Shaykh Mehmet Nazım Adil (April 21, 1922 CE – May 7, 2014; Sha'ban 23, 1340 AH – Rajab 8, 1435 AH), commonly known as Shaykh Nazim (Turkish: Şeyh Nazım), was a Turkish Cypriot Sufi Muslim Shaykh and spiritual leader of the Naqshbandi tariqa.
He moved to Istanbul, Turkey, in 1940 to study chemical engineering at Istanbul University. He would later state, "I felt no attraction to modern science; my heart was always drawn to the spiritual sciences."
In Istanbul, Shaykh Nazim studied Classical Arabic and Islamic Jurisprudence (fiqh) under Shaykh Jamal al-Din al-Alsuni (d. 1955 CE/1375 AH) and received an ijaza (permission to teach) in these subjects from him. He was initiated into the Naqshbandi order by Shaykh Sulayman Arzarumi (d. 1948 CE/1368 AH), who eventually directed him to Damascus, Syria, to continue his studies with his destined Shaykh. He left Istanbul and arrived in Syria in 1944.
In Syria, Shaykh Nazim continued his sharia studies in Aleppo, Hama, and Homs. In Homs, he studied at the madrasa adjoining the burial shrine and mosque of Prophet Muhammad's ﷺ companion, Khalid ibn al-Walid. There, he received further ijazas in Hanafi jurisprudence (fiqh) from Shaykh Muhammad 'Ali' Ayoun al-Soud and Shaykh Abdul Jalil Murad. Following the end of the unrest in the region due to World War II, Shaykh Nazim was able to enter Damascus in 1945. There, he met Shaykh Abdullah Fa'izi ad-Daghestani, and they exchanged the Sufi oath of mutual allegiance (bay'ah). Shaykh Nazim would consider Abdullah as his primary spiritual director (murshid) until the latter's death in 1973.
Following the death of Shaykh Abdullah Fa'izi ad-Daghestani in 1973, Shaykh Nazim was made his spiritual successor. In 1974, he began to visit Western Europe, traveling every year to London, England, for the month of Ramadan. He gained a large following of spiritual seekers from Western Europe and North America, many of whom converted to Islam after encountering his teaching. His main base was in Lefke, Cyprus. From 1980, his lectures on Islam and Sufism were published in English and other European languages. Shaykh Nazim's transnational appeal was facilitated by his ability to speak English, Turkish, Arabic, and Greek.
Shaykh Nazim has said:
“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.”
Shaykh Nazim passed on May 7, 2014, (8 Rajab 1435) aged 92 in Lefke, Cyprus.
The photo is of Shaykh Mehmet, the son of Shaykh Nazim, on a visit to Orgiva, Spain.