O you who’ve gone on pilgrimage
– where are you? Where, O where?
Here, here is the Beloved
– O come now, come, O come!
Your friend, he is your neighbor,
He is next to your house –
You, erring in the desert
– What air of love is this?
He is the Imam of the People of Sincerity, the Secret of Sainthood, who revived the Naqshbandi Order at the end of the 20th Century, with Heavenly guidance and Prophetic ethics. He infused into the Nation and the Planet, love of God and love of the lovers of God, after they had been darkened with the fire and smoke of tribulation and terror, anger and grief.
He is the Unveiler of Secrets, the Keeper of Light, the Shaykh of Shaykhs, the Sultan of Ascetics, the Sultan of the Pious, the Sultan of the People of the Truth. He is the Chief Master without peer of the Divine Knowledge in the late 20th Century. He is the Rain from the Ocean of Knowledge of this Order, which is reviving spirits in all parts of this world. He is the Saint of the Seven Continents, his light having attracted disciples and students from all quarters of the globe. He wears the Cloak of the Light of the Divine Presence. He is unique in his time. He is the orchid planted in the earth of Divine Love. He is the Sun for all the universes. He is known as the Saint of the Two Wings: the external knowledge and the internal knowledge.
He is a Miracle of Allah’s Miracles, walking on the earth and soaring in the Heavens. He is a Secret of Allah’s Secrets, appearing in His Divinity and Existing in His Existence. He is the Owner of the Throne of Guidance, the Reviver of Divine Law, the Master of Sufi Way, the Builder of the Truth, the Guide of the circle, the Lyric Poem of All the Secrets. He is the Master of Saints and the Saint of the Masters. Seekers circle the Kabah of His Light. He is a Fountain always flowing, a Waterfall continuously cascading, a River always flooding, an Ocean endlessly cresting and breaking on infinite shores.
He was born in Larnaca, Cyprus, on the 23rd of April 1922, a Sunday, the 26th of Sha‘ban, 1340 H. His lineage from his father’s side traces its roots to Sayiddina ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani, founder of the Qadiri Order. His lineage from his mother goes back to Sayiddina Jalaluddin Rumi, founder of the Mevlevi Order. He is Hassani-Hussaini, related to theProphet through the lineages of his grandfathers to the Family of the Prophet . From his father’s side he received the Qadiri Tariqat. From his mother’s, the Mevlevi Tariqat.
During his childhood in Cyprus he sat with his grandfather, who was a Shaykh of the Qadiri Tariqat, to learn its discipline and its spirituality. Extraordinary signs appeared early in him. His conduct was perfect: he never fought nor argued with anyone. He was always smiling and patient. His grandfather from his father’s side and his grandfather from his mother’s side trained him for the spiritual path.
As a youth, Shaykh Nazim was given great consideration because of his unusually high spiritual station. Everyone in Larnaca knew about him, because at a young age he was able to advise people, and to predict the future and reveal it spontaneously. From the age of five there were times when his mother couldn’t find him. After searching, she would find him either in the mosque or at the grave of Umm ul-Hiram (r), a Companion of the Prophet (s) whose grave has a mosque built next to it. Tourists come to her grave in large numbers, attracted by the spectacle of a rock suspended in space above her grave. When his mother would try to bring him home, he would say, “Leave me here with Umm ul-Hiram, she is one of our ancestors.” He was often seen speaking to Umm ul-Hiram, who was buried fourteen centuries ago, listening and then speaking, listening and answering, as if having a conversation with her. Whenever anyone would disturb him, he would say, “Leave me, I am speaking with my grandmother who is in this grave.”
His father sent him to school to study secular knowledge during the day, and in the evening he studied the religious sciences. He was a genius among his fellow-students. After completing his high school studies every night, he would devote his time to studying the Mevlevi and Qadiri Tariqats. He was conducting the Qadiri and Mevlevi circles on Thursday and Friday.
The Adil children. Young
Shaykh Nazim is on the
far left, age 16.
Everyone in Cyprus knew him at that time as an intensely spiritual person. He learned Shari’ah, Jurisprudence, the Science of Prophetic Narrations, the Science of Logic, the Interpretation of the Qur’an and he was able to give juristic rulings on the whole range of Islamic subjects. He was able to speak from all spiritual levels. He had a gift for explaining difficult realities in clear and easy aphorisms.
After completing high school in Cyprus, he moved to Istanbul, where his two brothers and one sister were living and studying, in 1359 H/1940 CE. He studied Chemical Engineering in the University of Istanbul, in the Bayazit District. At the same time he was advancing in his Shari’ah knowledge and in the study of the Arabic language with his Shaykh, Shaykh Jamaluddin al-Alasuni, who died in 1375 H./1955 CE. He received his degree in Chemical Engineering and he excelled among his colleagues. The University professors encouraged him to go into research. He said, “I feel no attraction to modern science. My heart is always drawn to the spiritual sciences.”
calling me to his presence. There was a deep yearning in my heart to leave everything and to migrate to the Holy City of the Prophet .
“One day, when this longing in my heart was particularly intense, I saw a vision in which my Shaykh, Sulayman Arzarumi, came, shook me by the shoulder, and told me, ‘Now the permission has come. Your secrets and your trust and your spiritual guidance are not with me. I only held you as a trust until you were ready for your real Shaykh, who is also my Shaykh, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ad-Daghestani. He is holding your keys. So go to him in Sham. This permission comes from me and from the Prophet .” [Shaykh Sulayman Arzurumi was one of the 313 saints of the Naqshbandi Order, who stand in the footsteps of and represent the 313 messengers.]
“That vision ended, and with it I had received the permission to move to Sham. I looked for my Shaykh to tell him about that vision. I found him coming to the mosque after about two hours. I ran to him. He opened his arms and said to me, ‘My son, are you happy with your vision?’ Then I knew that he knew everything that had happened. He said, ‘Don’t wait. Direct yourself to Sham.’ He didn’t give me an address or any other information, except the name, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ad-Daghestani, in Sham. I traveled from Istanbul to Aleppo by train, where I stayed some time. While there I would go from one to mosque to another, praying, sitting with scholars and spending time in worship and meditation.
“Then I travelled to Hama, which, like Aleppo, is a very ancient city. I tried to move on to Sham, but it was impossible. The French, who occupied Sham, were preparing for an attack by the English. So I traveled to Homs to the grave of Sayyidina Khalid ibn Walid (r), a Companion of the Prophet . I visited Khalid ibn Walid (r) and then I went into the mosque and prayed. A servant came to me and said, ‘I saw a dream last night in which the Prophet came to me. He said, ‘One of my grandsons is coming here tomorrow. Take care of him for me.’ Then he showed me how you would look. Now I see you are that person.’
“I was so taken by what he said, that I accepted his invitation. He gave me one room near that mosque, where I stayed for one year. I didn’t go out except to pray and to sit in the majlis of two eminent scholars of Homs, who were teaching Recitation (tajwid), Exegesis (tafsir), Narration of Traditions (‘ilm al-hadith) and Jurisprudence (fiqh). They were Shaykh Muhammad ‘Ali ‘Uyun as-Sud and Shaykh Abdul ‘Aziz ‘Uyun as-Sud, the Mufti of Homs. I also attended the spiritual teachings of two Naqshbandi Shaykhs, Shaykh ‘Abul Jalil Murad and Shaykh Sa‘id as-Suba‘i. My heart was yearning to go to Sham. Because the war was so intense, I decided to go to Tripoli in Lebanon, from there to Beirut and from Beirut to Sham by a safer way.”
In the year 1364 H/1944 CE, Shaykh Nazim moved on to Tripoli by bus. The bus took him to the harbor and dropped him there. He was a stranger there, not knowing anyone. As he wandered around the harbor area, he saw someone coming from the opposite side of the street. That person was Shaykh Munir al-Malek, the Mufti of Tripoli. He was, at the same time, the Shaykh of all Sufi Orders in the city. He approached and said, “Are you Shaykh Nazim? I saw a dream with the Prophet telling me, ‘One of my grandsons is coming to Tripoli.’ He showed me your appearance and told me to look for you in this area. He told me to take care of you.”
Shaykh Nazim relates:
I stayed with Shaykh Munir al-Malek for a month. Then he arranged for me to go to Homs and from Homs to Damascus. I arrived in Damascus on a Friday, in 1945 CE/1365 H. at the beginning of the Hijri year. I knew that Shaykh ‘Abdullah was living in the district of Hayy al-Maidan, near the tomb of Sayyidina Bilal al-Habashi (r) and many descendants of the Family of the Prophet , an ancient area full of monuments from long ago.
I didn’t know which house was the Shaykh’s. A vision appeared to me at that moment, while standing in the street, that the Shaykh was coming out of his house and calling me inside. That vision ended but I could see no one in the streets. It was empty because of the bombardment by the French and the English. Everyone was afraid, hiding in their houses. I was alone in the streets. I was contemplating in my heart to know which house was the Shaykh’s. Then in a vision I saw a specific house with a specific door. I looked until I found that door. As I approached to knock on the door, the Shaykh opened the door. He said, ‘Welcome, my son, Nazim Effendi.’
His unusual appearance immediately attracted me. I had never seen such a Shaykh before. Light poured from his face and forehead. Warmth was coming from his heart and from the brilliant smile on his face. He took me upstairs, climbing up to his room telling me, ‘We have been waiting for you.’”
In my heart I was completely happy to be with him, but I also had a yearning to visit the city of the Holy Prophet . I asked him, ‘What shall I do?’ He said, ‘Tomorrow I will give you your answer. For now, rest.’ He offered me dinner and I prayed the Night Prayer with him and slept. In the early morning he woke me for tahajjud (after-midnight) prayer. Never in my life had I felt such power as that in his prayer. I felt myself in the Divine Presence and my heart was more and more attracted to him.
A vision came to me and I saw myself climbing a ladder from our prayer place to the Bayt al-Ma’mur, the Ka‘ba of the Heavens, step by step. Every step was a state in which he put me, and in each state I received, in my heart, knowledge that I had never before learned or heard about. Words, phrases and sentences were put together in such a magnificent way, transmitted inside my heart in every state that I had been lifted to, until we reached the Bayt al-Ma’mur. There I saw 124,000 prophets standing in rows for prayers, with Sayyidina Muhammad as Imam. I saw 124,000 Companions of the Prophet Muhammad standing in rows behind them. Then I saw the 7,007 Saints of the Naqshbandi Order standing behind them for prayer. Then I saw 124,000 saints of the other orders, standing in rows for prayers.
There was a space left for two people directly on the right side of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r). Grandshaykh went to that open space and he took me with him and we prayed Dawn Prayer. Never in my life had I experienced the sweetness of that prayer, and when the Prophet Muhammad lead the prayer, the beauty of his recitation was indescribable. It was an experience that no words can describe, because it was a Divine matter. As the prayer ended, the vision ended, and I heard the Shaykh telling me to call the adhan for Fajr.”
He prayed the Dawn Prayer and I prayed behind him. Outside I could hear the bombardment of the two armies. He gave me initiation in the Naqshbandi Order and he said to me, ‘O my son, we have power that in one second we can make our murid reach his station. As soon as he said that he looked into my heart with his eyes, and as he did so they turned from yellow to red, then to white, then to green and black. The color of his eyes changed as he poured into my heart the knowledge associated with each color.
The yellow light was the first and corresponded to the state of the Heart (Qalb). He poured into my heart all kinds of the external knowledge which is necessary for the daily life of people. Then he poured from the stage of the Secret (Sirr), the knowledge of all forty Orders which came from Sayiddina ‘Ali (r), and I found myself a master in all these Orders. While transmitting the knowledge of this Stage, his eyes were red. The third stage, which is the Secret of the Secret (Sirr as-Sirr), is only permitted for Shaykhs of the Naqshbandi Order, whose imam is Sayyidina Abu Bakr (r). As he poured into my heart from this stage, his eyes were white in color. Then he took me into the Stage of the Hidden (Khafa), the station of hidden spiritual knowledge, where his eyes were changing to green. Then he took me to the Station of Complete Annihilation, the Station of the Most Hidden (Akhfa) where nothing appeared, and the color of his eyes was black. Here he brought me into the presence of Allah. Then he brought me back to existence.
My love for him at that moment was so intense that I could not imagine being away from him, and I desired nothing more than to stay with him forever and serve him. Then the storm arrived, the tornado descended, and turbulence threatened the calm. The test was gigantic. My heart was in despair when he told me, ‘My son, your people are in need of you. I have given you enough for now. Go to Cyprus today.’ I had spent one year and a half to reach him. I spent one night with him. Now he was ordering me to go back to Cyprus, a place I hadn’t seen in five years. It was a terrible order for me, but in tariqat the murid must surrender and submit to the will of his Shaykh.
After kissing his hands and feet, and taking his permission, I tried to find a way to travel to Cyprus. The Second World War was reaching its end. There was no transportation. As I was in the street thinking these thoughts a person came to me and said, ‘O Shaykh, do you need a ride?’ I said, ‘Yes! Where are you are going?’ He said, ‘To Tripoli.’ He took me in his truck and after two days we reached Tripoli. When we arrived there I said, ‘Take me to the seaport.’ He said, ‘What for?’ I said, ‘To find a ship to Cyprus.’ He said, ‘How? No one is traveling in the sea with this great war going on.’ I said, ‘Never mind that, just take me there.’ He took me to the seaport and dropped me there. I was again surprised when I saw Shaykh Munir al-Malek coming towards me. He said, ‘What is that love your grandfather has for you? The Prophet came again to me in my dream and said, ‘My son Nazim is coming. Take care of him.’
I stayed with him three days. I asked him to help me arrange passage to Cyprus. He tried, but it was impossible at that time because of the war and the shortage of fuel. He could find nothing except a sailboat. He told me, ‘You can go but it is dangerous.’ I said, ‘I must go, because that is the order of my Shaykh.’ Shaykh Munir payed the owner a heavy price to get him to take me. We set sail. It took us seven days to reach Cyprus, a trip which normally takes four hours by motorboat.
As soon as I landed and put my foot on the soil of Cyprus, immediately a spiritual vision was opened to my heart. I saw Grandshaykh ‘Abdullah Daghestani saying to me, ‘O my son. Nothing was able to keep you from carrying out my order. You have achieved a lot by listening and accepting. From this moment I will always be visible to you. Anytime you direct your heart towards me I will be there. Any question you have you will receive an answer directly from the Divine Presence. Any spiritual state you wish to achieve it will be granted to you because of your complete submission. The Saints are all happy with you, the Prophet is happy with you. As soon as he said that I felt him beside me, and since then he has never left me. He is always beside me.
Shaykh Nazim began to spread spiritual guidance and Islamic teachings in Cyprus. Many followers came to him and accepted the Naqshbandi Order. Unfortunately it was at a time when all religion was banned in Turkey, and as he was in the Turkish community of Cyprus, religion was entirely banned there as well. Even the calling of the adhan was prohibited.
His first action after reaching his birthplace was to go to the mosque and call the adhan in Arabic. He was immediately jailed and stayed in jail for one week. As soon as he was released, he went to the big mosque of Nicosia and called the adhan from its minaret. This made the officials very angry and they filed a lawsuit against him. While he awaited the lawsuit, he went all over Nicosia and nearby villages calling the adhan from the minarets. As a result, many more lawsuits were raised, and eventually there were 114 cases pending against him. Lawyers advised him to stop calling the adhan, but he said, “No, I cannot. People must hear the call to prayer.”
Shaykh Nazim as a young murid of
Grandshaykh Abdullah Al-Daghestani.
The day of the hearing arrived for the 112 cases. If prosecuted and convicted he could receive over 100 years of jail time. The same day, the election results came in from Turkey: a man named Adnan Menderes had been voted into power. His first action as President was to open all mosques and to permit the Adhan to be made in Arabic. That was a miracle of our Grandshaykh.
During his years there, Shaykh Nazim traveled all over Cyprus, and also visited Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and many other places to teach the tariqat. He moved back to Damascus in 1952, when he got married to one of the murids of Grandshaykh, Hajjah Amina Adil. From that time he lived in Damascus, and every year he would visit Cyprus for the three months of Rajab, Sha‘ban and Ramadan. His family lived in Damascus with him and would travel with him to Cyprus when he went there. He had two daughters and two sons.
Shaykh Nazim used to go every year for pilgrimage as the Hajj leader for the convoy of Cypriot pilgrims. He made 27 pilgrimages in all
He looked after the murids and followers of Grandshaykh. One time Grandshaykh ordered him to go from Damascus to Aleppo on foot and to stop at every village on the way to spread the Naqshbandi teachings, the knowledge of Sufism and the knowledge of religion. The distance between Damascus and Aleppo is about 400 kilometers. It took him more than a year to go and return. He would walk one or two days, reach a village, spend one week in the village spreading the Naqshbandi Order, leading dhikr, training the people, then move on down the road to the next village. Soon his name was on every tongue, from the border of Jordan to the border of Turkey near Aleppo.
Similarly, Grandshaykh once ordered Shaykh Nazim to walk through Cyprus. He walked from one village to another, calling people to Islam, to leave atheism, secularism, and materialism and to come back to Allah. He became so well-known throughout Cyprus, and so beloved, that the color of his turban and cloak, both a dark green, became known throughout the island as “the Shaykh Nazim green head” (Sheih Nazim yesilbas).
Shaykh Nazim in his
home in Cyprus.
In recent years he has performed a similar walkabout in the country of Turkey. Each year since 1978, he has spent three to four months traveling throughout one area of Turkey. In one year he traveled the area of Istanbul, Yalova, Bursa, Eskisehir and Ankara. In another he traveled to Konya, Isparta, Kirsehir. In another year he traveled the southern seacoast, from Adana, to Mersin, Alanya, Izmir, Antalya. Then another year he went to the Eastern side, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, up to the border of Iraq. Another sojourn he spent on the Black Sea, moving from one district to another, from one town to another, from one mosque to the next, spreading the word of Allah, and spirituality and light wherever he went.
Wherever he travels he is welcomed by crowds of common people, and by the officials and government people as well. He is known by the beloved nickname of al-Kibrisi throughout Turkey. He was the Shaykh of the late president of Turkey, Turgut Ozal, and he was extremely well-respected by him. Currently he is well-known throughout Turkey because of the extensive coverage given to him by the media and the press. He is interviewed nearly every week by one television station or another, one reporter or another, to get his opinions on the events in Turkey and its future. He walks the middle path recommended by the Prophet , enabling him to tread a fine line between the secularist government and the Islamicist group. This brings happiness and peace to the hearts and minds of both the common people and the intelligentsia.
Starting in 1974, he began to visit Europe, travelling every year from Cyprus to London by plane and returning overland, by car. He continues to meet all kinds of people from every land and tongue, from all different faiths and all different cultures. People continue to take shahada, Tariqat, and spiritual secrets from him.
As Shah Naqshband was the Mujaddid in Bukhara and Central Asia, as Sayyidina Ahmad as-Sirhindi al-Mujaddedi was the Reviver of the 2nd Millenium, as Sayyidina Khalid al-Baghdadi was the Reviver of Islam and Shari‘ah and Tariqat in the Middle East, now Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Haqqani is the Reviver, the Renewer and the Caller to God in this Age, the Age of Technology and Material Progress. His smiling, glowing face is beloved throughout Europe, for bringing the first real taste of spirituality the lifetime of the people.
Recently in 1991, he began his journey to America. In his first trip he visited over 15 states. He met many people of different beliefs and religions: Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, and New Age believers. This resulted in the establishing of over 15 centers of the Naqshbandi Order in North America. He made a second visit in 1993, and traveled to many cities and towns, visiting mosques, churches, synaguoges, and temples. Through him, over 10,000 people in North America have entered Islam and have taken initiation in the Naqshbandi Order.
In 1986, he was called to travel to the Far East: Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. He visited every major city in these countries. He was welcomed by sultans, presidents, members of parliament, government officials, and of course the common people everywhere. He is considered the saint of the Age in Brunei. He was welcomed by the generosity of its people and especially by the Sultan, Hajji Hasanal Bolkiah. He is considered one of the great Shaykhs of The Naqshbandi Order in Malaysia. In Pakistan, he is acknowledged as the Reviver of the Tariqat, and he has thousands of murids. In Sri Lanka, from among the officials and the common people he has over 20,000 murids. He is well respected among the Muslims in Singapore and has many murids there.
He visited Lebanon many times, where we came to know him. One time I was in the office of my uncle, who was the General Secretary for Religious Affairs in Lebanon, a high ranking government position. It was ‘Asr time and my uncle, Shaykh Mukhtar Alayli, used to pray in the Masjid al-‘Umari al-Kabir in Beirut. It was a church at the time of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (r), and it had been converted into a mosque in his time. Until today beneath the mosque are the foundations of the church. My uncle was leading the prayer, and two of my brothers and I were praying behind him. A Shaykh came and prayed beside us. He looked at my brother and said to him, ‘Are you so-and-so?’ and mentioned his name. He looked at my other brother and mentioned his name. He looked at me and called me by name also. We were very surprised at this, as we had never seen him before. My uncle was also drawn to him.
My eldest brother insisted on hosting Shaykh Nazim in our house and my uncle came with us. Our guest said, “I have been sent by Shaykh ‘Abdullah and he told me, ‘The one on your right side after ‘Asr prayer is named such and the other is named such and the other is named such. Initiate them into the Naqshbandi Order. They are going to be among our followers.’ His knowing all our names astonished us and drew us to him. I was particularly attracted to him, being quite young.
From that time on, he made it a practice to visit Beirut regularly. We also used to visit Damascus every week to see Grandshaykh ‘Abdullah and Shaykh Nazim. We received a lot of spiritual knowledge and witnessed the miraculous powers that they were spreading to the hearts of seekers. We were so drawn to them, that we were always begging our father to let us go see them every Sunday.
Shaykh Nazim’s house was never empty of visitors. At least one hundred visitors would pass through his house each day. He was serving each and every one of them. His house was near Grandshaykh’s house on Jabal Qasiyun, a mountain overlooking the city, on the southeastern side of Damascus. He lived in a modest stucco house in which everything was simple, made by hand out of wood or some other natural material.
His first seclusion by the order of Shaykh ‘Abdullah Daghestani was in the year 1955, in Sueileh, Jordan. There he spent six months in seclusion. The power and purity of his presence attracted thousands of murids, so that Sueileh and it surrounding villages, Ramta and ‘Amman became full of the murids of the Shaykhs. Scholars, officials and so many people were attracted to his light and his personality.
When he had only two children, one daughter and one son, he was called by our Grandshaikh, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ad-Daghestani. He told him, “I have received an order from the Prophet for you to make seclusion in the mosque of ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani in Baghdad. Go there and make seclusion for six months.”
Describing that event, Shaykh Nazim says, “I didn’t ask the Shaykh any questions. I didn’t even go back to my house. I directed my steps immediately to Marja in the downtown. I didn’t think, ‘I need clothes, I need money, I need provisions.’ When he said, ‘Go!’ I went. I was drawn to do seclusion with Sayyidina ‘Abdul Qadir. I went directly to Marja. When I reached the downtown walking I saw a man looking at me. He looked at me and he recognized me. He said, ‘Shaykh Nazim, where are you going?’ I said, ‘To Baghdad.’ He was a murid of Grandshaykh. He said, ‘I am going to Baghdad myself!’ He had at truckload of goods to deliver in Baghdad. So he took me with him.”
“When I entered the mosque of Sayyidina ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani there was a giant man closing the door of the mosque holding it shut. He said, ‘Shaykh Nazim!’ ‘Yes,’ I answered. He said, ‘I am the one assigned to be your servant during your stay here. Come with me.’ I was surprised at this, but in my heart there was no surprise because we know in tariqat that everything is always arranged by the Divine Presence. I followed him as he approached the grave of the Arch-Intercessor (Ghawth al-‘Azam) and I gave greetings to my great-great-grandfather, Sayyidina ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani. Then he took me to a room and told me, ‘Every day I will serve you one bowl of lentil soup with one piece of bread.’”
“I only emerged from my room for the five prayers. Other than that I spent my whole time in that room. I was able to reach such a state that I could recite the whole Qur’an in nine hours. In addition I recited 124,000 Dhikr of the Kalima (la ilaha illallah) and 124,000 salawat (prayers on the Prophet ) in addition to reading the entire Dala’il al-Khayrat. Added to that I was regularly reciting 313,000 ‘Allah Allah’ every day, as well as all the prayers that were assigned to me. Vision after vision appeared to me every day. These visions took me from one state to another until I was Annihilated in the Divine Presence.”
“One day I had a vision that Sayyidina ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani was calling me to his grave and he was saying, ‘O my son I am waiting for you at my grave. Come!’ Immediately I took a shower, prayed two cycles of prayer and I walked to his grave which was only some few feet from my room. When I got there I began contemplating and I said, as-Salam ‘alayka ya jiddee (‘Peace be upon you O my grandfather’). Immediately I saw him come out of the grave and stand beside me. Behind him was a Great Throne decorated with rare stones. He said to me, ‘Come with me and sit with me on that throne.’
“We sat like a grandfather with his grandson. He was smiling and saying, ‘I am happy with you. The station of your Shaykh, ‘Abdullah al-Fa’iz ad-Daghestani is very high in the Naqshbandi Order. I am your grandfather and I am passing to you now, directly from me, the power that I carry as the Arch-Intercessor and I initiate you now directly into the Qadiri Order.’”
When Shaykh Nazim had finished his seclusion and was about to leave, he went to Sayyidina ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani’s grave to say goodbye. Sayyidina ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani appeared in the flesh to him and said, “O my son. I am very happy with the states you have reached in the Naqshbandi Order. I am renewing your initiation to me through the Qadiri Order.” Sayyidina ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani then said, “O my grandson, I am going to give you a token of your visit.” He hugged him and gave him ten coins. Those coins were from the time he was living in, not from our time. Up until today, Shaykh Nazim has kept those coins with him.
Before he left, Shaykh Nazim gave the Shaykh who had served him during the seclusion, his jubbah (cloak) as a remembrance. He told him, “I used that cloak during all of my seclusion, either as a mat to sleep on, or as a dress when praying and making dhikr. Keep it and Allah will bless you and Sayyidina Muhammad will bless you and all the Masters of this Order will bless you.” The Shaykh took the cloak, kissed it, and wore it. Shaykh Nazim left Baghdad and went back to Damascus, Syria.
In 1992, when Shaykh Nazim was visiting Lahore, Pakistan, he visited the tomb of Shaykh ‘Ali Hujwiri. The Shaykh of the Qadiri Order invited him to his house, and Shaykh Nazim spent the night there. At Fajr time, the Shaykh said, “O my Shaykh, I kept you here tonight to show you a very precious cloak, that we have inherited 27 years ago. It was passed from one great Shaykh of the Qadiri Order to another from Baghdad, and finally it reached us. All our Shaykhs have kept it and preserved it, because it was the personal cloak (jubbah) of the Ghawth of his time.
“A Turkish Shaykh of the Naqshbandi Order kept seclusion in the mosque and tomb of Sayyidina ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani. When that Shaykh finished his seclusion he gave the cloak as a present to a Qadiri Shaykh who had served him during his seclusion. That Qadiri Shaykh, before he passed away, ordered his successors to take great care of that cloak, because if anyone wears it, he will be healed of any illness. Any seeker wearing that cloak, in his path to the Divine Presence, will be lifted easily to high states of Vision.”
He opened the closet and revealed the cloak preserved in a glass case. He opened the case and took the jubbah out. Shaykh Nazim was smiling. The Shaykh asked him, “What is it my Shaykh?” Shaykh Nazim said, “This brings me great happiness. This is the cloak I gave to the Qadiri Shaykh at the conclusion of my khalwat.” When the Shaykh heard this he kissed the hand of Shaykh Nazim, asked to renew his initiation in the Qadiri Order and to take initiation in the Naqshbandi Order. Allah takes good care of his saints, wherever they go, by means of his sincere and beloved servants.
Many times Shaykh Nazim was ordered to go into seclusions which varied in length from 40 days to one year. The seclusions also varied in the degree of isolation from outside contact: sometimes there was no contact; sometimes there was the small amount necessitated by performing the daily prayers in congregation; and sometimes more contact was permitted for attendance at circles of gathering for association, lectures or dhikr. He did many seclusions in the city of the Prophet . He said:
“No one ever had the privilege of making seclusion with his Shaykh. I had the privilege of making a seclusion in the same room with my Shaykh in Madinah al-Munawwara. It was in an ancient room near the Prophet’s Holy Mosque. It had one door and one window. As soon as I entered the room with my Shaykh, he blocked the window by boarding it up. He gave me authorization to leave the room only for the five daily prayers in the Holy Mosque of the Prophet .”
“I was ordered by my Shaykh to keep the practice, Nazar bar Qadam, ‘Watching the Step,’ when I walked to the prayers. By disciplining and controlling the sight, this practice is a means to disconnect oneself from everything except Allah, Almighty and Exalted, and His Prophet .”
“My Shaykh never slept during that seclusion. For one year I never saw him sleeping. He never touched food. We were given one bowl of lentil soup and one piece of bread each day. He would always give his share to me. He only drank water. He never left that room.”
“Day after day and night after night my Shaykh sat reading Qur’an by the light of a lamp, making Dhikr and raising his hands in du‘a. For hours he would make du‘a (supplication) and one du‘a never resembled another. Each one was different from the other and throughout the whole year, he never repeated the same du‘a. Sometimes I was not able to understand the language he was using in the du‘a because it was a heavenly language. I could only understand these du‘as by means of the visions and inspirations that came to my heart.”
“I didn’t know when night left and day arrived except by the prayers. Grandshaykh ‘Abdullah never saw the light of day for one whole year, only the light of the candle. I would see the daylight only when I went out for the prayers.”
“Through that seclusion I was raised to different levels of spirituality. One day I heard him saying, “O Allah give me the Power of intercession, from the Power of Intercession You have granted Your Prophet , to intercede for all human beings on the Day of Judgment to lift them up to be in Your Divine Presence.” As he was saying that I was in a vision experiencing the Judgment Day, and Allah, Almighty and Exalted, was descending on His ‘Arsh (throne) and judging people. The Prophet was on the Right Side of the Divine Presence. Grandshaykh was on the right side of the Prophet and I was on Grandshaykh’s right side.”
“After Allah had judged the people, he authorized the Prophet to intercede. When the Prophet had interceded and finished, he ordered Grandshaykh to give his blessings and to lift the people up with the spiritual power that he had been given. That vision ended as I heard my Shaykh saying, ‘Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Nazim Effendi, I got the answer.’”
“These visions continued. One day he told me after I returned from Fajr prayer, ‘Nazim Effendi, Look!’ Where should I look, up, down, right or left? It came to me look at his heart. As soon as I looked at his heart a great unveiling occurred to me and I saw Sayyidina ‘Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (q) appear in his physical body and tell me, ‘O my son, your Shaykh is unique. No one like him has ever come before.’ Then he invited Grandshaykh and me to come with him.”
“Immediately we saw ourselves with Sayyidina ‘Abdul Khaliq in another place on this earth. He said, Allah, Almighty and Exalted, has ordered me to go to that rock,’ and we were following him to a rock. He said, ‘Allah has ordered me to hit that rock.’ When he hit the rock an incredibly powerful stream of water came gushing forth from that rock, the like of which I had never seen before. Sayyidina ‘Abdul Khaliq said, ‘That water is coming out today and is going to continue to pour out like this until the Judgment Day.’
“Then he said, ‘Allah Almighty has told me that He is creating from every drop of this water an angel of light, which will be praising Him until Judgment Day. And He has ordered me by saying, ‘O My servant ‘Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani, your job is to give every angel its name. You cannot use any name twice. You must name each one with a different name and count their praises. You will divide the rewards of their praises among the followers of the Naqshbandi Order. That responsibility is on you.’ Then that vision ended. I was so attracted to Sayyidina ‘Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani and amazed by his incredible task.”
“Visions continued to pour on me in similar fashion. In the last day of our seclusion, after Fajr prayer, I heard a voice outside the room crying. I heard one great voice and many smaller voices like the voices of many children crying. That crying did not stop, but I was unable to go and see who was crying because I had no permission. The sound of crying kept increasing and continued for hours.
“Then Grandshaykh looked at me and said, ‘Nazim Effendi, do you know who is crying?’ Though I knew that it was not the cries of human beings, I said, ‘O my Shaykh, you know better.’ Immediately he told me, ‘This is Iblis (Satan) and his soldiers. Do you know why they are crying?’ I said, ‘O my Shaykh, you know better.’ He said, ‘Satan announced to his devils that two people on this earth have escaped their control.’
“Then I saw a vision that Satan and his soldiers were encircled with a heavenly chain that prevented them from reaching my Shaykh and me. That vision ended. Then Grandshaykh said, ‘Alhamdulillah, the Prophet is happy with you and I am happy with you.’ Then he put his hand on my heart and I immediately saw the Prophet and 124,000 prophets, 124,000 Companions, 7007 Naqshbandi Saints, 313 Exalted saints, the five Qutbs and the Ghawth. All of them were congratulating me and they each poured into my heart their divine knowledge. I inherited from them the secrets of the Naqshbandi Order and the secrets of the 40 other Orders.”
In 1971, Shaykh Nazim was in Cyprus for the three months of Rajab, Sha‘ban, and Ramadan, as was his custom. One day, in Sha‘ban, we received a call from the airport in Beirut and it was the Shaykh telling us to come and get him. We were surprised that he had come, as we were not expecting him, but we quickly went to pick him up. He told us, “I have been ordered by the Prophet to come to you today, because your father is going to die. I am to wash him, shroud him and bury him and then go back to Cyprus.” We said, “O our Shaykh, our father is healthy, nothing is wrong with him.” He said, “That is what I have been ordered.” He was absolutely certain, and since we had been taught to accept what the Shaykh says, we submitted to him.
He told us to gather the family and to bring them to see my father one last time. We believed him and we called all the family to come. Everyone was surprised and some didn’t believe when we called them; some came and some didn’t come. My father knew nothing about that matter, but only saw the relatives coming to see him as something ordinary. It was a quarter to seven. The Shaykh said, “Now I have to go up to your father’s apartment to recite on him the chapter of Qur’an Ya Sin ash-Sharif as he passes away.” He went up to my father’s flat from our flat below. He was greeted by my father at the door. My father said, “O Shaykh Nazim, it has been a long time since we heard you recite Qur’an, won’t you read for us?” Then Shaykh Nazim began to recite the chapter of Quran Ya Sin ash-Sharif. Just as he was finishing the chapter, the clock struck seven. Just then my father cried out, “My heart, my heart!” We lay him down and my brother and sister, who are both doctors, came to check him. They found his heart racing out of control and within minutes he breathed his last.
Everyone looked at Shaykh Nazim with awe and astonishment. “How did he know?” we were wondering. “How did he come from Cyprus just for this? What kind of saint is he? How did he know that time so precisely? What kind of secret was he carrying in his heart? What kind of perfect saint is he who knows things that people cannot know?”
The secret he carries is a result of Allah’s love and mercy to him. Allah authorized him with that power and prescience because he maintained his sincerity and piety and loyalty to Allah’s religion, and kept his obligations and his prayers, and honored His Holy Qur’an. He is like all saints of the Naqshbandi Order before him, like all saints of other orders before him, like his grandfathers Sayyidina ‘Abdul Qadir Jilani and Sayyidina Jalaluddin Rumi, and like Muhyideen Ibn ‘Arabi who followed and preserved the tradition of Islam for 1400 years.
We were caught between two emotions. On the one hand we cried for our father’s passing, and on the other we were happy with our master and what he had done for our father. His coming to take care of our father at his last breath was a gesture we will never forget, and was a blessed miracle written with words of light. He washed his body with his holy hands, covered him with a shroud, and buried him with his holy hands. Having accomplished his task he took a flight back to Cyprus the very same day.
What kind of emotions and feelings enter the heart of a person when he sees such events in front of his eyes, events which the material mind cannot encompass or even imagine? The pen cannot express these feelings. We can only say one thing: this is the truth, this is what happened. It is a reality that happens with a mystical power, an unbelievable power that can be given to a person when he has been granted love from the Divine. With that love he will be granted knowledge from the Divine, wisdom from the Divine, spirituality from the Divine. He will be granted everything. He will be a Knower of the past, a Knower of the present and a Knower of the future.
Once Shaykh Nazim was visiting Lebanon for a period of two months during the hajj (pilgrimage) season. The governor of the city of Tripoli, Lebanon, Ashar ad-Daya, was head of the official convoy to the hajj. He invited Shaykh Nazim to go with him on the Pilgrimage. The Shaykh said, “I cannot go with you, but, Insha-Allah, I will meet you there.” The governor insisted, “If you are going, please go with me. Don’t go with anyone else.” Shaykh Nazim replied, “I don’t yet know if I will go or not.” After the season of hajj finished, and the governor had returned, he rushed to the house where Shaykh Nazim was staying. In front of 100 people, while we were watching, he said, “O Shaykh Nazim, why did you go with someone else, why didn’t you come with me?” We said, “The Shaykh did not go on hajj. For two months he has been here with us, traveling around Lebanon.” He said, “No! He was on hajj. I have witnesses. One day I was making the ritual circumambulation of the Ka’aba (tawaf), and Shaykh Nazim came to me and said, ‘O Ashar, are you here?’ I said, ‘Yes, my Shaykh.’ Then he made circumambulation with me. We spent the night together in our hotel in Makkah. He spent the day with us on Arafat, in our tent. He spent the night with me in Mina, and he stayed with us in Mina for three days. Then he told me, ‘I have to go to Madinah to visit the Prophet.’”
As he told this story, we were carefully observing Shaykh Nazim, as we knew that he had never left our presence in Lebanon. We saw that unique, hidden smile, as if he meant to say, “That is the power that Allah grants to his saints. When they are on His Way, when they reach His Divine Love and His Divine Presence, Allah will grant them everything.”
When he saw that, the governor said, “O my Shaykh, what is this miraculous ability that you showed us? It is incredible. That is something I never saw in all my life. I am a politician, and I rely on my mind and my logic. Yet I must say that you are not an ordinary person, you have superhuman powers. It must be something that Allah Himself has dressed you with!” He kissed the hand of the Shaykh and asked him for initiation in the Naqshbandi Order. Whenever Shaykh Nazim would visit Lebanon, that governor and the prime minister of Lebanon would sit in the Shaykh’s association. Up until today, their families and many of the Lebanese people are his followers.
About the state of Unique Oneness (wahdaniyya) he said:
“It means the impossibility of the existence of multiplicity, and it is of three categories:
-The unique Oneness of the Essence: This means that His Essence is not compounded or combined from two or more parts, and there is nothing which resembles His Divine Essence.
-The Unique Oneness of His Attributes: This means that Allah, Almighty and Exalted, does not possess two kinds of Attributes which represent the same thing. For example, He does not have two Wills nor two Intentions. He is One in every attribute.
The Unique Oneness of His Actions: It means that He is the Creator, by His Own Wish and His Own Will, of everything that appears in this universe. All creations are either a substance or a description or an action. Thus all His Actions are created by Him for His servants.”
“If the love is true, then the lover must keep respect for the Beloved and proper manners with Him.”
“The highest Certainty of Truth is when the Shaykh glorifies the Divine Presence in your eye and diminishes everything other than God.”
“There are three big snakes that harm human beings: to be intolerant and impatient with the people around you; to be habituated to something you cannot leave; and to be controlled by your ego.”
“To achieve dunya (the world) is humiliation, and to achieve the next life is honor. I am amazed at those who prefer humiliation to honor.”
“If Allah, Almighty and Exalted, opened the Essence of His Divine Love, everyone on earth would die from that love.”
“We must always be engaged in the following: pondering Allah’s verses in the Holy Qur’an and his signs which cause love to evolve in us; thinking about His Promise to reward us, which will generate and bring forth in us yearning; and thinking about His Warning of punishment, which will generate in us shyness of Allah.”
“Allah said, ‘Whoever will be patient with Us will reach Us.’”
“If fear of God is grounded in the heart, the tongue will never speak what is of no purpose.”
“Tasawwuf is the purity of progressing to Allah’s Divine Presence, and its essence is to leave this materialistic life.”
“One time Junayd (q) saw Iblis (Satan) in a vision, and he was naked. He told him, ‘O Accursed one, are you not shy of people to appear naked?’ He said, ‘O Junayd, why should I be shy of people when they are not shy from themselves?’”
“When you meet a seeker in the way of Allah, approach him with sincerity and loyalty and with lenience. Don’t approach him with knowledge. Knowledge might make him wild at the beginning, but leniency will bring him quickly to you.”
“A seeker should be someone who has left himself and connected his heart with the Divine Presence. He stands in His Presence performing his obligations while visualizing the Divine with his heart. Allah’s Light has burned his heart giving him a thirst for the nectar of roses, and withdrawing the curtains from his eyes, allowing him to see His Lord. If he opens his mouth it is by order of the Divine Presence. If he moves it is by the order of Allah, and if he becomes tranquil it is by the action of the Divine Attributes. He is in the Divine Presence and with Allah.”
“The Sufi is the one who keeps the obligations that Allah has conveyed by the Holy Prophet , and strives to raise himself to the state of Perfected Character, which is the Knowledge of Allah, Almighty and Exalted.”
“Tasawwuf is a knowledge from which one learns the state of the human soul, praiseworthy or blameworthy. If it is blameworthy he learns how to purify it and enable it, by becoming praiseworthy, to journey to Allah’s Divine Presence. Its fruits are the heart’s development: Knowledge of Allah, Glorious and Sublime, through direct experience; salvation in the next world; triumph through gaining Allah’s pleasure; the attainment of eternal happiness; and illumination and purification so that noble matters disclose themselves, extraordinary states are revealed, and one perceives what the inside of others is blind to.”
“Tasawwuf is not a particular type of worship, but is rather the attachment of the heart to Allah. Such attachment demands that whenever something is preferred (mandub), according to the standards of the Sacred Law, for someone in one’s circumstances, then one does it. This is why we find that Sufis have served Islam in a wide variety of capacities. Islamic scholars must acquire the higher education of Sufism.”
Grandshaykh, before he passed away said in his will, “By the Order of the Prophet (s), I have trained and lifted up my successor, Nazim Effendi, and put him through many seclusions and trained him in severe training and I am assigning him to be my successor. I am seeing that in the future he will spread this Order through East and West. Allah will make all kinds of people, rich and poor, scholars and politicians, come to him, learn from him and take the Naqshbandi Order, at the end of the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st Century. It will spread all over the world, such that not one continent will be devoid of its sweet scent.”
“I see him establishing and founding huge headquarters in London through which he will spread this tariqat to Europe, the Far East, and America. He will spread sincerity, love, piety, harmony, and happiness among people, and all shall leave behind ugliness, terrorism, and politics. He will spread the knowledge of peace within the heart, the knowledge of peace within communities, the knowledge of peace between nations, in order that wars and struggles will be taken away from this world and peace will become the dominating factor. I am seeing young people running to him from everywhere, asking for his barakah and blessings. He will show them the way to keep their obligations in the Islamic tradition, to be moderate, to live in peace with everyone of every religion, to leave hatred and enmity. Religion is for Allah and Allah is the judge of His servants.”
That prediction has come to pass, just as Grandshaykh ‘Abdullah had described it. In the year after Grandshaykh (q) passed away in 1973, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim made his first return trip to Turkey, visiting Bursa. Then he went to London. Many young people, especially the followers of John Bennett, came to meet him. As many people began coming to hear him he established his first center there in 1974.
He followed his first visit with annual visits to England and the Continent during and after Ramadan. The Order spread quickly, penetrating all of Europe, together with the United States, Canada and South America. He opened three centers in London for training people in the ways of spirituality, removing their depression and lifting them to a state of peace in their hearts. His teachings continued to spread to all parts of Europe, North Africa, Southern Africa, the Gulf countries, America, North and South, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Russia and parts of China, Australia and New Zealand.
You cannot find in the countries we have named and countries we have not named, a place where the touch of Shaykh Nazim is not felt. This is what differentiates him from all saints that are living now and all saints that came before. You find all languages are spoken in his presence. Every year, in the month of Ramadan, a huge conference is held in London, which more than 5,000 people attend from all over the world. As Allah said, “We made you nations and tribes that you might know one another” [49:13].
His followers come from all walks of life. You find the poor, the middle class, the wealthy, the businessman, the doctor, the lawyer, the psychiatrist, the astronomer, the plumber, the carpenter, Ministers of government, politicians, senators, parliament members, prime ministers, presidents, kings, sultans, and royalty of all kinds, everyone attracted to his simplicity, to his smile, to his light and to his spirituality. Thus he is known as the multicolored, Universal Shaykh.
His sayings and associations (sohbet) have been collected and published in many books that are available. These include the Mercy Oceans series, which number more than 35 books, thousands of feet of videotapes, and thousands and thousands of hours of audiotapes.
His life is always intensely active. He is a traveler in Allah’s Way, never staying home, always moving from one place to another. One day he is in the East and the next he is in the West. One day he is in the North and the next he is in the South. You don’t know where he will be from one day to the next. He is always meeting with officials to encourage reconciliation and peace and preservation of the natural world. He is always sowing the seeds of love and peace and harmony in the hearts of mankind. We hope that in the spirit of his teachings all religions will find paths to reconciliation and leave behind differences to live in peace and harmony.
His predictions for the future of the world are a continuation of Grandshaykh ‘Abdullah’s predictions, announcing events before they occur, warning people and bringing their attention to what is going to happen. Many times he has said, “Communism is going to come down and the Soviet Union is going to split into pieces. He predicted the Berlin Wall would fall.
The secret of the Golden Chain of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order is in his hands. He carries it with the highest power. It is shining everywhere. May Allah bless him and strengthen him in His Holy Work. May Allah send much peace, blessings, salutations, and light upon the Beloved Prophet Muhammad , his family, his companions, and all prophets and saints, especially His devoted servants in the Naqshbandi Path and all the Sufi Orders, and especially upon His friend in our time, Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani.