Muftī Muḥammad Shafī‘ rahimahumullāh relates an incident of Shaykh I‘zāz ‘Alī rahimahumullāh:
“Once, we set off from Deoband on a journey with our teacher Shaykh I‘zāz ‘Alī, known in Darul ‘Ulūm Deoband as ‘Shaykh-al-adab’ also accompanying us. When we reached the station there was still some time for the train to arrive. Shaykh I‘zāz ‘Alī said, ‘It is mentioned in a tradition that when going anywhere on a journey, someone should be appointed amīr, therefore we should appoint our leader also!’
Because we were the students and he the teacher, we said, ‘There is no need to select an amīr, a ready-made amīr is already present.’
The Shaykh asked. ‘Who?’ We replied by saying. ‘You are the teacher and we the students.’
The Shaykh remarked, ‘So you wish to appoint me as the amīr!’ We replied, ‘Yes of course, who else other than you can be the amīr?’ The Shaykh said, ‘Very well, but all the orders of the amīr have to be obeyed because the meaning of amīr is one whose orders are obeyed.’
When the train arrived the respected Shaykh lifted all the luggage of his travelling companions, some he bore on his head and some in his arms, and started walking, We said, ‘O Shaykh, what is this injustice you are doing? Let us lift it!’ The Shaykh said, ‘You have selected me as amīr, now you have to obey me – let me lift the luggage.’ So saying he carried all the luggage on to the train.
Thereafter, throughout the journey whenever any difficult or strenuous job would arise, he would personally see to it, and if we objected the Shaykh would immediately say, ‘Look, you made me amīr and an amīr must be obeyed! Therefore obey the amīr!’
Making him our amīr turned out to be very hard on us.”