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What Is al-Daʿwah al-Salafiyyah?

  al-ʿAllāmah Aḥmad ibn Yahyá al-Najmī

A short lecture explaining the essence of al-daʿwah al-salafīyyah (The daʿwah of the righteous predecessors) and the ideals which it is built upon. The Muftī of Jīzān, Shaykh Aḥmad al-Najmī states, "It is called al-daʿwah al-salafīyyah because it aids the methodology of the Salaf".

The Muftī of Jeezan, Shaykh Aḥmad al-Najmī states,

“It is called ad-daʿwatus-Salafīyyah because it aids the methodology of the Salaf.

The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, “Indeed, the people of the Book before you split-up into seventy-two sects. And this nation will split-up into seventy-three sects, seventy two are in the Fire and one is in Paradise."[1] and in another narration, “All of them are in the Fire except one.” It was asked, ‘Who is that one?’ He replied, “That which I and my Companions are upon.”

Based upon this, salafīyyah is taken from the Salaf, they are those who preceded us in goodness and those who follow them in goodness until the day of judgement.”

The noble Shaykh continues,

So those are the Salaf, and this ascription of salafīyyah is ascriibng oneself to them (the Companions). The Methodology of the Salaf is obligatory upon every Muslim, their methodology should be Salafī, and the meaning of this is accepting and implementing the Book of Allāh, submitting to the command of Allāh in his Book,

“And follow the best of that which is sent down to you from your Lord (i.e. this Qurʾān, do what it orders you to do and keep away from what it forbids), before the torment comes on you suddenly while you perceive not!” [Sūrah al-Zumar, 39:55]


“And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allāh (i.e. this Qurʾān), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allāh's Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islamic Faith), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allāh makes His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.,) clear to you, that you may be guided. [Sūrah Āli-ʿImrān 3:103]


Answer the call of your Lord (i.e. accept the Islamic Monotheism, O mankind, and jinns) before there comes from Allāh a Day which cannot be averted. You will have no refuge on that Day nor there will be for you any denying (of your crimes as they are all recorded in the Book of your deeds). [Sūrahh-Shūrah, 42:47]

In addition,

O you who believe! obey Allāh and obey the Messenger… [Sūrah-Nisāʾ’, 4:59]

‘Following the commands of Allāh and the commands of the Messenger is obligatory amongst us O children of Ādam. And if we find two commands opposing one another, a command from Allāh and command from the creation, whether it is a group, party, gang or deviated belief. Like the ʿaqīdah of:

  • The Ṣūfiyyah  (The Ṣūfīs who believe Allāh is everywhere and call upon the Messenger and other than him as a form of intercessor)
  • The jahmiyyah  (Those who deny the names and attributes of Allāh)
  • The mu’tazilah (Those who said that the Qurʾān is created, that the slave created his own action and that Allāh is not seen in the hereafter)
  • The rawaafidh (A group from the extremist Shīʿah who curse Abū Bakr and ʿUmar and they curse the rest of the Companions.)
  • The ikhwaaniyyah (the Muslim Brotherhood) or the belief of the Tablighiyyah (Jama’aatut-Tableegh) and other than them from the various calls who have mixed in their calls falsehood and truth.

And as for the truth we accept it from other than these groups, for these groups have mixed falsehood with truth, they remain silent concerning shirk (associating partners with Allāh) and they remain silent concerning bidʿah (innovation in the dīn)…

It is obligatory that we distance ourselves from all these groups, and that we follow the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah of Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam). Some may ask, ‘How do we follow the Qurʾān and everyone has claimed that they explain the Qurʾān correctly’?

The answer: the tafsīr (explanation) of the Qurʾān has to be taken from the Sunnah, and likewise the Companions and the Tabi’oon (those who came after).

The Shaykh continues by explaining why we must follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam),

“It is not allowed to practice any type of innovation. The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) admonished his Companions one day after ṣalātul-fajr,

From Abī Najeeh al-Irbaadh Ibn Saariyah who said: The Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) addressed us with a serious admonition, and the hearts were softened from it, and the eyes shed tears from it, so we said: O Messenger of Allāh!! This seems to be a farewell admonishment, so advise us. He said: I advise you to fear of Allāh, and listening and obeying even if you are commanded by a slave. For verily whoever lives from amongst you shall see many differences, so cling to my Sunnah, and the Sunnah of the rightly guided caliphs from after me, bite into it with your molar teeth. And beware of newly invented matters, for verily every newly invented matter is a misguided innovation.’

O Slaves of Allāh, Allāh has addressed you; Allāh has commanded you to follow him Book and the Sunnah of the Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam). If one of the students of knowledge finds himself being called the ḥizbiyyah (partisanship), Ṣūfiyyah or any other misguided innovation, then you should ask, ‘what is your proof?’ asking for dalīl, rather they won’t have any, they blind-follow men. This should be they way of the student of knowledge, always asking for proof.

[1] Ḥasan: Related by Abū Dāwūd (no. 4597) and Aḥmad (4/102) and it was authenticated by al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Hajr in Takhreej Aḥādīthul-Kashaaf (no. 63).

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Tags: Salafī, Daʿwah, Manhaj, Aḥmad al-Najmī

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