NICOSIA, Cyprus - 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 23, 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.
Known for his modesty, patience and cheerful demeanor, Sheikh Nazim teachings focused on Islamic moral values, according to his website.