Definition of Salafiyyah

This is from a reply which the noble Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah) gave and is recorded in Liqaa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh, 57/15 under the heading “Meaning of Salafiyyah and ruling on ascribing to it” in reply to a question which asked “what salafiyyah is as a manhaj and can we claim to belong to it? Can we criticise those who do not belong to it or who object to the word Salafi and so on?”.

The Shaykh (rahimahullaah) said:

“السلفية: هي اتباع منهج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وأصحابه؛ لأنهم هم الذين سلفونا وتقدموا علينا، فاتباعهم هو السلفية.

وأما اتخاذ السلفية كمنهج خاص ينفرد به الإنسان ويضلل من خالفه من المسلمين ولو كانوا على حق، واتخاذ السلفية كمنهجٍ حزبي فلا شك أن هذا خلاف السلفية ،

“Salafiyyah is following the way of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and his Sahabah for they are our Salaf (predecessors) who preceded us, so following them is Salafiyyah.

As for taking Salafiyyah as a special Manhaj such that everyone who differs with it is considered astray even if he was on the truth; and taking Salafiyyah as a partisan path, then this is beyond doubt opposite to Salafiyyah.

فالسلف كلهم يدعون إلى الاتفاق والالتئام حول سنة الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم ولا يضللون من خالفهم عن تأويل، اللهم إلا في العقائد، فإنهم يرون أن من خالفهم فيها فهو ضال، أما في المسائل العملية فإنهم يخففون فيها كثيراً.

All of the Salaf or early generations called for unity and harmony around the Sunnah of the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and did not regard as misguided those who differed with them with on the basis of their understanding and interpretation (Taweel), except when it came to matters of ‘aqeedah or beliefs, because they regarded those who differed with them in these matters as misguided. But with regard to practical issues they were often easy-going.

لكن بعض من انتهج السلفية في عصرنا هذا صار يضلل كل من خالفه ولو كان الحق معه، واتخذها بعضهم منهجاً حزبياً كمنهج الأحزاب الأخرى التي تنتسب إلى دين الإسلام،

But some of those who followed the path of Salafiyyah in modern times started to regard as misguided everyone who differed from them, even if that person was correct, and some of them adopted a partisan approach like that of other parties which claimed to belong to the religion of Islam.

وهذا هو الذي يُنكر ولا يمكن إقراره، ويقال: انظروا إلى مذهب السلف الصالح ماذا كانوا يفعلون؟ انظروا طريقتهم وفي سعة صدورهم في الخلاف الذي يُسوغ فيه الاجتهاد، حتى إنهم كانوا يختلفون في مسائل كبيرة، وفي مسائل عقدية، وعملية،

This is something that is to be denounced and cannot be approved of, and it should be said to these people: Look at the way of the righteous early generation (al-salaf al-saalih), what did they used to do? Look at their way and how open hearted they were in the case of differences in which ijtihaad is justified (and differences of opinion are allowed). They even used to differ concerning major issues, matters of belief and practical issues.

فتجد بعضهم مثلاً يُنكر أن الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم رأى ربه، وبعضهم يقول: بلى، وترى بعضهم يقول: إن التي توزن يوم القيامة هي الأعمال، وبعضهم يرى أن صحائف الأعمال هي التي توزن، وتراهم أيضاً في مسائل الفقه يختلفون كثيراً، في النكاح، والفرائض، والبيوع، وغيرها، ومع ذلك لا يضلل بعضهم بعضاً.

You will find some of them, for example, denying that the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) saw his Lord, whereas others say that he did see Him. You will see some of them saying that what will be weighed on the Day of Resurrection is deeds, whereas others will say that it is the books of deeds that will be weighed. You will also see them differing a great deal with regard to matters of fiqh having to do with marriage, shares of inheritance, buying and selling, and other issues. Yet despite all that they did not regard one another as misguided.

فالسلفية بمعنى أن تكون حزباً خاصاً له مميزاته ويضلل أفراده من سواهم فهؤلاء ليسوا من السلفية في شيء.

Salafiyyah in the sense of being a particular party with its distinguishing characteristics (specific rules) and in which the members regard everyone else as misguided, these people have nothing to do with Salafiyyah at all.

وأما السلفية التي هي اتباع منهج السلف عقيدة وقولاً وعملاً وائتلافاً واختلافاً واتفاقاً وتراحماً وتواداً، كما قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: (مثل المؤمنين في توادهم وتراحمهم وتعاطفهم كمثل الجسد الواحد إذا اشتكى منه عضو تداعى له سائر الجسد بالحمى والسهر) فهذه هي السلفية الحقة” انتهى .

As for the Salafiyyah which means following the path of the Salaf in belief, word and deed, in calling for unity and harmony and mutual compassion and love, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The likeness of the believers in their mutual love, mercy and compassion is that of a single body; when one part of it is suffering the rest of the body joins it in fever and staying awake” — this is the true Salafiyyah.

Source: Liqaa’aat al-Baab al-Maftooh, 3/246 or Liqaa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh, 57/15

Author: Islamic Treasure

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  1. Salaamoe aleykoum, please send me a mail whenever you have new articles, news etc. JazakumAllah khayran.

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  2. love being salafiyyah

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