He is Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad `Illish. The great Imam was born in Cairo in the year 1217 AH, although his origin his Moroccan. He memorised the Qur’an at a young age in the Al-Azhar institution.
His great study and wisdom brought him to the level that eventually he was declared the marja` of the Maliki scholars. He came to clash with Muhammad `Abduh during the period of secularization of the Al-Azhar University by the British overlord, Evelyn Baring, known as Lord Cromer.
Imam `Illish left behind a number of works that reach some ten or twelve books. He died in a military hospital in the year 1299 AH, immediately after the `Urabi Revolt that began the earthquake of changes that would later lead to the Free Officers Revolution that brought Communism to Egypt.