What exactly does someone mean when they say "I'm Salafi"? Generally what they're saying is “I follow the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, based on the understanding and practical implementation of the Salaf as-Sālih (i.e. first three generations)”.
There are a lot of people who like to treat Salafiyyah as if it's a sect or some exclusive group. It's not and it shouldn't be treated as such. I first became familiar with Salafiyyah seven years ago. I remember thinking that it made perfect sense and that it was very self explanatory. Why shouldn't Muslims only follow the Qur'an and Sunnah. I think what turned me off was the fact that so many so-called Salafis treat it as a sect/group and spend so much time badmouthing others. They used the term "Salafi" as a tool to elevate themselves in the eyes of others. So needless to say, I didn't associate myself with Salafiyyah but identified myself simply as "I am Muslim and believe in following the Qur'an and Sunnah".
Fast forward a couple of years and doing more research, I came across Salafiyyah again. Still, I was turned off by the lack of adab many Salafi proponents exhibited, the "obsession" with badmouthing other Muslims who didn't fit their "standard" and the sheer lack of discourse and dialogue among Salafis- every question was answered with a ruling-no feelings, no humanity, no discussions or acknowledgement of the real life difficulties and stressors that come with them. In summary, I found it hard to relate to these people. They seemed to lack a lot of the attributes that many of the Sahabah had.
Fast forward a couple more years, getting married and gaining more knowledge, and my thoughts are about the same. However, I've come to accept that my problem isn't with the methodology. The problem was with the people. I will say that I agree with and follow the Salafi methodology. As a Muslim, I strive to adhere to the Qur'an and Sunnah and utilize the examples of the Sahabah, the Tabi'in and the Tabi al-Tabi'in. My husband and I generally use Salafi "sanctioned" resources when researching, attend a Salafi masjid and most of my good Muslimah friends ascribe to being Salafi. With that being said, as long as a fellow Muslimah is along the same mindset, then I'm all about being her companion. I don't believe we should tell someone that they're "off the Deen" simply because they don't claim to be Salafi but do everything accordingly nor should we assume someone is good or accept everything they say simply because they claim to be Salafi.
May Allah keep us all on the straight path.
What are your thoughts on this subject? I'm very curious :D
About "Life Gems"
Welcome to another addition to "Lady_Meansie's Corner". This portion of my corner is essentially my blog. The posts will be short but packed with important reminders for fellow Muslimahs. Remember to leave your thoughts in the comments. I love engaging in dialogue with my fellow Muslimahs.