Manhaj is – Some Muslims may not know what is meant by manhaj salaf, although the term salafi may be familiar to some people. To understand it, it is necessary to dissect the meaning of manhaj and salaf first.
Citing the journal Manhaj Salafiyah by H. Muhammadin (2013: 147), manhaj is ath-thariqah or the path taken by the companions of the Prophet SAW in understanding the religion of God. Meanwhile, salaf in a foreign language means the previous or leading.
Yazid bin Abdul Qadir Jawas (2006: 18) in the Syarah Aqidah Ahlul Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah said that in terms of time, the word Salaf is used to refer to the period of time that should be emulated and followed, namely the first three generations in Islam.
There are 3 main components of As-Salaf, namely:
- The companions (those who lived as Muslims at the time of the Prophet, met him and died as Muslims).
- Tabi’in (those who lived in the time of the Companions and died as Muslims).
- Tabi’ut Tabi’in (those who lived in the time of tabi’in and died as a Muslim)
It can be understood that the way of the Salaf is the path taken based on the understanding of the companions of the Prophet SAW.
Meaning of Manhaj
Manhaj salah is an expression of two words, “manhaj” and “salaf”. Both have their own meaning. Manhaj is interpreted as a bright path, while salaf means those who have gone before you.
Salaf can also be interpreted as imams and companions of the Prophet SAW. So, the way of the Salaf can be interpreted as a clear path according to religious rules based on the understanding of the companions of the Prophet SAW.
Mention for Followers of Manhaj Salaf
The people who follow the way of the Salaf (salafiyyun) are commonly called Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah because they hold fast to the Al-Qur’an and As-Sunnah (the teachings of the Prophet) and are united on it. Also referred to as Ahlul Hadist wal Atsar because they hold fast to hadith and atsar when people prioritize reason.
They are also called al-Firatun Najiyah, that is, the group that God saved from hell as will be mentioned in the hadith of Abdullah bin Amr bin al-‘Ash radhiallahu anhuma.
In addition, they are also called ath-Taifah al-Manshurah, which is a group that is always helped and won by God as will be mentioned in the hadith Tsuban radhiyallahu anhu,
Obligation to Follow the Manhaj of the Salaf
Manhaj salaf and salafiyyun are not limited (confined) to certain organizations, certain regions, certain leaders, certain parties and so on. In fact, the manhaj of the salaf teaches us that the bond of brotherhood is built on the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace, with the understanding of righteous salafush.
Whoever holds fast to him, then he is our brother even though he is in another part of the world. This is the holy bond connected by the manhaj of the Salaf, the manhaj followed by the Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace, and his companions.
The Salaf Manhaj is a manhaj that must be followed and held firmly by every Muslim in understanding his religion. Why is that? Because, this is what Allah explained in the Qur’an and by the Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace, in his Sunnah. Meanwhile, God has bequeathed to us:
“O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Prophet Muhammad) and the ululamri (power holders) among you. If you disagree about something, return it to Allah (the Qur’an) and the Messenger (the Sunnah) if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is better (for you) and better as a result (in this world and in the hereafter).” (An-Nisa: 59).
Evidence of Al–Qur’an Verses about the Obligation to Follow the Manhaj of the Salaf
As for the verses of the Qur’an that explain that we should really follow the way of the Salaf as follows:
1. Surat Al-Fatihah verses 6-7
“Show us the straight path. The path of those whom You have blessed.” (Al-Fatihah: 6-7).
Imam Ibnul Qayyim said,
“They are people who know the truth and strive to follow it. Everyone who knows the truth better and follows it more consistently, is certainly more entitled to be on the straight path. There is no doubt that the companions of the Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace, are the people who are more entitled to bear this attribute (title) than the people of Rafidah (Shia).” (Madarijus Salikin. 1/72).
Imam Ibnu Qayyim’s explanation of the verse above shows that the companions of the Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace, who are the Salafush Salih, are more entitled to the title of “those who have been blessed by God” and “those who are on the straight path”. . Because, their knowledge of the truth is so deep and they are very consistent in following it.
This title shows that the manhaj they follow in understanding this Islamic religion is the right manhaj and on the straight path. Therefore, those who try to follow their manhaj and footsteps, means that they have followed the right manhaj and are on the straight path.
2. Surat An-Nisa verse 115
“And whoever opposes the Messenger after the truth is clear to him and follows other than the path of the believers, We let him wander freely in error and We cast him into Jahannam. And Hell is as bad as the place of return.” (An-Nisa: 115).
Imam Ibnu Abi Jamrah al-Andalusi said,
“The scholars have explained the meaning of God’s words above that what is meant by the believers here are the companions of the Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace, and the first generation of this ummah. Because, they are people who welcome this Sharia with a clean soul.
They have asked everything that was not understood from him with the best questions. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, also answered it with the best answer. He explained with a perfect explanation. They also listen to the answers and explanations of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, by understanding, practicing as best as possible, memorizing and conveying with full honesty.
They really have a great priority over us. It is through them that our relationship can be connected with the Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace, as well as with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.” (al – Mirqat fi Nahjis Salaf Sabilun Najah p. 36 – 37).
Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, may God have mercy on him, said,
“Truly, both (opposing the Messenger and following other than the path of believers) are interrelated. Therefore, whoever opposes the Messenger as the truth is clear to him, must have followed other than the path of the believers. Whoever follows other than the path of the believers, he has opposed the Messenger after the truth is clear to him.” (Majmu’ Fatawa, 7/38).
After we know that the believers in this verse are the companions of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him (as- Salaf) and the close connection between opposing the Messenger and following other than the path of the believers, it can be concluded that we must follow the “manhaj” whether we like it or not. salaf” way of friends.
Because, if we take other than their path in understanding dinul Islam, this means that we have opposed the Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace. The consequences are truly terrible, that is, they will be left free to wallow in error. The end is going into Jahannam, as bad as the place of return. Na’uzu billahi min dzalik.
3. Surat At-Taubah verse 100
“And those who were the first to convert to Islam from among the Muhajirin and Ansar and those who followed them well, God was pleased with them and they were also pleased with God. Allah SWT prepared for them a paradise with rivers flowing in it. They are eternal in it. That is a great success.” (at- Taubah: 100).
In this verse, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala does not specify His pleasure and guarantee of heaven for the companions of the Muhajirin and Ansar (as- Salaf). People who follow them well also get the pleasure of God and the assurance of heaven like them.
Al-Hafiz Ibnu Katsir, may God have mercy on him, said,
“Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala informs about His pleasure to the people who preceded them from among the Muhajirin and Ansar as well as those who followed their footsteps well. God also informed about the sincerity of their pleasure to God, as well as what He has prepared for them, which is heaven – heaven full of enjoyment, and eternal enjoyment.” (Tafsir Ibn Katsir, 2/ 367). This shows that following the way of the Salaf will lead to the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and His heaven.
Proof of the Prophet’s Hadith about the Obligation to Follow the Manhaj of the Salaf
1. Hadith about the sunnah of Islam
The Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace, said,
“Indeed, whoever among you lives as long as I do will see many disputes. Therefore, you must stick to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Khulafa ar-Rashidin who are guided. Hold it tight and bite it with your molars…” (Sahih, HR. Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, ad-Darimi, Ibu Majah and others from the companion of al-‘Irbad Ibn Sariyah radiallahu anhu. Irwa ‘ul Ghalil , hadith no. 2455).
In this hadith it is clearly stated that we will witness so many disagreements in understanding the teachings of Islam. The only way that leads to salvation is to follow the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the Sunnah of the Khulafaur-Rashidin (Salafus Salih). In fact, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, ordered us to always stick to it.
Imam ash-Syathibi, may God have mercy on him, said,
“The Messenger of Allah, may God bless him and grant him peace, as you have witnessed, has linked the Sunnah of al-Khilafa ar-Rashidin with his Sunnah and one of the consequences of following his Sunnah is following their Sunnah.
Because what they follow as Sunnah is really following the Sunnah of their Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace. Or follow what they understand from his sunnah, may God bless him and grant him peace, both globally and in detail that is not known to anyone other than them.” (al-I’tishom. 1/118).
2. Hadith about people who are above the truth
The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said,
“Continually there is a small group of my people who always appear above the truth. Those who insult them will not harm them, until God’s judgment comes and they are in such a state.” (Sahih, HR. al-Bukhari and Muslim, the wording of this hadith is the wording of Muslim from the companion of Tsauban, may God be pleased with him, hadith no. 1920).
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbl, may God have mercy on him, said, “If it’s not halul hadith, I don’t know who they are?!” (Shyaraf Ashhabil Hadist, by al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, p. 36)
Imam Ibu Mubarak, may God have mercy on him, Imam al-Bukhari, may God have mercy on him, Imam Ahmad bin Sinan al-Muhaddits, may God have mercy on him, and they all said about the meaning of this hadith, “So, everything is about the meaning of this hadith.”
3. Hadith about 73 groups
The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said,
“My people will be divided into 73 groups. All went to hell except for one group. He was asked, “Who are they, O Messenger of Allah?” The youth answered, (The group that is above what I and my companions are.” (Hasan, HR. at-Tirmidhi in his Sunan, “Kitabul Iman”, “Chapter Iftiraqu hadzihik Umah.” From the friend of Abdullah bin Amr bin al – Ash.
The truth is recognized by Allah SWT
As Muslims, the way of the Salaf is a rule that must be held tightly. Allah SWT has ordered Muslims to follow the way of the Salaf as His word salam Al-Qur’an.
“Those who preceded and were the first (to enter Islam) from (among) the emigrants and the Ansar and those who followed them well, God was pleased with them and they were pleased with Him, and God provided for them the heavens in which rivers flow; they remain in it forever. That’s a big win.” (Qs. At Taubah: 100).
In other words, God also praises the faith of the companions of the Prophet SAW.
“If they have believed in what you believe, they have indeed been guided. However, if they turn away, they are indeed at enmity (with you). So, Allah will suffice you (with His protection) from their (evil). He is All-Hearing and All-Knowing.” (Qs. Al Baqarah: 137)
The priority of Manhaj Salaf
As the only manhaj that must be followed to understand Islam, there are several merits of the Salaf manhaj, namely:
- It is a rule that shows the straight path according to the pleasure of Allah SWT.
- Manhaj salaf should be held tightly when there is an understanding or opinion in understanding Islamic law.
- Following other teachings other than the way of the Salaf means that it is more free to fall into error that is not according to the instructions of Allah SWT.
Benefits of Manhaj Salaf
Any Muslim who follows the way of the Salaf, will certainly get a reward from Allah SWT. Here are the benefits of obeying the Salaf method:
- Shown the way to safety to avoid going astray.
- Apart from the temptation of the cursed devil.
- Saved from the torment of hell.
- People who are always in the truth and will always get help from Allah SWT.
- People who practice the way of the Salaf will be pleased by Allah and attain heaven (Al Jannah).
It turns out that there are many benefits and priorities, yes, Reader. By knowing about its benefits and priorities, it is easy for us to know in depth. Now Reader have a better understanding of the Salaf manhaj, right? May we become obedient people who follow the way of the Salaf and be protected by Allah SWT to walk on the straight path. Hope this article inspires you!