The meaning of Salaf and Salafiyyun

Q 2: What is the explanation of the word “Salaf” and who are “Al-Salafiyun”? Could you give me an abstract of “Al-‘Aqidah Al-Wasitiyyah” book? What is the interpretation of the first five Ayahs of Surah Al-Kahf?


A: “Salaf” are Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream) who are the followers of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) such as the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with them) and those who follow in their footsteps until the Day of Resurrection. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked about Al-Firqah Al-Najiyah (the Saved Sect), he said: “Those who follow the very same that I and my Companions follow today.” As for the meaning of first five Ayahs of Surah Al-Kahf (translated as follows): All the praises and thanks be to Allâh, Who has sent down to His slave (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) the Book (the Qur’ân), and has not placed therein any crookedness. (He has made it) straight to give warning (to the disbelievers) of a severe punishment from Him, and to give glad tidings to the believers (in the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism), who do righteous deeds, that they shall have a fair reward (i.e. Paradise). They shall abide therein for ever. And to warn those (Jews, Christians, and pagans) who say, "Allâh has begotten a son (or offspring or children)." No knowledge have they of such a thing, nor had their fathers. Mighty is the word that comes out of their mouths [i.e. He begot sons and daughters]. They utter nothing but a lie. (Part No. 2; Page No. 241) Allah praises Himself for being the One God, the Self-Sufficient Master and Sustainer of all, Who has no peer or partner whether in the Attributes of His Exaltedness and Perfection, or in His Kingdom and Sovereignty, or in His endless blessings and favors, whether material or spiritual, which He showers upon His creatures. The best and the most exalted of His Favors is sending His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to the Worlds as a mercy and a bounty from Him, and revealing to him the Qur’an, a Book of straight guidance ...and has not placed therein any crookedness. There is no inconsistency, contradiction, or confusion in that Book; rather its Ayahs support one another and confirm one another. By which Allah guides those who follow His Guidance to the ways of peace and warn with it against His instant or deferred severe Punishment to be meted out to those who deviate from His Way, disobey His Commands and transgress the Boundaries He set. And gives glad tidings to the believers (in the Oneness of Allâh and His Messenger, Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) They are those who describe Allah with the Attributes of Perfection and exalt Him far above all, far above having a partner, a wife or a son; they do pious actions, and they do not cross the Boundaries of Allah’s Law - those are given the glad tidings of a great reward, rapid victory in this world and eternal bliss in the Hereafter: They shall abide therein for ever. They will not pass away from it and it will not pass away from them; an endless bounty. Allah then warns against His severe Punishment awaiting those who disparage Him out of transgression and enmity when they say, “Allah has taken a son (children or offspring).” They have no knowledge of such a thing, nor had their fathers; it is merely the old inherited ignorance in which the latter generations imitated the former ones out of utter stupidity and lack of insight. Mighty is the word that comes out of their mouths [i.e. He begot sons and daughters]. How severely atrocious and blasphemous is that word which comes out of their mouths without having any scientific foundations for it is deeply-rooted in their hearts; what they say is sheer falsehood and lies. (Part No. 2; Page No. 242) As for “Al-‘Aqidah Al-Wasitiyyah” book, it is a great book comprising the explanation of the ‘Aqidah (creed) of Ahl Al-Sunnah wal-Jama‘ah with proofs from the Qur’an and the Sunnah. We advise you to believe in its content and to call to that.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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