A resident of Ludhiana, he was one of the early supporters of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
He carried on a long correspondence with Mirza, and shared strategies and progress with him. Shah also supported Mirza financially and due to his long service in the British government, was well-versed in English. Mirza included him in the Original 313 and said that God had directly told him that Shah was 'with strong roots whose branches were in the sky' (reference to Quranic verse about those whose faith is firm).
Shah recanted his support for Mirza when the latter claimed to be the Promised Messiah and advertised his withdrawal of support on 12 December 1891. Mirza responded thus: