Sufi order founded posthumously by followers of Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (Gilani) in fourteenth-century Damascus. Hanbali in legal orientation. Spread throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab world, enjoying particular prominence in Egypt and Syria by the end of the fourteenth century and extending from West Africa to Southeast Asia by the nineteenth century. Prominent in India, North Africa, and the Malay peninsula. Its leaders played an important role in resistance to European imperialism throughout Africa in the nineteenth century.