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Referring to Oneself as ‘Salafī’

Al-ʿAllāmah ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn Bāz

An understanding of the use of the term “Salafī” which the people of bidʿah try to eliminate in order to detract from issues of manhaj.

Nowadays, the followers and sympathisers of al-Ḥalabī focus heavily on rebuking the term ‘Salafī’, with the intention of causing distance between the Muslims and the methodology of the Salaf, the scholars who defend it, and the people who proceed upon it.

This is a carefully designed scheme to sway the unsuspecting one away from issues of manhaj and away from ascertaining the truth from falsehood, sunnah from bidʿah.

They claim “upon the Qurʾān and Sunnah and the way of the Salaf…but not Salafīyyah the ḥizb!”

This is their attempt to distance the person away from investigating salafīyyah, for if he were to do so, inevitably he would come to know the Salafī scholars and therefore come to know the reality of al-Ḥalabī and his companions. A term they used to defend that they now dispose of since it is no longer favourable to their interests and those whom they now cooperate with from Ahl al-Bidʿah. What do some of the scholars of our time say about the terms ‘Salafī’ and ‘salafīyyah’?

Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Ibn Bāz, raḥimahullāh, was asked this question:

“What do you say about one who is referred to as ‘as-Salafī’ and ‘al-Atharī’? Is this a tazkiyah?” He, raḥimahullāh, responded: “If he is truthful that he is an Atharī (one who follows the narrations) or a Salafī, then there is no harm in it. (This is) a tazkiyah which is inevitable; a tazkiyah that is obligatory.”1

Likewise, the Shaykh, the ʿAllāmah, Ṣāliḥ ibn Fawzān al-Fawzān mentioned it in al-Ajwibah al-Mufīdah, wherein he was asked: “What is al-Salafīyyah? And is it obligatory to traverse upon its methodology and cling to it?”

He said: “al-Salafīyyah is traversing upon the methodology of the Salaf, from the Companions, the Tābiʿūn and the virtuous generations in the ʿaqīdah, understanding, and manners. It is obligatory upon the Muslim to traverse upon this methodology.”2


1. From a lecture entitled: “Ḥaqq al-Muslim” delivered in al-Tāʿif.
2. al-Ajwibah al-Mufīdah, pg. 103.

Translated by Raha Batts

Published: August 13, 2012
Edited: March 27, 2023

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