Saturday, September 29, 2007

Salafism

Salafis argue that the best Islamic practices are to be found in the first three generations of Muslims--Prophet Muhammad's companions, and the two succeeding generations after them, the Tabi‘in and the Taba‘ at-Tabi‘in. They derive the legitimacy of Salafi d'awah from the following saying of the Prophet:
The people of my generation are the best, then those who follow them, and then whose who follow the latter (i.e. the first three generations of Muslims).
In reviewing Salafism, it must be kept in mind that Islam is not mere ritual. Islam is concrete behavior. Islam is conduct in this life and preparation for the next. A good Muslim is constantly striving to adopt the best practices consistent with the Quran and the Prophet's Sunna. Islam should never be confused with Islamic history. Islam was completed at the Prophet's death. The Quran was completed. And the Prophet's Sunna was completed. After the Prophet's death, in 632 A.D., Islamic history begins. The practices of the first four caliphs and the first three generations were consistent with the Quran and the Sunna. However, even the practices of these early Muslims may never be confused with Islam, simply because these practices were part of Islamic history. Muslims are bound to obey the laws of the Quran and the Sunna. But practices of the first four caliphs and the first three generations are not binding on subsequent generations, even though they are most persuasive. The Quran and the Sunna cannot be overruled. But juristic practices of various generations in the Islamic history have no legitimate claim to immutability.
submitted by Abu Kashif