Regarding The Statement ‘It Does Not Compel Me’ (Lā Yalzamunī) | Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Hādī al-Madkhalī
The Speech Of Shaykh Muḥammad Ibn Hādī Regarding The Statement It Does Not Compel Me (Lā Yalzamunī):
Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Hādī al-Madkhalī: “The brothers are asking about the statement of the one who says ‘it does not compel me (lā yalzamunī)’ when you clarify things to him he says: ‘it does not compel me (lā yalzamunī)’.
The Answer: “If you clarify for him the truth with evidence and he says: ‘it does not compel me (lā yalzamunī),’ Then what exactly will compel him? What will compel him?
Allāh the Mighty and Majestic says: ‘It is not for a believing man or woman, whenever Allāh and His Messenger have decided a matter that they should have any option in their affair. And whoever disobeys Allāh and His Messenger has surely strayed into clear error.’ [Sūrah al-Aḥzāb 33:36]
and He says: ‘And whatever the Messenger gives you, then take it, and whatever he has forbidden you from, then refrain from it.’ [Sūrah al-Ḥashr 59:7]
and He says: ‘So be mindful of Allāh as much as you can and listen and obey.’ [Sūrah al-Taghābun 64:16]
and the Glorified and Exalted says: ‘O you who believe, obey Allāh and obey the Messenger…’ [Sūrah al-Nisāʾ 4:59] as well as other than this from the verses of the Qurʾān. And the Prophet () says: ‘Whoever obeyed me has obeyed Allāh and whoever has disobeyed me has disobeyed Allāh.’
So if you have clarified the issue to the individual with its evidence from the Qurʾān and the Sunnah in a clear and straightforward manner in which there is no confusion or ambiguity or vagueness; then he does not oppose you with anything but his statement: ‘it does not compel me (lā yalzamunī)’, then you should know that he is a person of desires.
However, if he brings evidence from the Qurʾān and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allāh, then it is upon you not to be hasty with him and to consider his evidence since the evidence might be correct, however his understanding may be incorrect so you should clarify this to him.
So if he refuses after clarification which is supported by the speech of Allāh from other verses, and the best of what explains the Qurʾān is the Qurʾān and then after that the ḥadīth. And the best of what explains the Sunnah is the Sunnah and after that the speech of the companions and then for everything [there is] the language of the Arab; and it should be sought from the speech of the Arab and from their poetry since poetry is the clear record of the Arab as ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAbbās (C) said.
So if you have clarified it to him after this with the speech of the Messenger () and the speech of his companions () and he refuses then there is nothing anyone can do for him, there is nothing anyone can do for him, this has now become something that is used by everyone who desired to use it to oppose and break away from the people of the Sunnah. ‘It does not compel me (lā yalzamunī)’. This is the issue of Abūl-Ḥasan [al-Maʾrabī] that we haven’t heard except with him. You clarify to him with the truth and evidence and the successive proofs and he says to you: ‘it does not compel me (lā yalzamunī).’ Then what exactly will compel you? Do you desire revelation concerning you [individually] or this specific issue with your name? This is not possible.
The Book of Allāh which is recited by everyone who recites it and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allāh () which is read by everyone who reads it are among us so we refer back to them for rulings. So the indication (dilālah) will either be explicitly articulated (manṭūq) which is the highest level of indication. Or the indication (dilālah) will be understood (mafhūm) which is the level that immediately follows that.
Then there is the speech of the people of knowledge that we consider from the companions of the Messenger of Allāh (). Is it supporting your understanding or my understanding? Meaning which of the two understandings compels the other to return to it? Is there anything more just than this, O gathering of brothers?
If the speech of the Salaf indicates by way of their explanation of the Speech of Allāh and the speech of His Messenger () what you have understood then I agree with you and if it has indicated what I am upon and what I am calling you to, then it is obligatory that you fear Allāh and abandon using this phrase: ‘It does not compel me (lā yalzamunī).’ The truth compels you and it is obligatory that you accept it:
‘It is not for a believing man or woman, whenever Allāh and His Messenger have decided a matter that they should have any option in their affair.’ [Sūrah al-Aḥzāb 33:36]
Since it is applicable, there is a statement that is drawn from this; some of them say: ‘the speech of the Salaf causes contentedness.’ Ma shā Allāh! So your speech must be taken? The speech of the Salaf he says causes contentedness. The understanding of the Salaf causes contentedness. [Rather] the understanding of the Salaf causes contentedness and what about your understanding?! Our understanding [according to them] compels whereas the understanding of the Salaf [apparently] does not. Instead, it causes contentedness even though this understanding of the Salaf has certainly been required of us by the Messenger of Allāh () and his companions.
He said: ‘What I am upon today as well as my companions…’ So what he was upon () as well as his companions is the [true] religion and after that there is what his companions were upon along with the rightly guided Caliphs and after them whatever the remainder of the companions of the Messenger of Allāh () were upon; that is the [true] religion and after that is whatever the Imāms from the students of the companions (tābiʿūn) and what the best of them were upon as well as the major students of the companions of the Prophet ().
This is the [true] religion and after this comes what the Imāms of narration were upon like Mālik, the two Sufyāns, the two Ḥammāds, al-Awzāʿī, Shuʿbah, Aḥmad, al-Shāfiʿī and the like of them. This is the religion. So whatever they were not upon, then it isn’t from the religion. So it is neither something that we recognize nor something that we will accept from whoever promotes it if it opposes whatever those illustrious individuals until the companions of the Messenger of Allāh () were upon.
So his statement: ‘It does not compel me (lā yalzamunī)’ is from the things meant to be a blow to the chest of the sincere advisor and a way to refute him without any proof or evidence.
We ask Allāh the Mighty and Majestic to grant us and you the best manner of listening, benefitting and following; certainly He is responsible for this and able to do it. And may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon His servant and Messenger our Prophet Muḥammad.”
Translated By: Abul-Layth Qāsim Mutiva