Shah Muhammad Ismail was the solitary son of Shah Abdul-Ghani, the grandson of Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi, and the nephew of Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith, Shah Rafiuddin Muhaddith and Shah Abdul-Qadir Muhaddith.
Shah Ismail was born on 12th Rabi’ul-Awwal 1193 H (corresponding to 26 April 1779 G). The age of Shah Ismail Shaheed was infested and contaminated with the poisonous atmosphere of Shirk and innovations. The Indian Muslims, under the influence of the Hindu mythological faith, had entered such rituals and beliefs in Islam that they even surpassed the ones observed during the pre-Islamic period (in terms of their polytheistic rituals). He is famous for a book called “Taqwiyatul Iman”, a book he wrote in response to the prevalent innovative practices of some Sufis. However, he himself was Sufi and a disciple of Syed Ahmad Shaheed, who was also very critical of the innovations of ignorant Sufis. He also partook in the Jihad of Syed Ahmad Shaheed against the Sikh kingdom of Punjab.
1. A treatise on the principles of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence).
2. A treatise on logic which has been referred to by Sir Saiyid Ahmad Khan.
3. A book titled “Clarifying the evident truth about the rulings concerning the dead and the shrines.” Regrettably, this work could not have been completed. This has been published twice or thrice along with its Urdu translation.
4. “The Status and Dignity of an Imam.” The Persian manuscripts are very rare now, however Urdu versions are available.
5. “Illuminating the two eyes in regard to the raising of hands.” This is the collection of those Ahadith which prove that the raising of hands (as prescribed during a prayer) is an act of Sunnah (supererogatory). This book has been published many times with its Urdu version. Its Arabic edition has recently been published along with the explanatory notes by Jamiat-e-Ahle-Hadith, Pakistan (The Department for the Propagation of Sunnah) in an extremely elegant style.
6. “The Straight Path.” This book has four chapters. Only the first chapter has been written by Shah Shaheed. The contents of it all have originally been written by Saiyid Sahib, whereas the expressions and the style of writing belong to Shah Sahib. Its Urdu version has also been published. Its Persian version was only published once and is now very rarely available.
7. “Taqwiyat-ul-Iman” (the strengthening of Faith).
8. Yak-Rozi (One dayer), is a short treatise in which Moulvi Fadl Haq Khairabadi’s objections on his book Taqwiyat-ul-Iman have been answered. While Shah Sahib was on his way to the mosque to perform his prayer, he received the letter of Moulvi Fadl Haq. Immediately after offering his prayer, he sat down to write an answer to it and finished it in one stroke. This is why it has been named Yak Rozi.
9. Makateeb (The written notes), is one of his very big collections. Some of them became quite well known in his name. He wrote most of them on the instigation of Saiyid Sahib.
Syed Ahmad Shaheed and Shah Ismail Shaheed with the help of the Mujahadeen, including the 6 Swati’s tribes of Balakot and Syeds of Kaghan, led many revolts and attacks against the Sikhs. At last on 6 May 1831 during a fierce battle Syed Ahmad Shaheed and Shah Ismail Shaheed along with hundreds of their followers were killed in the battle .He is buried in Balakot and his Mazar is still there in very simple surroundings. Meanwhile the body of his leader Sayyed Ahmad Shaheed was not found and confusion prevailed about his body and burial