Recognized as the national hero of contemporary Algeria, Emir Abd El-Kader Al-Jazairi was born in the village of Mascara, located west of Algeria, in 1808. Muhyiddin his father, a descendant of Hazrati Hassan was also a sheikh in the Qadiri sufi order of Islam. Abd el-Kader was given a good solid education of religion as a child and also in this period of his life he learned to shoot and ride.
During the journey of Pilgrimage which El Emir Abd El-Kader went with his father in 1825, he met with Sheikh Shamil and Khâlid-i Baghdâdî who were two famous figures of their time. Due to French invasion of Algeria in 1830, in order to resist the domination of foreigners, the local Arab and Berber tribes wanted to declare Sheikh Muyiddin, father of Emir Abd El-Kader as the sultan. But he didn’t accept this request due to his old age and suggested giving his place to his son. With that Emir Abd El-Kader accepted the authority of the Moroccan Sultan and received the title of "Emir al-Muminin" on November 22, 1832. He started to struggle against the French and their supporters as the successor of Moroccan Sultan Abdurrahman and through his courage and intelligence he succeeded to unite the local tribes. El Emir Abd El-Kader, who had the power over two-thirds of Algeria by the Treaty of Tafna in 1837, organized an army using weapons he brought from England through Morocco. However in East French army occupied Constantine in October 1837 by defeating Ahmed Bey who was dependent on Ottomans and who was resisting against them. Although Emir Abd El-Kader took refuge in Morocco in 1846, he was forced to surrender to the French on December 23, 1847 after the Sultan’s forces were defeated by French army. Despite the French promise that he could go to Alexandria or Acre, he was detained in prison in France for five years.
In October 1852, El Emir Abd El-Kader was released by Napoleon III, on condition not to interfere with the affairs of Algeria. With that El Emir Abd El-Kader went to Ottoman lands and started to reside in Bursa. Following the severe earthquake in 1855, he left Bursa and went to Damascus. With his own efforts he saved the lives of large numbers of Christians during the Druze rebellion which began in Mount Lebanon and spread to Damascus in July 1860. With his superhuman efforts during these cruel events, he received the appreciation of many presidents and intellectuals both from East and West.
El Emir Abd El-Kader passed away on May 26, 1883 in Damascus and was buried near the tomb of Ibn Arabi. On July 05, 1966 his holly body was taken from this place and with a great ceremony he was buried into his new tomb in Algeria.
El Emir Abd El-Kader Al Jazairi, well known all over the world for his political vision due to his outstanding military achievements during the liberation movement of North Africa, is also a great Sufi mystic and poet who undertook spiritual missions within the major Sufi paths of Islam such as Qadiriyya, Naqshbandiyya, Mevleviyya and Shadhiliyya. Also the commentaries he wrote for the works of Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi proves his depth in Sufism and are very clear signs that he has an important role in Akbariyya path.