Shah Ismaeel Shaheed does not enjoy revered place among the Deoband school of thought only rather Wahabi/Salafi/Ahl al-Hadith people who will always be found calling everything as an innovation also accept the scholarship and efforts of Shah Ismaeel for fighting against what Salafies call ‘innovations’. About Shah Ismaeel, the Salafi publisher of the English translation of ‘Taqwiyatul Iman’ (Strengthening the faith) writes:

“The services which he has rendered for the reformation of Ummah (the mission of propagating Islam); especially after the previous works of Shaikhul Islam Imam Ibn Taimiyah and Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab are absolutely unforgettable and shall always be cherished in our minds”.
Taqwiyatul Iman [English] page 9 (Daar-us-Salam Publications, Riyadh-Saudi Arabia)

The preface of the book has been written by Maulana Ghulam Rasool Mehr (late) who dedicates numerous pages in which he heaps praise on the achievements of Shah Ismaeel, amongst his virtues he comments:

“Maulana Muhammad Khan Alam Madrasi has written on the authority of Maulana Saiyid Muhammad Ali Rampuri’s statement that Shah Shaheed was a scholar of very deep, profound, authentic knowledge and had memorized the noble Qur’an by heart. He had 30,000 ahadith on the tip of his tongue”.
Taqwiyatul Iman [English] page 14 (Daar-us-Salam Publications, Riyadh-Saudi Arabia)

While listing down the works of Shah Ismaeel Shaheed, Maulana Ghulam Rasool Mehr writes about his books ‘Munsab e Imamate’ [The Status and Dignity of an Imam] and ‘Siraat e Mustaqeem’ [The Straight path]:

4. “The Status and Dignity of an Imam”. This too is an excellent book. The Persian manuscripts are very rare now, how ever Urdu versions are available”

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 been originally 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 its now very rarely available”. [2]

[2] This has now Alhamdulilah been published by Al-Maktabah As-Salafiyah.
Taqwiyatul Iman [English] page 24 (Daar-us-Salam Publications, Riyadh-Saudi Arabia)

Sunni scholar Muhammad Atiqul Haque in his book ‘The Muslim Heroes of the World’ quotes Allamah Dr. Muhammad Iqbal on page 117 as saying:

“India has so far produced one great ‘alim and his name is Isma’il”.
Muslim heroes of the world, page 117 (Taha publishers, UK)

One of the high-flying Wahabi scholars Ehsan Elahi Zaheer known for his typical Wahabi beliefs gave a glowing CV for Shah Ismail in his famed book against the Bareilvi school of thought namely ‘Bareilavies’ whilst attacking takfeer fatwas of Barelvies against the Wahabis/Ahl al-Hadith, he said as follows on pages 225-226:

“Hence they wholeheartedly engaged in their adversaries, the Ahl al-Hadith, who wish to liberate people from the iron collars they have put on them….Therefore they excommunicated them and declared their personages, scholars, preachers, the inviters to the Quran and the Sunna, and to the truth and guidance. At their head was their leader and warrior, the champion and eminent scholar and martyr, Shah Ismail, the grandson of Shah Wali Allah al-Dihlawi, who raised the standard of Jihad against the British colonialism and the Sikhs who captured the Muslim territory, spread unbelief in it and declared lawful to shed the blood of Muslims.

He raised the standard of Islam to establish the Islamic state in a part of the Indian soil to implement the Shari’a in toto. He was the renovator of the true Islamic call and the reviver of the straight way followed by the early generation of the Muslims”
Bareilawis- History and Beliefs, pages 225-226 (Idara Tarjuman Al-Sunnah, Lahore)

One of the revered among pioneer scholars of Deoband school Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi in his authority work ‘Fatawa Rasheediya’ states about his master Shah Ismaeel Shaheed:

“Molvi Muhammad Ismaeel (may Allah have mercy on him) was scholar, pious, he uprooted the innovations, he was reviver of Sunnah, complete adherent of Quran and Hadith and a guide to the mankind, he remained like this for his entire life and ultimately he attained martyrdom during Jihad against infidels. Thus the one who have such traits is Waliullah and Shaheed (martyr)….And the book ‘Taqwiyat ul Iman’ is an excellent book and is irrefutable for polytheism (shirk) and innovation (Bidat). Its arguments are entirely from Quran and Hadith and to keep it, read it and follow it is absolutely according to Islam and is the reason to attain reward and the one who prohibits to keep it is Fasiq and an innovator…”
Fatawa Rasheediya Kamil, pages 218-219 (Maktaba Rahmaniya, Lahore)

In addition to the above excerpt from ‘Fatawa Rasheediya’ another famed Deobandi work ‘Fatawa Milaad Shareef’ also contain statements from various esteemed Deobandi scholars who said (page 639):

“Whoever calls the perfect Wali, Molvi Ismaeel Sahib Kaafir is himself a Kaafir”
Fatawa Milaad Shareef, pages 637-639 (Islami Kutub Khana, Lahore)

 

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