His father Sheikh Abdul Ahad was a well-known sufi of his times.
Sheikh Ahmad received his basic education at home. His initial instructions in the Holy Quran, Hadith and theology were rendered in Sarhind and Sialkot. Later, he devoted most of his time to the study of Hadith, Tafseer and philosophy.
He was 36 years old that he went to Delhi and joined the Naqshbandiya Silsilah under the discipleship of Khawaja Baqi Billah.
His aim was to rid Islam of the accretions of Hindu Pantheism. He was highly critical of the philosophy of Wahdat-ul Wujud, against which he gave his philosophy of Wahdat-ush-Shuhud.
He was imprisoned at Gwalior Fort for two years until the Emperor realized his mistake. Jehangir then not only released Sheikh Ahmad, but also recalled him to Agra. Jehangir thereafter retracted all un-Islamic laws implemented by Akbar.
He wrote many books, including his famous works, Isbat-ul-Nabat and Risal-i-Nabuwat. His greatest work on Islamic philosophy was the Tauheed-i-Shuhudi.
He passed away in 1624.
Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi's preaching and revival was a reaction to the secular policies of Mughal emperor Akbar.
Sirhindi opposed innovation, or bid'ah, in religion, and even rejected the concept of bid'ah hasanah or 'good innovation,' as stated in his epistles, the Maktūbāt. Notably, he prohibited his followers from celebrating the Mawlid, a standard Sufi practice. Syed Abū 'l-Hasan Nadwī writes:
Most famous of his works are a collection of 536 letters, collectively entitled Collected Letters or Maktūbāt, to the Mughal rulers and other contemporaries.