The Salafist Creed and Methodology
By Abu Khadeejah ʿAbdul-Wāhid Alam
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All praise is due to Allāh, Lord of all creation. May Allāh extol the mention of the Prophet in the highest company of Angels and may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him, his family, his Companions and all those who follow him exactly till the Day of Judgement.
Introduction and Clarification
Islam is the Religion of all the Prophets, from Adam to Muhammad. A Muslim is anyone who embraces this Religion and acts upon it. Muslims worship none except the one true God (Arabic: al-Ilāh), and He is Allāh. Muslims shun all forms of polytheism, and they follow the teachings of final Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) sent to mankind. This is the basis of Salafism.
The Sunnah is the Path of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and his Companions. Whoever follows this path exactly is referred to as a Sunni and he is from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamā’ah. Sometimes the term Sunni is used more generally to refer to anyone who is not from the Shi’ite sect. However, merely being a non-Shi’ite is not sufficient to save a person from falling into deviation.
As-Salaf As-Sālih (“The Pious Predecessors”) are the Companions of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and the three generations that came after them. They are also called Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamā’ah, the Salaf, As-hābul-Hadeeth and Ahlul-Hadeeth. Whoever accepts them and follows their path precisely in belief, methodology and religion is upon true guidance.
Salafism (or Salafiyyah) is the true Path in following Islam and the Sunnah. A Salafi is one who follows the path of the Salaf As-Sālih exactly without alteration.
The terms Salafi, Sunni, Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamā’ah, As-hābul-Hadeeth and Ahlul-Hadeeth are interchangeable. All these titles refer to the same body of people who all follow the same path. However, not everyone who uses these titles is a true adherent of what they represent. In fact, the majority of people who ascribe themselves to these labels have beliefs and methodologies in opposition to the path of the Salaf As-Sālih. To distinguish between a mere claimant and a true adherent is one the main purposes of this article.
To be a Salafi means adhering to the Creed, Methodology and the way of life of the Salaf As-Sālih (the Pious Predecessors). The earliest of the Salaf was the generation of our Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and his Companions. Then after them came the virtuous three generations of believers who held fast to the Sunnah (Path) of the Prophet and his Companions. The person who understands this path correctly, follows it exactly, without introducing anything into it and nor deviating from it is a Salafi. To be a Salafi is not merely to imagine that one is upon the true path of the Salaf, but Salafism is to study the religion of the Companions and follow it — it was they who understood best the meanings and intent of the speech and actions of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). So, if someone asks: “What is the Call (Da’wah) and Methodology (Manhaj) of the Salafis in learning, practising and teaching the Religion?” We can answer by saying: Here is our Da’wah explained in the following 89 points:
Our Daʿwah (The Salafi Call)
- We call, first and foremost, to the worship of Allah alone, without associating partners with Him. This was the starting point of the call of the Messengers (عليهم السلام), just as Allah has stated: “We sent a messenger to every nation proclaiming: Worship Allah alone and abandon the worship of the false deities.” So, this call to the worship of Allah alone is coupled with the negation of the worship of anything besides Him.
- We acknowledge that the Religion calls to many essentials, therefore, we call to the most essential affair, followed by that which is next in importance in accordance to the Quranic and Prophetic texts, just as Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) commanded Mu’ādh b. Jabal (رضي الله عنه): “Let the first thing you call them to be that they worship Allāh alone. If they affirm that, then inform them that Allāh has obligated upon them five prayers during the night and day. If they affirm that, then inform them that Allāh has obligated upon them the Zakāt…”
- We hold that the Sunnah is Revelation just as the Qur’ān is Revelation, just as Allāh, the Most High, said: “He (the Prophet) does not speak from his desires, rather it is nothing except Revelation that is sent to him.”
- We believe that the Sunnah is whatever was conveyed to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) other than the Qur’ān due to the saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم): “Indeed I have been given the Qur’ān and that which is like it.”
- We believe that the Sunnah is whatever the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) uttered, enacted, and whatever was done in his presence which he did not disapprove of. The Sunnah additionally includes his outward description and inward character.
- We hold that the best of mankind after the Prophets and Messengers (عليهم السلام) are the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), due to his saying: “The best of mankind is my generation, then those who come after them, then those who come after them.”
- We hold that the most excellent of these Companions is Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq, then `Umar ibn al-Khattāb, then `Uthmān ibn `Affān, then `Alī Ibn Abī Tālib (رضي الله عنهم), then the rest of the ten who were promised Paradise. Then those that fought at Badr, then those who took the oath of allegiance of Ar-Ridwān at Al-Hudaibiyah under the tree, then the rest of the Muhājiroon, then the Ansār, then those who embraced Islam before the conquest of Makkah, then those who embraced after the conquest.
- We free ourselves from the [Rāfidah] Shī’ah and warn against them due to their numerous heresies, and due to their hatred and cursing of the wives and Companions of Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). The Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Do not curse my Companions, for by the One in Whose Hand is my soul, if one of you were to spend the like of the Mount of Uhud in gold, it would not equate to even a handful of one of them, and not even a half.”And he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The curse of Allāh is upon the one who curses my Companions.”
- We believe that rectification of the Ummah lies in holding fast to the Book of Allāh and the authentic Sunnah of Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) upon the understanding of the Companions. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “I have left amongst you that which if you cling to it, you will never go astray: The Book of Allāh and my Sunnah.” He also said: “Hold on to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs after me.”
- We believe that the attainment of unity of the Muslims and the avoidance of splitting is a fundamental commanded by Allāh and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), due to the saying of the Most High: “And hold fast all of you together to the Rope of Allāh, and be not divided.”and His saying: “And do not be like those who divided and differed after there had come to them the clear proofs.”
- We believe that the true legislated unity can only be achieved when all disputation and differing between Muslims is referred back to the Book and the Sunnah upon the understanding of the Companions. This is due to the saying of the Most High: “And if you differ in any affair between yourselves, then refer it back to Allāh and His Messenger if you truly believe in Allāh and the Last Day.”And the saying of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم): “Whoever from you lives for long will see much differing and controversy, so upon you is to cling to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs after me. Hold on to that with your molar teeth.”
- We believe that inviting to Allāh begins with the rectification of the Belief (`Aqeedah), for this was the starting point of the call of all the Messengers (عليهم السلام), and the Messenger Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) commanded Mu’ādh b. Jabal (رضي الله عنه) to begin with the belief when calling the people of Yemen to Islam.
- We reject and forbid all innovations that are introduced into the Religion, whether it be in matters of belief, speech or action due to the saying of Allāh, the Most High: “This day I have perfected for you your Religion and completed my favour upon you, and I am pleased with Islam as your Religion.”And the saying of the Most High: “Or have they set up partners alongside Allāh who legislate for them in the Religion that for which Allāh has given no authority.”
- All innovations introduced into the Religion are evil, misguidance, and lead to the Fire – and there is no allowance in Islam for what is referred to as a good innovation (bid`ah hasanah) due to the saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم): “Indeed the worst of all affairs [in Islam] are the newly introduced matters, for every newly invented matter is bid`ah, and every bid`ah is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Fire.” And he said: “Whoever introduces into this affair of ours that which is not from it, then it is rejected.”
- We believe the Qur’ān is the Speech of Allāh, not created. And whoever states that the Qur’ān is created is a disbeliever. Imām Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said: “It is not created. And one should not show weakness in declaring that it is not created. Rather, the speech of Allāh is not distinct and separate from Him, and not a single thing from it is created.” We believe that Allāh, the Most High, speaks with words and a voice that is heard, as has been reported in the authentic ahādeeth.
- We affirm the Names and Attributes of Allāh mentioned in the Qur’ān and authentic Sunnah. We believe that they are taken upon their apparent meanings and not metaphorically. We do not state how (kayf) the Attributes are, at all. We hold that to question how the Attributes of Allāh are is an innovation that leads to making resemblances with Allāh. And the early Salaf sternly forbade that.
- We free our Lord, the Most High, from any likeness (tamtheel) to the Creation whilst affirming that His Attributes are real and true, just as He has stated: “There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the all-Hearing, the all-Seeing.”So He, the Most High, negated resemblance whilst affirming His Attributes of Hearing and Seeing.
- We affirm for Allāh what He has affirmed for Himself of Names and Attributes without negating (ta’teel) them or distorting (tahreef) them. He, the Most High, has said regarding His Names: “And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave [the company of] those who practice deviation concerning His names. They will be recompensed for what they have been doing.”
- We believe in the punishment of the grave and its reward as has been reported in the authentic narrations. We believe in the questioning of the servant in the grave by the two Angels. They will question the servant regarding his Lord, his Religion and his Prophet as is reported in the authentic narrations.
- We believe that there is a Bridge (As-Sirāt) erected over Hell, thinner than a strand of hair and sharper than a sword as has been reported in the authentic narrations and that every person will cross over it in accordance to his deeds. The righteous will cross it swiftly like lightning or a charging horse, whilst the sinners will crawl and others will be snatched and cast into the Hellfire due to their evil deeds. Allāh, the Most High, said: “There is none of you, except that he will come to it. This is upon your Lord an inevitability decreed.” [19:71-71]
- We believe that Allāh, the Mighty and Majestic, is above the Seven Heavens, over His Throne, separate and distinct from His Creation and He knows everything and Controls the affairs. There are over one thousand proofs from the Qur’ān and Sunnah proving the Highness (Al-`Uluw) of Allāh, as well as the Ijmā` (consensus) of the Sahābah and the Imāms of Ahlus-Sunnah from the early Salaf. Whoever states that Allāh, the Most High, is in-dwelling in His creation has disbelieved. The Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “When you ask Allāh, ask for Al-Firdaws which is the middle of Paradise and highest part of Paradise. Above it is the Throne of the Most Merciful, and from it originate the rivers of Paradise.”Allāh, the Most High, said: “The Most Merciful has ascended over the Throne.”And we do not delve into how.
- We believe in the intercession (Ash-Shafā`ah) of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) on Day of Resurrection – and for other than him, for those whom Allāh has permitted from amongst the Angels, the Prophets and the believers. This is due to the saying of Allāh, the Most High: “None shall have the power of intercession except one who has received permission from the Most Merciful.”And due to the saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم): “I am the master of the children of Adam on the Day of Resurrection. I am the first for whom the grave will be split open, the first to intercede and the first whose intercession will be accepted.”
- We believe that seeking intercession from the Prophets, the Awliyā (the pious who are in their graves) by supplicating to them is Major Shirk (polytheism) because that is considered as worship of them. The Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Supplication (du`ā) is worship.”And Allāh, the Most High, stated: “And invoke not besides Allāh that which will neither benefit you nor harm you, but if you do, then you will be from the wrongdoers. And if Allāh afflicts you with harm, none can remove it except He.”[10:106-107] And His statement concerning those who supplicate to the deceased: “Who is more astray than the one who calls upon other than Allāh; one who will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection.” [27:62] And His saying: “Your Lord has said: Call upon Me and supplicate to Me and I will answer you. And those who disdain My worship, then they will be entered into the Hellfire in disgrace.” [40:60].
- We believe in the Qadāand Qadrof Allāh. That is, that the affairs are Pre-Decreed. This entails belief in four matters: 1. Allāh’s knowledge over everything: that which has occurred and that which is to occur, and nothing escapes His knowledge. 2. Allāh commanded the Pen to write everything that was to take place till the Day of Judgement in Al-Lawh Al-Mahfoodh (The Preserved Tablet) fifty thousand years before the creation of the Heavens and the Earth. 3. Allāh Wills whatever takes place and nothing takes place except by His Will. 4. Allāh created everything, good and evil, from His perfect Wisdom.
- We hold that seeking blessings (tabarruk) from the graves, or from particular trees, or stones, or rocks and so on, is shirk (polytheism). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to those who requested that they be allotted a tree for seeking blessings: “By Him in whose Hand is my soul, you have said just as the Children of Israel said to Mūsā (عليه السلام): ‘Make for us a god just like their gods. So Mūsā said: Indeed you are a people who are ignorant.’ (Al-A’rāf: 138) You shall certainly follow the ways of those who came before you.”
- We hold that People of Innovation should be boycotted and shunned. Fudayl Ibn Iyād (died 187H) said: “I met the best of people, all of them were people of Sunnah and they used to forbid from keeping company with the People of Bidʿah.”
- We hold that the one who defends, accommodates or promotes the People of Innovation is to be counted amongst them due to the saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم): “A person is upon the Religion of his companion, so let each of you look to whom he takes as his companion.” And Fudayl Ibn Iyād (رحمه الله) said: “Whoever sits with a person of Innovation, then beware of him.”
- We hold that it is not permitted to sit and acquire knowledge from Ahlul-Bid`ah. And upon this, there is the ijmā`(consensus) of Ahlus-Sunnah. Qādi Abu Ya`lā (d. 333H) said: “There is a consensus amongst the Sahābah and the Tābi`een regarding dissociating from and boycotting the Innovators.”
- We hold it to be forbidden to look into the books, writings, websites and teachings of Ahlul-Bid`ah or listen to their lectures and classes. To delve into their teachings and writings opposes the Manhaj(Methodology) of the Salaf. Rather, it is for the Scholars of verification and those grounded in knowledge to uncover their mistakes and to refute them.
- We hold that the general Muslims who have been deceived by the callers to innovation should be invited to the Sunnah in a goodly manner in accordance to the saying of Allāh, the Most High: “Invite to the Path of your Lord with wisdom, good admonition and argue with them in a manner that is best.”
- We hold that inviting to Allāh’s Religion (proselytizing) is governed by Revelation (tawqīfiyyah) and its methodology is not open to opinions and personal deduction. So, we repudiate those who utilise nasheeds (songs) and music as a means to attract people to Islam. The same applies to those who make fictitious films and movies or use magic tricks and comedy as means of da’wah (proselytizing). They are considered to be misguided and in opposition to the Sunnah and the way of the Companions.
- We believe that the Believers will truly see their Lord in the Hereafter, just as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Indeed you shall see your Lord just as you see the full moon on a cloudless night.” And it is not permitted to falsely interpret this or to set up metaphors. Rather, it is taken upon the apparent meaning in accordance to the consensus of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamā`ah. Imām al-Ājurree (d. 360H) said: “And whoever denies all of what we have mentioned and claims that Allāh will not be seen in the Hereafter has disbelieved.”
- We hold that a person is not considered to be from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamāʿah until he gives precedence to the Revelation over and above his intellect and that he abandons speculative theology and philosophical rhetoric (kalām) and submits to the Prophetic narrations and to the understanding of the early Salaf.
- We hold that the ruler is to be obeyed, whether righteous or sinful. And rebellion against the tyrannical Muslim ruler is forbidden, even if he behaves like a Shaitān, does not practice the Sunnah, beats the backs of the people, imprisons them and takes their wealth. This is in accordance with the statement of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم): “You will have rulers over you. They will not follow my Sunnah, nor follow my guidance. There will be amongst them men who will have the hearts of devils in the bodies of men.”Hudhaifah (رضي الله عنه) asked: “O Messenger of Allāh! What should I do if I reach that time?”He replied: “Hear and obey the ruler, even if he beats you in your back and takes your wealth. Hear and obey him!”
- We hold that one is obligated to be patient with the tyrannical ruler, just as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “If one of you sees something from your ruler that displeases you, then be patient.”
- We believe that it is forbidden to publicly rebuke the Rulers as that is the way of the misguided Khawārij, just as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Whoever desires to advise the Ruler, then he should not do so publicly, rather he should take him by his hand and take him into seclusion [and then advise]. So, either he accepts the advice from him, and if not, then he has fulfilled the duty that was upon him.”
- We hold that those who rebel against the tyrannical rulers are from the Khawārij sect, and they are not counted amongst Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamāʿah. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said regarding them: “There will appear a people, and they will recite the Qur’ān but it will not go beyond their collar bones. They will exit the Religion, just as an arrow goes through its target.” The Sahābah agreed this was referring to the Khawārij.
- We do not declare a Muslim to be an unbeliever or an apostate due to a major sin so long as it does not reach the level of shirk or kufr. Allāh, the Most High, stated: “Indeed Allāh does not forgive that partners be associated with Him in worship, but He forgives lesser than that to whomever He pleases.” Those who declare Muslims to be unbelievers based upon major sins are the Khawārij.
- We hold that a fornicator, a thief, a murderer, a drunkard, a gambler, etc. is under the threat of Allāh’s punishment and under His Will. He is not considered to be an unbeliever, even if he gathered between all these sins, unless he considers these sins to be permissible (halāl). This is just as Ibn Taymiyyah (died 728H), Ibn Abdul-Wahhāb (died 1207H) and Ibn Bāz (may Allah’s mercy be upon them all) have stated as the consensus of Ahlus-Sunnah. The Khawārij sect opposes this and declares the major sinners from Muslims to be unbelievers, focusing particularly upon the Rulers.
- We hold that Kufrcan be minor (asghar), which does not exit a person from Islam – and it can be major (akbar), which exits a person from Islam. Likewise, Shirk can be minor (asghar), which does not exit a person from Islam – and it can be major (akbar), which exits a person from Islam.
- We hold to the statement of Ibn Taymiyyah (Al-Fatāwa7/312): “It was from the saying of the Salaf that ‘a person can possess both imānand hypocrisy (nifāq).’ Likewise, their saying that ‘a person can possess both imān and kufr.’ And that is not the kufr that exits from the Religion, just as Ibn `Abbās (رضي الله عنه) and his companions have said regarding the saying of Allāh, the Most High, “And whoever does not judge by what Allāh has revealed, then they are the unbelievers.” So, they would say: “They disbelieved with a kufr that did not exit them from the Religion.” And they were followed in that understanding by Imām Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and other than him from the imāms of the Sunnah.”
- We do not declare the Muslim rulers to be unbelievers if they judge by other than what Allāh has revealed unless they proclaim that to be halāl, just as Imām `Abdul-`Azeez Ibn Bāz (رحمه الله) stated: “If he does so, making that permissible (halāl), then he has disbelieved [exiting Islam]. But when he does so to please his people, or other than that, then it is kufr lesser than [major] kufr, that does not exit from Islam.”And this is in agreement with the saying of Ibn `Abbās (رضي الله عنهما) mentioned in the point before.
- We believe that this Ummah of Muhammad, the Muslims, will divide into numerous sects, just as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “This Ummah will divide into seventy-three sects. All of them will end up in the Hellfire except for one.”They asked: “Which is that one sect?” He said: “That which I and my Companions are upon today.” The sect which holds fast to the way of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and his Companions (رضي الله عنهم) will be saved, and that is only one sect and they are called: Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamā`ah; Ahlul-Hadeeth; the Salafis; al-Jamā`ah; at-Tā’ifat al-Mansoorah (The Aided Group); al-Firqat an-Nājiyah (The Saved Sect); as-Suwād al-A`dham (The Main Body); and they are the Ghurabā (The Strangers) – all of these titles refer to one group of people.
- We hold that not every claimant to the Sunnah is truly upon the Sunnah – and a person is judged upon that which is apparent from him, despite his claim. There are many who claim to be upon the Sunnah yet they flagrantly oppose the fundamentals of the Sunnah.
- We hold that the sinners of Ahlus-Sunnah are better than the worshippers of Ahlul-Bid`ah because innovations are worse than sin. Imām Ahmad ibn Hanbal (died 241H) said:“The graves of the major sinners among ahlus-Sunnah are gardens [of delight]. And the graves of the abstemious (zuhād) among ahlul-Bidah are pits [of fire]. The sinners (fussāq) of ahlus-Sunnah are the friends of Allāh and the abstemious (zuhād) of ahlul-Bid’ah are the enemies of Allāh.” So their outward displays of piety and abstinence do not benefit them.
- We hold that Imān is speech and action, it increases and decreases, meaning, Imān is: Speech of the heart such as knowledge of the `Aqeedah and other aspects of the religion. Actions of the heart such as love, hope, fear and so on. Speech of the tongue such as the utterance of the testimony (shahādatain), recital of the Qur’ān, dhikr and so on. Actions of the limbs such as the Prayer, Fasting, Zakāh, Hajj, Jihād, obedience to parents and so on. Imān increases with obedience to Allāh, and Imān decreases with disobedience to Allāh.
- In the understanding of Imān, both the Murji’ah and the Khawārij went astray. The Murji’ah hold that Imān does not include actions and it does not increase or decrease. The Khawārij hold that major sins and the abandonment of the obligations do not decrease one’s imān, rather, sins nullify imān altogether. Both sects are astray.
- We hold that demonstrations, street protests and ‘sit-ins’ anywhere in the world are against the guidelines of the Islamic Sharī`ah. They are not from the Sunnah and are not for the Islamic means for the rectification of the Ummah. Rather, they lead to chaos and are considered as Khurooj (rebellion) against those in authority. There is no Sharīʿah evidence that sanctions demonstrations, sit-ins and protests, even if they are peaceful.
- We hold that there is no obedience to any of the creation in disobedience to Allāh, as has been reported from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).
- We hold that if the Ruler commands the subjects to disobey Allāh, then the ruler is not to be obeyed in that, just as the father who commands his children to disobey Allāh, then, he must not be obeyed in that. However, the duty of overall obedience and allegiance to the Ruler must not be removed; he is obeyed in that which is good and disobeyed when he commands with sin. But he is not rebelled against due to his sin.
- We hold that the Muslim ruler is not to be rebelled against if he commits an act of Kufr unless the scholars of Salafiyyah declare him to be an unbeliever using the principles of the Sharīʿah, and they see that the people have the ability to remove and replace him with one who is better than him — and they know that his removal will not involve bloodshed and killing that leads to greater evils than leaving him power. So if the outcome of rising up against an unbelieving ruler will lead to greater harm, then rebellion is prohibited. This is well-known from the mighty principles of the Sharīʿah.
- We hold that the blood of Muslim is forbidden to spill. His blood, wealth, property and honour are inviolable. The one who violates these rights is sinful and threatened with the punishment of Allāh.
- We hold that a non-Muslim is not to be killed just as a Muslim is not to be killed unjustly. The non-Muslims in the Muslim lands are protected by covenants and agreements by the Muslim governments. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم): “Whoever kills a non-Muslim under a covenant will not smell the scent of Paradise.”
- We hold that modern-day insurgencies are an innovation of the wicked Khawārij and Shīʿah who wish to create anarchy in the Muslim lands out of which they hope to gain authority.
- We hold that acts of terrorism are utterly contrary to the teachings of Islam, whether they are perpetrated in Europe, the USA, Canada, Africa, the Middle East or the Far East. There is no evidence in the Qur’ān and Sunnah that allows such mindless acts of violence.
- We hold that offensive Jihād is only to be performed behind a Muslim ruler who holds the reins of power and governance over his country and commands his army. It is not considered Jihād to set up terrorist cells and detonate explosives amongst the people, whether that be in Muslim or non-Muslim societies. Such people are not considered to be Mujāhideen in Islam, rather, they are major sinners upon the wicked beliefs and innovations of the Khawārij and Shīʿah.
- We believe that it is a form of Jihād for a Muslim to defend his life, land and property from enemy attack.
- We believe that Fatāwa concerning the affairs of affliction, calamity, defensive Jihād and war that affect societies must be referred back to the senior scholars of Salafiyyah, and not to the smaller students of knowledge, even though in both there is a virtue.
- We believe that suicide attacks carried out by the terrorists have no basis in the Sharī’ah. There is no evidence that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) sanctioned such acts of killing oneself with one’s own hands.
- We hold it to be impermissible to target and attack civilians (non-combatants), especially women and children during any conflict.
- We hold that it is correct that the Khawārij insurgents be fought and routed if they wreak havoc in the land, and the authorities should be aided in combatting them. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said regarding them, “I would slaughter them with the slaughtering of the people of ʿAad.” Ibn Taymiyyah cited the consensus of Ahlus-Sunnah proving the permissibility of fighting the insurgents (Khawārij).
- We hold that the People of the Book, the Jews and Christians, have a special station in Islam due to what has been revealed to them of scripture before the sending of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Allāh has permitted the Muslims to eat their slaughtered meat and to marry their chaste women. However, alongside this, they are still considered to be unbelievers in Allāh, His Book and His Messenger. So, they should be invited to Islam, and to worship the One True Lord, the Lord of all the Prophets, and He is Allāh, the sole God (al-Ilāh) worthy of worship, to the exclusion of all else.
- We hold that it is forbidden to transgress against the rights of the non-Muslims, or to be unjust towards them, for indeed Allāh has forbidden injustice in every situation.
- We believe that the sinners amongst the Muslims who worshipped Allāh alone will be removed from the Hellfire after they are punished in it. No Muwahhid (Monotheist) Muslim will remain in Hell forever, even if he committed major sins.
- We believe that mankind will stand before their Lord on the Day of Resurrection. They will be barefoot, naked, uncircumcised and the Sun will be drawn close to the distance of a mile. Then the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) will intercede on behalf of the creation with his Lord for the Judgement to begin. This intercession is specific for the Messenger Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم).
- We believe in the Balance of Scales (Mizān) that will be erected on the Day of Resurrection, wherein the good and evil deeds will be weighed, just as Allāh stated: “So those whose scales are heavy, it is they who will be successful.” And He, the Most High, said: “And those whose scales are light, those are the ones who have lost their souls…”
- We believe in the Lake (Hawd) of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) on the Day of Resurrection. Its water is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey. Its vessels are more numerous than the stars in the sky. Whoever drinks from it will never be thirsty again. This is for the Ummah of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), and every Prophet will have his Hawd. This Ummah will race towards the Hawd of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Ahlul-Bidʿah will be pushed back due to what they innovated into the Religion such as the Khawārij, the Shīʿah, the Jahmiyyah, the Mu`tazilah, the Sufis and the Ashāʿirah.
- We believe that Hellfire and Paradise have already been created and are in existence now, and they will never cease to be in existence. This belief is opposed by the Muʿtazilah sect.
- We believe in the appearance of the Mahdi from the progeny of the Messenger Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم). He will rule over the Muslims before the appearance of the Dajjāl (the Anti-Christ) and the descent of ʿĪsā ibn Maryam (Jesus, عليه السلام).
- We believe in the appearance of the Dajjāl (the Anti-Christ) after the Muslims conquer Constantinople. He is a human, the one-eyed liar, who will call the people to worship him. He will be given powers [from Allāh] with which he will deceive the people and call them to obey him. He is a great tribulation upon mankind and will wreak havoc for forty days: the first day will last a year, the second will last a month, the third will last a week, and the remaining thirty-seven days will be normal. He is from the signs of the Hour. All the Prophets of Allah warned against him and the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) commanded the believers to seek refuge from him and not to approach him when he appears.
- We believe in the descent of `Īsā Ibn Maryam (عليه السلام). He will descend, with his hands placed on the wings of two Angels, to the white minaret in the east of Damascus whilst the Mahdi is leading the Muslims in prayer. He will kill the Dajjāl and rule the earth with justice and peace. When he dies, the Muslims will pray the funeral (Janāzah) prayer for him. It is during the life of ʿĪsā (عليه السلام) that Gog and Magog will emerge and wreak havoc. `Īsā (عليه السلام) and believers will supplicate to Allāh and He will destroy them and cleanse the Earth.
- We believe that the doors of repentance are open for a person so long as the soul is not removed from his body and the Sun has not risen from the West (as that is from the Major Signs of the Last Hour).
- We believe that Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is the final Messenger, after whom there is no new Messenger and no new revelation. ʿĪsā Ibn Maryam (عليه السلام) will judge by the Qur’ān and Sunnah upon his return.
- We reject the false interpretations and distortions of the Attributes of Allāh by the Ashʿaris and the Mātureedis who falsely claim that they are from ahlus-Sunnah. Rather, they are ahlul-Bid`ah, from the misguided sects. They are from the subsects of the Jahmiyyah who negate the Attributes of Allāh through rejection and false interpretation.
- We reject the hizbiyyah (partisanship) of the modern-day sects who have created further segregation within the ranks of the Muslims, each party seeks allegiance to itself in contradiction to the Book and Sunnah. So, we warn against these groupings such as Jamāʿat At-Tableegh, Al-Ikhwān Al-Muslimoon, Hizbut-Tahreer and the various other sects of recent times. These sects are no different in their deviations from the sects of old. They are ahlul-Bid`ah and it is forbidden to join them or to aid them.
- We reject the fanaticism which is labelled deceptively as taqleed by the blind-followers of the four well-known Madh-habs. The noble Imāms, Abu Haneefah, Mālik, Ash-Shāfiʿi, and Ahmad ibn Hanbal (رحمهم الله) did not intend or command that the Sunnah be abandoned in favour of their opinions. Furthermore, the Madh-habs today are used to conceal many innovations that the founding-imāms were never upon. Many adherents of these Madh-habs today practice grave worship and seeking aid from the inhabitants of the graves and they follow the Ash`ari creed. All this opposes the Book and Sunnah.
- We call to honouring and respecting the scholars of ahlus-Sunnah. Love of them is a sign of the People of Sunnah, and hatred of them is a sign of the People of bidʿah. If a Scholar of Sunnah errs in his ijtihād, he attains one reward, and if he is correct he attains two rewards.
- We do not venerate or praise the scholars of the innovators. Rather, we warn against them and we do not mention their good points. To mention their good points along with their innovations with the claim of establishing justice (al-mawāzanah) is an innovation. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “What I fear for you most are the Imāms of misguidance.”
- We hold that if a Scholar of ahlus-Sunnah[Salafiyyah] errs, then his error is corrected, and his honour is preserved. If his error opposes the foundational principles of the Religion and the `aqeedah, then the Scholars correct his errors and advise him. If he persists stubbornly in his innovation, then the Scholars will declare him to be an innovator and warn against him.
- We believe as Imām al-Barbahāri stated: “One does not bear witness for anyone [that he is from the people of Paradise or Hell] due to a good or bad deed, for you do not know what his final deed will be before his death. So, hope for him the mercy of Allāh and fear for him [due to his sins]. You do not know what has been destined for him at the time of death from feelings of regret before Allāh, and what Allāh has ordained for him at that time if he was to die upon Islam. So, hope for him Allāh’s Mercy and fear for him due to his sins. And there is no sin except that there is for the servant repentance from it.”
- We believe that the pious believers (the ‘Awliyāof Allāh) are not deserving of anything from the rights of worship. One may not seek from the deceased anything, for they themselves are in need of the supplications of the living and in need of the Mercy of Allāh.
- Anyone who requests from the deceased pious believers help, intercession, assistance, rescue, increase in sustenance, repelling of harm and so on has committed shirk (polytheism).
- To request from a pious believer who is alive that he supplicate to Allāh for one who is in need is permissible and legislated. The Companions would ask the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to supplicate for them whilst he was alive, but they did not ever seek his supplication after his death.
- We believe that the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) are the mothers of the believers, and every Muslim is obligated to love them as our mothers.
- We remain silent concerning whatever tribulation occurred between the Companions after the death of Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) since they were Mujtahidoon(people of knowledge who strived to attain the truth). Whoever was correct amongst them is rewarded with two rewards and whoever was mistaken is rewarded with one reward. And Allāh has already stated: “Allāh is pleased with them and they are pleased with him.”
- We hold it that it is not permitted to ascribe to the Companions that they are innovators or sinners. Whoever does so has opposed the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in his saying: “When my Companions are mentioned, withhold.” Those who ascribe deviation to the Companions are astray and among Ahlul-Bid’ah.
- We hold that it is permitted to warn against the innovators by name, and that is not considered blameworthy backbiting by the consensus of ahlus-Sunnah and ahlul-Hadeeth. We see that the books of the Scholars of the Salaf of this Ummah contain plentiful rebuke against the people of misguidance, the weak narrators and the fabricators of hadeeth by name.
- We hold that it is forbidden to revile and rebuke the tyrannical ruler, but it is permitted to rebuke and warn against the callers to innovation and misguidance. Zā’idah ibn Qudāmah said: I asked Mansoor ibn Mu’tamir, “Can I revile the ruler whilst I am fasting?” He replied, “No.” I then asked, “Then can I revile the People of Desires and Innovation?” He replied, “Yes.”
- We believe that this Ummah will be rectified by way of purification (Tasfiyah) and cultivation (Tarbiyah). Purification from false and alien beliefs and practices that have crept into the Religion over the centuries. Cultivation of the next generation upon the sound Belief, Methodology and practice of the Religion based upon the Qur’ān, authentic Sunnah and the understanding of the early Salaf. The rectification of the Ummah is not possible except upon this basis, just as Imām Mālik ibn Anas (died 179H) said: “The latter part of the Ummah will not be rectified except by that which rectified its first part.”
And all praise is due to Allāh, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allāh be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.
Written by Abu Khadeejah ‘Abdul-Wāhid