The meaning of Al-Salafiyah

Q 2: What is “Al-Salafiyah”? What do you think of it?


A: Al-Salafiyah (Salafism) is a term derived from the word “Salaf”, which refers to the righteous predecessors of the first three generations of Muslims which include the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet), Tabi‘un (Followers, the generation after the Companions of the Prophet) and Tabi‘ Al-Tabi‘un (Successors, the generation after the Tabi‘un). The Messenger of Allah attested to their righteousness when he said: “The best of people are my generation (or my century), then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then there will come a people whose testimony will precede their oath and their oath will precede their testimony.” Narrated by Al-Bukhari, Muslim and Imam Ahmad in his Musnad. (Part No. 2; Page No. 243)  The word “Salafiyun” (Salafis) is the plural of “Salafi”, derived from “Salaf” that has the above-mentioned meaning. It refers to those following the way of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) of the early Muslim generation in their adherence to the Qur‘an and the Sunnah and calling people to believe and act upon them, and thereby became known as “Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah.” May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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