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Strengthening of the Faith pdf download


  • Book Title:
 Strengthening Of The Faith
  • Book Author:
Shah Ismail Shaheed
  • Total Pages
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  1. Publisher’s Note
  2. Preface
  3. Prelude Chapter One

Description of Tauhid

  • People’s unawareness
  • The acts leading to polytheism
  • Those who profess to have Faith in Allah while their actions reeking of polytheism
  • The verdict of Qur’an
  • None but Allah is the Capable
  • None is the supporter other than Allah
  • None is the sustainer other than Allah
  • The reality of Shirk

Chapter Two Categories and aspects of Shirk

  1. Shirk in knowledge
  2. Shirk in disposing
  3. Shirk in worship
  4. Shirk in one’s daily routine chores Chapter Three

The Vices of Polytheism The Virtues of Monotheism

  1. The polytheism cannot be forgiven
  2. Explaining Shirk
  3. Shirk, the greatest of all vices
  4. Tauhid is the only way out
  5. Allah is disgusted with Shirk
  6. Affirming the Oneness of Allah prior to the dawn of time itself
  7. Shirk cannot be presented as an authority
  8. The excuse of forgetfulness shall not be accepted
  9. The basic teachings of the Prophets and the Scriptures
  10. Tauhid and forgiveness

Chapter Four

The negation of Shirk in knowledge

  • Only Allah possess the knowledge of Ghaib
  • The one who claims to have the knowledge of Ghaib, is a liar
  • The matters of Ghaib
  • Do not call upon anyone but Allah
  • Allah Alone, possesses the power of benefit and inflicting harm
  • The original assignment of the Prophets

32. The Prophets do not have the knowledge of unseen

  • The saying of the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} regarding the knowledge of the unseen
  • The saying of Aisha{Peace be upon Her} Chapter Five

The Negation of Shirk in Authority

  • Allah is the One Who causes benefit and inflicts harm
  • None is the sustainer except Allah
  • Invoke none but Allah
  • No intercession without His Permission
  • Types of intercession
  • An intercession due to one’s high-ranking status is not possible
  • Acceptance of one’s intercession out of love is not possible
  • Interceding with permission
  • The Straight Path
  • Allah is the Nearest to all
  • Trust in Allah Alone
  • Relationship does not benefit

Chapter Six

Prohibition of Shirk in Worship

  • The definition of worship
  • Worship is meant for Allah Alone
  • Prostration is for Allah only
  • It is an act of Shirk to call upon other than Allah
  • The holy sanctuaries must be respected
  • Anything dedicated to an entity other than Allah is forbidden
  • Authority and command is only for Allah
  • Giving someone false names is an act of Shirk
  • So-called customs are acts of Shirk
  • Keeping people stand up in one’s honor is prohibited
  • Worshipping idols and the so-called “sanctums of saints” is an act of Shirk
  • Slaughtering an animal in a name other than that of Allah is a curse
  • Indications heralding the advent of Doomsday
  • Worshipping the places of saints is an act of the worst people
  • Performing Tawaf of the idols Chapter Seven

Prohibition of Shirk in Social Customs

  • The whispering of Satan
  • Polytheistic rituals in regard to the soliciting of children
  • Polytheistic rituals in agriculture
  • Polytheistic rituals in regard to the cattle
  • Slandering Allah in the matters of lawful and forbidden things
  • Giving credit to the influence of planets is an act of Shirk
  • The astrologers are magicians and the magicians are Disbelievers
  • The sin of believing in astrology

70. Deducing an omen is an act of disbelief

7’1.Do not make Allah an Intercessor

  • The dearest names to Allah
  • Kunya with the Name of Allah must be avoided
  • Only say MashaAllah
  • Taking an oath in the name of anyone other than Allah is an act of Shirk
  • The verdict of the Prophet {peace be upon Him} about observing vows
  • Prostration to Allah and paying due respect to a Messenger
  • It is not permissible to call someone one’s slave
  • An excellent example to pay respect to the Prophet {Peace be upon Him}
  • The word Saiyid carries two meanings
  • Sayings of the Prophet {Peace be upon Him} in regard to the pictures
  • The five major sins
  • The statement of the Prophet {Peace be upon Him) about himself

Education & training:

Shah Sahib attained his preliminary education from his esteemed father. At the tender age of eight, he had memorized the Noble Qur’an. On 16th of Rajab 1203 H (12th April 1789 G), Shah Abdul Ghani {May Allah have mercy upon him} passed away while Shah Shaheed was only 10 years old. Each of his three paternal uncles (Shah Abdul-Aziz {May Allah have mercy upon him} Shah Rafiuddin {May Allah have mercy on him} and Shah Abdul-Qadir{May Allah have mercy on him} were equally keen to affectionately take charge of upbringing their bereaved nephew, but this responsibility was formally shouldered by Shah Abdul-Qadir {May Allah have mercy on him} who himself had only one daughter. He is the one who taught the text books to Shah Ismail

{May Allah have mercy on him.. He attained a degree of proficiency in all the prescribed subjects which were then in vogue and which were considered to be the highest standard of education one could possibly secure those days. He secured a degree of completion in the studies of Ahadith from Shah Abdul-Aziz {May Allah have mercy on him} and thus he completed his education while he was about 15 or 16 years old.

According to Sir Saiyid Ahmad Khan, he was so much overconfident in the very beginning stage of his studies that he would never remember as to where the lesson would really start. Sometimes he would start reading the text which immediately followed his present lesson.

 Whenever Shah Abdul-Qadir interrupted him such as to remind him of his actual lesson, he would answer that he avoided it since it was too easy for him, and whenever Shah Abdul-Qadir would ask him any question concerning the portion which he had skipped, he would start delivering such an eloquent lecture about it that the people around him would be taken aback by surprise. Sometimes he would start his lesson proceeding the one which he is supposed to read and when Shah Abdul- Qadir brought his attention to it, he would express such doubts that even an accomplished instructor like him would have to pay a special attention in responding to his querries.

His extraordinary intelligence became renowned far and wide. After he had completed his formal studies, people would put direct querries to him even while he was walking on the road simply to examine him, keeping in mind the fact that so long as he did not have a book in his hand, he would not be able to give satisfactory answers to their querries. But Shah Ismail ‘Nould unhesitatingly start lecturing them and provide such a detailed answer to their querries that they would be ultimately put to shame on their boldness.

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 a very deep, profound, and authentic knowledge and had memorized the Noble Qur’an by heart. He had thirty thousand Ahadith on the tip of his tongue.

Saiyid Sahib’s {May Allah have mercy on him} Bai’a (pledge):

Even though Shah Shaheed’s fame in terms of his learning and wisdom had traveled far and wide, but he was a man of a rather carefree disposition, which means that he had not adopted an occupation on a permanent basis, the reason of which could possibly be that the activities which were practiced by his family members, might have been inadequately suited for the reforming purpose according to his viewpoint, while he had no other new activity in his frame of mind. Or it could be that he would have had set his heart on a certain course of action and was only waiting in search of companions and fellows.

In 1234 H (1819 G) Amirul-Muminin (the head of the believers) Saiyid Ahmad Barailawy {May Allah have mercy on him} abandoned the company of Nawab Amir Khan, the ruler of Tounk proceeded to Delhi from Rajputana and took residence in Akbar Abadi Mosque. The first to take a pledge of allegiance on his hand was Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Phulti, who was presumably a grandson of Shah Ahlullah, a brother of Shah Waliullah {May Allah have mercy on him}.

The second person to take such a pledge on his blessed hand was Maulana Abdul-Hai {May Allah have mercy on him} (the son-in-law of Shah Abdul-Aziz {May Allah have mercy on him}and finally it was Shah Shaheed who took a pledge on his hand. Once he did it, his life underwent a total transformation. He became obsessed with the task of reformation and guidance day and night. On every Tuesday and Friday, he regularly delivered a religious lecture in Shahi Masjid (Royal Mosque). Sir Saiyid says in one of his writings that the people came to the Friday prayers in such a huge number, as if they throng the mosques for the ‘Eid prayers in the form of a massive and thundering crowd. Their number was phenomenal and innumerable.

The method of his sermonizing was so pleasing that whatever he said, got ingratiated in the hearts of the people and they imbibed it to the core. Even if it involved a snag or a controversial point the same was cleared away during the course of his sermon. Revival of Sunnah and deterring Shirk (polytheism) and Bid’ah (innovations) were the special subjects of his religious lectures. This was the time when the mission of the revival of religion commenced in full swing with all its might. This was the era about which Maulana Abul-Kalam Azad {May Allah have mercy on him}notes the following remarks in his book Tadhkirah:

“The secrets of (the mission of) Da’wah (i.e. call to Islam) and reformation of Ummah that were buried in the ruins of Old Delhi and the hovels and shanties of Kotla, were now being revived thanks to the involvement of the reigning sovereign, which caused a wave of consternation in the markets of Shahjahanabad and an uproar on the stairs of JamiMasjid by this great and distinguished person. Not only that, the news transcended the boundaries of the Indian subcontinent but had it’s repercussions far and wide. The things which the great and renowned personalities of their time would not dare to express even inside the closed rooms, were now being said, heard and practiced in the open without reserve and the blood of martyrdom was indenting its indelible imprints and inscribing its redoubtable saga in the annals of the world history.”

The pilgrimage journey:

In Shawwal 1236 (July 1821 G), Saiyid Ahmad {May Allah have mercy on him}intended to perform Hajj. Taking into account the possibility of death during a sea-journey, many scholars had pronounced their judgments to the effect that the performance of Hajj is no longer to be considered of an obligatory nature. Some people even went to the extent of saying that according to the commandment of the Qur’anic verse:

{And not throw yourselves into destruction}

The purpose of Hajj is nothing but the disobedience of Allah (May Allah forbid!). One of the methods which could be employed to checkmate this evil trend was through one’s writings, verbal preachings, and therefore Saiyid Sahib, Shah Ismail{May Allah have mercy on him}, Maulana Abdul-Hai {May Allah have mercy on him}Shah Abdul-Aziz {May Allah have mercy on him} and the righteous scholars did not leave any stone unturned in regard to this obligation of theirs. Another method was to subject the atmosphere of this vast country to the barrage of a positive publicity in regard to the performance of Hajj by taking a practical course of action in order to awaken and revive the public fervor interest and enthusiasm in it.

Saiyid Ahmad {May Allah have mercy on him} was a man of determination and courage, who undoubtedly acted upon the second method also, the most surprising part of it being that he directed an open invitation for Hajj to  all the  Muslims  of the  country. He made  a common declaration  to the effect that everybody should be prepared to perform the pilgrimage whether or not he has sufficient funds available with him for the journey. He took it upon himself to shoulder a comprehensive responsibility for everybody’s Hajj. He not only preserved the obligatory nature of Hajj in its original form in the minds of people but also practically demonstrated to them that this obligation may be performed at ease, provided one should be determined to perform it as a Divine commandment with the intention of a true and sincere Muslim.

Therefore, it followed that Saiyid Ahmad proceeded to perform Hajj with a caravan consisting of seven hundred and fifty Muslims. He was also accompanied by Shah Shaheed, his esteemed mother, and his sister. They rented ten ships, assigned an Amir to each ship to look after the affairs of the pilgrims traveling aboard them and commenced their journey from Calcutta. After the completion of their Hajj and having visited all the sacred places, they came back in Sha’ban 1239 H (April 1824 G). During this journey, Shah Ismail {May Allah have mercy on him} was appointed as an Amir over a group of people traveling aboard one of the ships.

Invitation to Jihad:

Upon his return from the pilgrimage, Shah Shaheed {May Allah have mercy on him} dedicated himself wholeheartedly for the sole purpose of inviting people to Jihad as per the instructions of his religious preceptor. Sir Saiyid in one of his writings says:

“According to the instructions of his chief, leader of the virtuous ones and preceptor of the path of guidance, he adopted such a style of speech and sermonizing that it mainly elaborated on the details and explanations concerning Jihad in Allah’s course to such an extent that the burnishing effect of his speeches made the inner conscience of Muslims clean and immaculate like a mirror. He became so much involved and dedicated to this cause of righteousness that everybody was involuntarily intrigued with a longing that his life be sacrificed for this esteemed cause of virtuosity and his whole self be exerted for the upliftment of religion of Prophet Muhammad {Peace be upon Him}.


He spent more or less one year and nine months in the task of his invitations to Jihad. When different groups of Mujahidin were formed at different places, it was decided after due exchange of thoughts and deliberations that Jihad should be commenced starting from the frontier region where the Sikh government of the Punjab had started committing aggressions.

 On 7th Jumada-al- Ukhra 1241 H (17th January 1826 G), Shah Shaheed {May Allah have mercy on him} commenced his migration on his way to Jihad. Then he was accompanied by only 500 or 600 people. It was decided that once they reached the prescribed centre, they would first run an appraisal on the prevalent circumstances and then the remaining groups would be called in. During this journey, Shah Shaheed was bearing a special responsibility of the administrative matters in general as well as being a flag-bearer of the targets concerning the mission of propagating Islam.

This group commenced its journey from Rai Baraili and went all the way to Peshawar via Bundhail Khand, Gwallior, Tonk, Ajmer, the desert of Marwar, Umar Kot, Hyderabad (Sind), Shikarpur, Quetta, Qandhar, Ghazni and Kabul. It was about three thousand miles journey comprising searing deserts where there was no trace of water for miles and miles, big and mighty rivers, intractable mountains as well as frosty landscape. It took ten months to cover all this distance.


Jihad with sword (i.e. the armed struggle) commenced on the 20th of Jumada-al-ula 1242 H (20th December 1826 G). The following is a brief account of his most specific and salient accomplishments:

  1. It is only due to his efforts that the people of the frontier region gave the pledge of allegiance on the hands of Saiyid Sahib concerning Jihad. Most of the deliberations which were conducted with the religious scholars and the elderly in the frontier region were initiated by Shah Shaheed.
  2. He is the one who organized the matters concerning Jihad in the district of Hazara. Even though he had only ten or eleven Mujahidin in the battle of Shankiyari at his command, yet he convincingly vanquished over a fairly huge legion of Sikh army by displaying a feat of extraordinary perseverance and steadfastness. During the course of this battle, Shah Shaheed’s robe got perforated with bullets and one of his fingers got bruised by a gunshot. Later he would point to his finger in a good humor and jocularly remark (by playing a pun on words) “This is my finger of martyrdom.” (This very expression, with a twist of the linguistic pun, would also mean, “This is my finger of witnessing that there is no one worthy of being worshipped except Allah and Muhammad{Peace be upon Him})
  3. It is only due to his efforts that the people were prepared to take an oath of allegiance in regard to the observance of Shari’ah in their day-to-day lives and the people of the frontier region enjoyed the blessings and bounties of a government based on the principles of Islamic law.
  4. It was under his leadership that the prominent victories were achieved in the battles of Amb, Ashrah, Mardan and Mayar. After the conquest of Peshawar, Saiyid Sahib nominated none other than him to conduct negotiations with Sultan Muhammad Khan Barak Zai. Due to the recalcitrance of the opportunistic elements in the frontier region, the circumstances therein got extremely deteriorated and threateningly adverse and when Saiyid Sahib took a decision to abandon this centre and proceeded to Kashmir through the intractable and difficult route traversing and winding through the mountainous landscape, he was also accompanied by Shah Shaheed in this journey.
  5. During their journey to Kashmir, a battle at Balakot on 24th Dhil-Qa’dah 1246 H (6th May  1831 G) took  place  wherein Saiyid Sahib, Shah Shaheed  and  the majority  of Mujdhidin attained their martyrdom.

A glimpse of his biography:

As far as we could understand by looking at his biography, Shah Shaheed never liked formalities in the matters of his day-to-day living. Upon being accompanied with Saiyid Ahmad, he became so much gleeful and carefree within his lowest standard of living as if he was seated on the throne of an emperor.

When he reached Calcutta while being emote to his pilgrimage, the agent of East India Company, Munshi Aminuddin Ahmad came to visit him. During his time, he was considered to be one of the rich and famous personalities of Calcutta. After meeting Saiyid Ahmad, he enquired of him concerning the whereabouts of Shah Ismail {May Allah have mercy on him}. At that very moment, he was walking towards Saiyid Ahmad after having alighted from the ship. His clothes were all besmeared with dirt. When the people beaconed in his direction, Munshi Aminuddin was under the impression that he would have been some other Ismail. In order to clarify himself further, he reiterated his question saying, “The person I am enquiring about is Shah Ismail {May Allah have mercy on him} who is the nephew of Shah Abdul-Aziz

{May Allah have mercy on him}. When he was told that this very person is the one he was looking for, he was so much moved to observe his simplicity in disposition and informality in manners that he involuntarily turned emotional and burst into tears.

Saiyid Ahmad gave a horse to Shah Ismail so that he may use it as a means of transport, but whenever he went out to run an errand for himself, he made one of his colleagues mount on it while he himself preferred to walk on foot on the plea that so long as we are out on a religious mission, the more we bear the hardships, the more virtues we shall accrue to our credit.

His faithful attachment to Saiyid Ahmad is a renowned fact. People have spun many a yam in regard to his attachment with him. Regardless whether these stories are true or false, there is no denying the fact that Shah Ismail had a very deep and extraordinary attachment with Saiyid Ahmad. In spite of all this, his faith in him never had any bearing on his truthfulness as he never hesitated to say the right thing. On one occasion, the Amb Fort, which sheltered Saiyid Ahmad’s family and the other ladies, was threatened with an imminent danger. Saiyid Ahmad wrote a letter to Shah Ismail instructing him to convey the ladies out to a safe place so that the Mujdhidin do not have to come across any possible difficulty during the course of their battle. Shah Ismail had a notion that the ouster of ladies from there would have an adverse effect on the morals of the people ~round them as the same shall be interpreted by them to be a presentiment of a lurking disaster. Therefore, it was conveyed to Saiyid Ahmad that this action at this juncture would be untimely and hence inadvisable. When Saiyid Ahmad reiterated his instructions, Shah Ismail wrote to him in no uncertain terms that the compliance with his instructions shall only harm Muslims and therefore he alone shall be answerable about it on the Day of Judgment. Upon hearing this Saiyid Ahmad took his orders back.

Even though he was not that old, but a study of the events covering his last days reveals that his physique had grown extremely weak and emaciated as a result of his being constantly subjected to the rigorous and laborious work which he kept rendering for the sake of religion. On one occasion, he insistently made a small cannon mounted on his shoulders in order to awaken the spirit of determination among the people, but his feet started shaking and staggering about due to the burden. While climbing a mountain, he would start panting profusely just after clambering his way up a few steps, but despite having been in this enfeebled condition, it never happened till the last moment that he would ever lag behind anyone in taking an active part in a battle or in the

matter of undertaking a journey. He would

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