Is Salafi a right appellation?

10-4-2004 | IslamWeb


How correct is it for a Muslim or a collective of Muslims to, call themselves "Salafi", and only take their information, and advice from those of this group. Rejecting all other Sheiks.


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. As a general rule, the Muslim Ummah, brotherhood or nation is a single one with no sects or sub-divisions as described by Allah, The Almighty in the Qur'an: {And verily! This your religion (of Islâmic Monotheism) is one religion, and I am your Lord, so keep your duty to Me.}[23:52]. Therefore, Muslims should call themselves whatever Allah Has called them. In an authenticated Hadith reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad , the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) is quoted as saying: Whoever invites to the call of the pre-Islamic period of ignorance (Jahilyia), shall be thrown in Hell-fire". The companions said: 'Oh, Messenger of Allah even if he fasts and does his prayers'. The Apostle of Allah said: "Yes, even if he fasts and prays, and alleges to be a Muslim. Call the Muslims proper and good names as they are called by Allah, The Almighty that is; the Muslims, the Believers or the Servants of Allah . However, if some Muslims are distinguished by certain good deeds or achievements, it is permissible to be attributed to them as those who migrated with the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) from Makkah to Medinah are called (Al-Muhajireen), the residents of Medina who welcomed and helped the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) and Muhajireen are called (Al-Ansar) or the Badris, those Muslim combatants who fought with the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) in the Battle of Badr, or the followers of one of the main distinguished scholars or Imams who founded the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence, like Malik , Abu Haneefa , Shafie or Ibn Hanbal , are called Maliki, Hanbali, etc… By analogy, the Ahl al-Sunnah (the true followers of Sunnah) are called Salafi because they follow the Salaf (good ancestors) who are the companions of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam), their true followers who conveyed the pure religion, and scholars in the best centuries following the death of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam). It is permissible for them to be called Salafi so as to be distinguished from those who introduced innovations or Bidah or those who talked evilly about the companions of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) or those philosophers who made unnecessary mental or semantic interpretations of the Divine attributes of Allah the Almighty. Therefore, it is not objectionable for a Muslim to bear these names which indicate such affiliation without bigotry and it should not be a hindrance to follow the truth. Any one who follows the creed of the Salaf and their righteous path is authorized to be called Salafi. If he finds the truth with a group of scholars other than his group he is to follow it. Allah knows best.