The Young Jurist

It is well-known that Alahazrat became a mufti in his fourteenth year and that his father gave him the permission to issue fatwā. This was not merely the confidence of a father in his son’s abilities, but a fact also acknowledged by other scholars. Once, Mawlānā Irshād Ĥusayn Rāmpūrī issued a fatwā which was attested by many senior scholars. It was also brought to Alahazrat’s father Mawlānā Naqī Álī Khān (for approval) who sent the bearer to have it attested by the mufti in the room. The man went inside and saw a fourteen year old in the room and came back saying: “There is only a boy sitting there.” Mawlānā Naqī said, “Yes, he is the mufti; get his attestation.” Alahazrat read the fatwā, did not agree with it and issued a contrary ruling, which was countersigned by his father. Other scholars however, attested only Mawlānā Irshād’s fatwā. When this fatwā reached the ruler of Rampur,[1] he invited Mawlānā Irshād and gave him Alahazrat’s fatwā; the noble and upright Mawlānā read the fatwā and acknowledged that Alahazrat was indeed right, and that his own opinion was incorrect. When the Nawab asked him why had everybody else attested his fatwā, the Mawlānā said that they had done so based on his reputation.

[1] Nawab Kalb Álī Khān (1834-1887) was a literate, well-read and scholarly Sunni ruler of Rampur and also a patron of Sunni scholars.

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