Shaikh al-Albaani: "Do you find any of those whom we have just mentioned
by way of example saying, I am a Muslim who is not upon the Book and the
Sunnah?" Who is the one who says, I am not upon the Book and the Sunnah?"
At this point the Shaikh then began to explain in detail the importance of
being upon the Book and the Sunnah in light of the understanding of the Salaf
Questioner: "In that case I am a Muslim upon the Book and the Sunnah with
the understanding of the Salaf us-Saalih".
Shaikh al-Albaani: "When a person asks you about your madhhab, is this
what you will say to him?"
Shaikh al-Albaani: "What is your view that we shorten this phrase in the
language, since the best words are those that are few but indicated the desired
intent, so we say, Salafi?" End of quotation.
Hence, the point is that naming with "Muslim" or "Sunni" is not enough, since
everyone will claim that. And Imaam al-Albaani emphasised the importance of the
truth being distinguished from the falsehood from the point of view of the
basis of manhaj and aqidah, and that is taking from the Salaf us-Saalih, as
opposed to the various sects and groups whose understandings are based upon
those of their mentors and leaders and not that of the Salaf,
3) Calling Oneself a Salafi is a Blameworthy Tazkiyah of Oneself
And this doubt has been answered by our Mashaayikh: Allaamah, Abdul-Azeez
Ibn Baz the [former] mufti of Saudi Arabia was asked: What do you say about
the one who calls himself Salafi or Athari? Is this is a tazkiyah
(purification) of his own self? So he replied may Allaah have mercy upon him
"When he is being truthful [in his claim] that he is Salafi or Athari then
there is not harm in that, [this is] similar to what the Salaf used to say,
So and so is a Salafi, So and so is Athari. This is a tazkiyah
(commendation) which is necessary, a tazkiyah that is obligatory."
(Cassette: Haqq ul-Muslim 16/1/1413 Taif)
Shaikh Salih al-Fawzan was asked "Is the one who gives himself the title
of as-Salafi considered to have set up a hizb?". To which he replied,
"There is no harm in labelling oneself with Salafiyyah when it is in truth.
However, if it is merely a claim then it is not permissible to label oneself
with Salafiyyah, whilst one is upon a manhaj other than that of the Salaf."
(Al-Ajwibah al-Mufidah p.16)
As for those who wish to discourage others from ascribing themselves to the
Salaf and claim that it is a tazkiyah (self-praise) then their machinations are
not hidden from us. Rather, Shaikh ul-Islaam refuted this false claim centuries
ago and made it obligatory to accept the ascription of a person to the Salaf
and held it to be by unanimous agreement since the aqidah and manhaj of the
Salaf is nothing but the truth. But when it is the case that the manhaj of these
people (the false claimants) is adulterated, then it should come as no surprise
that they wish for the people to detach themselves from the Salaf since that
is the only way that their falsehood can remain undetected.
4) Salafiyyah Causes Disunity
When it is the case that Salafiyyah is the understanding of the Book and the
Sunnah upon the understanding of the Salaf of the Ummah and the Messenger
(sallallahu alaihi wasallam) stated, "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" (Tirmidhee, no.2643) and when it
is also the case that the splitting occurred by their abandoning the correct
understanding, then Salafiyyah is but the way forward for unity and is not
splitting or sectarianism. As Shaikh Salih al-Fawzaan said, "As-Salafiyyah
(i.e. the Salafis) is the Saved Sect, and they are Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaaah.
It is not a hizb (party) from amongst the various parties, those who which
are called "parties" today
Hence Salafiyyah is a group of people (i.e. the
Salafis) upon the madhhab of the Salaf, upon what the Messenger (sallallaahu
alaihi wasallam) and his companions were upon and it is not a hizb from
amongst the contemporary groups present today." (Cassette: "at-Tahdheer
min al-Bidah" second cassette, delivered as a lecture in Hawtah Sadeer,
Thus, Salafiyyah, is an embodiment of what the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi
wasallam) left for his Ummah, whose night is like its day, pure clarity and
anyone who departs from it will be destroyed, that is, he will enter into
splitting, differing and fall into the sects that have been threatened with the
Fire. Therefore, Salafiyyah which calls to a return to that which the Prophet
(sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and his companions were upon can never be
considered to be splitting.