Turkish Cypriot Muslim leader sheikh Nazım Kıbrısi, who had been hospitalized for the past month after suffering from kidney and lung failure, passed away at the age of 92 in Nicosia on Wednesday morning.
Sheikh Nazım was the head of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani sufi order and 41st sheikh in the line of the order. He had hundreds of thousands of followers and growing popularity across Europe and the US.
Born in Larnaca, Cyprus, Haqqani's followers maintain that he is part of a familial lineage including the 11th-century Sufi Saint Abdul Qadir Jilani and the 13th-century Sufi philosopher Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi. He is fluent in Turkish and Arabic and can speak English.
Sheikh Nazim traced his lineage back 1,500 years to the origins of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.
In 2010, Pope Benedict held a surprise meeting with a Turkish Cypriot Muslim leader from the divided island on Saturday, underscoring his view that inter-religious dialogue should be used as inspiration for reunion. Pope Benedict had had a brief encounter with Sheikh Nazım.
In 2011, Sheikh Nazım said that his son, Mehmet Adil, would continue his legacy after his death.
Renowned Sufi leader Sheikh Nazım Kıbrısi passes away at 92
Turkish Cypriot Muslim leader Sheikh Nazım Kıbrısi (Archive Photo)
May 07, 2014, Wednesday/ 19:57:40/ TODAYSZAMAN.COM / ISTANBUL