SALAAF AS SAALIH:
What or Who is the Salaf?
The Permanent Committee [for Research and Verdicts] was asked:
❝What is Salafiyyah, and what is your opinion concerning it?❞
So they replied:
❝Salafiyyah is an ascription to the Salaf. The word ‘Salaf’ refers to the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger [ﷺ] and the Imaams of guidance from the first three generations of whom the Messenger of Allaah [ﷺ] testified for as to their superiority when he said: ‘The best of mankind is my generation, then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then there will come a people who will bear witness before taking an oath, and take an oath before bearing witness.’ [Reported by Imaam Ahmad in his Musnad, Al-Bukharee and Muslim]
The word Salafiyoon is the plural of Salafee, and it is an ascription to the Salaf. The meaning of the word Salaf has already been mentioned. Furthermore, it also refers to those who follow the methodology of the Salaf, which entails following the Book and the Sunnah, calling the people to them and acting upon them. So as a result of this, they become the adherents of the Sunnah and the unified body [Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah].❞
Which Madhab do the salafi follow?
Calling oneself a ‘Salafi’
Shaykh al-Albaanee – raheemullaah – said: “However, there are some who claim knowledge who deny this ascription, claiming that it has no foundation, saying: “It is not permissible for a Muslim to say: I am Salafi.” And it is as if he is saying: “It is not permissible for me to say: l am following the Salafus-Saalih in what they were upon in ‘aqeedah, worship and manners!” And there is no doubt that the likes of this denial – if that is what is meant – implies that he is disassociating himself from the correct Islaam that the Salafus-Saalih were upon … Thus it is not permissible for a Muslim to disassociates himself from being ascribed to the Salafus-Saalih. If, however, he freed himself from any other nisbah ( ascription ), then none of the people of knowledge could accuse him of disbelief or sinfulness. However, the one who refuses calling himself with this name Salafi, then it should be seen, does he attribute himself to a particular madhhab – whether in matters of ‘aqeedah or fiqh” So perhaps he will call himself an Ash’aree or a Maatareedee, or he may be from Ahlul-Hadeeth, or a Hanafee, Maalikee, Shaafi’ee or Hanbalee – from those matters which enter into the term Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. Despite that fact that the one who ascribes himself to the Ash’aree madhhab, or the four well-known madhhabs, then he has ascribed himself to those who are not protected from making mistakes as individuals – even though there are from them Scholars that attain what is correct. So why O why do they not reject the likes of these ascriptions to individuals who are not protected from mistakes? However, as for the one who ascribes himself to the Salafus-Saalih collectively – then he ascribes himself to that which is protected from mistakes.”
Short Reply To Those Who Say:
“The term ‘Salafi’ is new and has come from the ‘Saudis’ or Al-Albani or ibn Abdul-Wahhab رحمهم الله
1• Imam Bukhari mentioned a chapter heading in his ‘Saheeh’:
Chapter: What the Salaf used to store in their homes and their journeys from food and meat.’
‘2• AbdurRahmaan bin ‘Amr al-Aawza’i (d.156 A.H.) said:
‘Be patient upon the Sunnah, stop where the Companions stopped, and say what they said, and keep away from what they kept away from, and follow the way of your Salaf as-Salih, since what is sufficient for them is sufficient for you.’
Collected by al-Ajurri in ash-Sharia’ (p.58)
Said, It is authentically related from ad Daraqutnee that he said, There is nothing more despised by me than Ilmul- Kallam i.e innovated speech and rhetorics , I say
RATHER HE SHOULD BE A SALAFEE !
Siyar A’laamun- Nubalaa (16/457)
4• Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah (d.728 A.H.) -رحمه الله – said:
‘There is no blame on the one who manifests the Madhab of the Salaf, affiliates to it and ascribes to it, rather it is obligatory to accept that from him and that is accepted by agreement, because the Madhab of the Salaf is nothing except the truth.’
Majmoo al-Fatawa 4/149