Q: What is Salafiyism and why is it bad?

A: There are two classes of people. One class is those who follow the imaams of fiqh, understanding that they do have sound evidence for their rulings. The other is those who do not go by the decisions of the imaams, giving an impression that they have researched these rulings and examined them thoroughly and have the sound ability to research them and arrive at the right decisions.

Obviously this will require a detailed knowledge of the Quraanic verses and hadeeth statements pertaining to the rulings, and also proper understanding of how to arrive at the right conclusion if there are contradictions. All this requires that the person should be able to see all the verses and ahaadeeth, have a sound understanding of language and grammar, and after that he has the ability to look into the arguments and find a genuine reason for preferring a certain view.

Generally our Ulama feel that this ability is hardly found in this day and time. If someone is good in one aspect then he is a failure in others. Hence, they declare that when an individual does not have such ability then arriving at a conclusion is being irresponsible and pretending to be what he is not. Therefore, they do not at all encourage salafism, for deen requires us to look into things correctly and then arrive at right conclusions, not freelancing and not taking a decision without the above criteria.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

فسألوا أهل الذّكر إن كنتم لا تعلمون (الأنبياء: 7)

عن حذيفة قال: كنا جلوسا عند النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال: إني لا أدري ما بقائي فيكم فاقتدوا باللذين من بعدي وأشار إلى أبي بكر وعمر (سنن الترمذي، الرقم: 3663)

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Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)