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Imaam Al-Sam'ani (d. 562H): The Use of the Term 'Al-Salafi' as an Ascription
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Imaam al-Sam'aanee on the Ascription 'al-Salafi'

The author is Abu Sa'd Abd al-Kareem bin Muhammad ibn Mansor al-Tameemee al-Sam'aaneee and he was born in 506H and is from the offspring of Abu al-Mudhaffar al-Sam'aanee. The book 'al-Ansaab' (view cover page here) is a great and mighty book, and gathers together the geneological, tribal and locational ascriptions. Al-Sam'aanee has an entry for the ascription of 'al-Salafi' (3/273):

Al-Sam'aanee says:

Al-Salafi: With a fath on the [letters] seen and laam and at the end of it is [the letter] faa. This is an ascription to the Salaf and adoption of their madhhab (way) upon what you have heard. From them [is] Abu ... [text omitted] ... al-Salafi, [who was an] esteemed jurist, [having] pure astuteness...

It appears there are instances in the manuscripts where text is missing or unreadable which the verifier was not able to decipher, hence the name mentioned by al-Sam'aanee is not known.

Comment:

First: That taking the ascription of "al-Salafi" was a known practice and indicated a person's adherence to the way of the Salaf (as a means of distinction from others). Second: 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" was clearly understood in the 2nd and 3rd centuries hijrah and the centuries thereafter - al-Sam'aanee who authored this work, was present in the 6th century hijrah - two centuries before Ibn Taymiyyah and six centuries before Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhaab.


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