Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah (661-728 AH) writes:

“Those who take hold of the pure and unadulterated Islam – free from deviation and crookedness – they are Muslim Orthodoxy; within them are the righteous and upright holy ones (Ar. As-Siddiqun), the martyrs (Ar. Ash-Shuhada’), the pious (Ar. As-Salihun) – and from them are the great luminaries of guidance (Ar. A`lam ul-Huda), the lamps of goodness (Ar. Masabih ud-Duja) who possess numerous virtues and favours that have and could be mentioned.

Now within this group are the High Ranking Saints (Ar. Al-Abdal) – and within them are the Imams of the Religion (Ar. A’immat ud-Din) that the Muslims have made Consensus on their being upon right guidance – and these are the Victorious Group and Aided Group (Ar. At-Ta’ifat ul-Mansurah)  who the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said of them,

‘There will always be a group from my Ummah, upon the truth and manifest with it. Those who oppose them or abandon them will not harm them until the Hour comes.’

We ask Allah that He makes us from them and that He make our hearts not slip after He guided us and bestowed on us mercy from Himself. Indeed He is the Bestower and Allah knows best.”

Matn ul-`Aqidat il-Wasitiyyah (Ar.), pp. 30-31.

[As translated by Usthad Abu Jafar al-Hanbali here]

As one can see, Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamah or Muslim Orthodoxy is not defined simply as “Quran and Sunnah” nor restricted to “Salaf” nor a cult formed on self proclaimed notions of “mujahideen and caliphate”. Muslim Orthodoxy is a comprehensive congregation, and a majority congregation as mentioned in the hadiths, within which are all of the personalities listed above.  It is not a congregation that is isolated or a congregation that got hidden or lost and rediscovered by reading a book. It is a continuously living congregation that has been victorious from the time of the sahabah. The criteria of one rightfully being a part of the Muslim Orthodoxy is when the religion one follows is upon the same belief, understanding and methodology of Islam as these righteous predecessors that have continually existed from the Salaf till today.


Up ↑