Nexhip Draga was born in 1867 in Mitroviça (now Mitrovica), then a town of the Ottoman Empire. His father was Ali Pasha Draga, a notable local of Mitroviça who owned lands in the Sanjak of Novi Pazar. He finished his elementary studies in his home town before going to Constantinople, where he studied at an idadiye school and the Mekteb-i Mülkiye (modern Ankara University). Apart from Albanian Draga spoke and wrote French, Turkish, Serbian and Bulgarian.
He completed his administrative studies in Üsküp (Skopje), Monastir Province. From 1896 to 1902 he was kaymakam (sub-governor) at Kratovo, Yeni Pazar (Novi Pazar) and Köprülü (Veles). In Skopje he was one of the leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress. In 1908 through the Albanian assembly of Ferizoviç (Uroševac) he supported the constitutionalist movement. The same year, during the Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire, he was elected deputy for Skopje, Monastir Province. Along with Ismail Qemali, Hasan Prishtina and Shahin Kolonja he was a member of the group of deputies promoting Albanian issues in the Ottoman parliament and opposing the Young Turks.
In 1912 he became a prominent member of the Albanian Revolt of 1912. During the Balkan Wars he was imprisoned in Belgrade by the Kingdom of Serbia and then was released in 1914. In 1920 he formed a political organization named Džemijet and was elected deputy in the Yugoslav parliament along with six other members of his party. He died a few months later in Vienna, Austria, after undergoing an operation for cancer. After Draga's death, the leadership of the party was assumed by his brother Ferhat, under whose leadership the party managed to get fourteen deputies elected in the 1923 elections.
- Elisabeth, Özdalga (2005). Late Ottoman society: the intellectual legacy. SOAS/RoutledgeCurzon studies on the Middle East. 3. Routledge. p. 314. ISBN 0-415-34164-7.
- Frashëri, Kristo (1964). The history of Albania: a brief survey. University of Virginia. p. 165.
- Hardten, Eggert (1996). Der Balkan in Europa (in German). P. Lang. pp. 20–29. ISBN 3-631-30384-X.