Salafiyyah is the Way of the Companions
Are The Salafis From Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah?
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 صلى الله عليه وسلم (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) and the Imaams of Guidance from the first three generations رضي الله عنهم (may Allaah be pleased with them), those whose goodness has been testified for by Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم, “The best of 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-Bukhaari 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 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-Jamaaah, the followers of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم from amongst the Companions and whoever follows their methodology until the Day of Judgement, and when the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم 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 ” (Fatwaa No. 6149, 2/164).”
Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen رحمه الله 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 رضي الله عنهم. 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, whilst whichever of them opposes is not. So we say: The Salafiyoon are Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, and this description cannot be true for anyone else besides them. Rather Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah are those who hold to what the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم 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 حفظه الله 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 صلى الله عليه وسلم) 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 Salih 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 صلى الله عليه وسلم 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 صلى الله عليه وسلم 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 صلى الله عليه وسلم 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 صلى الله عليه وسلم which inherits (this way) and continues, and which never ceases to be upon the manifest truth until the establishment of the Hour, as he صلى الله عليه وسلم has informed (us).” (Cassette: “at-Tahdheer min al-Bid’ah” second cassette, delivered as a lecture in Hawtah Sadeer, 1416H).
And Imaam al-Albaani رحمه الله 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 foundations and the subsidiary issues, then this Jamaa’ah is not from the Firqah Naajiyah that traverses upon the Straight Path which the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم alluded to in the authentic hadeeth.
And when he has also made binding that there are (certainly) many Jamaa’aat (groups) spread throughout the Islamic lands who are upon this particular manhaj, then these groups are not sects (ahzaab), rather they 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’aat and Ahzaab (sects) who are all in a 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)
Source: Are The Salafis From Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah? on SalafiPublications.com
Statements from the Salaf on Ascription to the Salaf
Imaam al-Asbahaanee (d. 535H) – رحمه الله – 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) – رحمه الله – 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]
lbn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) – رحمه الله – 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) – رحمه الله – said, “It is authentically related from ad-Daaraqutnee that he said, ‘There is nothing more despised by me than ‘ilmul-kalaam (innovated speech and rhetoric).’ I say: He never entered into ‘ilmul-kalaam, nor argumentation. Rather, [he] was a Salafee (a follower of the Salaf).” [Siyar 16/457]
As-Sam’aanee (d. 562H) – رحمه الله – said in al-lnsaab (3/273), “As-Salafi: this is an ascription to the Salaf and following their ways, in that which is related from them.” lbn al-Atheer (d. 630H) said in al-Lubaab fee Tahdheebul-lnsaab (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.
Source: Statements from the Salaf on Ascription to the Salaf on SalafiPublications.com