His full name was Abdullah Nasr, alias Abu Saleh and title Ima’d-ud-Din. He was born on 12 Rabi-ul-Aakhir, 564 AH, in Baghdad. Maulana Abdul Mujtaba Rizvi has noted the date to be 24 Rabi-ut-Thani, 562 AH. His father’s name was Sayyed Abd-ul-Razzaq and that of the mother was Taj-un-Nisa Umul Karam, daughter of Fada ‘yal-ul-Turkeni. She was herself scholar of the Hadith and a very pious women. He passed away in Baghdad on Sunday night on 16 Shawal 633Ah and was buried in the graveyard near the shrine of Imam Ahmad Bin Humble. According to Shajra-e-Qadriah Rizviah, he passed away at the age of 70 on 27 Rajab, 632 A.H.
His early education was undertaken by his father, Sheikh Abd-ul-Razzaq and Hadith and Fiqah were undertaken by his uncle Sheikh Abdul Wahab. He had a great experience and expertise in debates and religious decisions (Fatwah). He was a great scholar and thinker. He had an amiable, gentle, generous and understanding personality. He was one of those who were never cowed down. The writer of Kalaid-ul-Jawahir writes;” He was appointed as Qazi-ul-Quzzat in Madina-tul-Islam and gave his religious decisions according to the Humbalite Fiqh. In 622 AH when he was appointed at this post, he was awarded a robe and conveyance by Caliph Zahir B’Umrillah. In three mosques of Madina-tul-Islam, sermons were delivered in his name. He was living embodiment of “advise well and stop from evil” he used to quote Hadith and dictated them his gathering. He used to walk to the central Mosque on Fridays and used to give decisions in the caliph’s court by the very orders of the caliph. For his integrity and character he remained as he was before appointment to this post and served as Qazi-ul-Quzzat during the life of the caliph. When Mustansar Billah became caliph, he remained on this post for only two months and on 23 Zeqa’d, 623 Ah, he was removed from his post.”
He swore a spiritual allegiance at the hands of his father. Ibn-e-Rajab writes in the Tabkat, “He was Qazi-ul-Quzzat, the Sheikh of the age, a religious jurist, a teller of Hadith, a very pious man and a great sermoner. He was the care-taker /custodian of the school of his ancestor of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. He gave his decisions fearlessly and had no concern with the spoilers of religion. He even took the caliph to task on making any mistake and cared nothing for the people of authority in the court. One story of his dealing in this way is very famous which has been noted in Kalaid-ul-Jawahir, “one day I was writing something on the administration of Government at the residence of the Minister where the judge Muhammad Bin Munhib Bin Zaeir was also present. Suddenly a very impressive man dressed in fine clothes entered and all greeted him and busied themselves in his service. Thinking that he was a great jurist I followed lead, but when I inquired I was told that he was Ibn-e-Karam the Governor of the Mint and had a great influence in the court. When he passed through the people and sat on the plinth opposite I ordered him to stand up from his place and when he came near I said to him, “May death find you. When you entered I had stood up thinking you a Muslim jurist whereas you are not even a Muslim.” Then I ordered him to be off and he went away from there in silence. I had been allotted some scholarship from the court which I used to collect at Badram, but that year by chance I went to the Shrine of Ahmad Bin Humble on the appointed day and desired to collect the scholarship on my return. I was told that my scholarship was with Ibn-e-Karam, the Jew and I was to collect it from there but I decided never to go to collect my scholarship from a Ka’fir. Then trusting God I came home reciting some verses and this continued till that cursed man met his end.
After the death of the caliph Na’hir who was pious and God fearing man and about whom Ibn-e-Kaseer says that among the Banu Abbas, he was like Umar Bin Abd-ul-Aziz, again gave the responsibility of Qazi-ul-Quzzat to Sheikh Abu Saleh Nasr, but he refused saying ” I will not accept this appointment until you include Zawi-ul-Arham in the inheritance.” The caliph accepted this condition and ordered to convey their rights to the deserving. He was appointed the care-taker of Auqaf-A’m and given every kind of authority. He had the authority to make all kinds of amendments in the Madaras-e-Hanfia, lamia-us-Sultan and lamia Ibnul Mutlib. He was also the administrator of Darsgah-e-Nizamia. During his term as Qazi, Azan was called at Bab-ul-Adl and prayer was offered. He used to wear a dress made with cotton and gave considered judgment. He followed the foot prints of his forefather and observed the right in letter and spirit. He followed his fore-father and stood firm on truth. When Mustunsir removed him, following verses were recited by him;
I think God Almighty who freed me from the post of the Qazi and I also thank Mustunsir and I pray for him more than all those who pray for him. According to Ibn-e-Rajab, he was the first to be appointed Qazi-ul-Quzzat in his family. He also wrote a book of Fiqah tided “Irshad-ul-Mubatadeen”. Many learnt from him. Sarsari wrote a eulogy, “Qaseeda-e-Lamia” to praise his wisdom and knowledge in religious decisions. One verse of which goes like this:
In this age Sheikh Abu Sa’leh Nasr is the Imam of the age in Fiqh and he is a help in every need. He often recited this verse.
I am alone in the grave and under debt because I have been impoverished with the burden of debts. I have seated myself by such a merciful person that it is easy for him to free me.
Abu Musa Yahya and Abu Nasr Muhammad were among his children. According to Zubda-tul-Mawa’leed, one of his sons also named Ahmad. As genealogy under consideration goes on with Abu Nasr Muhammad, we shall continue with him.