“Honourable shaykh, may Allah reward you. We would like to know what salafiyyah as methodology entails. Should we ascribe to it? May we disapprove of those who do not ascribe to it or disapproves of naming oneself with the word salafi or similar to it?”
“Salafiyyah is following the methodology of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and his Sahaba, because they have preceded us. Therefore, following them is salafiyyah.
As for Taking salafiyyah as a specific methodology whereby a person secludes himself with it, and declares deviant anyone from amongst the Muslims whom he differs with even though they are upon the truth, and takes salafiyyah as a hizbi methodology; then this is without doubt contrary to as-Salafiyyah!
The Salaf (pious predecessors), all invited to the achieving of agreement and harmony based on the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (sallallhu ‘alayhi wasallam). And they declare no one as deviant who opposes them based on ta’weel (wrong interpretation) except in matters of ‘aqeedah (doctrine). Because they (the salaf) see those who oppose them in matters of ‘aqeedah as deviant. As for the practical matters, then they are more lenient regarding these.
However, some who follow salafiyyah in our time, declare anyone who opposes them to be deviant, even though the truth is with him. Some have taken salafiyyah as a hizbiyyah methodology, like the methodology of other groups that ascribe themselves to Islam. This is something blameworthy. Look at the madhhab of the pious predecessors and their methodology and tolerance when it comes to issues wherein al-Ijtihaad is permitted. They even differed regarding big matters. In matters of ‘aqeedah and practical matters. For example, some of them would deny that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) saw his Lord, while others confirm this. Likewise, some of them say that what is weighed on the Day of Judgement are the actions, while others say it is the agent (himself) who will be weighed, and others say that the scrolls (containing the deeds) will be weighed. You also see many differing regarding fiqh matters; in matters of marriage, inheritance, business transactions and such. And despite this, no one declared the other to be deviant.
So salafiyyah as a specific hizb (group) with privileges to declare others to be deviant; then they do not have anything to do with as-Salafiyyah. Salafiyyah is following the salafi methodology with regards to doctrine, speech, actions, harmony, agreement, mercy and affection. Like the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:
“The example of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.” [Agreed upon]
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih Al-‘Uthaymeen, may Allah have mercy upon him
Translated by Salafi-Dawah.com.
Source: Liqaa al-Baab al-Maftuh, nr. 57.