The Real Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah
Fatwa No: 83162

  • Fatwa Date:28-8-2001 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 9, 1422
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Response to your answer that the true group was the one that follow Salaf al-Salih. As the normal person how could we know who follow the real Salaf al-Saliheen. Nowadays we see (especially in the Internet) every group or person claimed they were the real followers of the Al-Salaf. It made a normal person as us confused.


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Following the righteous Salaf means following the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and their successors (righteous predecessors) in all matters of faith, beliefs, manners of worship, and other matters.

Allah made them the best generation of the whole mankind. Dear Brother, the question about the real righteous Salaf (predecessors) is a common one nowadays as there are so many groups who claim to be the real Salaf and accuse those who do not adhere to their group to be away from the path of the true Salaf. Distinguishing between the true Salaf and others is easy but requires some effort by Muslims everywhere. Every Muslim is obliged to learn Islamic knowledge throughout his life in order to differentiate between truth and falsehood and between the Sunnah (way of the Prophet) and Bid’ah (innovation).
There are some simple steps one can follow to test some of the claims now being made:

1) When you hear distortions of clear statements made in the Quran; e.g, Attributes of Allah, the religion of Islam, etc., these need to be challenged by asking for the sources of such claims. Who said it? What references are cited? Did the Companions or their successors support these views? This practice of trying to figure out the source is common among those who follow the righteous predecessors. They always give reliable, authentic references from the Quran, the Sunnah, or explanation of the Salaf, and rely upon the understanding of the righteous predecessors.

2) Likewise, there are many eminent scholars known for their adherence to the Sunnah and the path of righteous predecessors, such as Sheikh Ibn Baz and Sheikh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy upon both of them), and current members of the permanent committee of Fatwa in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. If one has doubts about something, it should be referred to these known scholars. The one who takes the matters of religion from these scholars almost always follows the way of the righteous predecessors. Some people may claim that they take from the mentioned scholars but, they do not do so in reality. Anyway, a Muslim should strive to learn Islamic knowledge to differentiate between the truth and falsehood and between the Sunnah and Bid’ah.

For more benefit on Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa‘ah please refer to Fatawa 2496, 22613, 33503 and 351652.

Allah knows best.

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