Sultan Noorud-Deen Zangi (rahimahullah) (d 569 H) is one of those outstanding rulers in Islamic history that needs no introduction. He is well-known for his piety, fear of Allah Ta‘ala and justice.
His son Ismaa‘eel, who also possessed great piety like his father, was afflicted with a serious illness at the age of nineteen. The doctors prescribed that a small amount of alcohol be consumed to cure this illness. Despite the persistence of the doctors, this young ruler said, “I will not consume it until I enquire about its permissibility from the Fuqaha (jurists).” After being informed about his condition, the Shaafi‘ee jurists ruled that in this situation it was permissible to consume alcohol.
He also enquired from the great Hanafi scholar, ‘Allamah ‘Alaaud-Deen Kaasaani (rahimahullah) who gave him the verdict of permissibility. After listening to this verdict, Ismaa‘eel posed a question to him, “If the time of my death has come, will I live longer by consuming this alcohol?” ‘Allamah Kaasaani (rahimahullah) replied in the negative, upon which he said, “I take an oath by Allah, I do not want to meet Allah Ta‘ala in such a state where I had taken something which He has declared as impermissible.” Hence he did not consume the alcohol and passed away in this condition. May Allah Ta‘ala have mercy on him. (Shatharaatuz Zahab vol. 6, pg. 425)
1. Despite being between life and death, he did not wish to take any step without consulting the jurists and ‘Ulama. Yet today everyone feels that he is qualified enough to make his own deductions from the Quraan and hadeeth and hold his own opinion in the deen of Allah Ta‘ala.
2. We ‘shop’ around for verdicts to legalise the wrong that we wish to do. However here is a man who despite being given the verdict of permissibility by great jurists, chose to exercise precaution, at the cost of his dear life and all the luxuries of royalty and kingship.