The difference between a Salafi and a Madhhabi

Q: “Some people claim that Salafis weaken ahaadeeth that are authentic according to the Four Imaams or some of them, and authenticate whatever suits their manhaj that opposes madhhabism. What is your opinion?”

Shaikh al-Albaani:

“I say: This is a false claim; and like it’s said: ‘If you do not have any clear proofs for claims, the claimers are people who ascribe to false lineages’ (i.e. these claims are false/rejected). The difference between Salafis and Madhhabis is that Salafis don’t show bigotry towards a particular Imaam of the Muslims – not in fiqh or hadeeth or anything else – but rather they follow the advice of the Imaams themselves who forbid blind-following them and said to their followers: take from where we took. So we try to take from where they took. For example, they took from the Companions, and the Companions took from Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ, but they did not restrict themselves to a specific Companion. Sometimes they took from Abu Bakr, sometimes from `Umar, and so on.

So as they followed this way with the best of the people (i.e. the Companions) after Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ , we also do as they did. We take from their madhhabs the things that agree with the Book and the authentic Sunnah, and we don’t show bigotry towards any of them. So sometimes we agree with all of them​, ​sometimes we oppose all of them​,​ because in this second situation​ we follow​ what other ​Imaams were upon, and so on.

So the claim that we oppose the Imaams or some of them in order to support our own madhhab is false. We do not have a particular madhhab; our madhhab is to go with the truth wherever it is, and this is what they commanded us to do.”

[su.aalaat 186-7 /]

being excluded from the manhaj

source: silsilat ul-hudaa wa nnoor, 727/1
asaheeha translations

Q: “Imaam Ibn Hajar had some mistakes in ‘aqeedah (creed), so does that exclude him from being upon the correct manhaj?”

Shaikh al-Albaani (rahimahullaah):

“If we all remember that ‘every human being errs much and the best of them are those who repent,’[1] and that infallibility is not for anyone after the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), then there is nothing odd about the fact that one who was an Imaam of the True Da’wah made a mistake. So if he made a mistake in an issue or two or three or more, that does not exclude him from the True Da’wah if he had adopted it. Haafidh bin Hajar was like Imaam an-Nawawi and others who made mistakes in some affairs of ‘aqeedah, but that does not exclude them from being among Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, because the crucial factor is the correct ideology or righteous actions being predominant in a person.

When is a Muslim righteous? Is it a condition, in order for him to be righteous, that he does not commit any sin or act of disobedience? The answer is no. Rather, it is part of human nature that he would commit sins and acts of disobedience over and over again. So when is a slave righteous? When his good prevails over his evil, his righteousness over his misguidance, and so on. Exactly the same thing is said about knowledge-based affairs, whether they pertain to ‘aqeedah or fiqh. So if this scholar is predominantly upon correct knowledge, he is saved. As for him having a mistake or some mistakes in fiqh or ‘aqeedah, this does not exclude him from the correct ‘aqeedah that he is predominantly upon. So what you mentioned about Ibn Hajar having these errors, that does not mean that we shouldn’t benefit from his book or that we don’t ask Allaah to have mercy on him or that we don’t include him among the Muslim scholars adhering to the Book and the Sunnah…”

To Be Continued InshaaAllaah

[1] Saheeh Ibn Maajah #3447