Fundamentals in the Manhaj of the Salaf (Part 2)

Bismillahi Wal Hamdullillah Was Salaatu Was Salaamu ‘Alaa Rasoolillahi

Ammaa Ba’d:

The term ‘Salaf’ and its usage

For the one who is familiar with the classical works of the Imaams of this Ummah the term ‘Salaf’ may not be a new entity. It is, unfortunately, new to those who do not have that familiarity, so we mention here a small portion of the usage of the term in the Book, the Sunnah and within the various sources of the deen, that it may become clear that it is nothing new, and that the only new affair, is ignorance of it.

‘Salaf’ in the Qur’aan

The term being used in reference to a past affair

Allah the most high states:

{وَلَا تَنْكِحُوا مَا نَكَحَ آبَاؤُكُمْ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ إِلَّا مَا قَدْ سَلَفَ}

“Do not marry the women your fathers have married except that which has ‘Salaf’ (past)
(Suratul Nisaa Vs 22)

{فَمَنْ جَاءَهُ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِ فَانْتَهَى فَلَهُ مَا سَلَفَ}

“Whoever come to them an admonition from their lord (concerning Interest) and desists) then to him is what has ‘Salaf’ (past) and his affair is with Allah
(Suratul Baqarah Vs 275)

The term being used in relation to a group of people

{فَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ سَلَفًا وَمَثَلًا لِلْآخِرِينَ}

“So we made them a ‘Salaf’ (precedent) and an example to later generations”
(Suratuz Zukhruf Vs 56)

Salaf in the Sunnah

No doubt from the clearest of the texts of the sunnah mentioning the term salaf is an authentic hadeeth wherein the prophet – Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam – referred to himself as a blessed salaf for his daughter and – it follows – the rest of the Ummah in general

The messenger – Sallallahu alaihi was Sallam while he was ill prior to him passing away, Fatimah His daughter – Radhiyallahu anhaa – came to his bedside and the messenger of Allah whispered to her twice. When he did so in the first instance she began to weep, then when he whispered on the second occasion she began to laugh. Aisha – Radhiyallahu anhaa asked her about that and Fatima refused to divulge the secret that messenger gave to her that brought about this weeping and laughter. After the death of the messenger – Sallallahu alahi Was Salam she informed her that now I will inform you so she said:

« أَنَّ جِبْرِيلَ كَانَ يُعَارِضُهُ الْقُرْآنَ فِى كُلِّ سَنَةٍ مَرَّةً وَإِنَّهُ عَارَضَهُ الآنَ مَرَّتَيْنِ وَإِنِّى لاَ أُرَى الأَجَلَ إِلاَّ قَدِ اقْتَرَبَ فَاتَّقِى اللَّهَ وَاصْبِرِى فَإِنَّهُ

«نِعْمَ السَّلَف أَنَا لَكِ »

The messenger – Sallallahu alaihi wa Salam – said: Indeed Jibreel used to listen to my recitation of the Qur’aan once a year, and he has now (i.e. this year) done so twice, and i do not see except that my appointed time is close, so fear Allah and be patient for indeed I am a blessed ‘salaf’ (Predecessor) for you”

(Collected by Bukhaari (5928) and Muslim (2450))

She explained to her that this was what caused her to weep in the first instance and that the Messenger – Sallallahu Alaihi was Salam then informed her that she would be the leader of the female believers or the leader of women of this Ummah, and so she laughed.

Thus here we see the Messenger refering to himself as a ‘Salaf’ thus just as one refers to himself as ‘Sunni’ (follower of the Sunnah) the muslim likewise refers to himself as ‘Salafi’ (follower of the Salaf) and what a blessed ascription!

Examples of early scholars refering to other scholars as being ‘Salafi’

Indeed those familiar with the statements and writings of the people of knowledge past and present will know that they find no problem using this term in praise of scholars who proceeded them. The following are some examples of this:

1. Muhammad Ibn Khalaf Ibn Hayyaan (died 306H)

He mentions in his book ‘Akhbaarul Qudhaah’ P.342:

And they say that Isma’eel Ibn Hamaad Ibn Abi Haneefah was a true Salafi…”

the statement “And they say…” indicates that it was being used by scholars before his time.

2. Umar Ibn Abdil Azeez ibn Abi Jaraadah (died 660H)

He mentions in his book ‘Bughyatut Talab fee taareekhi Halab’ (10/4565) narrating from his shaikh Ibnil Hanbali concerning the biography of Abil Fath Ar Roohaawi:

He was a good shaikh, a man of religion and worship, one upon the way of Imaam Ash Shaafie and a ‘Salafi’!”

3.Imaamudh Dhahabee (Died 748H) mentions this in praise of a number of scholars in a number of his books, from that:

His book ‘Tadhkiratul Hufaadh’ 4/149:

Under the biography of Imaam Ibn Salaah (4/149):

He was a ‘Salafi’ having good sound belief..”

In his book Siyar A’laamin Nubalaa:

He mentions under the biography of Imaamul Fasawi (13/183):

“I do not know that Ya’qoob al Fasawi was anything but ‘Salafi’, he authored a small book concerning the Sunnah (meaning here belief)”

Under the biography of Uthmaan Ibn Khurrazaadh (13/380):

“that which a haafidh needs to be God fearing, Intelligent, a grammarian, a linguist, one who purifies his own soul, one who is modest, (and) a ‘Salafi’…!

Under the biography of Al Imaamud Daaraqtni (16/457)

He mentions concerning him: “..The man never entered into theoretical speech nor argumentation neither did he delve into that, rather he was a ‘Salafi’

He mentions concerning Ibnil Majd (23/118):

“He wrote much, he collected and authored, he excelled in (the knowledge of) Hadeeth, He was Thiqqah (trustworthy) strong, Intellegent, A ‘Salafi’, Pious..”

Al Haafidh Ibn Hajr (852H) mentions in Lisaanul Meezaan (5/348) concerning Imaam Muhammad ibnil Qaasim Ibn Sufyaan:

“..He has (authored) an Ahkaamil Qur’aan, (a book concerning the virtues of Imaam Maalik, and he also narrates from him and (A book concerning) the rites (of Hajj), (a book concerning weak positions in jurisprudence and other than that and he was ‘salafi’ in Madhhab..”

Imaamus Suyooti (911H) mentions under the biography of Imaam In Salaah in ‘Tabaqaatul Hufaadh P503:

“he was from the great scholars of the deen one of the noble ones in his era, in Tafseer, and hadeeth , Fiqh and he contributed to many sciences, he was very well versed in the fundamentals of the religion and its subsidury affairs, he is used as a (noble) example, he was ‘Salafi’, Abstained from the dunya, of sound aqeedah and possesed many excellent traits…”

The usage of the term ‘Salafiyah’ as a path, methodology, and body of principles in the writings of the earlier scholars

Imaam As Safdi (764H) mention in the biography of Imaam Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad An Naysaaboori the statement of Imaam Haakim (the author of the ‘Mustadrak’):

He was from the righteous, those firmly established upon the path of ‘Salafiyah”

(Al Waafi Wal Wafayaat (2/55 Ar Risaalah print)

Al Imaam Ibn Katheer (774H) mentions in ‘Al Bidaayah wan Nihaayah’ when speaking about Imaam Fathud deen Ibn Sayyidin Naas:

” He has ‘Al Aqeedatus Salafeeyah’ authored from ayaat (of the Qur’aan), citations, narrations and prophetic traditions”

Imaam Muhammad ibn Ismaa’eel As San’aani (852H) mentions in Subulus Salaam (4/145):

“..but this has been supported by narrations of ‘salafeyah’ from the companions”

The statements regarding this from Shaikhul Islaam and his student Ibnil Qayyim are too numerous to mention

As far as this coming from our contempory scholars then I will mention one example from Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saalih Al Uthaimeen who mentions in ‘Ad Diyaaul Laami’ Minal Khutabil Jawaami’ (P170 risaalah print)

“..and this position was chosen by, from the later day scholars, our Shaikh, The Salafi, The Athari, Abu Abdillah Abdul ‘Azeez Ibn Baaz”

Thus we see the ascription to salafiyah is not a new affair, rather that which is new is ignorance of it. Wallahul Must’aan

Was Sallallahu ‘Alaa Nabiyinaa Muhammad

Abu Hakeem

www.twitter.com/abuhakeembilal

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