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The Usage of the Phrase (سلفيا صحيحا) 'Salafiyyan Saheehan' in the 3rd Century Hijrah
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The Book 'Akhbar al-Qudaat' by Ibn Hayyaan (d. 306H)

Wakee' Muhammad bin Khalaf bin Hayyaan (d. 306H) was a well-known Qaadee (judge) in the 3rd century hijrah, and he was well versed in biographies, histories and reports and was considered from the people of the Qur'an, fiqh (jurisprudence) and nahw (grammar). Al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee has a biography of him in Taareekh Baghdaad, and mentions about him, "... the qaadee (judge), commonly known as Wakee', he was a scholar, knowledgeable of biographies, the days (of history) of people and their reports, and he has many authored works, from them Kitab al-Tareeq, and Kitaab al-Shareef and Kitaab 'Adad Aay al-Qur'aan..." The book 'Akhbar al-Qudaat' has been published based upon a photo-manuscript in al-Jaami'ah al-Misriyyah with no. 22972 which has been cited from the only preserved manuscript which is 406 pages long and is split into four sections (according to how the author separated his work). On the first page of the book are expressions some of which are unclear, the only clear expression is the following, "The one in need of Allaah the Exalted, al-Husayn bin Raashid, may Allaah be kind with Him came across it and chose from it in Baghdaad, the year 836." (From publisher's introduction).

The Term Salafiyyan Saheehan (A Sound Salafi)

This is page 342 of the book:

And there occurs in the middle of the page, under the title of "Ismaa'eel bin Hammaad bin Abi Haneefah" who is the grandson of Abu Haneefah, the following:

قالوا: وكان إسماعيل بن حماد بن أبي حنيفة سلفيا صحيحا

Which translates as:

They said: And Ismaa'eel bin Hammaad bin Abi Haneefah is a sound Salafi.

There are some important benefits to be derived from this citation from this work whose author lived in the 3rd century hijrah. Before proceeding to those benefits, it should be made cleare that Ismaa'eel bin Hammaad bin Abi Haneefah, despite what the Qaadee Wakee' quotes about him from others was not a Salafi, rather he was upon ilm al-kalaam. However, this error does not mean that the notion of "Salafiyyah" was not understood and identified in that era, and that is made clear with the following:

First: The saying of Wakee' "They said ..." which means he is citing from a group of people, and this indicates that the saying "Salafiyyan Saheehan" was a term known and used by the people of consideration, and is not just the saying of the author of this book, rather it is a citation from a jamaa'ah. Second: That labelling a person as "Salafi" was known in the 3rd century hijrah and indicated a person's adherence to the way of the Salaf. And though there is some speech regarding Ismaa'eel bin Hammaad, this does not affect the shaahid (point of evidence) from this citation, since the intent is that the concept of the "Salaf" and the label of "Salafi" was a matter known in that time. Third: A refutation of the opposers to the Salafi way, from the Ahl al-Kalam (Ash'aris, Maturidis) and the Sufis, Grave-worshippers, Orientalists, western academics and other than them who claim that Salafiyyah is an innovation or a new movement, whether that be in the 13th, 17th or 20th centuries (CE). This is because the notion of "Salafiyyah" (adhering to the way of the Salaf) was clearly understood in the 2nd and 3rd centuries hijrah [meaning clinging and holding fast to the deen of Islaam through the jamaa'ah of the Companions of Allaah's Messenger thereby eliminating the causes of deviation from the truth (and hence the causes of disunity)].


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