Nicosia: Sheikh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Qubrusi al-Haqqani, a leading figure of Sufism, the mystical branch of the Islamic faith, died Wednesday at the age of 92 in the north of ethnically-divided Cyprus.
Imam Shakir Alemdar, the vice grand mufti of Cyprus, confirmed the death. The imam 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.
According to Sheikh Nazim`s website, his maternal line goes back to the 13th-century founder of the Mawlawiya Sufi order.
Born in Larnaca, Cyprus, on April 23rd 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 U.S. In the 1990s where he gained many followers. His sojourns also included trips to such countries as Malaysia, Singapore, India and Pakistan.