centre in Missouri. Known for his modesty, patience and cheerful demeanor, Sheikh Nazim teachings focused on Islamic moral values.

Later in life, Sheikh Nazim would receive guests at his home in Lefke, Cyprus. He briefly met the former Pope Benedict XVI during the pontiff's visit to Cyprus in 2010. The encounter came as the pope was walking in a procession to a Mass at a Nicosia church near the UN-controlled buffer zone on the Mediterranean island.

Sheikh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Qubrusi al-Haqqani, religious leader: born Larnaca, Cyprus 23 April 1922; married (four children); died 7 May 2014.

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