On a Question and Answer Session, a question was asked to our beloved Sheikh Naasiruddeen al-Albaani (rahimahullaah) regarding the ascription on Salafi. What follows is the encoded text from the original audio of the said event. I would like to thank our brothers for helping in the translation of the said Audio file which is in the Arabic Language. May Allaah bless them and keep them in the Salafi Manhaj hattal mawt.
Questioner: Some of our brothers from the Callers to Allaah (du’aat plural for da’ee) say that they reject to say that they are Salafi, because they are afraid that people will look at them as being hizbee (biased partisan group) Is this speech correct? Or is it upon him to show the people Salafiyyah?
Sheikh al-Albaani: I’m going to tell you now a debate that took place between me and one of the Islamic authors who agreed like us upon the Qur’aan and Sunnah. The debate took place as follows, I wish that the students of knowledge memorize this debate because its fruits (results) are very important.
I said to him, If someone questions you, what is your madhaab? What is your reply?
He said: Muslim.
I said to him that This answer is wrong.
He said: Why?
I said, If someone asks you what is your religion? What would you say?
He said: Muslim.
I said, (at first) I didn’t ask you what your religion was, I asked what you what your madhaab was. That is firstly, second, you know, that in the Islaamic world today there are a great many madhaahib (plural for madhaab). You are with us in the ruling that some of them have nothing to do with Islaam at all. Such as the druz and the isma’eelis and the ‘alawis etc and with this, all of them say that they are Muslims. And there are other groups, which we don’t say are like the first group, that they are out of Islaam, but no doubt that they are from the misguided groups which has deviated a lot form the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, such as the mu’tazila, and the khawaarij, and the murji’a and jabariyya etc. what do you think, is this available today or not?
He said: Yes.
I said, So if we asked a person from these people what is your madhhaab? He will say as you said, conservatively, a Muslim. So you are a Muslim, and he is a Muslim. Therefore, we want form you to clarify in your answer about your madhaab, after your Islaam, your religion.
So he said to me: Then my madhaab is the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.
I said to him, This answer is also not sufficient.
He said, Why?
I said: Because from those who we mentioned, who say that they are Muslims, none of them say that they are not upon the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Everybody says it. All the Shia say that. Do the Shia say that they are against the Qur’aan and the Sunnah? No! they say that they are upon the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, and that we are the ones who have deviated from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. So it is not enough for you to say that you are a Muslim upon the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. So there must be an addition. what do you think, is it okay for us today, who hold onto the Qur’aan and Sunnah that we understand the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, with a new understanding? Or do we have to hold unto them with the understanding of the salafus saaalih?
He said, We must do that.
I said, Do you believe that the followers of the other madhaahib, there are those who are outside of Islaam, but claim Islaam, and ones who are still in the fold of Islaam, but have been led astray from some of its rulings? Do you believe that they will say with you, and with me, that they are on the Qur’aan and the Sunnah upon the methodlogy of the Salaafus Saalih?
He said, No they will not take part with us.
So I said, it is not enough for you to say that you are upon the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. There must be another addition.
He said, Yes.
I said, So you will say, I am upon the Qur’aan and the Sunnah upon the methodology of the Salafus Saalih. So now we get to the bottom line.
So I said to him and he is a well-mannered man, and an author, I said, Is there any word in the Arabic language that will specify all these words together – Muslim, upon the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and the methodology of the Salafus Saalih. For example, I am a Salafi?
So he said, I am the same.
And it was placed in his hand. This is the answer. So if anyone doesn’t accept from you, your saying that you are a Salafi, say to him the speech we mentioned before. [end of audio translation]
Click here to listen to the audio recording: Sheikh al-Albaani Recording on Calling Oneself a Salafi