With the aim of actualizing the saying of the revered Imaam Maalik ibn Anas (died 179H), “The latter part of this Ummah will not be corrected except by that which corrected its first part,” this is a presentation of the creed and methodology of the earliest generations, known as the Salafus-Saalih, as preserved in some of the extant manuscripts and documents which have been verified by both classical and contemporary Scholars of the Sunnah.
As will not be hidden from any and every Muslim, the earlier one goes back in history, the purer and cleaner the religion, until we reach the era of the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger, to whom the Messenger said, “I have left you upon clear proof, its night is like its day, no one deviates from it except that he is destroyed, and whomsoever amongst you lives for long will see great controversy.
So stick to what you know from my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Orthodox Rightly Guided Caliphs, cling to that with your molar teeth”. For this reason we find some of the Taabi’een (Successors of the Companions) advising those in their time and those after them to ‘stick to the original state of affairs’. For it was then and only then that the word of the Muslims was one, their ranks united and their strength and glory realized.
The Imaams mentioned:
- ‘Abdur-Rahman al-Awzaa’ee (d. 15H)
- Sufyaan ath-Thawree (d. 161H)
- Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyainah (d. 197H)
- ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair al-Humaidee (d. 219H)
- Abu Thawr Ibraaheem ibn Khaalid (d. 240H)
- Abu Zur’ah ar-Raazee (d. 264H)
- Abu Haatim ar-Raazee (d. 277H)
- Sahl ibn ‘Abdullaah at-Tustaree (d. 283H)
- Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree (d. 283H)
- Ibn Abee Zaid al-Qayrawaanee (d. 386H)
- Al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee (d. 463H)
- Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H)