At the age of 13, Sheikh Ismail completed the memorization of the Holy Quran and continued his studies by obtaining six independent Ijazat (traditional certifications) and multiple Asanid (narrative chains) in the field of Tajwid, Qiraat and Quranic studies in Egypt. His former studies in Newcastle, KZN covered the Arabic language and Islamic studies such as Aqidah, Fiqh and its Usul, Islamic history, Hadith and its terminology and Tafsir. He has obtained Ijazat in the field of Hadith from Moroccan scholars such as Sheikh Abdullah at-Talidi and Sheikh Abdul-Hayy al-Kattani, amongst others. In addition, he also obtained an Ijazah for the famed Barzanji from the Libyan Sheikh Ahmad al-Qat’ani.
Sheikh Ismail is currently specializing in the fields of Arabic and Linguistics through Unisa and has been involved in the translation and compilation of some basic texts in the field of the Holy Quran. He is the director of the Dar Ubaiy Centre which, along with offering memorization classes for various age groups, is primarily focused on the further development of the memorizers of the Holy Quran and honing the ability of the vocally talented. While serving as the director at the Dar Ubaiy Centre, he also lectures at the International Peace College of South Africa and is a member of the Department of Quranic Affairs under the Muslim Judicial Council.
Sheikh Ismail has travelled extensively in the service of the Holy Quran and in 2007, he was elected to serve on the adjudication panel for the annual Dubai International Holy Quran Awards. He was afforded this opportunity through the recommendation of Sheikh Ahmad Isa al-Ma’sarawi, the current Sheikh al-Maqa’ri’ al-Misriyyah, the Head of all Quranic activity in the republic of Egypt. Sheikh Ismail commenced as co-Imam of the Auwal Masjid from September 2013 alongside Sheikh Muhammad Carr.