A Short Biography of Moulana Sheikh Nazim
Sheik Nazim was born in Cypress in a sea side city called Larnaka. This city Larnaka is one of the main cities in the island of Cypress. He was born on the 21 st day of April 1922. It was on a Sunday and according to the Islamic calendar it was on the 26th day of Shaaban 1341 AH.
Sheik Nazim’s house was situated next to a large Zavia (mosque) in which was the Ziyaram (burial chamber) of Ummu Hiram who was a Lady Sahaba who lived during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (sal). The Prophet (Sal) had given good tidings about her that she would go to an island to spread Islam and that in that place she would be martyred and be buried. This Ziyaram of Ummu Hiram is a famous place.
It was the habit of Sheik Nazim when he was very young to be found missing from his house and when everyone searched for him they ultimately found him at the Maqam of Ummu Hiram. This was a common occurrence and almost always Sheik Nazim was invariably found in the Zavia of Ummu Hiram together with the Scholars and Imams and the learned men who were doing zikr and discoursing about religious matters in this Zavia. It is to be noted that he entered into the circle of these learned men and sat with them when he was only four to five years old.
Sheik Nazim was both from his father’s side and mother’s side descendent from the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sal). On his fathers side he was the descendent of the Great Sultan ul Awlia and the founder of the Qadiriya Tariqa Seyyedina Muhiyyudin Abdul Qadir Jeelani (ral). On his mothers side he was a descendent of the Great Sufi Saint Mowlana Jalaludin Rumi who was the founder of the Mevlavi Sufi Order.
Sheik Nazim’s grandfather was an Imam of the Qadiriya Sufi Order through which he served the people for period of over forty years. It was at this Zavia of Umm Hiram that the grandfather of Sheik Nazim served. Sheik Nazim’s father however did not become the Imam after his father as he was in tender years when his father passed away. It was spiritually through Sheik Nazim that he was dressed in the Naqshabandi ranks after his death while he was in his grave and thereby attained very high ranks in the Naqshabandi Sufi way. This was done by Sheik Nazim on the orders and permission of his great Grandsheik Abdulla Faiz Dhagistani.
Sheik Nazim amazed a lot of people, especially his teachers when he was in his childhood and teenage years by being a very clever and extremely smart student. He was so intelligent that it was only necessary for the teacher to tell him something only once and it was as if it was recorded in the mind of Sheik Nazim. It astounded everyone even more because Sheik Nazim was able to tell his teachers even before they could speak as to what they were going to teach him. Some even thought that he had miraculous powers. Sheik Nazim had a great understanding of all that he learnt and of all the sciences that were taught to him. He finished his high school in Cypress and thereafter left to Istanbul where he entered the University of Istanbul in the year 1944.
Sheik Nazim had three brothers all of whom studied in the University of Istanbul which was the highest seat of learning in Turkey at that time. One of his brothers was reading for his Mechanical Engineering degree, while the other one was studying Law. The third brother was studying Medicine. This was during the time of the 2nd World War. The third brother of Sheik Nazim had completed his studies and also because of the fact that he was a doctor, and as doctors of medicine were specially needed for the army he had to join the army. It was at this time when Sheik Nazim was finishing his degree in Chemistry at the University that he came to hear of the sad news that his brother who was the doctor who had joined the army had been killed.
Sheik Nazim specially liked this brother and had great love for him, so it was only natural that Sheik Nazim was very depressed and most sorrowful at the news of the death of his brother. This made him realize that everything in this life was of no value and that they were only temporary. He thought that to become a Scholar and to obtain degrees in Universities were not really worth it. It was only the hereafter that mattered. At this time Sheik Nazim had already obtained his Bachelor of Science degree and in the new light of things this meant nothing to him. He felt that everyone had to leave everything in this world and go to Allah Almighty sooner or later. So he decided that he would leave everything in this world sooner than later .This was why he determined to give up everything of this world and set his mind to travel on the way and path of Allah Almighty.
Pursuit of Knowledge
Therefore, he went in search of the Saints (Awlia) in order to get closer to Allah Almighty and gave up his studies and all other material aspects. He started the pursuit of knowledge in religion. He began the study of the Shariah (Islamic Law) and Jurisprudence and more specially Sufism. Sheik Nazim’s heart was greatly attracted to Sufism. He loved Sufism. In the pursuit of Jurisprudence and Shariah he studied under the great Imam of that time who was Jamaluddin al Lasuni. After a while maybe only a few months later, Sheik Nazim surpassed his teacher of Shariah and Jurisprudence so much so that his teacher used to thereafter learn from Sheik Nazim.
Sheik Nazim became very popular and was well known for his knowledge in the Shariah and Jurisprudence. He was so popular in Istanbul that he was regarded as the encyclopedia on the knowledge relating to the four Madhabs (four schools of Islamic thought), specially the Hanafi madhab. This was why the Ulema (the learned Scholors) of that time believed that Sheik Nazim’s Knowledge was in comparison to his teacher very much higher. This is also why his teacher Sheik Jamaluddin used to always consult his student Sheik Nazim before he made any Religious Decree (Fatwa) for the people.
His First Sufi Sheikh
It was while he was studying with his teacher Jamaluddin that he felt in his heart a great attraction towards a great Saint of Allah who was also a Naqshabandi Sheik. This Sheik told Sheik Nazim that it was not enough for him to learn only about the Shariah and that he should turn his face towards Sufism which is about the Divine knowledge and Secrets of Islam. This Waliullah (Saint of Allah) was a Quthub (a Pole) of his time. Allah Almighty had dressed him with Divine Lights, Secret Knowledge and Divine Wisdom. The name of this great Waliullah was Suleiman Arzurumi. This Sheik was known as the Sheik of all Sheiks (Sheik ul Mashaik) in the Turkish territory.
Sheik ul Mashaik Suleiman Jurumi was one of the Rijalullah which means that he was one of the 313 top ranking Saints in the World. At any given time there are 313 special Saints who represent Allah Almighty in this world. They are the high powered Saints. Sheik ul Mashaik Suleiman Arzurumi was one of these 313 Saints in the world at that time. This number 313 is fixed and does not change as when one passes away another is appointed to make the number 313. This is in keeping with being the representatives of the 313 Mursaleen or Messengers who were the most powerful of the 124,000. Prophets. These 313 were Prophets and Messengers while the rest of them were only Prophets. In the same manner every one of the 313 Awliyas (Saints) have their secrets from these 313 Messengers.
Sheik Sulaiman Arzurumi took Sheik Nazim into his care and trained him in all manner of practices and devotions in order to improve his spiritual ranks. He taught him the Divine knowledge and the Divine Secrets until Sheik Nazim soon became the Imam of Sufism. This was yet when Sheik Nazim was only about 22 or 23 years old. Sheik Nazim’ s most favorite moments during this time was to be in prayers. Whenever anyone looked for him he was found to be in prayers. He used to pray thousands of cycles of prayer (rakaats ) during the day and night.
After a period of time Sheik Suleiman said to Sheik Nazim, “I have educated you and trained you up till now. I cannot train you further. I have to stop and your training with me is finished now. Your himmath (determination), power and energy is much higher than what I expected from you. Therefore, I asked Seyyedina Muhammad (sal) as to what I should now do with you as I am not able to continue teaching you as you have surpassed me and gone higher than me spiritually. The Prophet (sal) said that your Spiritual Trust (Amana) was not with me and that on the Day of Promises I had not been given it. This is the reason that I cannot control you anymore. This Spiritual Trust (Amana) was given on the Day of Promises to another Saint who is the Seal of Saints and a Sultan ul Awlia. He has the power to help all other Awlias (Saints) who are in need. He is now in Damascus, and his name is Mowlana Abdullah Faiz Dhagistani.”
Sheik Nazim was told that he should go to Damascus in order to meet Sheik Abdullah Faiz Daghistani as it was only he who had now the power to be able to control and to train Sheik Nazim. When Sheik Sulaiman told Sheik Nazim this news Sheik Nazim felt that everything inside him was crying out and telling him to leave for Damascus immediately and to meet Sheik Abdullah Faiz Daghistani. After meeting Sheik Abdulla in Damascus Sheik Nazim intended to settle down in Medina at the Maqam of the Prophet Muhammad (sal).
Sheik Nazim says, "as it was the will of my Sheik that I go to Damascus, I didn’t even look back nor take anything with me. I left with only my clothes that I was wearing and my walking stick. I did not even have money in my pocket. I soon arrived near the border of Alleppo which borders Turkey. I put on my turban and let my beard grow and dressed myself according to the Sunnah of my Prophet Muhammad (sal). I was telling myself how can I enter a Muslim country where the Sunnah of the Prophet (sal) is still surviving without strictly observing the Muslim code of dress. I respected these holy lands in such a manner and therefore I had to dress up according to the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (sal).”
Sheik Nazim said, “After Allepo I went to a city called Hama, and after that to a city called Homs. In Homs I settled down for a while because I saw that the people of Homs were easy to get on with and that their behavior was very good. They were very humble people and they welcomed me and were very happy with me .They were very happy that although I was very young they could learn about the Shariah from me. They gave me a room in which I could stay in the Mosque of Kalid bin Walid (ral) who was during the time of the Prophet (sal) the leader and the General of the Islamic Army. He was a very high companion of the Prophet (sal).”
“I then realized that Kalid bin Walid (Ral) was wanting me to stay in his Maqam and to be with the people of Homs. I stayed one year in Homs in a room close to the mosque of Kalid bin Walid (ral). During this year I studied the seven ways in which the Holy Quran is recited, which is known as Thajwid. These are the seven ways in which Prophet (sal) recited the Holy Quran with different types of pronunciations. I completed this within one year, and finished the recitation of the Holy Quran. I also studied the Arabic language under the big ulema of these Islamic countries. I specially studied under the Sheik -ul - Islam Abdul Aziz uyun as-Sud and also many other famous Imams and Sheiks.”
One of the mirecles that Sheik Nazim talks about was the bombing of the Maqam of Kalid bin Walid (ral) and the Divine protection given to the Maqam. Sheik Nazim says, “It was the time during the 2nd World War and I was in the mosque of Kalid bin Walid (ral ) when I saw this miracles happen. The planes were dropping bombs from above on Homs and also near and on the Maqam and the mosque of Kalid bin Walid (ral). All the people gathered in and around the mosque in order to seek shelter and protection for themselves through the great Sahaba khalid bin Walid (ral).”
“During the prayers time however no one was willing to go upto the minaret in order to call for adhan as the planes were dropping a lot of bombs over that area. I however went upto the minerat and called adhan from the minaret. As I was calling Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar I witnessed a most extraordinary and amazing sight. There were many people below me in and around the mosque lying down and seeking shelter from the bombs. I could see everything from the top of the minerat. The planes were mercilessly bombing the area. I saw to my astonishment that there were many angels(malaikas) who were catching hold of the bombs as they were being dropped and throwing them away out of the area. I was seeing this as I am seeing you now. The malaikas were collecting the bombs and throwing them back to where they came from."
The First Meeting With His Grandsheikh
“One day after a period of about one year in Homs as I was in the mosque for prayers the Imam of the mosque after the Isha prayers mentioned that he was going on the next day to meet a very great saint whose name was Sheik Abdullah Faiz Daghistani. He told me if I liked I could go along with him to meet him. When I heard the name of Mowlana Abdullah Faiz Daghistani I remembered what my Sheik had told me, and I began to tremble. My whole body started shaking and shivering. I said to myself that this was the main reason why I had come to this country and to Damascus. I immediately told him that I would go with him to meet Sheik Abdullah. The next day I accompanied him to Damascus".
"In those days it was so difficult to travel by buses. We traveled from morning upto Asr time. After praying Asr we went to meet this very great Awlia Sheik Abdullah Faiz Daghistani. This Saint was living in a cemetery on the Maqam of an Awlia. Below were the graves and on top was the maqam in which Sheik Abdulla was living for the last six years. He had been in this room near the cemetery making seclusion for the last six years. We went and knocked on the door and it was opened by this Great Waliullah Sheik Abdullah Faiz Daghistani. He looked at me and said “ Most welcome to theperson whom we have asked to come,” and then he spoke without looking at us but looking far away from us and said , “I have now received this Trust (Amana ), which is Mowlana Sheik Nazim, that you sent,” this was addressed to Sheik Sulaiman my earlier Sheik.
“This was my first meeting with Sheik Abdullah Faiz Daghistani and at that time my age was 23 years old. From that time I was attached to him and did not let go of him until he passed away from this world. This meeting was in 1945 and I remained with him from this time upto 1973. I have heard with these ears of mine 70,000 lectures from my Grandsheik. Each of these lectures lasted on an average of about three hours each. I used to memorize these lectures while Sheik Abdullah was talking and then go home and write them down from my memory.”
The Wonder of Grandsheikh
Sheik Nazim said that during the first meeting with him, Grandsheik Abdullah began to lecture on all kinds of Divine Knowledge, Divine Wisdom and Divine Secrets. This knowledge was new and fresh knowledge which had never before been disclosed even by the great Awlias including Sheik ul Akbar Muhiyyudin Ibn al Arabi. Sheik Nazim says, “He gave this knowledge to us as if he was receiving it from Seyyedina Muhamed (Sal) and from the Divine Secret Oceans of Allah Almighty. He was transmitting them to me. He spoke, answering all my questions on the Shariah and on the knowledges of Reality. All the questions that had been buzzing in my head due to my education, and all queries inside me were answered and solved for me in this very short time of three hours. This made me love him and connect to him even more".
“He then started to speak about Sahib uz Zaman, Seyyedina Imam Mahdi (Alai). He began describing even the smallest details about the way he was to appear, as to how he was going to fight and the manner in which he would bring peace to the Earth. He explained and described these events as if he was in front of Seyyedina Mahdi (Alai) witnessing it and describing them to me. This description was a minute by minute description and it so greatly attracted my heart. This was far more than what I had expected. It was beyond my wildest expectations. During this lecture my heart was tremendously attracted and connected to Sheik Abdullah and I realized the great power of Sheik Abdullah. He spoke about the coming of Seyyedina Isa (Alai) and all the events leading upto the time of his passing away from this world. He then went on to talk about the happenings upto the time of the blowing of the Horn by Israfil (Alai). He even talked about the day of Judgment and how it was going to happen and as to what will happen in the Court of Allah Almighty. He finally finished his lecture by telling me about those who would be entering Paradise and those who would be entering Hell.”
Sheik Nazim further said, “All these Secrets were not told to me like when others describe some event to you. It was as if Grandsheik was witnessing and describing what he himself was seeing. I too felt that this lecture was not like what I had heard before or read before in books. I felt that I too could see what he was describing and all the events that he was mentioning unfolding before my very eyes. It was something like watching television. This was what I had been searching for all my life and for what I had left everything behind. Now I had found it with Sheik Abdullah.”
“I have never before heard such knowledge and it was described in such great detail. Such details are not even to be found in the books written by Muhiyyudin Ibn al Arabi (Ral). I surrendered myself immediately to Grand sheik Abdulla. I had been earlier thinking that my spiritual ranks were very high and that I had very deep knowledge on the Realities and also that I was a Sufi Imam. In front of Grandsheik however all these things seemed as if they were nothing. I was like a toy in the hands of this great Sufi Sheik. I therefore gave myself up totally and surrendered to Sheik Abdullah. He than asked us whether there were any other questions or anything else we would like to know from him. I said that I was intending to go to Madina Munawara to be near the Prophet (sal). He then said, “Oh my son we do not decide by ourselves. So I cannot tell you. We must ask such a question from Seyyedina Muhammad (sal) himself. Every night during the third part of the night I go up spiritually to the Divine Presence of the Prophet Muhammad (sal). I will ask him what you should do, and then I will tell you the Prophet’s answer by Fajr prayer time, tomorrow. He then cooked for us and made tea thereafter. It was in such a courteous manner that he treated us. He then said goodbye to us and we left to go to the mosque in which we were to stay that night.”
When we went back to the mosque where we were staying, I was so eager for Fajr time to arrive. This night seemed to be the longest night in my life. I was waiting impatiently to rush towards my Grandsheik in the morning in order to find out the answer to my question from the Prophet (sal). Grandsheik Abdullah had promised that he would ask the Prophet about my question and answer it for me in the morning. So it was the longest night in my life".
"In the morning after Fajr prayers we rushed to meet Sheik Abdullah. It was as if the light coming from the heart of the Prophet (sal), through the heart of my Grandsheik was dragging me like a magnet towards the place where Grandsheik was. I went towards him as if I was flying. Grandsheik then told me, “Oh my son all your Spiritual Realities and your Spiritual Trust (amana) is in my hands and you have been my son from pre-eternity to eternity. You are going to serve our Naqshabandi way. On the Day of Promises you had a promise to be a Grandsheik of the Naqshabandi line which you will serve till the last days".
"As for the question of migrating to Madina Munawwara to be with the Prophet (sal), it has been accepted because of your intention and it had been ordered to the Angels (Malaikas) to write it down in your favour that from this moment up to the Last Days (Qiyama) with every wink of an eye you have been given the good tiding as if you have fulfilled that purpose. The Nation (Umma) of the Prophet (sal) is very much in need of you and your advice, your teachings and your leadership. The Prophet (sal) also said, to tell you to collect all the people of his nation who are now spread all over the world. You have to collect them and gather them and bring them to me from all over the world. In every 24 hours I shall be waiting for him to gather and bring them to me. I shall wait for them and welcome them so that I can take them under my control and keep them under my eye”.
The Return To Cyprus
“Mowlana Abdullah Faiz Daghistani then said, “according to the will of the Prophet (sal), I think that it is best for you to return to Cypress because the people there do not know much about Islam. They are in need of you in order to learn the right way. The Sufi Naqshbandi way.” “Mowlana Abdullah Faiz Daghistani then initiated me into the Naqshabandi order. While initiating me he was saying Allahu Allahu Allahu Haq and he was looking from his heart to my heart. Through this looking all the Maqams in my heart was opened up. The eyes of my heart was opened and I was able to see everything in the Heavens, the Earth and the Universes. The Reality of everything and the lights, different lights from different maqams and all maqams were opened up to me by Allah Almighty through my Sheik Abdullah Faiz Daghistani. Then he taught me the Zikr and he taught me the katham ul Khawajagan”. He then told me “when you visit people you will be able to give them knowledge and my knowledge is coming to me from Seyyedina Muhammed (sal). I then kissed his hands and also kissed his forehead and I made an intention to go back to Cypress to fulfill the order of my Sheik”. I then told the person who accompanied me when I visited my Grandsheik that I was going back to Cypress and gave all my clothes and other things to the poor.”
Sheik Nazim used to have a lot of ancient manuscripts which were very expensive which he said should all be distributed to the people. He did not have a single penny because when he left Damascus he had made a promise to Allah Almighty not to touch any money with his hands or put it in his pockets.
Then Sheik Nazim went directly to the bus station to go to Lebanon. Lebanon is on the sea side and from there everyday there was a boat to Cypress. It was the hardest time during the 2nd World War. The French army was occupying Damascus, Lebanon and most of these countries. When Sheik Nazim went to the bus stand he saw a person waiting at this bus stand. Surprisingly he addressed Sheik Nazim thus “Oh Sheik Nazim do you want to go to Tripoli.” Sheik Nazim did not know him. How did he know his name. Sheik Nazim says “I told him that I did not have any money for the bus and he told me not to worry about it as he would pay for the bus.
I got in to the bus together with the other people who were there and the bus took us to Tripoli. It was almost 400 km from Damascus. We finally reached Lebanon. When I got down from the bus it seemed such a strange place to me. No one was known to me in this place. By the time we reached there it was night time. Then suddenly I heard a person looking at me and saying ‘Oh Sheik Nazim, I know that you are Sheik Nazim”, the person who addressed me looked very respectable and had a long beard and he had light (nur) in his face. He seemed to me to be a holy Sheik. His eyes were blue and so much of light was coming from his eyes. He told me, “I have been waiting for you here for the last three days now. Three days ago Seyyedina Muhammad (Sal) in a dream ordered me and said, “wake up, there is going to come to this bus station my son Nazim. Allah Amighty will make him inherit the secrets of the 124.000 prophets and the secrets of all the Grandsheiks of the Naqshbandi line, from Seyyedina Abu bakr as Siddiq (ral) to Sheik Abdullah Faiz Daghistani (ral). He is the Saint whom all other Saints will need. Therefore make good hospitality for him and serve him yourself. Then help him to go to Cypress".
“He made himself known to me that he was Sheik Munir al Malek. I left with him for his room which was in the city of Mina in the sea side part of Tripoli. In this city there is the Mosque of Mina in which was his room. He told me that he was going to give me his room. He served me for three days both during the day and night, throughout which he was standing. He was searching for a boat to take me to Cypress.”
The Boat Journey
“It was so difficult because it was the time during the 2nd World War. The English and French armies were fighting for the seas. No one dared to even swim in the sea. It was so difficult to travel by sea. Sheik Munir had a friend who was a fisherman to whom he said that he was searching for a boat to take me to Cypress and that he had do this because Prophet (sal) had ordered him to take care of me and also to see to my protection and to see that I was sent to Cypress safely. The fisherman offered to take me by his boat to Cypress".
"This boat was a very small fishing boat which was meant for only about five or six people. A big wave could easily have capsized and sunk this boat. Sheik Munir than gave some money and told me that I could go in this boat. Thereafter we sailed for eight days and nights. It was so difficult even to take ablution. There wasn’t enough food and water even. One could just lean over and touch the sea and collect the water for ablution. In normal days this journey would take only six hours in an ordinary boat. This journey however took us eight days. Then we finally reached Cypress fulfilling the order of Mowlana Abdullah Faiz Daghistani.”
"There were many obstacles that we had to overcome on this long journey to Cypress. But we finally managed to fulfill my Sheiks order. When I reached the island of Cypress and stepped on to the dry land my heart was glowing. I felt an extraordinary power and lights and that all Maqams were opening up to the Throne of Allah Almighty. I was seeing everything until the seven heavens. Suddenly the spiritual body of Mowlana Abdullah Faiz Daghistani was there to welcome me. He was on my right hand side walking with me. All kinds of Divine Knowledge and Divine Secrets opened in my heart and I felt that I was like an encyclopedia of the Oceans of Knowledge of Allah Almighty which was transmitted from the Spirituality of my Sheik to me. From that time till today he was with me. Not even for a moment have I ever been away from him from that time. He then gave me a lot of knowledge by and through the presence of Seyyedina Muhiyyudin Ibn al Arabi (ral), and dressed me with all of his Knowledge too".
"When I reached Cypress I was astonished to find thousands of people there to welcome me. No one knew that I was coming to Cypress. Later I learned that some of them had seen a dream in which Seyyedina Muhammad (sal) and Mowlana Abdulla Faiz Dagistani had appeared and told them to welcome me to Cypress. So they welcomed me. In this manner I entered Cypress with the shouts and cries of Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar”.