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Definition of Salafiyyah

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  • 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 (fwd)