THE SALAFEE DA'WA WITH RESPECT TO OTHER JAMAA'AHS
I will say a true word after which no Muslim can argue
after the truth appears to him.
Firstly, the Salafee da'wah is an ascription to what?
'Salafee' is an ascription to the 'Salaf' (pious
predecessors), so we have to know who the Salaf are and
then what this ascription means and its importance as
regards its meaning and implication.
The Salaf are the people of the first three generations
whom the Messenger of Allaah (S) declared to be good in
the authentic and mutawaatir hadeeth recorded in al-
Bukhaaree and Muslim and others from a group of the
Companions that he said: "The best of people is my
generation, then those who come after them, then those
who come after them.", i.e the first three generations.
So the Salafees attach themselves to the Salaf, and if we
know the meaning of 'Salaf' and 'Salafee' then we should
bear two things in mind.
That this attachment is not to a single person or
persons, as is the case with other Jamaa'ahs present in
the Muslim world. This is not an attachment to a person
or even tens of people, but to that which will not err,
since it is impossible that the Salaf would unite upon
error, as opposed to the people of later times, since
with regard to the later generations, there is no text
speaking in their favor. Rather, in general, they are
spoken ill of in the end of the previous hadeeth: "Then
there will come a people who give witness and their
witness is not asked for...", and in other ahaadeeth
there occurs: "A group of my Ummah will not cease to be
upon the truth..."
So this is a praise for them but a censure of the rest
since the praise is for a particular small group.
Linguistically, 'Taa'ifah' is used to refer to a single
person or more.
Thus if we understand this meaning of the 'Salafees' and
that they attach themselves to the Salaf- and that if the
Muslim clings to that which the Salaf were upon - then
here we come to the second matter:
That after this is understood, it is not possible for any
Muslim but to be a Salafee, since we have understood that
in attaching oneself to the Salaf one has attached
himself to that which cannot err. This is taken from the
hadeeth: "My Ummah will not unite upon error," and it is
not correct to refer this to the people of later ages;
those present today.
In addition to that is the ahaadeeth referring to what
happened to the previous peoples - the Jews and the
Christians - and what will befall the Muslims, regarding
splitting into sects, saying: "The Jews split into
seventy-one sects and the Christians into seventy-two,
and my Ummah will split into seventy-three sects. All of
them are in the Fire except one." The Companions said,
"Who are they, O Messenger of (S)?" He (S) replied "They
are the Jamaa'ah." This shows who is meant in the
previous hadeeth "My Ummah will not unite upon error"
since they are the saved sect, along with those who have
their outlook and follow them.
Those Salafus-Saaliheen are those whom Allaah has warned
us against opposing them or against following a way other
than theirs, saying:
If anyone contend with the Messenger even after
guidance has been plainly conveyed to him, and
follows a path other than that becoming to men of
faith, We shall leave him in the path he has
chosen, and land him in Hell - what an evil
refuge! [Sooratun-Nisaa aayah 115]
I have many times pointed out to our brothers the wisdom
of our Lord's attaching in this aayah 'the following of a
way other than that of the believers' to 'the opposing of
the Messenger', what is the wisdom in that, since even if
the aayah did not contain the part about following a way
other than that of the believers, then the first part
about opposing the Messenger (S) would have been enough
to earn the person the evil end mentioned. However, it is
not possible that the second part has no relevance, and
we seek Allaah's refuge from such a thing. Its wisdom is
shown by Imaam Ash-Shaafi'ee's using it as a proof of
Ijmaa' - meaning: 'He who takes a way other than that of
the Companions'- who are unerring - and they and those
who follow them are the Jamaa'ah whom the Messenger of
Allaah (S) declared to be the saved sect.
They are those whom it is not permissible to oppose - for
one who wishes to be saved from Allaah's punishment on
the Day of Resurrection. Therefore the Muslims have to be
aware today, who are the Muslims mentioned in this aayah?
And then, what is the wisdom in Allaah's intending the
Salafus-Saalih and those who follow them? The answer has
preceded and is, in brief, that they are the Companions
who were present when the revelation came down, and who
took it direct from the mouth of the Messenger (S). They
saw the Messenger (S) living among them following the
revealed rulings of the Qur'aan, many of whom were
explained by his (S) sayings.
However, the later peoples do not have this excellence -
that they heard the Qur'aan and the Sunnah direct from
his mouth - nor did they see how he (S) followed the
texts of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah his practice, and
from the wisdom is his (S) saying: "Being informed is not
like seeing for yourself."
So those who did not see him are not like his Companions
who saw him and heard his words directly and saw how he
acted. Today there is a very nice saying which some
people are distinguished by - but it would be nicer if
put into practice. They say in their speeches and
lectures, "that it is upon us to make Islaam take
practical shape upon the earth." However, if we do not
understand Islaam, and understand it according to the
understanding of the Salafus-Saalih, then we cannot put
this saying into practice. But those who were able to do
that were the Companions of the Messenger (S) due to the
two reasons that we have mentioned:
a) That they heard his words directly and therefore
their retention of it is better than ours;
b) Then there are affairs which need explanation
through his (S) action, and they saw that.
I will give you a very clear example. There are some
aayaahs in the Qur'aan which a Muslim cannot understand
unless he knows the Sunnah, which explains the Noble
Qur'aan, as Allaah ta'aalaa says:
WA ANZALNAA ILAIKADH-DHIKRA LITUBAYYINA LINNAASI
MAA NUZILA ILAYHIM
Allaah ta'aala's saying: AS-SAARIQU WAS SAARIQATU
FAAQTA'OO AIDEEHIMAA. (al-Maidah 5:38). Let us produce
the Seebawaih (a great scholar of the 'Arabic language of
early times) of this age and let him explain this aayah.
Language wise he will not be able to define the 'saariq'
(thief) nor the 'yad' (hand). Who is the thief whose
'yad' is to be cut? What is the 'yad' that should be cut?
He cannot answer! In the language anyone who steals even
an egg is a thief, and the 'yad' goes right up to the
shoulder. The answer lies in the aayah mentioned
previously : LNAA ILAIKADH-DHIKRA. The answer is
found in the explanation of the Messenger (S) for the
Qur'aan. That explanation is found in the practice - for
this and for many other aayaahs. He who reads the
'science of Usool' finds that there is 'General and
Particular', 'Unrestricted and Restricted' and
'Abrogating and Abrogated' texts - comprehensive words
under which come tens if not hundreds of texts, general
texts restricted by the Sunnah - and I will not prolong
this further in order to answer the rest of the