Began studying judo in 11 years. In 1998, when he was 18, he went to serve in the army in Aşağı Əbdürrəhmanlı village of Fizuli Rayon. He served in the frontline of the conflict zone.
On February 4 of 1999, during a combat mission, was wounded by a bullet to the head of the Armenian sniper.
The bullet passed through the entire head, entering from the left and going to the right temple. As a result, Ilham has completely lost his eyesight.
After a long rehabilitation he returned to the sport but as a Paralympic. He is the holder of a 6-dan black belt.