Monday, 29 October 2012

The Sheikh Nazeem Connection

Biography of Shaykh
After completing secondary school in 1940, at the age of 18 the young Nazim moved to Istanbul where two brothers and a sister were living. He studied chemical engineering at Istanbul University. While advancing in his non-religious studies, Nazim continued his education in Islamic theology and the Arabic language under the tutelage of Shaykh Cemalettin Elassonli. Nazim received a degree in chemical engineering and he excelled among his colleagues. Yet he would later state, "I felt no attraction to modern science. My heart was always drawn to the spiritual sciences." He later came to master not only his native tongue Turkish, but Arabic, English, and Greek as well.
At some point during his first year of life in Istanbul, Nazim met his first spiritual guide, Shaykh Suleyman Erzurumi, who was a murshid in the Naqshbandi Order.
Sheikh Nazim attended the gatherings of this particular shaykh which were held in the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Here he learned the basic spiritual methods of the Naqshbandi Order, in addition to those of the Qadiri and the Mevlevi. His focus on spirituality was further reinforced by the unexpected death of an elder brother. Shortly after attaining his degree Sheikh Nazim received inspiration to go to Damascus in order to find the famed Naqshbandi master, Shaykh Abdullah al-Fa'izi ad-Daghestani. He obtained permission from Shaykh Erzurumi to leave Istanbul and in 1944 he arrived in Syria, although the unrest caused by the Vichy French government prevented his entry into Damascus until 1945. Upon meeting with the master, whose tekke is located on the slopes of the Jabal Qasyoun, Sheikh Nazim took his hand in bay'ah, or initiation. The young Sheikh Nazim's mystical faculties were self-evident and he advanced along the Sufi path with great speed.
Shortly thereafter Shaykh Abdullah Daghestani ordered Shaykh Nazim to return to his native Cyprus to deliver spiritual guidance. Shaykh Abdullah also conferred the title of "Shaykh" to Shaykh Nazim thus giving him the legitimacy to speak on behalf of the Naqshbandi Order.
While in Cyprus, Shaykh Nazim came into conflict with pro-Atatürk governing body of the Turkish community of the island. His repeated act of making the adhan in Arabic rather than the prescribed Turkish brought several lawsuits against him and there were some 114 cases lodged against him for crimes against the secular order. Nevertheless all these were dropped shortly thereafter with the coming to power of Adnan Menderes in Turkey, whose government opted for a more tolerant approach to Islamic traditions.
Shaykh Nazim moved back to Damascus in 1952, when he was wed to the daughter of one of the murids of Shaykh Abdullah Daghestani, Amina Adil (1929–2004), whose family came to settle in Syria after fleeing Soviet rule of their native Kazan. From that time, Sheikh Nazim took up residence in Damascus, and every year he would visit Cyprus for at least three months. The couple have two daughters and two sons.
Sheikh Adnan Kabbani is the biographer in a film called, "Biography - Sheikh Nazim Al-Haqqani" available in Video CD format (90 min) with a free license to copy and distribute. Source: Wiki


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