Who or what is “Salaf”?

Take a moment to detox from all the propaganda surrounding this term (CNN, Fox News, the list goes on!). It may not be popular with the disbelievers, but then again, the HAQQ (truth) never is…

They intend to put out the Light of Allah (i.e. the religion of Islam, this Qur’an) with their mouths. But Allah will complete His Light even though the disbelievers hate (it). (As-Saff 61:8)


The word Salaf is a shortened version of the word Salafus-Saalih, which means the Righteous Predecessors. It refers specifically to the first three generations of Islaam. The first, the Prophet sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam & his Sahaabah (companions). The second, the Taabi’een (the followers of the companions). The third, 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.

  • Imaam Aboo ’Amr ’Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn ’Amr al-Awzaa’ee [d.179H]:

    • “Stick to the aathaar of those who have preceded salaf), even if the people reject you. And beware of the opinions of men, even if they beautify it for you with speech. So the affair is young and you are upon a Straight Path with regards to it.”
  • Shaykh-ul-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah:
    • “Whoever deviates from the Madhhab and Tafseer of the Sahaaba and Tabi’een to that which opposes it then he has erred in that rather (he has) innovated.”

Courtesy of Calgary Islam (wicked site, masha’Allah).

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