What Is Salafiyyah?

بسم الله الرحم‍ن الرحيم

In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Shaykh al-Islām Muhammad Nāsir al-Dīn al-Albānī (d.1420H) on the Founder of Salafiyyah:

Shaykh al-Islām Muhammad Nāsir al-Dīn al-Albānī –رَحِمَهُ الله  - said, ”Indeed, al-Da’wah al-Salafiyyah is only the da’wah (call) to true Islām, as Allāh (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) sent it down upon the last of His Messengers and Prophets: Muhammadصَلَّ الله عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَىَ آلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ)). So Allāh (تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى) alone is its founder and originator and no one from amongst mankind,regardless of whom he may be,can claim to be its founder and originator,not even the noble Prophet Muhammad (عَلَيْهِ وَ عَلَىَ آلِهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ ). His role was only to instruct in a careful and trustworthy manner and to convey in a full and detailed manner.And he was  not permitted to change anything from the Shari’ah of Allāh (تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى) and his Revelation. Due to this, for an individual, regardless of elevated and lofty rank, to claim founding this divine and blessed da’wah is in reality a gross error and profound offence, if not major Shirk. And refuge is sought with Allāh. ”[Refer to al-Tawassul Anwā’uhu wa Akāmuhu (p.90-91) of al-Albāni, Sunnah Publishing].

Ibn Rajab رحمه الله

In the year 705 Hijri, Sheikhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah was summoned by the Sultan to a gathering at his palace in the presence of judges and scholars, whereupon he was questioned about his belief. In response, he presented to them his treatise, al-Aqīdatul Wāsitiyyah, which they examined. Thereafter, it was agreed that indeed this is a doctrine of Sunnah and Salafiyah. [ath-Thail āla Tabaqāt al-Hanābilah 2/396]
Glad Tidings o d Tidins 
of the Unity ofhlus-Sunae Unity of Ahlus-Sunna 
ما هى السلفية


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Are the Salafis from Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah?1

In the verdict of the Permanent Committee, no. 1361 (1/165) there occurs:

“Salafiyyah is an ascription to the Salaf,and the Salaf are the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and the Imaams of Guidance from the first three generations (may Allaah be pleased with them),”The best people are my generation, then those who follow after them,then those who follow after them,then there will come a people whose testimony will precede  their oath and their oath will precede their testimony.”[Reported by Imaam Ahmad in his Musnad and also by al-Bukhari and Muslim].

And the salafiyyoon is the plural of salafi, which is an ascription to the Salaf, and its meaning has already preceded. And they are the ones who traverse upon the minhaj (way/methodology) of the Salaf, from amongst the followers of the Book and the Sunnah,those who call to them both, and to act upon them, as a result of which they are from Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah.”

There are also occurs in the Permanent Committee’s reply to the question, ”I want the explanation of the word salaf and also who are the salafiyyoon (salafees)?”, the following: ”The Salaf are Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, the followers of Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) from amongst the Companions and whoever follows their methodology until the Day of Judgement, and when the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) was asked about al-Firqat un-Naajiyah (the Saved Sect), he said,”They are those who are upon what I and my companions are upon today.”[Fatwa no. 6149, 2/164]

Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen states:

“Who are the Ahl ul-Athar (the People of the Narrations)? They are the ones who follow the aathaar (narrations); they follow the Book and the Sunnah and the sayings of the Companions (radiallaahu anhum). And this does not befit any firqah (group) amongst the sects except the salafiyyeen, those who adhere to the path of the Salaf. ”[Occurs on the first tape of his explanation of “al-Aqeedat as-Safaareeniyyah”].

Likewise the Noble Shaykh stated in Sharh ul-Aqeedat ul-Waasitiyyah (1/123),”…There is no doubt, however, that one of them is truly Ahl us-Sunnah – but which one? Is it the Ash’arees, the Maatureedees or the Salafis? Whichever of them agrees with the Sunnah is considered to be Ahl us-Sunnah wal- Jamaa’ah, and this description cannot be true for anyone else besides them. Rather Al us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah are those who hold to what the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and his Companions were upon, and to the aqeedah (required beliefs) of the Salaf – until the Day of Judgement and they are the Salafiyoon.”

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said:

“And the Salaf, and whoever follows their way,never cease to distinguish between the Salaf and their followers, from those who are other than them from the innovators and astray sects, and they call them (i.e. the followers of the Salaf) Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, the Followers of the Salaf, and their works are full of this, when they refute the sects in opposition to the firqah (sect) of Ahl us-Sunnah and the Followers of the Salaf.” [al-Bayaan, p. 130].

He also said, ”And how can making ones madhhab (school of thought) that of the Salaf be an innovation? An astray innovation?! And how can it be an innovation when it is but the following of the madhhab of the Salaf, and following their madhhab is obligatory by the Book and the Sunnah, and truth and guidance?!” [al-Bayaan, p. 156].

And he also said,”And so he (The Messenger of Allah – sallallaahu alaihi wasallam - ) described this one sect to be the one that follows the manhaj (methodology) of the Salaf, and which traverses upon it, so he said, ”They are those who are upon what I and my companions are upon today.”So he indicated that there is a Salafi Jamaa’ah which has preceded, and that there will be a jamaa’ah which comes after, who will follow the former one in its way and methodology, and that there will be groups in opposition to it and who have been threatened with Hellfire.”[al-Bayaan, p. 133]

And Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan was also asked,”Is Salafiyyah a hizb (party) from amongst the parties (of misguidance). And is ascribing to them (the salafiyyoon) a blameworthy thing? ”To which he replied:”As-Salafiyyah is the Saved Sect,and they are Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah.It is not a hizb (party) from amongst the various parties, those which are called “parties” today. Rather they are the Jamaa’ah, the Jamaa’ah upon the Sunnah and upon the Deen (religion). They are Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah.

The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, ”There will not cease to be a group from my Ummah manifest and upon the truth not being harmed by those who forsake them neither by those who oppose them” and he (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) also said, ”And this Ummah will split into seventy-three sects, all of them in the Hellfire but one. ”They said,which one is this O Messenger of Allaah? He replied, ”They are those who are upon what I and my companions are upon today.”

Hence Salafiyyah is a group of people (i.e. the Salafis) upon the madhhab of the Salaf, upon what the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and his companions were upon and it is not a hizb from amongst the contemporary groups present today. Rather it is the very old Jamaa’ah, from the time of the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) which inherits (this way) and continues, and which never ceases to be upon the manifest truth until the establishment of the Hour, as he (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) has informed (us).” [Cassette:”at-Tahdheer min al-Bid’ah second cassette, delivered as a lecture in Hawtah Sadeer, 1416H].

And Imaam al-Albaani said:

“For this reason,we firmly and resolutely believe that every Jamaa’ah whose foundation is not built upon the Book and the Sunnah and the manhaj of the Salaf us-Saalih with a complete and comprehensive study (of that manhaj) which encompasses all the rulings  pertaining to Islaam, the large and the small,the foundation and subsidiary issues, then this Jamaa’ah is not from the Firqah Naajiyah that traverses upon the Straight Path which the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) alluded to in the authentic hadeeth.

And when he has also made binding that there are (certainly) many Jamaa’at (groups) spread throughout the Islamic lands who are upon this particular manhaj, then these groups are not sects (ahzaab), rather they are all  constitute a single Jamaa’ah whose manhaj is one and whose path is one. And their being separated in the land is not a separation based upon ideology,creed or manhaj but one that is based upon their being in different lands, in opposition to the Jamaa’at and Ahzaab (sects) who are all in single land, yet despite that, every sect rejoices with that which is with it (of ideas and methodologies).”[In Fataawaa Shaikh al-Albaani, p.106-114 compiled by Ukkaashah Abdul-Mannaan at-Tiyyi]

Statement from the Salaf on Ascription to the Salaf2

Imaam al-Asbahaanee (d. 535H) - rahimahullaah- said, ”The sign of Ahlus-Sunnah is that they follow the Salafus-Saalih and abandon all that is innovated and newly introduced into the Deen.”[Al-Hujjah fee Bayaanil Mahajjah, 1/364]

Abu Haneefah (d. 150H) –rahimahullaah- said,”Adhere to the athar (narration) and the tareeqah (way) of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) and beware of newly invented matters for all of it is innovation.” [Reported by As-Suyootee in Sawn al Mantaq wal-Kalaam, p. 32]

Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) –rahimahullaah- said: ”There is no criticism for the one who proclaims  the way  (madhdhab) of the Salaf, who attaches himself to it and refers to it. Rather, it is obligatory to accept that from  him by unanimous agreement (Ittifaaq) because the way (madhdhab) of the Salaf is nothing but the Truth (Haqq).”[Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa, 4:149]

Imaam adh-Dhahabee (d. 748H) –rahimahullaah- said: ”It is authentically related from ad-Daaraqutnee that he said: There is nothing more despised by me than ‘ilmul-kalaam (innovated  speech and rhetorics). I say: He never entered  into  ‘ilmul-kalaam, nor argumentation. Rather, was a Salafee (a follower of the Salaf).” [Siyar, 16/457]

As-Sam’aanee (d. 562H) said in al-Insaab (3/273):”As-Salafi: this is an ascription to the Salaf and following their ways, in that which is related from them.”Ibn al-Atheer (d. 630H) said in al-Lubaab fee Tahdheebul-Insaab (2/162), commenting upon the previous saying of as-Sam’aanee: ”And a group were known by this ascription. ”So the meaning is: that the term Salafi, and its ascription to them, was a matter known in the time of Imaam as-Sam’aanee, or before him.[end quote]

Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (d. 1206) said: ”We are,and praise be to Allaah,followers and not innovators.We are followers of the Book and Sunnah and of the Righteous Salaf of this Ummah, upon the Madh-hab of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah,the Madh-hab that Allaah’s Messenger commanded with.

‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn Baaz (d. 1420) was asked concerning the Saved Sect, so he responded: ”They are the Salafis and all those who proceed upon the path of the Righteous Salaf.”

Muhammad Naasirud-Deen Al-Albaanee (d. 1420) said: ”There is no doubt that the apparent,clear and distinguishing title is that [when] we say:”I am a Muslim upon the Book and Sunnah and upon the manhaj of our Righteous Salaf,” is that you saying in shortened terms: ”I am a Salafi.”3

Source: salafipublications.com|Article ID:SLF0100061|Article ID:SLF0100012|abukhadeejah.com3

NOTE: The above translation of بسم الله الرحم‍ن الرحيم taken from the website (followthesalaf.com) of Ustaadh Abu Muhammad al- Maghribee (may Allaah preserve & protect him). Aameen