Bismillahi Wal Hamdullillah Was Salaatu Was Salaamu ‘Alaa Rasoolillahi
Clinging to the way of the Salaf, was from the Manhaj of the Salaf!
A question that must arise when one calls to the way and methodology of the Salaf is:
‘Was it from the manhaj of the Salaf..to call to the manhaj of the Salaf?’
Hopefully the following narrations will bring clarity to this issue.
Upon the Authority of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood – Radhiyallahu ‘Anhu who said:
“Indeed we follow (i.e. the prophet and those who preceded us) and we dont initiate, we imitate (i.e. the prophet and those who preceded us) and we dont innovate, and we will never go astray as long as we hold on to that which they have left“
(Collected by Imaamud Daarimi in his ‘Sunan/Musnad’ (205) and Ibn Nasr in ‘As Sunnah’ (28) and At Tabaraani in ‘Mu’jamul Kabeer’ 8770)
Upon the Authority of Ubai Ibn Ka’b – Radhiyallahu ‘Anhu who said:
“Cling to the Path (The Sabeel) and the Sunnah for indeed there is no servant upon the path (sabeel) and the Sunnah who remembers Allah and his eyes shed tears due to fear of Allah, that will ever enter the fire. Certainly moderation upon the Sunnah and that which is good, is better than striving (hard) in opposition to the Path (Sabeel) and the Sunnah“
(Collected by Al Lalakaa’ee (1/87) and Al Khateeb in ‘Al Faqeeh wal Mutafaqih’ (1/147))
Look how here Ubai Ibn Ka’b used the same expression (that is As Sabeel (the Path) and As Sunnah(the Sunnah)) that Ibn Abbaas – Radhiyallahu anhu used in his tafseer of the word ‘Minhaaj’ in the statement of Allah:
“..To each (nation) among you we prescribed a law and a ‘Minhaaj’..”
(Suratul Maa’idah Vs 48)
Indicating they understood what ‘manhaj’ was and the importance of clinging to it.
Upon the authority of Uthmaan Ibn Haadhir Al Azdi – Rahimahullah who said: I entered upon Ibn Abbaas – Radhiyallahu ‘anhumaa – and said “Advise me” so he said: ”Remain Upright, Follow and do not Innovate, Follow the narrations of the first generation and do not innovate“
(Collected by Ibn Nasr in ‘As Sunnah’ (29) and by Ibn Battah in ‘Al Ibaanatul Kubraa (157,158,200))
Muhammad ibn Seereen said: “They used to say, If a man is upon (following) the narrations (i.e. of the Salaf) then he is upon the path“
(Collected by Ad Daarimi (140, 141) and Al Khalaal in ‘As Sunnah’ (1102))
Abul ‘Aaliyah said: “Cling to the first affair that they (i.e the Salaf) were upon before they (the Muslims) began to split (i.e. into groups and sects)
(Collected by Abu Nu’aym in ‘Al Hilyah (2/218) and Al Marwazi in ‘As Sunnah’ (26))
Imaamul Auzaa’ie mentioned: “Cling to the Narrations of those who have passed, even if the people reject you, and be aware of the opinions of people, even if they are beautified with speech. For certainly the affairs will become clear and you will find yourself upon a straight path.“
(Collected by Adh Dhahabee in siyar ‘Alaamun Nubalaa (7/120))
Imaam Ahmad – Rahimahullah mentioned: “The foundations of the Sunnah as far as we are concerning are:
To cling to that which the companions of the Messenger -Sallallahu ‘alaihi Wa Salam were upon, and to follow them and to leave innovation“
(Usoolus sunnah Imaam Ahmad p25-27 Maktabah Ibn Taimiyah print)
Al Imaamul Aajurri mentions in ‘As Shari’ah’ 1/301:
“The sign of one who Allah wants good for, is that he follows this path: the book of Allah The Sunan of the messenger of Allah, and the sunan of his companions and those who follow them upon goodness. Likewise that which the Imaams of the Muslims were upon from every land to the another, those who are from the Ulamaa, the likes of Al Awzaa’ie, Sufyaan Ath Thowri, Maalik ibn Anas, Ash Shaafiee’, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Al Qaasim bin Salaam and those who are upon their path and staying away from every path these Ulamaa have dispraised“
And that continues to be the case till this very day.