Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab
In some Arab countries a group has appeared which claims that they are followers of Sayyid Qutb and that they are the true Salafis, what is your opinion?
Al-Albaani: My opinion is that the problem is just the same and my answer is, “If claims are not supported by proofs then those who make them are only [merely] claimants.”
We believe that Sayyid Qutb, may Allaah have mercy on him, was not Salafi in his methodology for the most part of his life but near the end of his life in prison a strong inclination to the Salafi methodology became apparent from him.
Salafiyyah is not just a claim, Salafiyyah demands acquaintance with the Book and the authentic Sunnah and the Salafi narrations. We know that these people and their likes who claim that their call is established upon the Book and the Sunnah do not know, firstly, the principles of understanding the Book, principles which are well-known from the speech of Ibn Taymiyyah in his book on the principles of Islamic jurisprudence, and [also known from] the words of the Imaams of Quranic exegesis like Ibn Jarir, Ibn Kathir and other than them: that the Quraan is interpreted with the Quraan and if that cannot be found then with the hadiths and if that cannot be done then with the sayings of the Companions and other than them from the Pious Predecessors.
So those who [merely] claim Salafiyyah do not tread in their exegesis of the Quraan upon this knowledge-based path agreed upon by the scholars of the Muslims.
Questioner: Is this present with the Qutubis?
Al-Albaani: Yes it is. And because of that you will find in Sayyid Qutb’s tafseer some quranic exegesis which takes the course of those who came later and who oppose the Pious Predecessors. Thereafter I want to say that these people do not pay heed to distinguishing the authentic Sunnah from that which is weak, let alone the fact that they do not pay heed to pursuing the narrations from the Companions and the Pious Predecessors. Because it is those narrations that help the scholar in understanding the Book and the Sunnah as we have just explained.
From where will Salafiyyah come to them when they are far removed from understanding the first foundation of Islaam which is the Quraan, [understanding it] upon knowledge-based, correct principles; and they are far-removed from distinguishing the authentic from the weak; and further than both of these is [the fact that they are] far removed from pursuing the narrations of the Pious Predecessors until they are guided by their light and seek illumination through it?
So, the issue is not one of mere claims.
And why do these people claim that they are Salafis? Due to the reason that I have mentioned in some of my past answers, that the Salafi call, due to Allaah’s Grace, now almost covers the Islamic sphere and it has become apparent to those who had enmity towards it, even if only in general, that this call is the true call, and for this reason they ascribe themselves to it even if in their actions they are far removed from it.
Al-Fatwaawaa al-Kuwaitiyyah, 27-28, of Amr Abdul-Mun’im Saleem.