What or Who is Salaf?


The manhaj (methodology) of the Salaf is to adhere to the Qur’aan and the authentic Sunnah as understood by the Salaf as-Saalih. The word Salaf is a shortened version of the word ‘Salaf as-Saalih’, which means the ‘Righteous Predecessors’.

It refers specifically to the first three generations of Islaam in which the Prophet Muhammad (Sallalaahu Alaihi wa Sallam) described as being the best generations of Muslims. The first, the Prophet (Sallalaahu Alaihi wa Sallam) and his Sahaabah (companions). The second, the Taabi’een (the followers of the companions). Thethird, the Tabaa’at-Taabi’een (the followers of the followers of the companions).

Generally, this term refers to all those pious predecessors who followed the way of the Salaf and who have preceded us in time. This is the true manhaj of Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jamaa’ah.

“If Allah wants to favor someone, He grants him comprehension (understanding) of this religion.” 
[Sahih Bukhari vol.1 # 71, Tirmidhi and Musnad Ahmad]

The example of guidance and knowledge with which, Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil, absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. (And) another portion of it was hard and held the rainwater and Allah benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. (And) a portion of it was barren which, could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation (then that land gave no benefits). The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah’s religion and gets benefit (from the knowledge), which Allah has revealed through me (the Prophet) and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not take Allah’s guidance revealed through me (He is like that barren land.)” [Sahih Al-Bukhari v.1 no.79. Narrated by Abu Musa]

“It is only those who have knowledge amongst His slaves that fear Allah.” [Soorah Al-Fatir (35): 28]

“Seek knowledge, because seeking it for the sake of Allah is a worship. And knowing it makes you more God-fearing; and searching for it is jihad, teaching it to those who do not know is charity, reviewing and learning it more is like tasbeeh. Through knowledge Allah will be known and worshipped. With the knowledge Allah will elevate people and make them leaders and imams, who will in turn guide other people.”[Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya vol.10, p.39]

“Whoever treads on a path in search of Islamic knowledge, Allah will ease the way to Paradise for him. The angels will lower their wings, pleased with this seeker of knowledge, and everyone in the heavens and on earth will ask forgiveness for the knowledgeable person, even the fish in the deepest of waters will ask for his forgiveness” [Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi # 2835-sahih hadith]

“He whom death overtakes while he is engaged in acquiring knowledge with a view to reviving Islam with the help of it, there will be one degree between him and the Prophets in Paradise .” [Al-Tirmidhi Hadith no. 249. Narrated by Al-Hasan al-Basri]


The Ruling Concerning the Celebration of Prophet Salallahu Alyhiwasalam’s Brithday.

The Ruling Concerning Mawlid an-Nabawi (Download pdf file by clicking here)

Celebrating the Prophet’s Birthday

Allaamah Taajud-Deen al-Maaliki [He is Umar bin Ali bin Saalim bin Sadaqah al-Lakhmee (654-734AH, famously known as al-Iskandaree. Ibn Kathir described him as being as-sheikh al-imam. Refer to al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah Volume 14, page 168.] Said: I do not know of any credible evidence established from either the Quraan or Sunnah in regards to the Prophet’s birthday. Neither has such an action been related back to anyone of the scholars of the Ummah, whom are the role model in terms of the Deen, strictly following the narrations of the earlier predecessors, rather it is an innovation in the Deen, invented and introduced by the Fatimid [Arab Ismaili dynasty (296-566AH) originating from modern day Tunisia and Algeria.], and it is a personal desire with which the greedy use to obtain wealth and money as a result of practicing these innovated actions in the Deen.
And Allah knows better.

Masail Jahaliyyah by Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab

مسائل الجاهلية Masail Jahaliyyah by Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab (pdf file urdu text)

Is the Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam, present every place?

Q; Is the Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam, present and to to found in every place? And did he know the affairs of the Unseen?


It is known in the Religion by necessity, and by the evidences of the legislation (sharee’ah), that the Messenger of Allaah, may the salutations and peace of Allaah be upon him, is not present (or to be found) in every location. Indeed his body is in his grave only in al-Madeenah al-Munawara. As for his soul, then it is in the highest company in Paradise. And that which is evidence for that is what is established from him, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam, that he said:

“O Allaah, (place me) in the highest company”

(Al-Bukhaaree, Chapter of Battles, 4437. Muslim, Chapter of the Excellence of the Companions, 87-2444)

He said this three times and then passed away. Indeed, the Scholars of Islaam, from the Companions and those who followed them, have agreed by concensus (‘ijmaa), that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam, was buried in the house of A’isha (radhi Allaahu anhaa), which was next to the Sacred Mosque (in Madeenah). And his body has not ceased to remain there thoughout history. As for his soul and the souls of the rest of the Prophets and Messengers and the Believers, then all of them are in Paradise, in lofty stations and levels in accordance to that which Allaah has specified for them due to their knowledge, faith (eemaan) and patience upon undertaking hardships in the path of calling to the truth.As for the unseen, then noone knows it except for Allaah alone.

That which was known by the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) and other than him from the creation of the unseen matters, it was that which Allaah had informed him of, from that which is found in the Noble Qur’aan and the Pure Authentic Sunnah – from the explantions/clarifications of the affairs of Paradise, Hellfire and Judgement Day and other than that, from that which is indicated in the Qur’aan and authentic ahadeeth, such as news regarding the Great Liar/Anti-Christ (Ad-Dajjaal), the Sun rising from the West, the emergence of the Beast of the earth, the descent of ‘Eesaa ibn Maryam close to the Hour (Judgement Day), and that which resembles it, due to the statement of Allaah:

“Say: None in the Heavens and the Earth knows the Ghaib (Unseen) except Allaah, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected.” (An-Naml:65)

And His, The Most High, statement:

“Say,(O Muhammad): I do not say to you that with me are the treasures of Allaah, nor that I know the Unseen..” (Al-An’aam:50)

And the statement of Allaah in Sooratul-A’raaf:

“Say, (O Muhammad): I have no power of benefit nor (avert) harm for myeslf except as Allaah wills. If I had knowledge of the Unseen (Ghaib), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil should have touched me. I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings unto people who believe.” (Al-A’raaf: 188)

And the ayaat with this meaning are many. And it established authentically upon the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam), in narrations that show that he did not have knowledge of the Unseen. From that is what is established in his (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) response to (the Angel) Jibreel when he asked (the Messenger of Allaah):

“When is the Hour?” He (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said: “The one being questioned knows no better than the questioner.”

He (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) also said: “Regarding five (matters), none knows them except Allaah”, then he (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) recited:

“Verily, Allaah! With Him alone is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in which land he will die. Veril Allaah is All-Knower, All-Aware.” (Luqmaan:34)

[Al-Bukhaaree, Chapter of Eemaan (50). Muslim, Chapter of Eemaan (9), fromthe hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah).

And from that is also the incident of the accusations of lewdness from the slanderers of A’isha (radhi Allaahu ‘anhaa), when he (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) did not know her innocence (from the lies against A’isha) until the Aayah was revealed in Soorah an-Noor. And also when the necklace of A’isha (radhi Allaahu ‘anhaa) was lost in one of the battles and he (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) did not know its whereabouts, and he sent a group to go and search for it, but they were not able to find it – and when her camel stood up, they found it under it. And this is just a few from many Prophetic narrations that are to be found with this meaning.

As for that which some of the Soofees think from his (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) knowing the Unseen matters and him (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) being present in front of them on the occassion of the celebration of his (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) [so-called] birthday and other than that, then this is something false with no foundation or [textual] origin to it. And this is something by way of their ignorance of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and that which the Righteous Predecessors (As-Salafus-Saaleh) were upon. So we ask Allaah for ourselves and for all Muslims goodness from that which they are tried/afflicted with, just as we ask Him, the Most Perfect, that He guides us and them altogether, to His Straight Path – indeed He is the Hearer and One who responds (to those who supplicate to Him).


Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz
“Al-Mujaahid” (66) / Second year – 2 issues 33 and 34 – Muharram/Safar 1412AH

What is the ruling on ascribing to the Righteous Salaf and naming oneself with that (i.e. as a ‘Salafi’)?

Q; What is the ruling on ascribing to the Righteous Salaf and naming oneself with that (i.e. as a ‘Salafi’)?

A; Those intended by [the term] ‘al-Salaf al-Saalih’ are the first of this Ummah, at the forefront of whom are the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Allaah, the Exalted said, “And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhaajireen (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansaar (the citizens of Al-Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhaajireen) 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 under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.” (At-Tawbah 9:100) And He – the Sublime and Exalted – said, when He mentioned the Muhaajireen and Ansaar in Surah al-Hashr, “For the poor emigrants who were expelled from their homes and their properties, seeking bounty from Allah and [His] approval and supporting Allah and His Messenger, [there is also a share]. Those are the truthful.” (al-Hashr 59:8). Then He said regarding the Ansaar, “And [also for] those who were settled in al-Madinah and [adopted] the faith before them. They love those who emigrated to them and find not any want in their breasts of what the emigrants were given but give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul – it is those who will be the successful.” (al-Hashr 59:9). Then he said concerning those who came after them, “And [there is a share for] those who came after them, saying, ‘Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful’.” (al-Hashr 59:10).

So these (ones mentioned in these verses), they are the Righteous Salaf: The first of this Ummah from the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and from the Taabi’een (Successors) and whoever came after them from the excellent generations, and everyone who held fast to this manhaj and traversed upon it from those who came after them and traversed upon their way, just as Imaam Maalik bin Anas (rahimahullaah) said, “The latter part of this ummah will not be rectified except with what rectified its earlier part.”

And ascription to the Righteous Salaf is an honour when the ascription is actualized [made real through true following] and is not a mere claim. As for a person saying, “I am Salafi“, or “This group is a Salafi group“, if there is something necessitating this, then there is no harm, like when there are opposing sects and sectsantagonistic to the Righteous Salaf, and so a person makes apparent his freedom from these opposers and ascribes to the Salaf, there is no harm in that. Rather, this is absolutely necessary (مُحَتَّمٌ). Allaah, the Lofty and Exalted, said, “And who is better in speech than the one who calls to Allaah, works righteous deeds and says, ‘I am from the Muslims’.” (Fussilat 41:33). This ascription is to the Muslims and a proclamation for this ascription.[*] As for when there is nothing necessitating (this ascription) and when all of the society or land is upon the aqidah of the Salaf and upon the manhaj of the Salaf, then it is not desirable for a person to say, “I am Salafi”, because this comprises a tazkiyah (self-commendation) for oneself without anything necessitating this matter. So the matter, as is apparent, requires clarification (tafseel), and Allaah knows best.

Meaning of Pecking Like A Rooster, Looking Around Like A Fox, Squatting Like A Monkey in Salah.

As for the Hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him:

“My friend (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) forbade me that I should peck in my prayer like the pecking of a rooster, that I should look about like the looking about of a fox and that I should squat like the squatting of the monkey.”

(I say): Have you seen the pecking of the rooster? How he searches for the grain on the ground then he pecks in order to get the grain; the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) coined a similitude for the worshipper who prays and does not settle himself in his Rukoo’ nor his Sujood, that he pecks like the pecking of the rooster. So the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) forbade the Muslim from pecking in his prayer like the pecking of the rooster.

What is intended is that he does not have tranquility therein nor is he calm or at ease therein. He has only performed it with speed to the point that he has not achieved even the minimum of that which would make the pillars of the prayer correct.

He said: “…that I should look about like the looking about of a fox…”

Have you seen the fox, how he looks about with speed to the right and to the left and moves his eyes? The Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) has forbidden the Muslim, when he is in prayer, to look about like the looking about of the fox. Because that which has been made obligatory in that he be in a state of humility and that he should not move his eyes from the place of prostration. And if there does occur from him some looking about, then it should only be occasional and few (occurrences); and that would not invalidate the prayer. It would only invalidate the prayer if there is an abundance of looking about, like the looking about of the fox.

He said: “…and that I should squat like the squatting of the monkey.”

The squatting of the monkey is that one attaches his buttocks to the ground and erects his shins, attaching them to his thighs while having his feet on the ground. Similar to the description of the dog when he sits when he sits and raises his front paws. Due to this, there has come in some Ahadeeth, the prohibition of squatting like the squatting of a dog. It has a second description; that he places his shins and knees on the ground and brings his buttocks between them to the ground. There is a third description; that he places his shins upon the ground, erects his feet and sits upon his heels.

So from this, the squatting of the monkey has (three) descriptions:

The first description: A squatting which is like that of the dog and the monkey; that the person erects his shins and attaches his buttocks to the ground. This description is done when rising from the Sujood to the Qiyaam; you sit upon this (your buttocks) then you stand upon that (your feet), squatting like the squatting of the dog which has been prohibited.

The second description: The squatting of the dog; that his knees are on the ground and his feet are on the ground while he attaches his buttocks to the ground between the shins while sitting between the twp prostrations or in sitting for the Tashahhud. This squatting is like the squatting of the dog.

The third description: That his knees are upon the ground and his shins are spread. His feet are erected and he places his buttocks upon his heels. This type is permissible in the sitting between the two prostrations and it is not permissible in any other sitting in the prayer.

The proof for the permissibility of sitting on the feet is that which has come on the authority of Taawus saying: “We spoke to Ibn Abbaas concerning sitting on the feet (in the prayer), and he said: ‘It is the Sunnah!’ So we said to him: ‘Verily we see it as being reprehensible for the man.’ He said: ‘Rather, it is the Sunnah of your Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)’” [Muslim recorded it in the Book of Mosques and Places of Prayer, Chapter: The Permissibility of Sitting Upon the Feet; Hadeeth number 536.]

On the authority of Muhammad ibn ‘Ajlaan, that Aboo Az-Zubayr informed him that he saw Abdullah ibn Umar, when he would prostrate, that whenever he would raise his head from the first prostration, he would squat upon the tips of his toes. He said that it is from the Sunnah. Al-Bayhaqee recorded it in As-Sunan Al-Kubraa 2/119 and Al-Albaanee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, authenticated it (in Silsilah Al-Ahadeeth As-Saheehah 1/120) saying: “So in this Hadeeth and in these narrations is evidence for the legislation of the aforementioned squatting, that it is a Sunnah to be followed and it is not (simply) due to an excuse as some of the rigid ones assume.