The Attributes of the Salaf
In a lecture delivered in Trinidad and Tobago, our noble brother, Abū Ḥakīm gives a beautiful reminder concerning the Ṣifāt of the Salaf, drawing upon the works of al-Allāmah Shaykh Zayd al-Madkhalī (raḥimahullāh)
In this two-part lecture, Abū Ḥakīm (ḥafiẓahullāh) details the importance of understanding the status of the nation of Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) and the blessing that Allāh has placed upon this Ummah. He goes into detail concerning the importance of seeking and attaining knowledge and thereafter acting upon it. He advised the Muslims to revisit and revise the books of the Salaf, and to give them their due right, as well as giving importance to learning and benefitting from the Scholars of al-Islām, and knowing their status as described by the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam). After this solid and heart warming introduction, he then moves onto one of the works authored by Shaykh Zayd al-Madkhalī (raḥimahullāh) which describes the attributes of the Salaf, their fear of Allāh subhānahu wa taʿāla and their striving in spreading this noble dīn. Some key benefits mentioned are:
- Sufyān al-Thawrī (raḥimahullāh) mentioned: "Knowledge is sought in order to fear Allāh with it, and it is because of this that it is given virtue, and if it wasn't for this reason, then it would be like any other thing."
- The importance of implementing and acting upon knowledge which has been attained.
- Shaykh Zayd al-Madkhalī (raḥimahullāh) describes the nature of the Salaf as being a people of judging; they authored many books the likes of which have filled Islamic libraries across the world. They are the companions of the ones who establish Islamic Tarbīyyah, nurturing the people upon Islam and teaching them that which will bring forth fruits.
- Taʿlīm and tarbīyyah is that which nurtures an individual and results in him becoming firmly grounded.
- Unfortunately, one may study under an individual for over ten years and leave without having gained any understanding of even the fundamentals, so he leaves having not received any tarbīyyah and nurturing nor the learning which brings about the desired fruits.
- The Salaf would give preference to the texts over the intellect.
- Having sound nīyyah and good intent in all they do, adorning themselves with wisdom and good character and manners.
- From the people are those who sought ḥadīth, seeking the Face of Allāh, and obtained it and became Imāms who were followed, and there were other people who sought ḥadīth for other than the sake of Allāh and they still obtained it, and seeking that knowledge dragged them to ikhlās.
- The Salaf clung completely to the methodology of the noble Messengers that came before them and adorned themselves with pure mannerisms whose basis could be found within the Sharīʿah.
- This nation was not only given the best of the Messengers and the best of the Books, but in the best of those Books there are the stories of those who preceded us, stories which contain benefits and lessons, and Ahl al-Sunnah extrapolates benefits from these stories in order to implement and act upon them.