Is Salafiyyah Simply a Blessed Historical Time Period or Is It an Actual Jamaa'ah With a Distinct Creed and Methodology?
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Wednesday, April, 24 2013 and filed under Salafiyyah

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan's Reply to al-Buti

Regarding the title of al-Buti's book, the Shaykh comments (p. 12):

Perhaps the intent of the Dr. from (the title) is to refute those who hold fast to the madhhab of the Salaf in this time and oppose the deviant innovators.

The Shaykh said (p.13):

...Becausee Salafiyyah with its correct known meaning does not oppose the Book and the Sunnah, hence, it is not subject to debate and incrimination (with error)...

The Shaykh said (p. 14):

Just as he affirms at the end of this page that "following the Salaf" does not mean taking their statements and using the positions they took towards incidents as (basis of) deducing evidence, but rather, (following the Salaf) means to go back to the principles they would judge back to (in matters).

And the meaning of this speech (of al-Buti) is that the sayings of the Salaf and their actions are not a hujjah (evidence), rather the evidence lies in the principles they would traverse upon. But this speech is contradictory. Because its meaning is that we abolish their sayings and ony take the principles (they operated upon), and then (using those principles) we derive evidences from the texts other than the evidences they derived (from the very same texts). And this is invalidation of the speech of the Salaf and a call to a new ijtihaad (jurisprudence) and a new understanding which is claimed to be upon the "principles" of the Salaf.

And the Shaykh also says (pp.14-15)

On pages 13, 14 he (al-Buti) rejects that a particular faction amongst the Muslims, amongst all the sects - in all their variations - should distinguish itself and identify itself as "Salafiyyah" and he says, "There is no difference between the Salaf and the Khalaf, there are no barriers between them and no divisions."

And this speech contains a rejection of the saying of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), "There will never cease to be a group from my ummah upon the truth, they will not be harmed by those who abandon them or oppose them." [Muslim and others]. And (a rejection) of his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam's) saying, "This ummah will split into seventy-three sects, all of them are in the Fire except for one." It was said, "Which is that O Messenger of Allah?" and he replied, "They are those who are upon the likes of what I and my Companions are upon today." So these two hadeeths indicate the presence of splitting and division and distinction between the Salaf and their followers and those besides them. And the Salaf and whoever traversed their methodology never cease to distinguish the followers of the Sunnah from those besides them from the innovators and astray sects, and they refer to them as "Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah" and "the followers of the Righteous Salaf" and their works are full of that.

And he said (p. 16):

His (al-Buti's) saying, "The Salaf never called to taking the statements of those who preceded." This is a lie against them for the Salaf from the Sahaabah, the Taabi'een and the Imaams of the Muslims encourage the fulfilment of what Allaah and His Messenger commanded of guiding oneself by the Righteous Salaf and taking from their statements, and Allaah praised those who follow them, so He, the Exalted, said, "And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun and the Ansar and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens..." (9:100) and he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said bout the Saved Sect, "They are those who are upon what I and my Companions are upon today" and he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, "Upon you is to follow my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided caliphs after me..." and Adullaah bin Mas'ood said, "Whoever seeks to follow someone, then let him follow the one who has died for the living is not secure from tribulation. Those Companions of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) are the most righteous people of heart, the most deeply-rooted of them in knowledge, and the least of them in pretension..." and Imaam Malik bin Anas said, "The latter part of this ummah will not be rectified except what rectified its earlier part."

And the Shaykh said (pp.21-22):

And we say: This explanation from him (al-Buti) of Salafiyyah, that it is a time period only and not an actual group is a strange and false explanation. For is it to be said about a specific time period that it is "Salafiyyah?" No person has ever said this.

Rather, [the term] "Salafiyyah" is applied to a faithful group who lived in the first era of the eras of Islaam and who held fast to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) from the Muhajirun and the Ansar and those who followed them in goodness (with precision), and the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) described them with his saying, "The best of you is my generation, then those who follow them, then those who follow them..." to the end of the hadeeth. So this is a description of a jamaa'ah (group) and not a time period, and when he (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned the splitting of the Ummah thereafter, he said about all the sects, "All of them are in the Fire except for one" and he described this one as the one that follows the methodology of the Salaf and proceeds upon it, so he said, "They are those who are upon the likes of what I and my Companions are upon today." So this indicates that there is a prior Salafi jamaa'ah (group) and a later group that will follow it upon its methodology and that there are groups opposed to it who are threatened with the Fire and that is only because of the misguidance of these sects which are in opposition to the Saved Sect.

This is just a sample of Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan's refutation, you can refer to the full book for more. The point here is that those deviants and innovators who do not follow the way of the Salaf in creed and methodology employ lies, deceptions and stratagems in order to undermine and corrode ascription to the Salaf because this ascription is a threat to their innovated, false doctrines and methodologies which they call the people to.