One of Turkey’s most influential Islamic scholars and teachers, Sheikh Mahmud Effendi, has passed away at the age of 93.
Sheikh Effendi died in İstanbul on Thursday after being hospitalised for two weeks to get treatment for an infection.
“His Excellency Mahmud Effendi, my grandfather, has reached Allah,” his grandson announced on Twitter.
A funeral prayer will be held at Istanbul’s Fatih Mosque on Friday after jummu’a prayer.
Sheikh Effendi was born in Turkey’s northern Trabzon province. He became a hafiz by the age of ten, studied Arabic and Persian and went on to study Islamic Sciences, gaining his madrassah ijazah by the age of 16
In 1952, he met Ahıskalı Ali Haydar Efendi, a Naqshbandi sheikh who became his murshid. Ali Haydar Efendi appointed him as the imam of the İsmailağa Mosque in 1954. In 1960 he became the leader of the tariqa upon his mentor’s death.
He devoted three weeks per year to teach people across Turkey and made several missionary and educational tours in several countries, including Uzbekistan, India, Germany and the United States. He has a Qur’an tafsir (commentary) named Ruhu’l Furkan in Turkish.
Sheikh Effendi has millions of followers and has established various religious, social and charity organisations such as the Marifet Association, the Federation of Marifet Associations and Ahle Sunnah wal Jamaah Confederation. He emphasised service to humanity on the basis of sincerity.
In 1996, he retired as the imam of the İsmailağa mosque and tried to keep a low profile in the following years.