Bismillahi Al-Rahmani Al-Rahim
A few days back, a sister asked about the following
- Imam ath-Thahabi said: "It is
authentically related from ad-Daraqutni (a scholar from
approximately 1,000 years ago) that he said: There is nothing more
despised by me than 'ilmul-kalaam (innovated speech and rhetoric).
Then he said: No person should ever enter into 'ilmul-kalaam, nor
argumentation (i.e. Philosophy)... Rather, he should be Salafi (a
follower of the Salaf)."
[The associated footnotes:]
 This statement does not come from the standpoint of being
 Siyar A'laamun-Nubalaa' (16/457) of Ath-Thahabi
This quote comes from an article on the Wahhabi Myth site. The
article's URL is: <http://www.thewahhabimyth.com/salafism.htm>.
my response I wrote that I doubted that al-Darqutni said that someone
should be “a salafi”, which the above translation suggests. Here
is what Imam al-Dhahabi actually wrote:
Ãäå ÞÇá : ãÇ ÔÆ
ÃÈÛÖ Åáí ãä
ÞáÊ: áã íÏÎá
Ýí Úáã ÇáßáÇã
æáÇ ÎÇÖ Ýí Ðáß¡
Èá ßÇä ÓáÝíÇ¡
ÓãÚ åÐÇ ÇáÞæá
ãäå ÃÈæ ÚÈÏ
One brother offered a better translation of Imam
- It has been
authentically related that al-Daraqutni said: 'There is nothing I
despise more [musa: or: more despicable to me...] than `Ilm
I (al-Dhahabi) say: The man [musa: al-Daraqutni] never
ever entered into `Ilm al-Kalam nor into argumentation [regarding
theological matters], nor did he get involved in those matters.
Rather, he was a Salafi [translate this as you wish]. Abu `Abd
al-Rahman al-Sullami heard this statement from him.
This brother's re-translation of the passage shows that
it was not al-Daraquti who said that someone should be a salafi,
rather it was al-Dhahabi who said that someone (al-Daraqutni) was a
I personally find the Wahhabi Myth translation
objectionable for two reasons. First: it is too easy to understand
from their that al-Daraqutni was the one who used the term salafi.
Second: their mistranslating that someone was a salafi as someone
should be a salafi.
A sister added another comment to
regarding my doubts about the original translation:
- You are correct, and I
wish more people would just type "follower of the salaf."
Because no living person can be "salafi" (a person from
the far past), if one is to use correct Arabic grammar. The
translation is very misleading. However, it is correct that the
translation said "follower of the past generations").
A good point. Perhaps the better term would be
mutasallif from the pattern mutafa``il. One of the many common
meanings for this pattern is that of false ascription. If false sufis
are known as mutsawwif, false salafis should be called
By the way: The word “salafan” (accusative;
mansub) appears in Siyar `Ala al-Nubala six times, while “salafi”
wa al-salamu `alaykum