Shaikh al-Albaani: "No my brother! You have not followed the verse,
since the verse means the correct form of Islaam. It is necessary that you
address the people according to their level of understanding… so will anyone
understand from you (when you say ‘I am a Muslim’) that you are indeed a Muslim
with the desired meaning in the verse (of correct Islaam)? As for the various
cautionary matters you have mentioned, then these are sometimes correct and
sometimes they are not correct. Since your saying about harshness, then this can
sometimes occur from individuals, yet this is not representative of a
methodology that is tied to knowledge and belief. Leave aside individuals for
now, we are actually talking about manhaj (methodology). This is because when we
say Shi’ite, or a Druze, or a Khaarijee, or a Soofee, or a Mutazilee, the
various cautionary matters you raised come into play (and can apply to them
aswell). Hence, this is not the subject of our discussion. We are investigating
a name which gives evidence to the madhhab of an individual and by which he
worships Allaah… Are not all the Companions Muslims?"
Shaikh al-Albaani: "However, there was amongst them, one who stole, or
fornicated, but this does not allow any of them to say, ‘I am not a Muslim’,
rather he is a Muslim and a Believer in Allaah, as a chosen way, however he
sometimes opposes his chosen way, because he is not infallible. And it is for
this reason that we – may Allaah bless you – are speaking about a word which
indicates our aqidah and our thought and our starting point in our lives and
which relates to the affairs of our religion by which we worship Allaah. As for
the issue of so and so who is harsh and so and so who is lax and too soft, then
that is an entirely different issue…. I wish that you would reflect upon this
concise word (i.e. Salafi) so that you do not persist upon the word ‘Muslim’.
And you know that there is no one who will understand what you really intend (by
using the word ‘Muslim’ alone) ever…" End Quote (Cassette "I am a Salafi").
And inshaa’allah, this explains our intent and the important differentiation
that we had alluded to earlier in replying to this doubt.
7) The Salafis Lack Piety Whereas Other than Them Are Pious and
And this too is a very old doubt which has been answered by the Salaf
themselves, those of old. And we merely leave you with their words:
Ibn Abbaas (d. 68H) said: "Indeed the most detestable of things to Allaah are
the innovations." (Reported by al-Bayhaqee in as-Sunan al-Kubraa 4/316)
Ibn Umar (d. 84H) said: "Every innovation is misguidance, even if the people
see it as something good." (Reported by Abu Shaamah no. 39)
Sufyaan ath-Thawree (d. 161H) said:"Innovation is more beloved to Iblees than
sin, since a sin may be repented from but innovation is not repented from."
(Reported by al-Laalikaa’ee no. 238)
Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee (d. 204H) said: "That a person meets Allaah with every
sin except Shirk is better than meeting Him upon any one of the innovated
beliefs." (Reported by al-Bayhaqee in al-I’tiqaad p.158)
Al-Layth bin Sa’d (d. 175H) said: "If I saw a person of desires (i.e.
innovations) walking upon the water I would not accept from him." So Imaam
as-Shaafi’ee then said: ""He (al-Layth) has fallen short. If I saw him walking
in the air I would not accept from him." (Reported by as-Suyooti in al-Amr bil
‘Ittibaa wan-Nahee anil Ibtidaa’.)
Yunus bin Ubaid said to his son, "I forbid you from fornication (zinaa),
stealing and drinking wine. However that you meet Allaah with any of these sins
is better to me than that you meet him with the view of Amr bin Ubaid and the
associates of Amr (i.e. the Mu’tazilah)." (al-Ibaanah 2/466).
Sa’eed bin Jubair said, "That my son accompanies a sinful and cunning
scoundrel who is a Sunni is more beloved to me than that he accompanies a
devoteful and worshipful Innovator." (al-Ibaanah no. 89).
Imaam Al-Barbahaaree said, "However, if you see a person whose manner and
opinion is despicable, he is wicked, sinful and oppressive, yet he is a person
of the Sunnah, accompany him and sit with him, since his sin will not harm you.
If you see a man who strives hard and long in worship, is abstemious, being
continual in worship, except that he is a person of innovation, do not sit with
him, do not listen to his words and do not walk along with him, since I do not
feel safe that you will not eventually come to be pleased with his way and go to
destruction along with him." (Sharh us-Sunnah no. 149).