Married for fifty years to Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Haqqani, the spiritual head of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order, Hajjah Amina has traveled the world. A scholar of Shari`ah and shaykha, she has thousands of disciples throughout North and South America, Europe, the Middle and Far East, Southeast and Central Asia, and Africa. She studied under many scholars of the Middle East and Turkey, including Grandshaykh Abdullah ad-Daghestani an-Naqshbandi, among others. Hajjah Amina is from the family of Prophet Muhammad (s).
She was born in Russia’s Kazan Province during the early Communist era, which mandated a statewide purge of Jews, Christians and Muslims. With neighbors mysteriously disappearing and millions exiled to camps in Siberia where they either froze or starved to death, when she was a mere toddler the family fled on foot in the dark of night on a perilous journey that, for reasons of safety, could only be undertaken with the clothes on their backs.
Too young to recall the long journey that would eventually lead them to Turkey, family members have narrated her parents’ bravery and deep sense of faith, young Amina’s sense of adventure, and a tragic life-threatening fall that left her in a coma from which they feared she would not recover.
After more than a year and with Communist officials in deadly pursuit, the family miraculously made their way to Arzurum in northeastern Turkey. Thus, at such a tender age, Hajjah Amina was granted the high status of “muhajirah”, which means one who migrated from tyranny and religious oppression to a place where they can openly practice their faith. It is said the reward for such an undertaking rests solely with God Almighty.
These early life experiences seem to have shaped Hajjah Amina’s love of family, community and travel, her forthrightness in standing for justice, and her love of Islam. However, after twelve years in Turkey, Hajjah Amina’s father had a vision in which he was instructed to relocate the family to “Sham” (Damascus), which had been their original destination upon leaving Russia.
In Damascus they found the life they had been seeking, and settled on Jabal Qasiyun, a high mountain which overlooks the entire city. It was here the family met Grandshaykh Abdullah al-Fa’iz ad-Daghestani of the Golden Chain of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order, who took particular care in overseeing Hajjah Amina’s religious and spiritual development. Under Grandshaykh Abdullah she studied Tasawwuf(Sufism – Islamic spirituality) and she studied Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) under such notable scholars as Shaykh Salih Farfour of Syria and Shaykh Mukhtar Alaily, then Secretary General of Religious Affairs of Lebanon.
Hajjah Amina’s teachers and mentors were always amazed with her acumen, with her high level of retention, and her ability to grasp and reason complex issues within the framework of Islamic Law, even at a young age.
At age twenty-three, upon the advice of Grandshaykh Abdullah she was engaged to the young Shaykh Nazim; they married a month later and have remained great companions for nearly fifty years. In fact Shaykh Nazim often remarks that his wife seems to him the same as when they first married. Together they have lived and raised their four children between Syria, Turkey and Cyprus, and at the time of this writing they have been blessed with sixteen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
As a young mother and wife of a shaykh in training, Hajjah Amina was often left alone to face the challenges of raising a family while her husband was either in spiritual retreat or traveling for months on end, visiting various regions to spread the word of the Unity of God. This, coupled with her early life experience, only strengthened her faith and reliance on God Almighty. Hajjah Amina has thrice performed Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.
Known for her wise, practical approach to life and her problem-solving skills, over the years she has become a much-turned-to advisor of women on a host of issues. She speaks fluent Turkish and Arabic, and is proficient in English. She is uniquely beloved to heads of state and their ministers, to celebrities, as well as common folk.
Hajjah Amina lived in Cyprus in a comfortable “old world” farm house with a spacious garden, where she received thousands of visitors each year from all over the world. She would occasionally accompanies Shaykh Nazim on his official visits to other countries and had been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences on Islam and Muslim women. Hajjah Amina’s other works include the three-volume series Lore of Light, her inimitable narration of stories of the prophets and miracles of the saints and the remarkable Muhammad the Messenger of Islam, the life-history of Prophet Muhammad from classical sources.
Hajjah Amina passed on to the Divine Presence on November 16, 2004. May Allah grant her the Highest Paradise with: ”All who obey Allah and the apostle are in the company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah,- of the prophets (who teach), the sincere (lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who do good): Ah! what a beautiful fellowship!” (Surat an-Nisa, 69) (Fatiha)