Shaykh Abdul Aziz Al-Raajihi was asked:
Is Salafiyyah a partisan group like the Ikhwaan, Suroriyyah, and Tableegh?
“This understanding is mistaken. Rather Salafiyyah is a genuine Legislated name. What is intended by it is Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah, Ahlul Athar, Ahlul Hadith, the Saved Sect, the Victorious group, and the people of Atbaa’ (i.e those who follow the Prophet (ﷺ)). For verily Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy upon him) mentioned in his Fataawa, in refutation of the statement of al-‘Izz Ibn Abdus-Salam [by saying]:
“There is no haram upon the one who makes apparent the methodology of the Salaf, attributes to it and ascribes to it. Rather it is obligatory to accept that from him by consensus. For verily the methodology of the Salaf is nothing but the truth. If he is in accordance to it internally and externally, then he is in the position of a believer who is upon truth internally and externally. If he is in accordance to it externally only not internally, then he is in the position of a hypocrite. His apparent [form] is accepted and his inner secrets are left to Allah. For verily we have not been ordered to examine the hearts of people nor tear open their insides”
[Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (4/149)]
He (may Allah have mercy upon him) also said in al-Fatawa al-Hamawiyyah: “Know that there is nothing in the clear intellect nor authentic text what obligates opposes the methodology of Salafiyyah at all”
[Majmoo’ Fataawa (5/28)]
Salafiyyah is Islam.
Adh-Dhahabi (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in at-Tadhkirah when he mentioned the biography of Ibn Salaah (may Allah have mercy upon him): “He was Salafi, with good belief, far from the (false) interpretations of people of rhetoric, a believer in what was affirmed of the texts without plunging nor indulging in the details (regarding it)”
Shaikh al-‘Allamah Ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in his fatwa:
“Wahabiyyah is not a fifth mathhab as the ignorant and bias claim. Verily it is a call to the Salafi Aqeedah and reviving what is studied from the signs of Islam and Tawheed”
[Fataawa Ibn Baz (3/1306)]
And in his admonishment to some of the students of knowledge, he (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:
“I advise you to hold fast to the Islamic University in Madinah al-Munawarrah for verily it is a Salafi university in which its students are taught the Aqeedah of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah”
‘Allamah Ibn Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in his Explanation of Aqeedatul-Waasitiyyah:
“He is mistaken, the one who says: Ahlul Sunnah wal-Jama’ah are three: Salafiyoon, Ashari’oon, and Maturidiyyah. This is a mistake. We say: how can all of them be Ahlul Sunnah and they differ…[until he said]…So Ahlul Sunnah wal-Jama’ah are the Salaf in belief, [and] even those who come after until the Day of Judgement. If he is upon the way of the Prophet and his Companions, then he is Salafi”
[Sharh Aqeedatul-Wasitiyyah (1/53-54)]
al-Albani (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in the Magazine al-Asaalah when answering the question: Is Salafiyyah a partisan da’wah or a group or a mathhab or a new sect in Islam?
He said: “There are from those who claim knowledge who detest this ascription claiming that there is no foundation for it. They say: it is not allowed for a Muslim to say: I am Salafi. It is as if he says: it is not allowed for a Muslim to say: I follow the Pious Predecessors in what they are upon of Aqeedah, worship, and behavior. No doubt the likes of this detestation, if this is what he means, it necessitates freeing oneself from the authentic Islaam which the Pious Predecessors were upon and at the head of them is the Prophet (ﷺ)…There is no doubt that the clear, distinguishing, prevalent name is that we say: I am a Muslim upon the Book and the Sunnah according to the methodology of the Pious Predecessors. In short, it is to say: I am Salafi“.
[Al-Asaalah issue 9 (pg. 86-90)]
We say to the students of knowledge as Shaikh Bakr Abu Zaid (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:
“Be a [Serious] Salafi on the path”
[Hilyah Talib ul-Ilm (pg. 12)].
So it is obligatory upon the student of knowledge to renounce Hizbiyyah and to free himself from it. For verily:
two men from the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar differed and the Muhaajir called: ‘O, Muhajireen!’ and the Ansaari called: ‘O, Ansaar!’ So the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Is it the call of the Times of Ignorance while I am in your ranks? Leave it, for it is filthy”
[Bukhari and Muslim]
The Muhajireen and the Ansaar are two Islamic Names, but the Prophet (ﷺ) considered them to be from the call to the Times of Ignorance because both [names] became a cause for partisanship.
As for if you intending to ascribe to the Sunnah and the Pious Predecessors, then there is no harm in that. For Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jam’aah do not become different groups. The believers are one group and they are the Party of Allah. The disbelievers are the party of Shaytan”
[Sharh Wasiyatul-Kubra of Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah no. 13]
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan