He is al-Husayn Abu ‘Ali, the son of al-Hasan the senior (whose tomb is found in his mosque in Hasan al-Akbar Street in ‘Abidin district), the son of master ‘Ali al-Badri whose lineage goes up to Imam al-Husayn, the son of ‘Ali Ibn Abu Taleb.
al-Sultan Abu al-‘Ila was born in Mecca al-Mukarrama in late C8 AH. He left Mecca for Cairo, Egypt where he lived in an empty piece of land full of reeds and small lakes on the bank of the Nile. He lived there in isolation but was followed by others who came from every corner and took up residence near him until the area (currently known as Bulaq Abu ‘Ila) became very crowded.
His place of retreat turned into a zawiya and later into a mosque to which a dome was added. After his death in 890 AH, Sheikh Abu al-‘Ila was buried in the mosque having lived a long life of 120 years which he spent in worship and obedience of Allah.