A Salafi is analogous to a Sunni Muslim. Yes, I am Sunni; I am not Shi’ah. I accept the Caliphate of Abubakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali (may Allah be pleased with them) who were unanimously chosen to lead the Ummah in that order after the demise of the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam. These rightly guided Sahabah, save Ali, have not, as claimed by the Shi’ites, apostatised, betrayed the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, or wrongfully usurped the caliphate from Ali (May Allah be pleased with him).
I will not negate or ascribe anthropomorphic terms to Allah in explaining His Attributes. If Allah speaks concerning His Countenance or His Right Hand, for instance, my interpretation stops at what the Almighty said of what He has, since the knowledge about His Countenance or Hand is with Him alone; it will be presumptuous, nay, heretic of me to explain the nature of His Attributes when He did not. When we behold Allah, the Lord of the worlds, on the Day of Reckoning, we shall see the nature of His Attributes; I believe that completely and unequivocally.
The Glorious Qur’an is corpus of Allah’s words. I believe it was revealed; it was not created. How do you separate the direct Words of the Uncreated from Him? The paper, the ink; any material upon which His words were written are, of course, created. The words written are not. The voice of whoever recites them; his eyes and the ears that hear the words are created too. This I believe and aver.
Yes, I am Sunni-Salafi, a revert to the real religion of Islam based on the Kitaab and Sunnah, as revealed to, and taught by the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, to his companions (May Allah be pleased with them) and as practised by the two generations that came after them. This is the right religion, but many people do not understand! (Ruum, 30)
The methodology of the followers of illusion, and invented matters in religion, which I abominate, is to submit, not to the prime sources of the Shari’ah but to the whims of their sheikhs in interpreting the text to arrive at desired conclusions based on flawed exegeses and fabricated traditions. Why will I worship Allah through invented matters when such devotions are rejected by the Law-Giver? Can anyone be more pious in faith, and wise in seeking for Allah’s pleasure than the one who received the message from his Lord who has completed and perfected the religion? (Al-Maa’idah, 3)
Why will I allow my purpose to be swerved by a latter-day-inventor in religion when I have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern of conduct? (Al-Ahzaab, 21) I would rather make religion pure for Allah only, (Az-Zumar, 3), worship Him according to the revelation sent to Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, and make no-one share in what is Allah’s due (Al-Kahf, 110).
I abhor disunity among the Ummah; the Qur’an enjoined that we all grasp Allah’s handhold lest we be divided among ourselves (Aali-Imraan, 3:103). It also warned us not be ‘like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving Clear Signs…’ (Aali-Imraan, 3:105). But I abhor unity based on deceit and incongruent ideologies too. How do I get unity of purpose with someone who curses my heroes in his five daily prayers and who says I am to him as a pagan? How?
Yes, we have to unite, but who is the arbiter in case we disagree over certain issues? The Qur’an admonishes:
O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination. (An-Nisaa, 4:59)
Obedience to Allah, as I understand it, denotes abiding by the dictates contained in His Book, the Qur’an; while obedience to the Messenger, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, is in adhering to what instructions he gave to us in adhering to or abstaining from anything through his Sunnah (Ash-Shuurah, 10). Obeying those in authority is confined to what conforms with the Qur’an and Sunnah as there is no obedience to a creature in disobedience to the Creator!
From this, therefore, it is apparent that whoever will demur to refer to the Qur’an and Sunnah in adjudication and final determination of any dispute, they are not true believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is the truth after which is only error (Yunus, 32).
I will strive, as should all true followers of the true teachings of the Messenger of Allah, The Exalted and Sublime, to belong to the saved group. I will strive to tread the straight and narrow path, even when there are distracting branches in the road leading to cul de sacs at the end of which calls a devil to misguidance, looking like one of us. I will strive my utmost to be upon what the Messenger of Allah and his companions were upon and shun the 72 stray paths besides that. I will hold unto that with my molars, unmindful of the blame of blamers.
It will not matter that anyone seeks to tarnish this way of thinking and conduct by calling a dog a bad name in order to hang it. I was already forewarned that the right path would become a strange path as it was at the beginning and that holding on to these ideals would become as difficult as holding on to embers. I know it requires patience and gentle exhortation as well as resolve and firm conviction.
I know I will have to refute the lies of the mischievous and clear the doubt of the confounded. It is hard to retain your equanimity in the face of deliberate insolence but I have to, if I want to follow the way of the Salaf. Boastful arrogation of superiority to one’s knowledge must be buried away, so also the use of uncouth language and manners. Belligerence never was the way of the followers of Muhammad (may the peace and mercy of Allah be upon him). It does not fit the one upon certainty. You only need to insult when you do not have the means to expound.